One of the greatest advantages of Search Engine Marketing (SEM) over traditional marketing in the travel industry is the power it gives you to concentrate your efforts on proactive, rather than reactive, advertising. What’s the difference?
Reactive advertising involves putting your message in places where you think large numbers of people have a good chance of seeing it. Most methods of reactive advertising rely on prospective buyers seeing the same sales pitch over and over again until it sticks in their memories.
The hope is when someone needs what you’re selling, they’ll remember your message and buy your product or service. Examples are TV and radio commercials, magazine and newspaper ads, and billboards. Online examples are pop-up ads and spam e-mail.
Proactive advertising involves delivering your marketing message when a prospective customer asks for it. In other words, at the exact moment when someone looks for what you are selling, you present your sales pitch. An offline example of this is a yellow page ad – you have a leaky sink, look for “plumbers” in the phone book, and see pages of ads for plumbers.
Online proactive advertising zeros in on organic search rankings and pay-per-click advertising. Appearing high in the free searches for specific search terms involves time and the expertise to put the many pieces of the SEO puzzle together properly. With PPC’s, it’s a matter of bidding into the proper positions on the keyword terms you wish to target. Used together, these forms of proactive advertising can drive a great deal of high quality traffic to your hospitality website at a very reasonable cost.
The more relevant the resulting marketing message is to a search, the better it is for both the buyer and the seller. Repetitive commercials are often intrusive and irritating, but when people search online, they are delighted to find answers to their questions and solutions to their problems. Proactive advertising is an incredibly powerful marketing tool for your travel destination, and creates a much greater chance of a sale than reactive advertising. It’s just one of the many reasons why advertising dollars are migrating from traditional advertising platforms onto the internet.
Mary Bowling – Blizzard Internet Marketing, Inc.