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Monday, 22 November, 2010, 13 : 00 PM [IST]

Social media, content and mobile to be major growth areas for digital marketers in 2011: Frommer’s report

Social media, web content and mobile will be the areas seeing biggest increases in travel organisations’ digital marketing activity in 2011, according to a new global survey released recently by digital travel online content specialists Frommer’s Unlimited, the business-to-business division of Frommers.

As per the company release, the survey of 325 travel organisations was undertaken with global digital travel news service Tnooz and respondents included airlines, agents, tour operators and consolidators, hoteliers, tourist boards, car rental, rail, travel insurance, publishing and cruise companies. 70 per cent of the survey said they planned to increase digital marketing budgets for the year ahead compared to 54 per cent who predicted increases one year ago. Social media will see the greatest increase – 68 per cent said they’d invest additional money, but content will also see a 63 per cent increase in focus and mobile will see a 50 per cent increase in activity.

Although only seven per cent of digital marketers said their budgets would decrease in 2011, the areas where investments are most likely to decrease are in paid activity. 13 per cent of respondents are planning to decrease display advertising, 12 per cent intend to reduce paid search budgets and eight per cent will reduce paid Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

Giles Longhurst, Director Europe Middle East and Africa, Frommer’s Unlimited said, “This is the third year we’ve undertaken this survey of digital marketing intentions and it’s clear that marketers are looking at how content creation and new applications can reach wider audiences, over and above traditional advertising. When we asked organisations what content was most important to them this year, search engine optimisation was still by far and away the top priority, followed by high quality destination content and unique content to compliment the SEO strategy. We were also impressed to see the rapid shift in interest in mobile web and mobile apps – increasing in importance by 100 per cent year-on-year. Video is also seen as important by two thirds more respondents this year than last.”

Kevin May, Editor, Tnooz said, “It’s quite apparent that global content and digital marketing is changing rapidly as marketers trial and develop new services and digital solutions to deliver best impact on their bottom line. This survey clearly shows what marketers feel is delivering best return on investment in 2011.”

There is also evidence that companies are looking to more international markets this year with the number planning to invest in multi-lingual content up from 34 per cent to 48 per cent. Only 13 per cent of the poll indicated they currently use Asian languages, but respondents also indicate that this will double to 26 per cent in the future.

For the second year in a row, organisations say the top three priorities for adding content to their websites is to attract search traffic, increase conversions and build the brand. However, the problems organisations face in managing content are also similar year-on-year. The overwhelming problem facing six out of ten respondents is still keeping content up to date. Creating content which is consistent with brand values was highlighted by almost five out of ten of the survey sample and integrating content with products was a problem for four out of ten surveyed.

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