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Content Marketing Ideas for Travel Agents | Add Value + Increase Sales

Travel agents have the difficult job of trying to provide value for their audience and promoting destinations to actually make a sale all at the same time. And with travel being a highly visual niche, it can feel like you need to present on ALL platforms ALL the time in order to make your presence noticed.

While having a strong presence is a must, if you get really strategic with your content marketing strategy, it doesn’t have to feel like a never-ending to-do list. If you are looking for fresh new travel agent marketing ideas, then you’ve come to the right place. Our team of travel marketing experts has all the answers!

What is Content Marketing for Travel Agencies?

Content marketing for travel and tourism agents is the act of creating content in many different forms for your online audience. The content can be published as blog posts, videos, or social media posts, but it is not there to promote your brand. Instead, it provides value to your audience and can subtly promote your products or service.

Why is Content Marketing in a Travel Agency So Important?

content-marketing

Content marketing is something that works really well for travel agencies because of its long-term benefits. While paid advertising can be very effective, as soon as you stop paying for ads, your traffic dries up, leaving you with no long-term payoff.

Content marketing works to provide valuable information for your audience and speaks to those who are already interested in your destination or travel packages. While it does take quite the investment to create large quantities of content, that content has a long lifespan.

Blog posts and videos, in particular, can continue to bring traffic to your website for months and even years. Content marketing is important because it builds credibility and trust with your audience, slowly walking them along the customer journey until a sale is made.

Content Marketing for Travel Agents

Content marketing is crucial to every travel agent’s marketing plan. But how exactly do you come up with a content marketing strategy and execute it? Luckily, that’s what we’re really good at. Here you’ll find everything you need to know about content marketing for travel agencies.

Decide Who Your Audience Is?

audience-research

In order to tackle your content marketing, you need to decide exactly who you are targeting. If you aim to speak to everyone, then you end up reaching nobody because the messaging is simply too vague.

So you need to decide exactly who you are targeting with your content marketing messaging. This will help inform your tone of voice and even the subjects that you tackle. You want to address problems that actually relate to your audience, and provide them with solutions that will benefit them.

Your audience will even dictate what incentives you provide. For example, a monetary discount may sound great, but if your audience is wealthy elder folk, then it won’t be that effective. Instead, you could offer them a 24/7 hands-on guide that can help them with all of their travel needs.

So how exactly do you find out who your target audience should be? The best way to do this is to create a customer persona.

Creating a Customer Persona

create-customer-persona

To create a good starting point for a customer persona, it’s a good idea to do the following:

  • Take a look at your current customers
  • Pay attention to your competitor’s target audience
  • Rule out anyone that is not your target audience

Assessing these aspects should give you a general idea of who you want to target. Next, you should go about creating a persona for your ideal customer. Your customer persona should include the following:

  1. Name
  2. Age
  3. Location
  4. Job title
  5. Income
  6. Living situation
  7. Interests
  8. Hobbies
  9. Lifestyle

You can also add other factors relating to their personal life or personality that might affect their purchasing decisions.

Creating this persona is important because when you are writing your content, you can use subject matter and a tone of voice that would captivate this particular customer.

Set Goals and KPIs for Your Travel Content Marketing Strategy

team-target

Before you even start to create content for your content marketing strategy, you need to know where you’re headed. You need to come up with goals – what are you trying to achieve with your content marketing?

Are you trying to increase brand awareness? – in this case, your KPIs will revolve around views (on videos), reach (on social media platforms), and traffic (on your website).

Are you trying to increase your revenue? – in this case, your KPIs should revolve around the number of sales you are making and the value of those sales.

Here are a couple of goals to consider for your travel agency content marketing:

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Generate leads
  • Attract more website traffic
  • General sales or revenue
  • Build customer trust and loyalty
  • Promote new products
  • Become an authority in your niche
  • Build a mailing list

When you are creating and choosing the goals you would like to achieve, ensure that they are SMART goals.

Run Your Goals Through a SMART Goals Checklist

I’m sure you’ve heard of SMART goals before, but when you’re deciding on KPIs, assessing your goals with the SMART analysis is particularly important. A SMART goal means a goal that is:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Timely
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If you stick to setting goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely, you’ll be on your way to creating a great content strategy.

Analyse Your Current Content

analyzing-content

Before you start piling all your resources into creating content, you need direction. A good place to start is to analyse your current content to see the kind of content that performs best and on which platform. This will help to inform where you should be focusing the majority of your content marketing efforts.

