Digital marketing is now needed more than ever. Both online and offline businesses are looking towards the internet as the prime venue to reach their customers.
To put it simply, digital marketing is a part of marketing that uses online channels for advertising, like websites or social media.
In the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, most business websites are seeing more visitors as people are moving to shop online.
With more people staying home, businesses are focusing on keeping their brand relevant and reaching out to their customers online. This also applies to travel agencies.
In this article, we will explain all the essential aspects of digital marketing for travel agencies.
The travel industry is one of the hardest-hit sectors during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lots of cities are put under lockdown, which means that people are less likely to travel. Social distancing regulations also limit the number of visitors to travel destinations.
As the number of travels will slowly go back up and recover in 2021, it’s the perfect time for travel agencies to keep their customers engaged.
Here are some digital marketing steps you can take to keep your travel agency afloat during the pandemic.
1. Have a Fast Website
A fast website can be beneficial in many ways.
First, speed can help you engage your customers better. Your customers may choose to move to another website if they find your site loading too slowly.
Search engines like Google also favor websites that load fast. Since users are more likely to access faster loading websites and leave slow websites, Google will prioritize them on its search result page.
Additionally, having a slow website will make for a bad impression, even damaging your reputation. With the abundance of competitors looking to lure away your potential customers, you must make a great first impression.
There are several ways to improve your website’s speed. If your website uses WordPress, most WordPress hosting providers include plugins and special features for improving your website’s speed and security together with their hosting plans. Visit here to learn more about WordPress hosting services.
Another common way is to compress images and clean up the code on your website. Make sure you don’t keep around unnecessary features that can slow down your webpage.
2. Create Engaging Content
Most business websites also have blogs. Blogs are an excellent way to keep your website updated and your customers coming back for interesting content.
This also applies to travel agency websites. For example, Trivago has a blog section on its website called Trivago Magazine. It regularly posts content that includes vacation ideas, hotel lists in different locations, and unique travel destinations.
These blog posts are also a perfect place for compelling calls-to-action, which are used to encourage conversion through actionable language, button placement, and supporting content. For example, if you write an article about the attractions of Bali, you can create a trip package with all those locations included, and use a CTA to bring the visitor straight to checkout.
Blogs allow you to post various types of engaging content. For example, you can share travel guides in the form of short videos by embedding videos from your company’s YouTube on a blog.
You can also utilize social media to share your content. Choose social media platforms that present their posts in visual form, like YouTube and Instagram.
This content can then be cycled back to the blog to boost your website’s rank on search engines.
3. Improve SEO
An essential part of digital marketing is making sure your target audience can easily find your business. While this may include paid advertisement, the main focus should be on improving your website’s rank on search engines.
This is done through SEO or Search Engine Optimization.
The first and second strategies in this article are both ways to improve your website’s SEO. However, there are still other ways you can try to keep your website’s ranking up high.
There are some other ways to improve SEO. Use clear titles and descriptions of images, use relevant article titles, and add relevant keywords that your audience will look up on search engines.
4. Focus on Email Marketing
Another way to keep your customers engaged is through email marketing. By regularly sending them email updates, you’ll stay on the top of their mind when they’re ready to travel again.
For example, your company can email users about travel safety tips during the pandemic and link them to your website.
Make sure that the content you choose for your email is relevant for your customers. Include an eye-catching image and a clear call to action (CTA) on the email, like “Check out our travel tips here”.
If you’re not familiar with email marketing practices, you can always use a third-party service like Mailchimp to make the process far easier.
5. Collaborate With Influencers
The pandemic forces people to stay inside more and, in turn, spend more time on social media.
While you can simply advertise your business on social media ad platforms, some people are fickle about clicking ads. One way to connect better with them is through influencers.
A recent study shows that 63% of social media consumers find content made by influencers to be more compelling than that made by the company. That way you won’t just be selling a product, you’ll also provide an experience, and align yourself with influencers that can improve your brand recognition.
Moreover, 66% believe that influencers write credible reviews about the products and services they endorse.
This shows that influencers make good storytellers. Start from local influencers from the travel destination you’re trying to promote, let them connect with potential customers, and introduce your brand.
The COVID-19 pandemic makes digital marketing especially crucial for businesses, notwithstanding travel agencies.
Many travel agencies have ceased their services at the beginning of 2020, but things may change in 2021.
Some have reconnected with their customers and help them plan their next trip.
Now that you’ve finished reading, your travel agency can start building its brand online and reach more customers as well.