What is the very first thing that you would do if you had to travel somewhere far? Someplace that you have never visited before. You would do a lot of Googling. You would research ticket fares, ticket availability, and accommodation. You would even search for the best places to visit and all the local attractions. Maybe go on Instagram and find a few travellers who have been there. My point is, travelling and the internet have a very close relationship.
One of the biggest challenges faced by the travel industry over the years was the sudden increase in the number of mobile users. They had to adapt to the growing technology and provide customers with a way to access their services easily through the internet. Travel and tourism were among the first industries to have an active online presence. You could plan out your entire vacation, book tickets, and hotel rooms, hire cabs and tour guides, all from the comfort of your home. If you’re someone who loves to travel, chances are you’ve never even visited a travel agency in your life. Why would anyone waste time in long queues when they can just easily book anything they want online? Travelling is made super easy with the help of the internet. Since everyone is on the internet, travel companies have to make sure that they are too. Here are a few tips on how you can attract customers and expand your tourism business using digital marketing:
Digital Marketing Tips for Travel and Tourism Industry
Social media is filled with photos and posts of people who love to travel. We love posting pictures of new places and new experiences. You will find tons of ads, from travel agencies with stunning pictures, all over different social media platforms. Even when you swipe past stories on Instagram, you will sometimes find ads with an attractive tour package. In this day and age, if you are running a travel company, you definitely should have a good social media presence.
- Even without any promotion or advertisements, people are attracted to travelling. People share photos from their trips, which makes the viewers wish they could experience it as well. Get social media influencers, travellers, to promote your services on their pages. All it takes is a beautiful picture with a suitable caption mentioning your company. Instagram is probably the best option for travel agencies. The travel community there is massive. There are more than a hundred million posts on Instagram with the hashtag #wanderlust.
- It is important to optimize your website for multiple devices. People go through many phases when planning a tour and will access your site through different devices. They might read about your packages on a smartphone and then revisit the page later using their laptops. Smooth uninterrupted access across all devices is paramount here. Get your websites tested on all browsers and on as many devices as possible. If possible, create a lighter version of your website for mobile users. Or better yet, convert your mobile website to a PWA!
- People always look for recommendations and reviews when they travel. Use this as an advantage. Get your customers to post genuine reviews online on sites like TripAdvisor and Google. Having well-written reviews with great pictures will do wonders for your travel agency. You should also respond to negative reviews and offer solutions or compensation. This will maintain your image as a wholesome and trustworthy company.
- Find your target customers. Create buyer personas and target them with ads made specifically for them. A buyer persona is a detailed description of an ideal customer, made from existing customer sales data. It’s a list of ideal potential customers, categorising them into age, interests, etc. For example, a lot of newly-wed couples under 35 love travelling. This could be a category of people you could target.
- Interact with people on social media, conduct polls, and surveys. Know your followers and what they want. Work to meet their needs. For example, if a large chunk of your followers are students, create cost-effective tour plans specifically for them.
- Create a travel blog and post interesting content. Post travel stories, experiences, stuff that would entice the reader to want to travel. You could even post videos, infographics, and other interesting content. The focus here should be on the quality of content and not on self-promotion. You want the reader to be interested.
Travel and tourism is a massive industry. The US travel industry, the biggest in the world was estimated to be worth $488 billion in the year 2017. People from all ages and backgrounds want to take a vacation at least once in their lives.
In such a massive industry, you should be sure to exploit all the benefits social media and digital marketing has to offer!