Whether for vacation, work or a honeymoon, people love travelling and often look for any excuse to pack up and go to the beach or the mountains for a few days off. Because of this, the travel industry has grown to become one of the most successful and largest service industries in the world today. Not only do travel agencies overlook the safe transportation of individuals from one place to another, but they also work closely with the hotel industry and rental services to give their clients a stress-free travel experience. The end goal should be to keep your customers happy so that they are more likely to avail of your services for a second time and also refer your agency to friends and family.
But how will clients find your travel agency? And how do you sell your services in an attractive, relevant, and purposeful way?
The answer to the questions is actually more complex than it sounds. Creating an online presence for your travel agency requires you to design a daily, weekly and monthly strategy to successfully engage with a large audience.
But don’t worry because we have you covered with the top 10 Digital Marketing strategies to help boost your travel agency!
How is Digital Marketing Beneficial for Travel Agency?
Today every trip is planned online. Individuals will Google the top travel destinations, read up on things to do, plan their itinerary, book tickets, and hire services on the internet. If you want to increase the influx of clients who avail of your services, then the internet is the place to be!
Developing a website for your travel agency is only the first step in creating a digital presence. However, designing a Digital Marketing plan will help you survive in the long run by increasing the traffic you get on your website and improving the number of engagements and conversions you receive. Additionally, it will also enable you to build a strong long-term relationship with new and existing clients and allow you to create a personalised experience for them.
Top 10 Digital Marketing Strategies for Travel Agency
With the rise of technology, using a predominantly offline marketing strategy is detrimental to the success of your business. This is because of two reasons; only a limited number of people will have access to your services, and most people turn to Google.
Digital marketing has thus become the medium through which companies have to build their brand and promote their services to a larger audience. In today’s world, a poor online presence could impact the growth or decline of your business drastically.
One of the biggest challenges that companies experience is the ability to inform travellers about their services and stand out among the variety of options available on the internet. To make things easier for you, we have curated a list of digital marketing strategies to grow your travel agency online.
1. Build a User Friendly Website
If you want to mark a place of your own in the digital world, create a website with a unique design that caters to the needs of a variety of clients. A customised user experience such as one on one interaction, offering ‘Build a plan’ options, curating client specific trips and providing personalised recommendations are some things that could set you apart from the competition.
Another thing to focus on is the design of your website. Ensure that your website is easy to navigate and has ample of images and videos to make it more attractive and readable. The colour, font, size and placement of text will help create a persona for your website. Don’t forget that the design is the first thing that any customer will see.
2. Make it Mobile Friendly
A majority of people today use their mobile phones to access information and quickly look up some travel options. It is thus essential that your website caters to a variety of different devices. When we say mobile friendly, we mean that your website should look good on a smaller screen, and the images and text should not be too big or too small. There are many advantages of investing in a mobile friendly website:
- You will cater to 52.2% of internet traffic without losing out on potential customers
- Since 2015, Google has started boosting the search results rankings of websites that are mobile friendly
- Provides customers with easy access to information about both their travel and your business
- People are more likely to recommend and share your website if it is optimised for a mobile phone
3. Content is King
Content comes in many forms. Whether we talk about blogs, photos, videos, or customer reviews, all of them have their own role to play in boosting your brand and attracting customers to your website. In the age of social media, individuals often choose a travel destination based on the images they see on Instagram, and travel agencies could use this to their advantage.
Whether it is on your website or via your Instagram page, provide content that is relevant, original, engaging, creative, personal, informative, and instils curiosity. As mentioned before, every trip is planned on the internet, and if a user finds essential information on your website, they are likely to convert to a customer.
Another important aspect is to create a blog for your travel agency. Writing about the “Top Tourist Destinations in Summer” or “5 Places You Must Visit At Least Once in Your Life” will not only attract new customers to your page, but they are also a good SEO tool that will improve your search results rankings. Don’t forget to use keywords relevant to your industry and make use of various channels like social media, email marketing and website engagements.
4. Do Not Underestimate Email Marketing
Companies often forget that the best way to build a long-term relationship with a customer is to communicate with them in a direct and personal way. Email Marketing is often overlooked in the age of Social Media; however, it is perhaps one of the most essential tools to inform your customers about offers, promotions, and deals for the upcoming holidays. However, be cautious that you don’t buy email lists. Instead, give customers an option to subscribe to your page and receive emails or newsletters about your latest offers and things to look forward to. This makes them more likely to read through the content of the emails and has a higher chance of converting to a booking with your travel agency.
An ideal target audience for email marketing is a pool of customers who have already availed of your services in the past or shown some interest in your offerings.
