Digital Marketing Essentials for Travel Agents

Author: Vijay Iyer
Date: 2019-12-12

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Digitalization has been a game changer for all industries and the way that marketing was being done. The travel and tourism industry is undeniably one of the first that was affected as the world migrated to digitalization. 

Travel and holiday planning in this era is remarkably different from way back before technology took over. Do you remember the time as kids? It was always our parents planning family trips and instead of being delighted and excited about an upcoming trip, they would always seem hassled and worried with so many things to plan and manage even before the trip starts, let along once we were there. Truly, the digital world has made everything so easy that you can plan and monitor things with just a few clicks and actually enjoy your travel experience.

Millenials, or the new generation of travelers no longer just rely on local agencies to help them decide where to go. Gen Z is getting its inspiration online through various social media channels including Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Pintrest and many other travel channels/ forums. The rise of social media and influencers means that the world is more visible than ever before and consumers are constantly looking for inspiration, the next big destination and the best travel deals.

But that’s not all, digital marketing is also used to make sure travelers can have the best dreaming and planning experience, do well-rounded destination marketing and also provide add-on services and exciting activities to choose from during a trip. Digital Marketing therefore has become a guide for travelers to help get the best in their overall experience when planning a holiday or vacation.

But what does that mean for travel agents around the world? It means, it is even more difficult to stand out in an increasingly cloned crowd of travel agents offering similar services and getting people to choose/ purchase from them. This is exactly why one needs to get on the band-wagon with the latest practices and trends when it comes to digital marketing for the travel sector, which can now be dubbed as the Travel tech industry.

Did you know that 55% of leisure travelers actually just take a maximum of a vacation or two per year? This means they are very meticulous in planning such trips are heavily invested throughout the process. Again 37% of people, in their dreaming stage think about their next trip and do some window shopping/ destination browsing on a weekly basis and some even do it several times in a month!

So it is imperative for every travel agency to try and get an online presence and better still have a digital marketing strategy in place to make the most of the social media bug that we are all bitten by. Here are the essential points to consider when creating your plan to target new customers or engage with your existing ones and getting your brand known.

Understand your Target Audience

The first step to creating an effective digital travel marketing strategy is to study and understand exactly whom you are marketing to. Are you marketing to an adventurer? A cultural enthusiast? An explorer? Is your audience young backpackers or premium/ luxury experience seekers? Do you want to cater to people wanting to travel solo or in groups with friends or family? You need to answer these questions to get a clear picture of 

Case in point: If we say millenials are the primary target personas that you as a travel agency are going after, and considering the fact that two-thirds of 18 to 34-year-olds admit that the “Instagramability” of a destination is the most essential factor for them when it comes to deciding on a destination. You would want to make sure you use this information to your advantage by tailoring your offerings/ travel services according to such market trends. This is how you shape your products and marketing according to your audience to be able to stand out in the sea of travel agents.

Go mobile

Studies reveal that more than 70% of all web access happens over smart phones and around 45% and more transactions related to travel are actually happening over phones. Therefore it is imperative that your website or social media pages are mobile friendly and your content adapts to various screen sizes. This is called being mobile responsive and designing as such is called mobile-first design. Apart from buying, people are constantly on the go and expect to be able to interact with you seamlessly on their mobile devices. 

Socialize online

Social media is your sure-shot ticket to let a global audience know all about you and your work.  There may be many like minded people who would love to connect with you either for to enquire for travel services or even network with you for business expansion. So spend more time in managing your social media accounts and make sure to create varying online experience for all your patrons

Here are five top reasons why the Travel and Tourism Industry should make use of Digital Marketing.

  1. More Customer Engagement
  2. Exposure on Search Engine results
  3. Usage of Social Media to communicate
  4. Growing number of experience-hungry consumers
  5. Use Data to create personalized travel experience

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