Every Eid, internet users witness a flurry of marketing campaigns from various brands. From food to fashion, all types of shopping experience a surge during the festive season.
The most recent Eid season was no different. We saw a wide range of marketing endeavors ranging from boring to fascinating from all types of brands.
Amidst the abundance of branded content, a campaign stood out, especially if you are a traveler and travel fan. People came to see that a lot of influencers were booking hotels online using GoZayaan.
It quickly became a widely asked question during this holiday season — "Why are prominent influencers choosing GoZayaan for hotel bookings this Eid?"
The answer: a clever and fascinating campaign by the travel-tech platform GoZayaan.
In the campaign, GoZayaan took advantage of an overlooked market trend, worked with influencers to promote online hotel booking, and made it clear to potential travelers that online booking is super easy and convenient with GoZayaan. The campaign quickly increased queries regarding hotel bookings on GoZayaan platforms.
There are several reasons the campaign worked, we will come to these in a moment. However, the first significant aspect of the campaign is that it is counterintuitive.
The idea of booking hotels during Eid can seem unusual and forced or unnecessary to some. Our general understanding of Eid is that people want to spend the holidays with their family and at home.
However, there is a huge difference between truth and apparent truth. Some things might appear true but could be otherwise if you take a closer look.
Instead of accepting the traditional perception as the reality, the GoZayaan team dug deep into data and came up with an excellent campaign idea. This was one of the reasons the campaign stood out.
In this article, we delve into the brilliant strategy GoZayaan applied to build a wildly successful campaign.
In December 2021, the streets of Cox’s Bazar became packed with tourists to the extent that travelers had to either stay with local residents or rent balconies from existing resorts. The news captured national attention, making headlines across national dailies. The following year, travelers got smart. They started to book hotels several weeks ahead.
For instance, a fascinating trend emerged last year as people began booking their travels from the third week of Ramadan. Travel has been seeing an upward trend since humanity came out of the pandemic-induced lockdowns about two years back. There has been a massive surge in travelers. People do learn sometimes. Two years of pandemic made people realize that they shouldn’t spend their precious time sitting at home.
The post-pandemic world also saw another interesting phenomenon — the rise of domestic travel. We have predicted this at Future Startup several times since. It was observed that domestic travel was the preferred choice among these travelers. As a result, the demand for domestic hotels reached an all-time high. While there are alternatives available for transportation and activities during domestic tours, hotels remain an essential component when planning a tour.
On the surface, we all could see these changes. We all saw the headline of tourists in Cox’s Bazar not being able to find hotel rooms. But while we intuitively recognize these changes, we don’t necessarily recognize the real change and the fact that people do travel during Eid holidays and book hotels.
The second aspect is booking hotels in advance, which people rarely do.
The GoZayaan team took on these clues. And through a thorough analysis of data from previous years, GoZayaan uncovered a significant insight: the peak period for domestic hotel bookings coincided with the festive seasons.
Armed with this unique insight, the company launched a campaign with the ambition to encourage travelers to book their Eid hotel accommodations well in advance.
The campaign was Bangladesh’s largest-ever marketing campaign by a travel brand featuring a large number of influencers. It was a perfect shot at promoting online hotel booking and boasting GoZayaan’s strength in the local hotel booking space. By touting the benefits of booking hotels online on its website and app, GoZaayan is going after taking online hotel booking mainstream and positioning it ahead in the game. What set the campaign apart — the timing was unique, the approach was new, and the ask was counterintuitive.
The campaign revolves around promoting seamless online bookings, with the primary objective of educating the general population about digital travel services. The company promoted how online travel booking simplifies the booking process, minimizes hassles, and provides a user-friendly experience for travelers.
By emphasizing the convenience and advantages of online hotel reservations, GoZayaan tries to push online travel services mainstream.
In the domestic travel market of Bangladesh, the idea of booking hotels in advance is relatively unfamiliar territory. Bargaining for the best price at the venue is still the more popular approach. However, during periods of high travel demand, waiting to book at the venue often proves to be risky.
Reports of travelers being forced to spend the night on the roads of Cox’s Bazar or Sajek have received significant media attention and raised awareness among regular travelers about the importance of booking hotels in advance.
All the hotels and motels in Cox's Bazar can accommodate approximately 200,000 tourists combinedly. However, the number of visitors easily surpasses this capacity during special occasions and long holidays. The tourism industry in Bangladesh still lacks a well-organized structure to handle overcrowded tourist zones and provide quality service.
During the holidays, most people initially spend the first few days with their families. However, in the 2-3 days following Eid, many choose to travel domestically. Due to the convenience and affordability of domestic travel, domestic destinations seem to be more popular during this time.
GoZayaan dedicated all its efforts to a massive influencer campaign centered around domestic hotels for this Eid. The campaign was designed not only to boost online hotel sales but also to encourage individuals to book their hotels early.
Inside the campaign
“The definition of celebrating Eid has changed over the years”, explains Imamul Islam Suprio, Chief Commercial Officer of GoZayaan. “Many prefer to travel during the Eid holidays instead of spending all their time at home. This was not the trend even a few years ago. Following the rise in travel trends, we decided to concentrate our efforts on an essential travel service during Eid - hotels.”
In a series of blasts and episodes, the company shared various forms of content of the campaign.
The campaign started with video announcements from around 40 of the most prominent content creators from different verticals.
The announcement raised an urgency among travelers to instantly look up available hotels from GoZayaan’s platform. The buzz was prolonged by multiple blasts of content from different influencers periodically.
The campaign also focused on providing important travel advice for the peak tourist season.
Content creators shared their own stories about how previous holidays had gone bad due to a lack of planning.
They advised people to plan ahead and complete bookings online. The campaign ended with one piece of advice for all: Book your hotels early from GoZayaan!
With travel advisory and brand placement, all rolled into one, GoZayaan established itself as a brand that truly cares about its customers.
GoZayaan, as a brand, has repeatedly demonstrated that its purpose extends beyond selling flights, hotels, or tours only. Instead, the company has embarked on an extensive mission to educate the general population of Bangladesh about digital tourism and the advantages of planning tours online. The company is seen constantly innovating both its services and communication strategies.
The company has made an attempt at turning itself synonymous with travel. The campaign was an attempt to solidify its position with existing users further while reaching new users across the board.
Reaching past the awareness phase, the campaign has worked further to establish trust in GoZayaan for being a 360-degree travel solution.
Although hotels have been available on the platform for some time, flights are usually considered the hero product for the brand. However, with this campaign, the company saw a huge surge in hotel queries. This helped the company establish itself as a strong contender among other similar service providers in the market.
GoZayaan used all social media platforms for this campaign. With content creators across all three major platforms — Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube, posting about the brand, the campaign gathered a whopping 5 million+ impressions, which alone tells the extent of the success of the campaign.
Bangladesh still has a largely offline-dominated tourism sector. It is a unique achievement for an online-focused travel brand to gain this much traction for a social media campaign.
The campaign has helped GoZayaan to reach more users, build loyalty with existing users, and strengthen its market position. It is also a step in the right direction to accelerate the digitization of the tourism sector of Bangladesh.