There are people who live and breathe travelling. This makes for the huge number of travel agencies that try to sell travel packages. As a travel agency owner yourself, you are probably well aware of how grand the competition is, which is why you need the best strategy you can think of to actually reach those travel enthusiasts and turn them into your customers.
Managing a travel agency is a complex thing on its own. Your tasks include finding and making bookings and travel arrangements, creating and managing a website, using social media for marketing, meeting and communicating with potential customers, etc. And that is just the very beginning.
If you want to take the travel agency to a whole new, popular and successful level, these ideas should help you get the inspiration you need.
1. Understanding the Customers
Your customers are travelers, but that is just one thing that defines them. You can’t make a strategy that focuses solely on this because, let’s face it – all travelers are different. Some of them want one kind of vacation, while others prefer a completely different one. Basically, you need to work your way through these preferences to find the right way to approach them.
Firstly, you need your customer’s demographic information. As an international travel agency, you need to know who searches what and how often. According to Bing research, women make 68% of the family vacation searches. That should break down the family travel searches percentage to you and help you appeal to the customers on a personal level.
Then, you need to know what motivates your customers to travel, as well as what annoys them when they look for a vacation to book. Ideally, you want to identify three top customer persona and focus your strategies around them.
A content writer at one of the cheapest writing services says: “The goal is to create emotional content in the form of ads that is written from the perspective of the buyer persona. These are the people who are most likely to both click and convert.”
And finally, you need to know where they want to research for their travels and of course, put your offers out there for them to see. At this point, you should already be well aware that people search for travel both on mobile and desktop, and with your agency being an international agency, your biggest focus should be set on mobile.
That being said, your website should be mobile-friendly, but also optimized for desktop. While people tend to search for travel arrangements on their mobile, Google study has shown that 90% of all bookings are finalized on desktop.
2. The Right Time to Reach Potential Customers
You should at this point know who your target customers are, where they hang, and what they look for. However, you cannot truly make your sales if you know the how and where, but don’t know the when. When it comes to travel ads, time is a crucial factor in making sales.
This all depends on the locations you are advertising and of course, the travel peak times. A travel peak time will depend on the person who is travelling, the weather and conditions of the location they are visiting, as well as holidays, vacations, etc. Basically, you need all the information you can find for the places you have in your offers, not only the target audience who might be willing to go there.
The travel peak times also depend on the type of offers you are making. For example, cruises are most in demand in January, while people can make beach vacations year-round, but prefer to do it winter through spring. If you are offering a visit of state and national parks, your target time to market this would be in the spring.
3. Online Presence
All the information you will have gathered by this point can help you create the marketing ads and other props for your strategy, but how do you actually reach the customers? Right now, the most effective and quite obvious way for an international travel agency to succeed is with online presence. So, it is time to take a look at your website.
The agency’s website is the core; the tool you use for your marketing efforts. And the good news is, no matter how great your conversion rates are at this point, they can always move upward. So, make sure that your site is mobile-friendly, has an excellent design, speed and performance, and provides the best user experience it can.
The bottom line here is, no matter how great your offers are, your online presence can either boost or ruin your business. So, track the visitors, write compelling website content, think responsive and most importantly – use all the power online presence can give you.
4. Design is a Silent Ambassador of Your Brand
Yes, we are talking of graphic design. You have probably put your efforts and energy into staffing the company, creating a campaign for sales, investing in ads and website creation, as well as travel arrangements. This is all a necessity, but a poor graphic design can undo all your efforts.
So, focus on the design as much as you focus on the arrangements and your audience. You need a style that ties it all – your content, your offers, and your marketing strategy.
5. Social Media as an Effective Travel Marketing Channel
Social media is one of the fiercest travel marketing tools you have today and at the same time, it is the most cost-effective of them all. If you focus on the right platforms and make good strategies to promote your offers, you’ll reach a wider audience than you think.
Right now, Facebook remains one of the most popular social platforms for tour operators and travel agencies. If you go through custom audiences and post boosts with care, you can drive many web clicks without any large investments. And of course, you can use Facebook Insights to manage and track the strategy.
6. Email Marketing is a Huge Asset
Even if you are new at this, you probably have at least a small email database. This is a huge asset for you. Email marketing is known to drive numerous conversions, more than search and social conversions, even. So, add a subscription form on the website, connect and communicate with visitors, and slowly turn them into regular customers.
Working the database is free, but requires continuity and persistence, so use every chance you get to hone your email marketing skills.
7. Video and Travel Are Great Together
At this point, travelers can do more than just read about their travel destination – they can watch a video. It makes for an impressive, immersive, and realistic experience – and they love it! That being said, it is time to grasp the power of video and add it to your strategy.
You should not erase content altogether since content quality remains the biggest pull for customers you can get. However, according to Hubspot, 72% of customers like to see a video before they decide on a service or product. So, your best solution is a finely tuned combination of the two.
Are you ready to make vivid travelers your regular customers and create unforgettable experiences for them to enjoy? These tricks should help you achieve that, so it is time to get started!
Tiffany Harper is a talented writer from New York, an extremely active woman, and a real leader. She began her career as a journalist in the publishing house and later proceeded it as writer and editor. Now she works as an experienced freelance writer, mostly in business, technology and education areas. Please do not hesitate to contact her on Google+ or Twitter.