While you are reflecting on the content that has already been created, it’s a good time to update old content and make improvements so that it stands the test of time. You can also analyse what is not working; this informs what content you shouldn’t create in the future.

While auditing your content, take a look at what kinds of content are driving engagement. Notice which content is bringing the most traffic to your site. This should inform your future content marketing decisions.

Don’t want to audit your own content? Let us do it for you!

Create a Content Marketing Strategy

Now you have a solid starting point and understanding of the content that is currently working for your travel agency, and of course, the content that is not. This means you can create a content marketing strategy from a far more informed position than you were in before. Here’s exactly what you need to do to develop a travel agent content marketing strategy.

1. Find Topics to Write About

topic-research

This can seem like a mountain of a task. Where do you even begin to find topics that will be useful to your reader? A great place to start looking is at your best-performing competitors.

Audit your top three competitors and find topics that all of them have covered in their content marketing strategy. This is a great place to start, but remember to cover one topic completely and entirely before moving on to the next.

2. Organise Topics Into Content Clusters

You want to become an expert in every sub-niche of your niche, and the best way to do this is to focus on one content cluster at a time. If you are a travel agent that takes people all over Thailand, then that is quite a large niche.

So you’ll want to focus on sub-niches until the whole of Thailand has been covered. For instance, you could cover every travel topic to do with Chiang Mai before moving on to the next city. But these content clusters don’t only have to be location-based.

You could cover “packing for Thailand” in a variety of posts. Broken down into sub-topics such as “best travel bag for Thailand”, “best versatile outfit ideas for Thailand”, or “best shoes to pack for Thailand”.

3. Create a Content Funnel

website-content

Before you start with your content creation, you need to decide on the targeting of each post. Take a look at your customer journey, and decide which piece of content is best suited to each portion of the customer journey.

In general, you want to ensure that you are publishing a good spread of content so that no matter where someone is in the customer journey, there is content that can help them move down the funnel.

What is the customer journey?

The customer journey consists of the following steps:

  • Awareness – the content created for those that are still in the awareness stage should address any initial concerns they may have. It can also work to create brand awareness, entertain the audience, or keep them informed.
  • Consideration – the content created for those in the consideration phase should address any concerns and let them know why you are the best travel agency to solve their issue.
  • Decision – the content created for those in the decision phase should be aimed at asserting your own authority. Case studies and client reviews act as a great way to assert your expertise and build their trust.
  • Retention – the content created for those in the retention phase should be aimed at letting customers know why they should remain a client, e.g. to use your services more than once. You can also let them know about the broad scope of your offers or other destinations that you can take them to.
  • Advocacy – the content created for those in the advocacy stage is created with the pure purpose of transforming your customers into advocates. This content should promote your business in a great light and could highlight the expertise of your guides or outline how your travel agency only makes use of ethical tours.

4. Plan When Your Content Will be Posted

scheduling-content

The best play to plan your content is to create a content calendar and populate it with all the content that needs to be created. You should include the type of content, keyword or topic, the due date, the platform it will be posted on and the target audience, as well as who on your team is responsible for creating the content.

You should share this content calendar with the team that will be involved in creating the content so that everyone can stay on the same page. Your team should actively be encouraged to add to and even improve the content calendar so that you can come up with the very best strategy moving forward.

5. Decide Who Will Create Content

Do you have the marketing team behind you to create your content or do you need to outsource? There are pros and cons to each of these options. If you decide to bring your content creation in-house, you may need to hire an allrounder that can tackle content writing for your website as well as social media.

The only issue with this is that you will get someone who is not an expert at one specific thing. If you can afford to hire for a couple of positions, then hiring a marketing team would be ideal.

Your other option is to outsource your content marketing to experts in the field. We at Travel Tractions have been working with travel agencies and other pivotal players in the travel niche since the very start of our company and would be happy to help you out.

6. Start Implementing Your Content Strategy

implement-content-strategy

Once all the strategy and planning have been done, you will actually need to start creating and posting content online. As a travel agency, you need to ensure that you are putting out visually pleasing content on a regular basis to keep your audience engaged.

Make sure that your deadlines for content creation are being hit so that you can post content on the right days at the right time. This is something you will need to test and see which days and times are working best for you. Monitoring these statistics will be important in your content strategy going forward.

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Travel Agency Tips for Creating Powerful Content

If you follow this step-to-step process of creating a content marketing strategy for your travel agency, you’re on the right track. But here are a couple of tips and tricks that will help you along the way.

