In 2018, global tourism was valued at around $1.7 trillion, which is about 2 percent of the world’s economy. From 435 million international tourist visits in 1990, this number more than tripled, reaching 1.4 billion in 2018. As tourism continues to swell, you may be wondering how your travel business can attract more of your ideal clients. One way is to make it easy for travelers to find you by strengthening your online and offline tour company marketing.
How to Improve Your Tour Company Marketing and Get More Clients
1. Partner Up
Whether you’re a budding travel entrepreneur or an established tour company, forming the right partnerships can bring you a wealth of opportunities. Think about where your target clients will most likely be and build partnerships with those businesses, such as:
- Online lodging websites like Airbnb
- Car rentals
- Other travel agents offering tours or destinations that can complement your packages
- Visitor information centers
Here are a few benefits of partnering with these companies:
- Broader Reach: Tour company marketing entails advertising costs. By working with other businesses, you are able to tap into their audience and promote your services for little or no fees. You will only be shelling out funds for commissions once their clients buy your tour packages.
- Improved Booking Experience: Many tourists want to be able to conveniently arrange all their travel needs in one sitting. When you partner with these businesses, especially online travel companies, you give travelers a seamless booking experience.
- Boost Credibility: Partnering with companies that are known for delivering top-notch services can help paint your business as established and trustworthy. Moreover, tourists know that travel companies need to satisfy several criteria to get accredited or become an agency partner. Passing these requirements gives you an edge over other companies, further enhancing your reputation.
2. Spice Up Your Tour Packages
With so many travel agencies and tour operators out there, you need to find ways to stand out. Create unique travel itineraries that will immerse your customers into the local culture or enable them to be part of a worthy cause. Make these experiences available through your online bookings and join global travel sites that are promoting immersive tours like Airbnb and Trip Advisor Experiences.
If you’re concerned that the new activity may not appeal to all your clients, offer it as an additional package, separate from your standard tours. This gives your clients leeway to customize their travel, by choosing an experience they’re truly interested in or sticking to the standard itinerary.
Get creative when thinking of activities to add to your offer. For example, you can:
- Create itineraries for food tours
- Visit an animal hospital
- Include wine tasting
- Partner with dance or yoga studios
- Offer passes to music shows and concerts
- Organize workshops with local artists
- Incorporate photo tours
3. Create an Online Booking System
An online booking system supports your tour company’s marketing strategy in many ways. Most of your target clients will likely prefer to complete their transactions online. They’d want to be able to book a tour, enter their payment details, and receive immediate confirmation that they’re all set for their trip.
By providing travelers with a convenient way to finalize their bookings, you increase your chances of turning your web visitors into customers. Without an online booking system, you will lose prospective clients who are not willing to pick up the phone or send a message online.
Your booking system also helps your partners and agents close more deals for you. They can quickly arrange trips for their customers and get real-time confirmation, without having to wait for your team’s response.
4. Feature Customer Reviews
When you’re giving five-star services, you can’t help but receive compliments. Since these reviews serve as social proof, you need to ensure that these positive experiences are visible to your future clients.
Encourage your satisfied customers to leave feedback or write about their experiences during the tour. Give them multiple options to share their thoughts. Aside from your website, direct them to your:
- Google My Business
- Facebook Page
- Online travel companies where they booked your tours
As the reviews start pouring in, incorporate them in your tour company marketing strategy. Select reviews from clients representing your different buyer personas and feature one or a few from each. For example, include one sent by a parent, an elderly couple, solo travellers, nature lovers, or if you have pet-friendly trips, include one from a pet owner as well.
Display these recommendations on your marketing materials, from your website and email newsletters to your brochures and flyers.
5. Improve Your SEO Ranking
Some travellers go straight to global travel sites to look up tours, while others turn to search engines. Optimize for your target destinations and work on getting your business on the first page of Google, Bing, and other search engines. Since reviews can also boost your local search rankings, make asking for client feedback integral to your business processes, by setting up a system or incorporating it in your automated emails.
6. Strengthen Your Social Media Presence
With an estimated 2.65 billion users globally, social media platforms have become essential components of companies’ growth strategies. If you’re not prepared to manage multiple social media accounts, choose one platform based on your ideal clients’ demographics. For instance, if your ideal customers are in the U.S., start building a following on Facebook. U.S. Facebook users have the most spending power and are the second largest group by number behind Indians. As your team grows, start promoting your tours on YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, and other platforms.
To encourage more people to follow you on social media, find ways to diversify your posts. Here are some ideas to get you started.
- Captivate your future clients with high-quality images.
- Share video snippets or sneak peaks of your tours.
- Entertain your followers with trivias and stories about the places featured in your itinerary, then include a link to your website or booking page.
- Increase engagements through user-generated content. Encourage your clients to tag you in their posts. You can then share these to your followers or include them in your video snippets of tours.
7. Get Paid Online Advertising Right
If you’re penetrating a new market or adding a destination, you may need to boost your discoverability. One of the fastest ways to do this is through paid online marketing.
Whether you choose to put your advertising dollars into search engines like Google Adwords or promote your company on social media platforms, be sure to put a retargeting strategy in place. Keep in mind that web visitors may not be ready to buy the first time they see your ads. By retargeting those who showed interest in your tours, you promote brand awareness. Moreover, for visitors who abandoned their booking, you can remind them to complete the transaction or entice them with an offer such as a discount.
Aside from encouraging visitors to book your tours, experiment with other conversion strategies as well. Give them an option to join your email list to be among the first to hear about travel deals and new experiences. Lead them to a story published on your social media, and encourage them to follow you or subscribe to your channel. This way, you don’t lose them the first time they click on your ad, and you can continue nurturing their interest until they are finally ready to book a tour with you.
If you’re ready to revamp your tour company marketing plan and increase your booking, schedule a free strategy session with us or explore our services. As a tourism marketing company, we can help you prioritize promotional strategies that will bring in more clients and generate higher revenue for your business. Let us take on your marketing tasks–from SEO to social media management, reputation management, and PPC–so your team can focus on delivering unforgettable travel experiences to your customers.