5. Social Media Marketing
Today, every person with access to a smartphone and the internet is active on at least one social media platform. They spend sufficient time in their day scrolling through their feed. So if your travel agency is not on social media, you’re missing out on a large pool of potential customers. According to a study in the UK, 57% of millennials have planned their vacation after viewing aesthetic images posted by their friends on social media. Here’s how you can use social media to promote your business:
- Make visually aesthetic posts to trigger excitement and adventure in the minds of viewers.
- Let them know about your latest offers and discounts like an early booking discount, holiday special offers, etc.
- Encourage your clients to tag you in posts or stories that they share on Instagram or leave a review on your Facebook page. The UK study also found that 97% of millennial travellers said that they were likely to share a good travel experience on platforms like Instagram and Facebook.
- Organise contests to attract new customers. This will also encourage them to generate content on their personal accounts, which will help promote your travel agency among their followers.
6. Partner with Influencers
With the popularity of digital influencers on the rise, it is becoming hard for hotels and travel agencies to ignore their effect on the general population. According to 60% of marketers approached for a study, content put out by influencers is more beneficial than branded content. Picture this; a post put up by a travel agency about “5 reasons you should travel to Goa” versus a reel shared by an influencer staying at a hotel overlooking the beach in Goa on a trip planned by your agency. Which one do you think will garner more views and boost traffic to your page and website?
Partnering with influencers could thus prove to be a powerful tool to shape opinions about your travel agency and build its credibility with the target audience. This is because viewers trust influencers and assign value to their suggestions- definitely more than a company talking about its own services.
7. Keep Up to Date with Trends
To create a successful digital marketing plan, you must analyse your competition, learn about the newest tools and technology and follow the behaviour patterns of potential customers. Knowing the purchasing power and travelling desires of your target audience are crucial to making your travel agency relatable and likeable.
Another strategy is to read up about the latest news relevant to your industry and keep updated with the latest hashtags or trends to generate ideas for content and posts. This could help you promote your business on social media in a better capacity.
Also, keep yourself updated with the digital marketing plan of your competitors. Every two months you should try to understand what they are doing, how they are attracting customers, offers they are providing etc. In this way, you could take on your competition head on head and prevent them from obtaining an advantageous hold over the target audience.
8. Customer Reviews Build Credibility
Acquiring feedback and reviews from individuals who have already used your services in the past is a good way to build trust and credibility. Such reviews or testimonials are often the best way to attract new clientele. Potential customers are inspired to hire the services of a travel agency that is trusted by people around them because you can’t take chances when you are dealing with the high cost of flight tickets and hotel bookings.
Not only does feedback encourage individuals, both new clients and repeat customers, it also improves your company’s rank in the search results. Customer feedback is an important SEO tool that you should include in your Digital Marketing Strategy. Additionally, negative reviews or suggestions should not be ignored, because they could help you identify blind spots to improve the services offered by you.
On the internet, you will find many ways through which you can collect feedback from customers. Emailing past customers is one of the most traditional ways to ask them for testimonials or reviews. Some other techniques to ask customers for feedback are by asking them to fill in a form (online or offline), and leave a review on Google or any other third party app. You could also ask them to share their experiences on their personal social media and tag your account or leave a review on your website.
9. Keep an Eye on the Events Calendar
Paying attention to upcoming holidays or festivals is essential for a travel agency. This is a good way to come up with promotional strategies and offers to encourage people to travel. For instance, you could plan special itineraries or offer a discount to people travelling to a beach destination during the summer season or for long weekend trips.
Separating festive dates from off-season ones will enable you to develop promotional strategies that cater to both appropriately.
10. Review and Revise Your Digital Marketing Plan
Your first digital marketing plan is not the final marketing plan. Once you start promoting your business online, you will be able to identify certain trends in the market and have a better understanding of what makes your customers tick. This knowledge, when collected, assessed and analysed, should be utilised to make modifications and alterations to your existing digital marketing plan. For example, if Instagram is drawing in a larger proportion of customers than Facebook, then you should reassign appropriate company resources to create more content for Instagram. Or, if you notice that a particular style of blog is obtaining more traffic than others, then you could put out those kinds of blogs on a weekly or biweekly basis.
The travel industry is a flourishing industry that caters to an individual’s sense of adventure, drive for ambition, and curiosity about culture. Everyone loves travelling but also experiences varying amounts of stress when it comes to planning a trip and booking tickets. This is where a travel agency comes in; to take the load off of an individual’s back so they can enjoy their vacations carefreely.
In the section above, we have shared 10 Digital Marketing Strategies that will help your travel agency grow. If your digital marketing plan is implemented in a strategic way, it could result in an increase in the amount of traffic, engagements and purchases seen by your travel agency. Additionally, identifying creative and unique ways of connecting with your customers in the online space will give you an edge over your competition.
Do not forget: Not just planning a trip. Everything starts from the internet.
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