Are you a travel company looking to boost your customer base, though yet unsure where to start? No worries - our team has brainstormed it all for your ultimate benefit.
Contrary to popular belief, attracting customers isn’t merely about spending a top marketing dollar on advertising. With the right marketing strategies for travel and tourism and a touch of creativity, even businesses with modest budgets can make a big impact.
In this article, we'll share practical and cost-effective marketing ideas for travel agencies. By applying them, you will gain more visibility and attract more of those wanderlust-driven customers. Let’s explore six accessible marketing tools that will help your travel venture grow.
Despite Search Engine Optimization (SEO) may sound like a quite obvious step to be listed among innovation marketing ideas, it is surely worth mentioning. SEO trends change rapidly, and keeping track of them will earn you a competitive advantage over less informed rivals.
SEO is about improving ranking of your site in search engine results with the help of tried and tested techniques:
- acquiring backlinks
- researching and using popular keywords
- creating content
- improving website technicalities such as loading speed, etc.
It is essential because it helps websites attract more organic traffic by making them more relevant and friendly for search engines and users. Higher visibility in search results lead to increased website traffic and higher conversions. The best part of a successful SEO strategy is that it does not require big investments. By optimizing your website, having it checked, and creating content regularly, you will save a continuous flow of organic traffic for months and years ahead.
Without much ado on how to achieve first positions in search results, we’ll highlight three SEO marketing strategies for tourism you should focus on right now.
Google Business Profile is a free online platform provided by Google that enables businesses to create and manage their online presence on Google, including search results and Google Maps. Setting up a GMB page makes it easier to show up on Google. If someone is in your area and they search for a travel agency or a tour operator, your brand name stands higher chances to be seen. Since this feature is still not widely used, there’s a fewer competition so far.
You should start by claiming a business listing. To do so, you’ll need to provide accurate and up-to-date information like business hours, services offered, high-quality images of destinations and services, and your address. Encourage your satisfied clients (or friends/relatives/employees) to leave reviews to increase your credibility. This is how you’ll hook prospects who search for local tourism services in Google Maps.
Featured snippets are short information-rich text boxes displayed at the top of Google search results. You see them when you type in a question, and they save you from having to click on a website link for the information you’re looking for. You can learn what you need directly from the search result page.
It is crucial to appear in featured snippets for a travel company, for two primary reasons. First, it enhances your online visibility and authority, as Google sees your content as a valuable source of information. Second, it helps capture user attention, as your content is presented in a prime position and potentially drives more organic traffic to your website.
Getting into featured snippets is also your lucky strike as Google doesn't choose the highest-ranking websites for this purpose. It chooses the web pages that have the most relevant and structured information.
Take a look at our article that made it to the featured snippets with the “destination marketing” keyword. It includes a short definition, a list of steps to successful destination marketing, and an image. Getting into featured snippets brought us loads of organic traffic while many people clicked on the link.
To get into featured snippets, craft content that directly answers common travel-related questions. Use bullet points and lists when applicable. Keyword research is also a key to understanding the questions travelers ask most frequently. Using clear, natural language and providing a brief summary at the beginning of your content will increase the likelihood of Google selecting your content for a featured snippet.
Long-tail keywords are highly specific, detailed search phrases, typically containing three or more words.
Another reason to fill your content with long-tail keywords is the growing popularity of voice search. While people who search manually will type in “travel insurance Chicago”, voice searchers’ query will sound something like “okay Google, where can I get the best travel insurance in Chicago?”
Most tour bookings and purchased cruise tickets begin with a search engine. They proceed with a great website. You only got one chance to impress someone who’s clicked on your link, and you don’t want to let it slip.
Research competitor websites then explore what appeals to you most and what annoys you. Hire a professional to make a website that is easy to navigate, stands out from the pack, and promises your potential customers a lifetime adventure.
☐ is mobile-friendly
☐ has a straightforward and intuitive purchase path
☐ has your contact information easy to find
☐ has good customer support (a chat or a call-back form)
☐ offers useful information
☐ has a convenient payment integration
☐ provides customer reviews
☐ displays solely high quality and high-resolution photos and videos
☐ has forms for email collection/newsletter subscription
☐ offers additional services your customers will find useful throughout their customer journey on your site(i.e. flight ticket companies may suggest car rentals or accommodation providers).
