There are many misconceptions about digital marketing for travel agencies, but you shouldn’t believe them! The top myth that we hear about marketing for a travel agency is “My marketing isn’t working.”
Although it may seem like your marketing isn’t working, it just takes time due to the nature of the business and the longer buying cycle.
In this blog, we’re going to discuss why travel agencies need digital marketing along with some tips and tactics to incorporate into your strategy.
1. Humanize Your Business
If you are a locally owned travel agency, you have a huge advantage over big companies. Why? Because you can have your own voice, which ultimately makes you unique.
Unlike big travel agency companies who have a set process and rules, you are able to give suggestions based on experience and make it more personalized to each individual.
Customers are more likely to work with a local travel agent, but they need to know you exist and that you’re a free service. And this is where you can use marketing to help increase your business’s exposure.
Tip: Don’t Use a Phone Tree
One great way to differentiate your travel agency from big companies is to not use a phone tree!
While it may seem helpful to have an automated system when someone dials your phone number, you can add a more humanized element by having an employee answer the phone with, “Hello! This is Marge, how can I help you today?”
It may not seem like much, but it can be extremely helpful for customers to talk to an employee rather than an automated system.
2. Give Your Marketing Time
With any business, your marketing takes time to become effective. At the end of the day, you need to be consistent with your marketing all year round.
If you stop during your slow season, you lose the momentum you’ve gained and start back at square one when the season picks back up.
As a travel agency, it’s even more important for you to be consistent with your marketing because the buying cycle is longer for your industry.
When someone plans a vacation, they don’t book it and leave the next day. It takes months (or even a year) before a customer heads on their trip.
For example, if someone wants to take a trip in July, they’ll start talking to a travel agency during December. For more extensive trips, it may take even longer to plan.
On average, the buying cycle for a travel agency is 1-1.5 years. While most marketing strategies begin to start working in six months, it takes travel agencies longer because of the buying cycle. This affects your local search and review marketing strategy the most.
Tip: Work With a Digital Marketing Agency
Marketing on your own can be tough, especially as a travel agency. When you work with a digital marketing agency that's dedicated to your success, they will be able to create a personalized strategy that works for your business.
At RevLocal, our team of experts has experience working with travel agencies and can help you make thoughtful decisions for your marketing based on a variety of factors, including:
- Best practices
- Updates to your industry
Learn more about digital marketing for your travel agency here.
3. Be Visible to Customers
While your family, friends and acquaintances may know you’re a travel agent, other people in your area probably don’t know that you’re “Janet the travel agent.”
When you utilize digital marketing to create exposure for your business, you’re getting in front of more people as well as bringing potential customers into the early stages of the marketing funnel.
As a travel agent, you should focus on your local search presence, paid advertising and social media.
One of the top places that people go to learn about a new business is their Facebook page. If you don’t have a page, the first step is to create one. However, if you have one but you’re not posting, it’s time to ramp up your social media efforts!
Tip: Ask for Vacation Photos
A simple thing you can do as a travel agent is ask your customers for photos from their vacation! People love sharing photos and would be happy to be featured on your page.
You don’t want your Facebook page to be a ghost town, so be sure to have a consistent posting schedule and strategy in place.
Whether you have been running your marketing for your travel agency for years or a few months, it can be difficult to see the return on investment due to the buying cycle.
It’s crucial to remember that digital marketing is an investment worth making. If you stay consistent, it will come to fruition and you will reap the rewards.
As long as your travel agency business has a humanized approach, you’re visible to your customers and you give your marketing time to become successful, you will be able to reap the rewards.
This post was created in collaboration with Meg Cabosky and Ross Barber, two of our Senior Digital Marketing Strategists.