In an industry as competitive as travel, it is critical to developing an engaging marketing strategy in order to gain and retain clients.
However, we know that it can be difficult to navigate the world of marketing, and that’s why we are here to give you our step-by-step guide.
Are you a travel brand wondering how to market your tours?
You’ve created perfect itineraries but are unsure how to share them with your potential customers?
Read on to find out how.
The blueprint of a perfect tour
The idea of the perfect tour differs from person to person, but we believe that an excellent tour should be:
As we discussed in How to Sell Travel Experiences, travel is highly experiential, and today, travellers are searching for memorable experiences.
What makes your tours stand out from others? There are many other tours on the market, so why should travellers book with you over other brands?
One of the main advantages of booking with a tour operator rather than booking on your own is that it offers a personal touch. Engage your potential clients and offer them a personalised service throughout the entire customer journey.
Booking with a tour operator means taking away the hassle of planning travel. Therefore, the perfect tour should remove any added stress and allow your customer to simply enjoy their trip; this goes for everything from the pre-booking to post travel stages.
Audience research to market a tour
As the tourism industry is highly unique, dynamic and competitive, it is crucial that you conduct audience research before you begin to develop a marketing campaign. And, due to the huge transformations in the market over the past two years, it is now more important than ever to gather information about your customers and competitors.
In order to fully understand your potential customers and their needs, consider creating a guest persona: a detailed description that represents your ideal customer. This can focus on everything from their budget and location to their interests and lifestyle, and can then allow you to create more personalised messages that will effectively reach your target market.
How to sell your tours
Before you launch a marketing campaign, it is important to decide how you are going to sell your tours. In today’s digitally-focused world, it is no longer an option but a necessity for online travel agencies to integrate a booking engine into their website. This allows your customers to book anytime from anywhere, taking away the restrictions of traditional office hours and saving you time and money.
With Nezasa’s TripBuilder software, selling tour packages is made easy. Our online booking engine allows you to efficiently plan, create and sell flexible and personalisable tours. More on how to build an online booking engine here.
How to market a tour step by step
So, you’ve created the perfect tour. What next?
Research your audience, the market, and your brand’s own strengths and weaknesses. What audience do you want to target, and how can you make your tours stand out?
- Identify goals
Before you begin to market your tours, identify what your goals are and what message you want to get across. Using the SMART goal system allows you to create specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic and timely goals.
Develop your strategy, create your marketing mix and begin to promote your tours. Whether you choose to work with a host agency or develop your marketing plan in-house, you should consider the different elements that you would like to integrate into your strategy.
It is important to analyse your marketing efforts throughout the process. Tools such as Google Analytics can help you to track performance in terms of KPIs such as conversion rates and return on investment. More on how to boost conversion rates here.
Once you have analysed your results, continue to refine and optimise your marketing efforts. Make sure that your website is optimised for mobile users and online bookings and consider starting a blog in order to reach a wider audience based on specific keywords.
Where to focus your advertising efforts to market a tour?
Where you focus your advertising efforts will depend on your company’s specific goals, target market and budget. We suggest using a blend of traditional marketing and online marketing efforts in order to reach a wider audience.
There are many different ways for you to advertise your tours, including:
- Social media
Offering low investment and huge reach, social media marketing is one of the most powerful ways for tour companies to market their products.
Today’s consumer uses social media at every stage of travel; research shows that 55% of travellers like social media pages related to trips they are planning, and 86% of consumers stated that they became interested in a destination after seeing user-generated content on social media platforms.
- Paid marketing
Paid advertisements are an extremely effective form of marketing, offering a high return on investment and the guarantee that your company’s message will be seen by its target audience.
Digital advertising platforms such as Google and Facebook ads have the power to target specific consumer groups based on criteria such as location, interests, search terms and previous purchases and can then direct traffic to your landing page.
- Email marketing
Email marketing may be one of the oldest forms of digital marketing, but it is still one of the most effective ways to promote your business, develop a relationship with customers and increase brand loyalty.
It also offers an incredibly high return on investment (ROI), and can be used to update potential or previous customers on special deals, promotions or upcoming tours and activities.
- Content Marketing
Content marketing involves the creation of relevant, valuable and inspiring content such as photos and videos as well as articles, blog posts and destination guides in order to attract and engage your target audience.
High-quality content is a key element of any successful marketing strategy, and written content should focus on utilising search engine optimisation (SEO) to help drive traffic to your website and increase bookings.
Find out more on tour operator marketing here.
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