The global tourism industry has been growing steadily year after year. The number of international tourist arrivals reached 1.19 billion in 2015 and is estimated to hit 1.8 billion by 2030. This trend, combined with the growing number of people actively using the internet (4.48 billion) and making online purchases, has made it essential for tour companies to maintain a strong online presence. Below are some ways you can harness the internet to get more tour bookings and boost your revenue. You can opt to handle these strategies in-house or in partnership with a tourism marketing company.
How to Use Digital Marketing to Win Over Your Ideal Clients
1. Build a Website
When people need services, one of the first things they do is make an online search. If you have been distributing brochures, some of your potential customers are likely to visit your website to determine your credibility before calling to book a tour.
By having a website, you increase your chances of potential clients finding you in search engine results. You are also able to create a more professional impression among those who may be looking you up online.
Don’t let the idea of crafting a state-of-the-art website intimidate you. You can start with a simple site that contains essential information about your company and tour offers. Whether you’re building your own site or hiring a tourism marketing company to build it for you, take note of the following tips:
- Always include your company’s contact details on the homepage.
- Ensure that your site has a responsive design, i.e., your content must display well on any device or screen size, especially on mobile phones.
- Strive to make your site as accessible as possible. For example, include captions on your videos so potential clients who are deaf or have poor hearing can appreciate them, too.
- Web users tend to abandon sites that take too long to load. Avoid losing traffic by ensuring that your pages are loading fast, whether on desktops or mobile phones.
2. Build a Strong Social Media Presence
In 2019, there were about 2.4 billion monthly active Facebook users worldwide, 2 billion on YouTube, 1.3 billion on Facebook Messenger, 1 billion on Instagram, and 330 million on Twitter.
To tap into this massive marketplace, you’ll need to have a consistent social media presence and strategy. Maintaining these accounts allows you to establish yourself as a pro in your travel niche, engage with web users, and promote your services and offers. It can even help you increase your website traffic and get more tour bookings when you include links to your homepage, booking or contact page on your social media posts and profile.
Here are a few tips to maximize your social media reach:
- Post regularly, but avoid overwhelming your followers.
- Schedule your posts during hours with the highest engagements.
- Diversify your posts. Aside from text, include images or video clips of your tours, polls, travel tips, or trivia about the sites in your packages.
- Join relevant social media groups.
- Broadcast your tours by creating events on Facebook.
3. Create Useful & Enticing Content
Creating great content is another way to differentiate yourself from your competition. It allows you to educate your customers on issues that matter to them, adding more value to your business.
Before generating any content, take a step back to create buyer personas or fictional descriptions of your ideal clients. By getting clear who your ideal customers are, you can craft content that appeals specifically to them, increasing the chances that you will attract the right clients.
Your tour company most likely has a host of target clients. It can be parents, the elderly, or disabled for whom you’ve organized accessible tours, cultural travelers, or nature enthusiasts. Make sure to line up content and stories that target these groups and select the appropriate images and videos. If you need help creating content or identifying your buyer personas, consult a tourism marketing company.
4. Optimize for Search Engines
When people hit the search engines looking for tours or travel companies in specific locations, you want to make sure yours show up on the first page. When clients find you topping search page results, it adds to their impression of you as a competent or leading company in your industry. You also generate more traffic even without spending more on paid advertising.
For this to happen, you need to implement SEO strategies that include publishing great content, targeting the right keywords, and building backlinks. Furthermore, consider partnering with a tourism marketing company who can do a full audit of your website and handle on-page and off-page SEO for you.
5. Repurpose Your Content
Making original, informative, and catchy content regularly isn’t easy. By repurposing content, you can make the most out of your work and maximize its exposure. Here are some ways you can repurpose your materials:
- Identify your most popular pieces and republish these.
- Transform your listicle into an infographic.
- Share your content on different platforms.
- Update the content of your most popular posts to make these more relevant to current readers.
- Create a video version of your most popular travel blog post.
6. Leverage Online Customer Reviews
Online customer reviews can have a big influence on other clients’ perception of your company and their decision to avail of your offers. To show your potential customers the caliber of your services, encourage clients, especially those who had great experiences on your tours, to leave reviews. They can leave their reviews on your Facebook page or business listings, or with their permission, you can post these on your website together with their name.
Another way to further promote your business is by sharing content created by your clients. For example, if one of them tags you and thanks your team on a social media post, respond or reshare it so other followers and potential clients will know how well you deliver on your promises.
7. Add Your Tour Company in Online Business Listings
Another way to ensure that more customers can reach you is to have your company’s updated contact details and website included in local and international online business listings. Some sites to consider are Google My Business, Bing, TripAdvisor, Trustpilot, and Viator. Depending on your offers, you may also consider hosting an experience on Airbnb.
8. Invest in Paid Online Advertising
SEO strategies may take time to yield results. If you want a fast way to increase your traffic and get more tour bookings, you may want to look into paid advertising. You can choose from different types of strategies, such as paid searches, banner ads, and social media ads.
You can also explore influencer marketing, where you can partner with a well-known personality to promote your tours on their site. When choosing an influencer to work with, focus on the micro-influencers. While they may have fewer followers, they often have higher engagements than more popular influencers.
9. Leverage Video Marketing
Videos are among the most loved types of content. In the U.S., for instance, a recent survey showed that 85% of internet users watched online video content on any device. Marketers have also found it an effective advertising tool. In wyzowl’s 2020 video marketing report, 87% of video marketers shared that videos helped increase their website traffic, and 83% said it helped bump their lead generation efforts. Creating a video can boost your SEO efforts, too, as videos often show up in Google search results.
You can leverage videos in so many ways. Create video ads, vlogs of your tours, do live streaming, and publish video testimonials. Then upload your videos on your website and share a link on social media platforms. To further increase your visibility, include the content on your YouTube channel, as this video-sharing platform is a powerful search engine, too.
10. Use Online Booking Software
Some customers prefer to be able to do everything online—from researching tour providers and browsing packages to booking and paying. With an online booking system, your clients can finish transactions at their most convenient time. This means you are automatically generating sales even while your teams are busy with other tasks. You don’t lose a customer when your team can’t reply promptly or clients want to complete their booking outside business hours.
More and more customers are turning to the internet to find tours and reliable service providers. By implementing a robust digital marketing strategy, you can get more tour bookings and grow your tour company. If you are looking for a tourism marketing company to handle any of the strategies mentioned above, book a free strategy session with us or purchase any of our services if you are ready to get started.