How to: Travel Marketing

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Marketing is the method by which you get people interested in your travel business. That’s a wide definition that can encompass many aspects of  how you promote yourself and your services.

Better to answer it perhaps with

‘What is your marketing problem’?

Is it:

You don’t make enough sales?

Your advertising is not getting a big enough reach?

Your target customers are not reacting to what you are saying?

You think the service you provide with your expertise is a way for people to have a better holiday but they don’t know it yet 

Marketing is the generous act of helping someone solve a problem. Their problem.
Seth Godin
Marketing Entrepreneur

Back in the day, sales and advertising and marketing were intertwined. For a long time the most commercial way to acquire sales was to purchase adverts.

Ads worked and returned you more revenue than their cost & made you a profit. Be that a 2 x 1 ad in the newspaper for holidays, or a full page magazine advert or a Google Advert.

These ads were reliable – you could trust them to get you a sale.

That is not the case anymore. Ask any new travel company whether they get consistent sales that provide profit from Google Ads? Can you see any adverts in the quantities you did in the newspapers? Sure, there are some companies that still make money that way, but they have a history and brand and other ‘marketing assets’ that back up this to make the ads work.

In the main – advertising does not work. Certainly not on its own.

Which means you need to be a marketer to get sales.

Which means that you’ll need to ensure that you have a system in place to make sure that you have a method in place to get people interested in your travel business.

Getting people interested in your services?

For years, business owners only looked at ‘advertising’ because that was enough. Place an advert to say you sold holidays to Crete – 3 lines of text, and the phones would ring. 

That advert in the paper has now changed into:

The SEO Expert saying if you have a keyword strategy that you’ll get enough sales

The Facebook consultant telling you they can find your target audience and advertise to them

…and plain old fashioned ads in the paper

But the internet, or rather than ‘Access to Information’ that consumers have, means this is not enough now. Advertising in the main does not work and certainly not without marketing

The information Age (Internet Age) - Great for Consumers, Bad for Travel Agents
Steve Rushton
Travel Marketing Systems

The advent of the internet took away the one big competitive advantage that travel agents had. Now every consumer has access to the same information online. 

So what is Marketing?

Step 1: Invent / DO / Perform / Create a service worth telling someone about. 

That’s not – we can book you a holiday to Greece. Anyone can do that. The consumer can do that themselves.

What is your contribution to this? Why do you exist? What is your U.S.P.?

Step 2: Decide on your target market and build your business around them so that this target market will benefit.

e.g. your target market is well heeled families with two working parents. This is a great target market because the family has money but no time. They spend little time with their children and so want to make sure that they have a great holiday to bond the family.

Step 3: Tell a story so that your target market recognises the narrative you tell

What does you business have to look like to attract these people?

What hours do you need to keep to be able to talk to them at a time that suits them?

What questions will they want answering and can you provide these when they look at your website?

Are the dreams of the parents to make their children happy on holiday? Appeal to these emotions rather than the product itself to build rapport

Step 4: Spread the word

Step 5: Do your job well, excel at it so that the consumer wants you to do it again and tells their friends.

You can’t just do Step 4, it doesn’t work on its own.

Types of Marketing to spread the word ( Step 4) 

What mediums you use is entirely down to where your customers hang out. If you don’t tell a mailing list to look at your blogs, or post your latest blog to social channels, no one will see them and they’ll be wasted. Quick heads up – if you don’t send people to your website, you won’t get any enquiries from it.

  • Blog Marketing
  • Search Engine Optimisation ( SEO)
  • Search Engine Marketing ( Paid Adverts)
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Web Marketing
  • Video Marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • Print Marketing
Once you’ve tested Step 4 ( heads up – it will be a mix of these over time) you will have managed to hopefully get ‘eyes on your product’ – i.e. someone looking at your business.
But attention spans are small.
You’ll need to nurture the potential customer to introduce them to what you are selling
You’ll need to alleviate their fears and play to their dreams
You’ll need to convince them that your story matches their needs
You’ll need a website to tell that story, An email marketing system to nurture them, a review system to prove to them that you can fulfil their needs by reference to past clients. You’ll need content to prove to them that you sell the kinds of holidays they are looking for. You’ll need a CRM to manage your clients preferences.
That’s what we do. That’s what we provide. We are here to help you succeed.