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5 Ways for Regional Airports to Master Destination Marketing

28 Mar 2023
Victoria Wallace

Regional airports – it’s time to reimagine destination marketing in creative, customer-centric ways. The common perception is that your smaller airports only serve a limited number of destinations and that your operations might not be as sophisticated as those of your larger competitors. But your airport has an opportunity to stand out, offering a more unique, engaging and personalised passenger experience.

The integration of ecommerce has opened up a world of potential. Customers can now book flights, holidays, lounge, parking and other reservations through the airport website. This enables airports to capitalise on rich passenger data and develop brand loyalty. In a modern digital landscape, where an almost bespoke level of customer service is expected, small airports like yours are ideally placed to build strong, meaningful relationships with passengers and offer a unique experience that sets you apart from larger hubs.

The trouble is that many regional airports are still buying into perceived marketing limitations. It’s time to realise your potential by leveraging the power of destination marketing and establishing your airport as the place to book with and fly from.

Thanks to intelligent ecommerce solutions like Rezcomm Marketplace, you can access fully integrated booking and marketing technology to promote your destinations and offer direct bookings. However, many customers still won’t realise that they can search and book flights and holidays directly with your regional airport, so it’s crucial that your destination marketing campaigns raise awareness, build trust and have strong calls to action to capture crucial conversions.

Southend Airport is an excellent example of a regional airport working wonders with destination marketing! It has built a successful destination marketing strategy by partnering with tourist agencies to add customer-driven value to its destination pages. This drives traffic and provides valuable information about the airport’s destinations. As a result, the airport has experienced a direct impact on its bottom line in terms of both revenue and awareness.

With Rezcomm’s powerful Marketing modules, it’s possible to reimagine your regional airport and promote it as the airport of choice for the destinations your passengers want to visit. Let’s look at 5 ways you can improve your destination marketing campaigns and create a buzz around flying from your airport.

1. Level up your social media

Did you know that 1 in 3 people use social media for holiday inspiration? The figures are even higher for younger generations, with 60% of Gen Zs and 30% of Millennials using social media for travel purposes. With this in mind, your regional airport must have a social media presence on platforms like Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.

Consider customers’ intentions when using social media for travel purposes.

Destination discovery

People often use social media to help decide where to go on holiday. An increasing number of consumers are flocking to Facebook, Instagram and TikTok to find inspiration and ideas from other travellers and travel influencers for the perfect getaway.

As a regional airport, it’s an excellent opportunity to influence their decision-making. A strong social media presence will help people discover your destinations and book flights with you.

Focus on creating exciting organic social media posts to promote your destinations, using beautiful photos and videos that draw in people and capture their attention. Competitions and destination-focused giveaways centred on user-generated content, such as travel photos and videos, are great for raising awareness of new or underperforming routes and boosting them.

Link your optimised destination landing pages and encourage social sharing to drive traffic and extend your reach.

Travel research

Holiday photos and videos are some of the most popular content on social media. Along with customer reviews, they influence many travellers to book a particular destination.

According to statistics:

  • 86% of people say they’ve become interested in a specific location after seeing user-generated content
  • 52% of consumers say they’ve made plans to visit a destination based on an image or video they saw friends, family, or peers post on social media
  • Millennials are 54% more likely to purchase based on a social media influencer’s recommendation

Since most customers trust other consumers’ feedback more than paid advertising, it’s worth tapping into user-generated content and partnering with travel influencers to build brand trust with new customers.

Paid adverts for destination marketing

Paid advertisements offer various benefits, such as increased brand awareness, improved brand loyalty and higher conversion rates. Extract insights from your CRM system to enhance your social media marketing, build copycat customer profiles, and target existing passengers, ensuring that any paid advertisements they see are relevant and interesting to them.

We appreciate that while you understand the value of social media for destination marketing, your regional airport is likely under budget and time constraints. Our Social Media Scheduler will save time on social media. Plan, review, schedule your content across all platforms in just a few clicks. Download our Marketing brochure to find out more.

2. Touch down with great landing pages

Landing pages are an effective way of driving conversions. Statistics show that having 10-12 landing pages can increase leads by up to 55%. So the more landing pages you build, the better!

Use your airport data

Creating a range of landing pages for each of your airport’s destinations will enable you to tailor your content to different segments of your audience. Don’t forget to use your data to determine which destinations your customers are most interested in for better targeting.

