How can luxury travel companies attract affluent travelers on digital channels?
Emilia Jedamska of luxury agency Relevance reveals how travel companies can cater to ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW) people on digital channels.
The luxury traveler wants a 5-star experience, from start to finish. / Image courtesy of Relevance
The competition between travel providers is fierce, but none more so than that between rival luxury travel companies.
As with everything in marketing, knowing your audience inside-out is essential in luxury travel marketing. That means knowing where affluent travelers want to go and how they want to get there. Knowing exactly who these ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW) travelers are and what they expect will help you to win the long game and set your luxury brand up for success.
The biggest difference between luxury and mass marketing is that luxury marketing homes in on a niche audience. Affluent travelers want high-end, curated, luxury travel experiences. They want the best service from start to finish, and are willing to pay for it.
The luxury travel industry is disproportionately lucrative to its size, hence the scramble to get to the very top of search engine results. To compete with ranking competitors, you need to consider the following.
Who are luxury travelers?
That’s the premise for a successful luxury travel marketing campaign and marketing campaigns in general. Baby boomers (born between 1946-64) comprise much of the luxury travel market. These ultra-high-net-worth-individuals (UHNWIs) have either completed or spent decades in their careers and have had time to amass considerable wealth. Many baby boomers are now retired and have ample time to engage in travel.
But generation X (born between 1965-80) and millennials (1981-96) also make up a healthy portion of the luxury travel market.
With an audience that varies in age, marketing strategies should be well thought-out and diverse. A luxury travel website should be beautifully designed, easily navigable, and include high-end travel photography and video marketing. It should also come with the option of speaking to a travel agent for those travelers who opt to do things in a more traditional fashion.
What do affluent travelers want?
It seems simple enough: affluent travelers want to travel in style and enjoy the highest quality of service. But what does that look like, and how does one promote that when there are hundreds of rival companies doing the same thing?
Firstly it’s important to note that luxury travel doesn't just focus on the destination but on the entire travel experience. This includes the research stage, the booking stage, itinerary planning, private travel (via yacht or private jet), 5-star accommodation, gourmet food, and the unique and captivating experiences that many of these travelers could participate in.
Yes, they want to see exotic locations and world wonders, but what separates mass marketing from luxury marketing is a uniquely curated experience. Many people can stay in a luxury villa in the Bahamas, but only luxury travelers travel to the Bahamas via private jet.
This unique audience makes up a tiny portion of the worldwide tourism industry, but it is a very lucrative niche to target. Using descriptive and creative language that conveys information and speaks to their desires and values is paramount. To connect with the intended audience, marketing content must embody sophistication and exclusivity that resonates with wealthy clients.
Social media, particularly video reels, shorts and stories, allow us to share a deeper and more overarching message which connects us to our clients and their lifestyles.
Incorporating a social media presence into your luxury travel marketing campaign isn’t just recommended; it’s a necessity. Like everyone else, luxury travelers use social media daily. But luxury brands are different from everyday products. They exude exclusivity, craftsmanship, and heritage; their higher prices signal superior quality.
Any social media marketing strategy for a luxury brand must revolve around creating an exclusive lifestyle. This includes influencer marketing.
Demonstrating first-hand experience is more important than ever for Google Search rankings. Google has updated its search quality rater guidelines (E-A-T: expertise, authoritativeness, trustworthiness) to include ‘experience’ (E-E-A-T). This means that your viewers should see you as an expert in the luxury travel industry and that storytelling by experts or clients will be the best way to promote a trustworthy, experienced brand.
Using influencer marketing and creative ways to show first-hand experiences will ultimately make your brand stand out.
Content by The Drum Network member:
Relevance is a strategic and creative digital marketing agency specialising in profiling and targeting Ultra-High-Net-Worth-Individuals for the world's most exclusive brands and companies.Find out more