Travel, adventure, fun. Many people dream of having the means and opportunity to travel. As a travel agent, you can help those dreams come true. That won’t happen if no one knows your agency exists, though.
After a couple of years of being forced into quarantine status at home, people are ready to hit the road again. They look forward to trying new things and seeing new places. It’s your job to help facilitate that.
How do you remain relevant in the post-pandemic market, help people realize their dreams of traveling, and keep from spending an arm and a leg to get your name out there? You utilize creative marketing strategies that are still top-notch in the world we live in now. Here are some tips for promoting your travel agency without spending thousands of dollars to do it.
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Pick a Niche
When people need help, they want someone who knows what they are talking about, an expert in their field. You might wonder how that applies to you and your travel agency. Travel is full of niches. If you choose one and hone your skills in that area, you will come to be seen as an expert in that area.
Niches in the travel market include destination, type of traveler, budget, and interests.
- Destination: Do you know a lot about a specific city? Are you an expert in a particular country? How about a particular region of the world—South America, for example? Your favorite place makes an ideal focus for your travel agency.
- Type of traveler: Who primarily comes to you to plan their travels? Do you plan mostly adventure trips that include hiking, rock climbing, sky diving, or white-water rafting? Perhaps you specialize in theme park excursions. Maybe business people look to you for their ideal place to stay on their business trips. If you don’t focus on a specific destination, you can focus on the clientele you help.
- Budget: Do you specialize in bargain basement-priced travel experiences—camping, cheap motels, other inexpensive getaway experiences? Perhaps you are the luxury cruise guru. Or, maybe you specialize in something family-friendly that’s priced somewhere in the middle of that road. Whichever budget you cater to is your niche.
- Interests or points of focus: Are most of your trips designed around historic sections of areas? Are you a foodie who loves to share meal experiences with your clients? Do wine tours in Napa Valley speak to you? Or, maybe you’re a whiskey tour in Tennessee kind of person. Think about your hobbies or interests and create your niche around that.
Go Old School: Use Travel Posters
Have you ever passed the window of a travel agency and seen absolutely nothing in the windows? Empty windows and walls make travel agencies boring. How do you keep your walls from being boring? By hanging beautiful travel posters around the space.
Travel posters may seem like an old-school option for marketing your business, but there are few better ways to get people through your door than to catch their attention with brightly colored posters that advertise your niche. What happens if you can’t find the exact posters you want, though? You create your own, of course!
If you don’t know where to begin creating your own travel posters, you have options to help you with the creative process. Over 6,000 travel poster templates are available from the folks at PosterMyWall. Using a template like this may be the best solution when you want a professional, creative look but aren’t sure how to get to it.
Build a Killer Website
A step back into our world filled with technology will let you know that many highly successful businesses have extraordinary websites. Everything from fonts to picture choices to written descriptions keep the viewer wanting to see more. Your website could be the first glimpse that potential customers get of your business.
If you have no clue how to create the website you need, there are free and inexpensive tools available for you to utilize in creating your site. One thing that is key to getting your internet presence noticed is using the right keywords. You can use tools to search for the keywords that clients are currently using to search for your business. If you are still confused, you could hire someone to consult and help you with SEO (search engine optimization) and keyword usage.
Whatever you do for your website, make sure you use beautiful images. A travel site should provide pristine images that spark the imagination. Travel is a very visual industry, and the more you capitalize on that, the more impressive your website will be.
Make Social Media Work for You
Virtually everyone uses social media these days. It’s an excellent way to connect with people. Businesses can capitalize on that popularity by creating their own social media pages. The more interactive you are on social media, the more you will win over your clients.
Using social media to promote your business makes you seem more approachable to clients. Just as with your website, you should use multiple visual images. Instagram and Snapchat are known for being image-rich. You might even consider creating videos on TikTok to share with your clients.
Create a Referral Program
Something that works to build your client base is creating a referral program. You could offer a free dinner or a free night in a hotel for every referral that leads to a booking in the travel business. Think about it; if you give back to your customers, they will continue to come to you when they want to book their next trip.
In this same vein, you could offer something for everyone who books an appointment through your website or social media. You could do a big prize drawing after you receive a set number of referrals in which you select a client who made a referral for a free weekend trip. The possibilities for using your referral program are endless.
The travel industry is a visual industry. Using images wisely will help to drive clients to you. To increase your online presence, you might consider hiring someone to help you if you aren’t confident with creating websites or social media pages.