Include visuals

Landing pages must be visually engaging. Content combined with pictures has an 80% greater chance of being read, and conversions increase by 86% when a video is present. Work with your airport’s stakeholders, including airlines and destination marketing organisations, to create and share captivating travel photos and inspirational video content to feature on your destination landing pages.

Trust signals

Customers love social proof, with 9 out of 10 saying they trust reviews and testimonials on landing pages. Furthermore, landing pages that feature social proof convert 1.1% better than those without! Improve your chances of customers converting on your airport’s destination landing pages by including customer reviews, testimonials and user-generated content.

Landing page testing

Regular testing and optimisation can help to increase conversions by as much as 300%! Use your website analytics to determine the parts of your destination landing pages that customers engage with and anything that isn’t working particularly well.

Are you interested in learning more about building landing pages? Check out our blog post on what to look for in a landing page builder for airports.

3. Inspire with strong Calls to Action

Sometimes website visitors need an extra push to click a button. This is where an attractive but assertive Call to Action (CTA) is necessary to help them understand what you want them to do and make it easy for them to do it.

When writing a compelling CTA, the message should be straightforward and clear, but you should also avoid being too generic. A good CTA should be no longer than 150 characters and feature a statement that inspires and instructs, such as “Plan Your Dream Holiday Today,” not just “Book Now.” Remember that personalised CTAs can also convert up to 202% better! Consider including an incentive within your CTA, like an offer you’ve created specifically for your customer based on previous purchase data.

Avoid including more than 1 CTA in your airport marketing email or destination landing page. Multiple offers on landing pages can reduce conversions by a whopping 266%.

All of your CTA buttons should link directly to the relevant page on your airport website, making it as easy as possible for visitors to start booking their trips. One of the main barriers to conversion is a long and complicated checkout process. Rezcomm Marketplace offers an intuitive, brand-matched, responsive booking journey that validates and expands as the customer proceeds, giving clear visual reassurance and building trust throughout the process.

4. Use email marketing to keep in touch

Email marketing is still the single most successful platform when it comes to conversion, generating $38 for every $1 spent. Email is not only great for driving sales, but it’s also valuable for showcasing relevant destinations to your subscribers, who may not already know they can book flights directly with your regional airport.

Airport travel marketing campaigns can be seasonal. Think winter holiday promotions for winter months, family fun breaks for the summer and romantic getaways for February. They can also more directly promote a location by providing rich content such as facts about the location, immersive videos, customer reviews and special offers.

Master destination marketing via email by personalising the content. Draw on data from your CRM and segment your subscribers to ensure you send them destinations they’ve shown interest in or are likely to enjoy based on where they’ve travelled to. Ensure your content is educating and entertaining to build customer trust and include personalised, relevant offers from time to time as an extra incentive for people to book with your regional airport.

Build effective destination marketing emails at speed with Rezcomm’s Drag & Drop Email Builder. Access and customise templates or build from scratch! Plus, with our automated Email Sending Service, your airport can deliver hyper-personalised emails at scale in sub 2 seconds and benefit from powerful tracking tools to increase visibility and drive even more revenue from email marketing.

5. Increase flight and holiday bookings with widgets

Populate your airport website, destination landing pages and travel blog posts with Rezcomm’s flexible widgets to encourage people to click through to your ecommerce website and book.

Rezcomm’s cutting-edge widgets include Flight Search, which works similarly to a comparison site, enabling customers to search for a destination and gain access to all of the flights available from their chosen airport. We also have a widget for destination inspiration, which travellers can use to browse destinations according to their interests or preferred travel schedule. In addition, this widget can source content such as destination guides, maps, special offers, images and videos, all of which will support your regional airport’s destination marketing efforts.

Along with inspiring customers and simplifying the booking journey, Rezcomm’s widgets will also help your airport see which destinations and flights customers are most interested in – handy data for travel marketers!

Master Destination Marketing with Rezcomm

Regional airports can unlock revenue and create a world-class customer experience using these five destination marketing ideas. Plus, with Rezcomm Marketplace and its comprehensive collection of travel, marketing and customer modules, you will further cement your position as the airport of choice – a regional powerhouse capable of competing with the big hubs.

Leverage the power of Rezcomm. Download our brochure and book a meeting with our team to take your regional airport to the next level.