SEO Your Content

search-engine-optimisation

If you want to ensure that your content has a long lifespan, then writing with travel website SEO in mind is very important. Applying a great SEO strategy to your content and getting it to rank in Google SERPs means that it can keep working for your business for years to come.

If you target the right kinds of keywords, you could bring potential customers to your site on a daily basis without any extra budget being used on advertising. SEO can be a lot to learn at first, but it is one of those practices that pay off in the long run.

Create Content That is Original

Creating content that is original is not just about creating content that is not plagiarised. It’s about creating content that presents unique ideas, new formats, etc.

When it comes to blog posts, gathering your information from other reliable sources is important as it shows that you have done your research, but that is not enough. Ensure that you are adding your own unique take to the content you are producing.

When it comes to social media, trending videos are often replicated, and this is a good way to make viral content. But ensure that you are creating enough truly unique videos or posts. You want people to not only enjoy watching your videos but actually follow you because you are coming up with interesting new concepts.

Use a Range of Different Content Types

video-format-content

It’s important to keep your audience interested and engaged, as well as meet them at different stages of the customer journey. You can do this by adding a wide variety of content types to your content calendar. Here are a couple of content types that you should keep in mind:

  • Video – this could be a YouTube video, short videos such as TikTok or Instagram Reel, podcast, online conference, or live event.
  • PDF – downloadable manual, checklist, template, tutorial, or e-book.
  • Text – informational articles, research and studies, news or interview.
  • Visual – slide presentation or infographic.
  • Interactive – quiz or test.

You don’t need to try each and every one of these content types. Instead, stick to the ones that speak to your customer base best. Remember that travel is a very visual niche, so it’s always good to give your audience some visually pleasing content, whether that is imagery or video.

Repurpose Old Content

website

Once you have published a piece of content, you can use the same research and information to post on multiple different platforms in a different format. This is so that the same information can be shared with a different type of audience.

You can turn blog posts into infographics, videos or even podcasts. This means that you can reach those who don’t have the time or willpower to sit down and read an entire article.

You can also break up long content into shorter, more digestible videos and create a series out of it. This helps to engage with a younger audience who have a much shorter attention span. Doing the exact opposite also tends to work, taking short pieces of content and making a long blog post or informational PDF.

In its simplest form, you can take blog posts and use short snippets from them, making social media posts that aim to inform your social media audience, as well as encourage them to visit your website to read the full blog post. This could even nudge them further down the sales funnel, which should always be the goal.

Track Your Performance and Adjust Your Strategy

performance-tracking

Once your content strategy is up and running, you will need to continuously monitor the performance of your content on each of the channels you are using. This way, you can see what is working and what isn’t – allowing you to adjust your strategy continuously.

It’s this sort of continuous improvement that sets many travel agencies’ content marketing strategies apart. If you want to be one of the travel agencies that get it right, then making adjustments along the way is all a part of the journey.

Travel Content Marketing For Agencies That Converts

If you are a travel agency hoping to stand the test of time, then coming up with a killer content marketing strategy is where it all starts. Content marketing helps you to gain an audience that is interested in what you have to offer, and nudges leads down the buyer journey until your leads convert into customers.

What are you waiting for? There are hopeful travellers all across the world that are in need of travel inspiration. It’s time your travel agency puts itself out there and turns those hopeful travellers into your future clients!

40 Tips and Resources for New Travel Agents

From vetting supplier partners to choosing the right host agency or consortium, wading through the near-endless options for training and education, understanding your legal liabilities, developing your business and so much more, let’s face it . there’s a lot to figure out. That’s why we’ve compiled all the best TravelAge West coverage for new advisors, creating this comprehensive resource to help you out. So, bookmark this page and start your travel agency adventure!

Is there a business topic that you wish was covered here? Please send an inquiry to letters@travelagewest.com — we would love to hear from you.

Note: This page was updated on July 5, 2022.

New-to-Industry Education: Your Jumping-Off Point

Just getting started as a travel advisor? Wondering where to start? It might be time to hit the books! Here are a few resources to get you started on your advisor education and training path:

Host Agencies and Consortia Can Be Valuable Travel Agent Allies

In addition to serving as a support system and business community, a host agency or consortium can offer advisors financial benefits, education, networking opportunities, a list of reliable suppliers and other benefits.

But before joining any network, it’s crucial for advisors to do their homework on each organization in order to choose the right one.

If you’re considering signing up (or making a switch), check out our Guide to Host Agencies and this Must-Read Guide to Choosing a Travel Agent Network.

