8 Proven Ideas to Engage Travelers and Grow Your Tour Business
Editor’s note: This is a guest contribution by Elisa Abbott, writer and editor specialized in small business sales and marketing.
There’s no question that any successful travel business needs to have a powerful online presence.
You know this.
The problem is that all of your competitors know this as well. The result is that potential customers are inundated with travel marketing content.
So how can travel and tourism operators stand out?
After all, your online marketing efforts are only as valuable as the engagement they earn.
It’s time for some fresh ideas to create engagement. Check out these 8 proven ideas to get engage with your audience.
Table of Contents
1. Hold Contests and Giveaways
If you’re active on social media, chances are you have scrolled past a post from a business conducting some sort of contest or promotional giveaway. You may have even participated. Run correctly, a social media contest has the following benefits:
- Motivate people to follow and share.
- Increase awareness of your travel operation.
- Build your online community.
- Boost traffic to your landing pages.
- Increase sales.
To hold a successful contest or giveaway, you must be certain the prize is worthwhile, promote your content effectively, and make engagement a condition of participation (think likes, comments, and shares).
2. Make the Audience the Star with User-Generated Content
User-generated content is any content relating to your brand that is published by fans, customers and followers who are not compensated. The only exception to this is content created in order to participate in a contest or giveaway as mentioned above.
However, the overall concept remains. This is not content produced by paid influencers or professional creators.
User-generated content can be:
- Pictures and videos
- Testimonials and reviews
- User-generated tips, guides, and advice
Audiences are more likely to share user-generated content with their friends and family, and are more likely to follow a brand when they have content to share. In addition to this, while audiences are increasingly suspicious of marketers, they tend to trust their peers. In this case, peers being their fellow travelers.
3. Create Targeted Content
No matter what you are offering, your audience members are going to engage more with content that is relevant. You create that relevance by understanding who your audience is, and what they need at any given moment.
This requires you to understand the customer journey, and to segment your audience members correctly. This way, you can present them with personalized content that resonates with them.
For example, you may determine that as your potential customers go through the buyer’s journey, they fall into one of the following categories:
- Fantasizing about where to go and what to do.
- Making plans to travel including how they will travel, where they will stay, and what attractions they will visit.
- Booking travel and paying for it.
- Experiencing travel.
During each of these stages, customers can benefit from different types of content.
For example, customers who are making travel plans will be more likely to engage with content such as reviews, travel tips, and ‘places to see and things to do’ content.
Customers who are in the midst of travel are more likely to appreciate SMS or app messaging about local events and other updates.
4. Make it Consumable
The phrase TL;DR may be snarky, but it’s popular for a reason. Audiences have increasingly lower attention spans. They want content they can scan quickly, and read with ease. To give them this, create content with a logical structure.
Use subheadings and bulleted lists to make it easier for your audience to scan your content, and find the information that they need. Use visuals to keep audiences engaged longer.
If you are marketing to a global audience, consider using a translation service. A translation review site such as PickWriters will help you find a professional translator who specializes in the specific languages you need.
5. Use Remarketing to Stay Connected
Remarketing is a process in which you download a tracking cookie when people visit your website, then market to them with relevant content through Google ads, or Facebook promoted content. This is a great technique for getting people who have engaged with your brand once to engage with you again.
6. Master Content Timing
When you publish content is an important consideration. For example, the Tuesday after a holiday weekend is generally a poor engagement week for travel businesses.
On the other hand, many people dedicate a portion of their income tax refunds to recreational travel, so the period between February and April could be an excellent time to create an email or social media campaign.
7. Answer Questions
One way to ensure better engagement on social media is to simply be available. In fact, Facebook will even let visitors to page know how long it usually takes you to respond to inquiries. The sooner you can respond to messages and posts, the better. In fact, you might even consider using a messenger bot to provide 24/7 coverage.
Another thing you can do is monitor your messages, emails, and customer service tickets. Determine the questions and concerns that seem to come up most frequently. Then, use those to create content that gives your audience the information they seek.
8. Use Good SEO Practices
You won’t earn engagement with content that nobody sees. Simply put, a good portion of travel business marketing is numbers. The more people who find your content, the more engagement you will receive. Make your content is SEO friendly by:
- Using relevant long-tail keywords.
- Structure your content neatly as mentioned above.
- Make sure your content is mobile-friendly.
- Pay close attention to site performance and page load speed.
- Use quality images.
- Make use of header and title tags.
- Create original, relevant content.
It’s imperative to your success that you are able to engage your target audience online. You can accomplish this by creating content that is relevant, well-written, and pleasurable to read. Keep your focus on your audience at all times, and invite them to participate rather than remaining passive. By using the tips above, you’ll be able to keep travelers interested and engaged so you can build a steady stream of new customers and drive repeat purchases for a long time ahead.