As an independent travel agency, there’s so much you have to do in a day. But one of the most important things on the list is to promote the services you offer.
The travel industry is about building loyal customer connections, and especially now that travelers are looking for COVID safe experiences, trustworthiness is big. You need to present yourself as the most cost-effective and most reliable option out there, in a way that garners the most attention.
These days the most modern and effective way to promote your travel agency is to market it online. While putting up flyers in your neighborhood might help, the only real way to exponentially increase your reach and scale your brand is with digital marketing.
If the marketing aspect of your business seems overwhelming, don’t worry. We’re here to help! We’ve compiled our favorite strategies for promoting your travel agency online. Read on to find out what they are.
5 Strategies for Promoting Your Travel Agency
Stay Active on Social Media
A significant social media presence is a fantastic way to effectively get the word out about your services.
However it’s important to run research into which social media platforms your target market are using before you invest time, energy, and even advertising money into campaigns.
After-all, there’s no point promoting your message to an audience who isn’t likely to need or want your services.
Once you’ve identified where your target market hang out online, here are some tried and tested tips for a few of the most common social media platforms:
- Create an event page on Facebook whenever you have new trips coming up. This makes it easier for people to see details and decide if they want to go.
- Make a Facebook group of dedicated travellers. Use this space to interact with the community, and get ideas for trips people want.
- Post polls and ask questions to see what your community is interested in, using your established social media platforms as a market research opportunity.
- Share articles, news, and insights from travel magazines and big publications on your page. This will establish your authority on the subject, and increase clicks to your page.
- Share incredible photographs from various destinations to boost engagement.
- Boost posts about new deals and upcoming trips.
- Run ads on facebook. Divide your client list into segments and use Facebook’s ad targeting options to find your ideal customer.
- Share short and snappy infographics as posts. These could include topics such as travel essentials, what to pack for a beach vacation, why a certain country is a great tourist destination, etc.
- Announce new deals as posts and stories. If you don’t have a big budget, use an online poster maker like PosterMyWall to make a customizable digital poster. Here you’ll find plenty of poster template options to make a professional looking poster.
- Make sure your captions are exciting enough to grab people’s attention. Try to use emojis to give off a fun, playful vibe.
- Post high-quality photographs to entice people. Avoid stock photos.
- Add a personal touch by introducing your team and posting about any company trips you’ve taken.
- Add relevent hashtags to all your posts based on your industry standard.
- Go live and answer questions, share travel tips, or interview frequent travellers.
You can also advertise on sites like Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Snapchat, and Tiktok. However, it can be overwhelming to be on every platform at once, so stick to the platforms you have identified are used by your audience.
Email Marketing / Newsletters
We might be living in an age where we’re inundated with spam from Nigerian princes, long lost ‘relatives’, and news that you’ve won the Polish lottery, but despite all of this, email is the channel of communication that most consumers prefer.
Unsolicited email – no.
That’ll land you in the same folder as Nigerian royalty. But if you build an email list where people have willingly signed up, and are interested in your brand and product, email is what people actually want.
A newsletter will allow you to share any new deals or promotions you may have, and give you a direct line of communication to your customers. Here are some ways to gather customer emails successfully:
- Add a pop-up on your website asking people to sign up for the newsletter
- Facebook Groups are a powerful way to grow your email list quickly – check this Group Leads review for a tool which automates the collection of email addresses from every new person joining your group.
- Gate some of your blog content and make it available only to people who sign up
- Offer free downloadables on your website to those who sign up.
Once you have the emails, you can use a site like Mail Chimp or Mailerlite to send your email marketing. The most important thing to remember is to make sure your newsletter adds value for the customer.
After all, if it’s not interesting enough, people will unsubscribe. Add testimonials from customers who have travelled with you. Get frequent travellers to share their experiences and guide first-time travellers.
Establish Authority Through Blog Posts
Blog posts and articles not only allow you to establish your authority on the destinations you specialise in, they also allow you to tap into opportnities for content marketing, and being found through search engines by new clients.
Learning how to rank in search engines and making your blog posts SEO friendly may provide an untapped potential for new traffic to your website, and you can write about anything your travelers may need to know.
Ideas for content could include travel essentials and tips for the destination, packing lists like this one for Iceland, or best books or movies to inspire in the lead up to a trip.
Take inspiration from Trip Advisor’s travel blog. They write engaging blog posts in house, and they also get pro travellers to write tips and strategies from their own experiences. So you know the information you’re getting is solid.
Engaging Video Content
According to Animoto, 46% of customers watch more video ads on social media than TV. That means that if you create promotional video content, you will see a significant spike in online engagement.
People are always looking for “instagrammable” moments when they’re on vacation. They want pretty sights that they can capture with their cameras. They want luxurious hotels and incredible sight seeing locations.
Video gives you the opportunity to show this to them directly. An interesting idea would be to use a Go-Pro to document a day in Bali, for instance. Give people a taste of what their vacation could look like.
Here are some more video content ideas you could consider:
- Introduce your company and your team – get personal and let your customers get to know you
- Post Zoom discussions with clients – get their feedback, make trip itineraries with them, and keep them in the loop for a better customer experience
- Make a weekly travel vlog – hosted by different travellers each week, share fun and exciting new destinations and travel insights with your customers
- Make how-to videos, and share tips and tricks on all things travel e.g. how to pack light, what places to go, etc.
- Collect questions beforehand and do a good old Q&A
- Ask clients to record testimonials and reviews about your agency, and post them to social media
Feel free to repurpose your videos and turn them into content for TikTok, where you’ll have a shot at reaching a lot more people (though remember to ensure your audience is using the platform before investing time).
If the idea of making a video seems a little daunting to you, worry not! Video making sites like Biteable allow you to make seamless, professional looking videos in minutes.
Rather than spending money on costly advertising, use the magic of referrals to promote your business. Word of mouth can go a long way so take advantage of that.
Ask satisfied customers to share information about your travel agency within their network – friends, family, neighbors, colleagues, etc. Incentivise them by offering them a small discount on their next vacation with you.
Not only will this strategy bring in new customers, it will also increase the likelihood of existing customers coming back to you because of the discount.
Amarillo Travel Network is an agency from Texas that relies solely on referrals for its marketing. And it works incredibly well for them because they’re able to reach relevant people in less time.
The key takeaway here is to understand the importance of social media and email, and to use both to promote your agency.
The former massively grows your reach across new audiences, while the latter zeroes in on a select few and targets them specifically.