Digitization has tremendously changed the face of the travel industry. With the infusion of digital marketing, everything is now just a click away. Digital consumption is very different from what it was once many years ago. The travel industry has become one of the fast-growing and largest industries of the world. To cop up with this competition, travel agencies have to employ great techniques to identify their buyer persona and tailor their offerings to the target audience.
Effective digital marketing is the best way to reach a large audience in a quick way and at a lower cost. Different digital marketing channels enable more and more customers being served online especially through tablet devices and smartphones. With the assistance of multimedia, travel marketing can go viral for any given audience.
Following are 5 key tips and strategies for your travel industry to attain success by blending travel and digital marketing.
1. Identify your target customers
First, know who your customers are so that you can cultivate a larger customer base in the long run. It is very important to create a niche for your travel agency. Some travel agencies choose to target their customers on the basis of different travel regions (European trip, coastal trip, trekking, desert trip, etc) and some others provide different travel routes for their customers depending on different groups of people (business people, couples, friends, students, the retired, etc).
Sort your travel products in the ways which they are geared towards-families, young couples, solo adventurers, senior travellers, or even a mix of multiple demographics. Refer to this and infer the buyer persona so as to make the marketing strategy easier.
Inferring the buyer persona implies that you are being specific in listing out the characteristics of your customers. For example, if the approaching customers are a group of couples, ask them if they are coming in pairs or if their children are with them. Ask them their age, their choice of place, transportation, whether they are recently married or not etc. Segregating their needs and preferences helps you to orient your marketing strategy on that specific niche. It also helps in other marketing processes.
2. Leverag/,e social media marketing
Enrich your travel website with engaging digital contents that evoke responses from the audience. Optimizations within limited budgets are even possible. Just ensure that your presentation pages are attractive, eye-catching and carry relevant content.
Various social media platforms like Facebook, Whatsapp, Youtube and the like, assist people in travelling by sharing inspiring stories, travel tips and discover exciting activities and attractions.
Your prospective customers are already using social media. So, it is important to be present and visible to them wherever they are. Having just an account in social media won’t help you by any means. You have to be active enough so as to engage customers to your site. You should start discussions, reply to their comments, answer to their questions, post photos, videos and other engaging content. These constructive steps will lift your company’s reputation and image and gives the impression that you are user-friendly. Each and every such activity adds to the chance of visitors turning to your company’s customers. Thus, it is an important facet of marketing.
Posting videos and photos regularly keep your site updated. Videos of travellers who have experienced your services will make social proof. Hence, adding to the credibility of the customers.
Reviews and social proofs form the most influential part of your marketing campaigns. Because nothing sells like people recommending your company to others. So, appreciate it when people do the marketing for you through their testimonials and reviews.
3. Know the digital journey of the customer
For many people, the idea of travelling is a spontaneous one. And for the rest, it is a process involving meticulous steps. As a travelling agency, you must know the pulse of these different groups of travellers- What makes them travel? Why they travel? etc..The process of arranging a journey – from an impulse to travel to thorough research, cross-checking, price comparison, and booking – has a tendency to be prolonged. According to Google, the travel journey can be categorized into four stages:
- Booking and
Devise different ways in which you can target potential customers at each stage. Each stage of this has the potential to attract customers to your sales funnel. Optimize your content, its design, and positioning for every stage of the traveller’s buying journey. For instance, If you focus on country tours, you can let your customers choose one of your destinations, tell them which times of year are best to visit and show them how easy your booking process is from that of others.
4. Optimize your online campaigns using Google AdWords
CPM (Cost Per Milli or Cost for Thousand Impressions) and CPC (Cost Per Click) are two ways for you to increase your brand awareness. Google AdWords is the popular pay-per-click marketing online solution for travel marketers. It provide you with a positive ROI. Read our blog on AdWords to see why it is an effective way to drive more traffic to your travel website.
5. Cooperate with other businesses
You can cooperate with other related businesses such as the hotels, restaurants and the more, which is another way to make your travel businesses reach more potential tourists. Having a long-term cooperation with them, will bring more discounts to your tourists and reduce your business costs as well.