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Skift Take

All this week’s top digital marketing news in the travel industry, summed up in one convenient post. You’re welcome.

— Jeremy Kressman

Welcome to 2016’s first edition of Digital Travel Marketing This Week, Skift’s weekly newsletter looking at the marketing trends and technology making headlines. This week we’re looking at Facebook.

The massive platform plays an ever-growing role in how most travel media organizations and brands engage with potential site visitors and drive traffic to their content. For travel brands, there’s now the possibility that their content may be moved to its own unique news “tab” within the company’s mobile app. How might this impact the way Facebook brands post content moving forward? Read on below for more insight.

Facebook Experiments with Travel, and Other, Interest-Specific Newsfeeds
Hoping to maximize the visibility of that Facebook post to your followers’ newsfeeds? Keep an eye on Facebook’s recent experiments with “interest-specific” tabs in its mobile app for topics such as “travel,” “style” and “headlines.” The rationale for the test, according to some sources, is to try and relieve some of the clutter of the current newsfeed system, as well as to eventually provide new targeted opportunities for advertisers. Read more

Destination Marketers Compete to Promote Star Wars Filming Locations
As Skift has noted previously, the opportunity for tourism boards to promote destinations used in feature films and TV shows is significant. The newest installment of the Star Wars films, which has already raked in more than $1.5 billion worldwide, is the latest such example, with many places like Ireland, Scotland, New Mexico and Abu Dhabi all hopeful they will be able to promote their destinations’ association with the film to starry-eyed travelers Read more

Uber Patents New Travel Booking Feature
Trying to guess about a company’s strategic decisions based on patent filings can be a tricky endeavor. Often times, the filings are nothing more than wild pipe dreams that never see the light of day. That said, if a recent Uber patent filing for a new travel booking service is to be believed, it could make for some interesting shake-ups in the digital travel space. The new service would allow customers to book flights, hotels and (of course) Uber rides directly from within the company’s mobile app. Read more

Evolving Hotel Loyalty Programs Beyond the Point System
Guest loyalty is at an all-time low for hotels according to a recent analysis by Forrester Consulting and Sabre. The question for many hoteliers is how to cater to these increasingly brand-agnostic customers. According to Forrester’s analysis, hotel owners must refocus programs on long-term relationship building rather than simply offering points. Read more

New Report Reveals Most-Used Search Keywords in 2015
Trying to optimize Google AdWords keyword campaigns can seem like a never-ending game of “Whack-a-Mole” to many travel marketers, as consumer searches and demand for different search keywords evolve over time. A new report this week on 2015’s top keywords should provide at least some guidance about key topics marketers should think about in 2016. Aside from popular branded keywords like Expedia, generic search terms like “Flight Tracker” and “restaurants near me” topped consumers’ query lists. Read more

Hotel Marketers Discuss Their Top Guest Experience Trends for 2016
With the start of a new year, comes a new round of predictions about where the travel industry is headed in 2016. One of the latest roundups looks at how the guest experience might evolve for hotels this year. Among the hot topics mentioned are the importance of art and architecture in personalizing guest stays, the ever-popular trend around helping travelers “live like locals” and locally-sourced food and drinks. Read more

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