Tourism digital marketing provides the ideal platform to experiment with an array of content ideas and strategies, allowing businesses to refine their approaches and cater to diverse traveler preferences. Whatever the medium or content format you choose, keep in mind that its first and foremost goal is to provide a glimpse of unique travel experiences awaiting for your customers and encourage them to choose your services.
Great written content will turn your website or blog into a trusted source of information. Do careful competitor research to make sure you offer something lacking by your closest competitors. Offer in-depth insights into popular travel destinations, including hidden gems, local recommendations, and practical tips. For greater visibility, consider inviting popular travel bloggers to guest post on your platform.
We recommend engaging with all kinds of media to immerse your audience in a variety of experiences and get them excited about their upcoming vacations.
Advertising on social media is a great way to find people where they spend most of their time online. Running paid ads will be a good idea because platforms like Meta or TikTok allow extremely precise targeting.
Learn more about paid ads for travel agencies in our article.
However, advertising on social media goes beyond paid advertising. Basically, everything you post is an ad.
A little personal story: this summer I was planning to go surfing in Portugal. Prior to my vacation, I researched the best surf camps in Portugal. Some had good reviews and nice websites, but very few were active on Instagram. I ended up following one surf camp that posted stunning pictures and videos of the lessons. Every day they posted stories about fun activities and sunset parties they organized for the campers. After some time, I was sure that the camp was the best place in Portugal. And even if it wasn't, great social media strategy makes a difference.
Here are two simple social media advertising strategies you can use in addition to running paid ads.
Use special occasions to run giveaways, contests, and promotions. You could run them in exchange for exposure on user’s profiles on days like World Tourism Day, Black Friday, Christmas, Easter etc.
Encourage your customers to tag your company when they post their vacation pictures on social media. You can simply ask them, or offer discounts or special treats in exchange.
Partner with well-known travel influencers who connect with your ideal customers and have them share your offerings using their exciting content. These influencers can craft attractive posts, interesting videos, and convincing reviews that will all expand your brand's influence and trustworthiness. With their impact, you can enter new markets and bring in more customers.
Go for influencers with a big following, but don’t underestimate people who run microblogs, as they tend to have tighter connections with the target audience. You can collaborate with local experts and craftsmen who offer unique products and experiences and have great social media. Highlight these exclusive collaborations in your marketing campaigns to attract customers looking for genuine and immersive travel adventures.
Remarketing, also known as retargeting, is a digital marketing strategy that involves targeting advertisements at individuals who have previously interacted with your website or a specific product or service, but did not complete the desired action, such as a purchase. It allows businesses to re-engage with potential customers and encourage them to return and convert.
Here's how remarketing works and a couple of examples:
Scenario: A traveler visits a hotel booking website, searches for accommodations in a specific city, and views various hotel options, but doesn't make a reservation.
Remarketing Example: The hotel booking website can use display ads or social media ads to target such a user with promotions for hotels in the same destination or discounts for booking, enticing them to return and complete their reservation.
Scenario: A person explores a travel agency's website, looks at various tour packages, but leaves without booking a trip.
Remarketing Example: The travel agency can use display or social media ads to remind the visitor about the exciting tours they considered and offer a limited-time discount or additional perks to encourage them to book the tour.
Scenario: A traveler visits an airline's website, searches for flights, and selects a flight, but doesn't complete the purchase.
Remarketing Example: The airline can retarget the user with ads that display the same or similar flight options and possibly offer a discount on the ticket, encouraging them to complete the booking.
Scenario: A customer adds items to their travel booking cart but doesn't finalize the booking.
Remarketing Example: The travel company sends an email to the customer with a subject like "Complete Your Booking" or "Don't Miss Out on Your Dream Vacation!" The email may include a reminder of the selected items, additional incentives like a discount or bonus, and a direct link to complete the booking.
Learn more about email marketing for Travel and Tourism in our article.
Get creative and explore a vast variety of marketing channels and strategies. There are many options to attract tourists. Choose your fighter, and travel far with your customers.
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