Host agencies or consortia can provide valuable support to agents. Credit 2021 Sikov/stock.adobe.com

Host agencies or consortia can provide valuable support to agents. Credit 2021 Sikov/stock.adobe.com

Resources for Your Professional Development and Growing Your Customer Base

How can I build a brand for my business? What are the best ways to market myself and my services? How can I ensure I’m providing good customer service? What are the best uses for all the different social media platforms? Should I charge fees for my services — and if so, what kinds?

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To answer these and other questions, check out these professional development resources:

New travel advisors should consider issues such as branding, marketing, outsourcing, fees and more. Credit: 2021 WavebreakMediaMicro/stock.adobe.com

New travel advisors should consider issues such as branding, marketing, outsourcing, fees and more. Credit: 2021 WavebreakMediaMicro/stock.adobe.com

Stick With Your Travel Advisor Training

Things can change fast in the travel industry, and it’s imperative that advisors stay up to date on all the latest information. But that’s not where your training ends, either.

Specialization can help distinguish you from other agents, whether you want to focus on destination weddings and honeymoons, a favorite region of the world, adventure travel, wellness vacations or any other niche. Regardless of what segment of the market you choose, you’ll need to make sure you’re an expert.

Even if you don’t choose to specialize, completing education programs offered by your preferred suppliers and destination partners is always a good idea. Many partners offer rewards, incentives and tools to advisors who complete their training — plus, your certificates of completion will signal to clients that you know what you’re talking about. Win-win!

Future Leaders in Travel Retreat, Powered by TravelAge West

If you’re not already attending industry events, you should be! We’d like to take this opportunity to recommend the Future Leaders in Travel Retreat, Powered by TravelAge West. It’s the only event in the industry dedicated to connecting the next generation of travel buyers and sellers — designed and created especially for newer and/or younger advisors.

In 2022, the Future Leaders in Travel Retreat will take place Aug. 28-31, at Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos. Learn more about the event and how to apply here.

If you’re curious about past events, you can read about them here:

Last year’s Future Leaders in Travel Retreat took place at the Hilton Playa del Carmen in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Credit: 2021 Hilton Playa del Carmen

Last year’s Future Leaders in Travel Retreat took place at the Hilton Playa del Carmen in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Credit: 2021 Hilton Playa del Carmen

Listen and Learn: Check Out Our Trade Secrets Podcast

Trade Secrets, a podcast from the editors of Travel Weekly and TravelAge West, is where travel advisors ask — and answer — questions. On each podcast, our editors ask a veteran travel advisor to help them field listeners’ questions on topics ranging from business advice to industry trends, social media and more.

If you have a question, please send an email to tradesecrets@travelweekly.com. Subscribe to Trade Secrets wherever you get your podcasts, or pick up some knowledge from the episodes below:

5 “Secret” Marketing Tactics Travel Agents Aren’t Using

And all it means is: When everyone else is doing the same thing — posting on FB, snapping pics on Instagram, maybe sending out a monthly e-newsletter — it pays to do something different.

You’ll stand out in a BIG way.

And you’ll have less competition as you do it!

So, in the interest of helping you ZAG, here are 5 travel agency marketing ideas that I see few — if any — travel agents actually using. They aren’t a secret, per se, but they certainly haven’t been embraced by the travel agent community at large yet. Pick just one and run with it:

1) FB Live:

Today, every travel agent has a T.V. studio at the tips of their fingers. It’s called FB Live. Facebook’s live streaming feature has basically revolutionized marketing for small business owners. Now, you can hop on FB Live to connect in real time to your ideal prospects. If you haven’t used FB Live yet, here are 3 ways travel agents specifically can be using the feature:

  • When you’re at a vacation property, hop on FB Live to give your FB followers a tour
  • Collect questions from your clients and answer them live on FB Live
  • Go live when you need to address big travel news from a travel agents’ perspective (like passport changes, travel advisories, etc)

2) Podcasts:

Too nervous to go live on video? Ease into getting yourself out there by hopping on a podcast. You can start a podcast yourself, or pitch yourself to be a guest on existing podcasts. Plus, podcast listeners are generally more affluent, so this is a great tactic to use if you want to reach higher end prospects.

3) Quizzes:

Quizzes are an incredible tool to use to capture leads, both on your website and on social media. People love taking quizzes — especially about travel! For tips on how you can use quizzes for your travel biz, check out my blog on quizzes right here.

4) Guest posting:

Similar to pitching yourself to be on a podcast, you can pitch a guest post idea to a blogger and get your byline on their website. Bloggers often welcome guest posters because it helps them keep up with content demands. Guest posting and podcasting are great marketing tactics because they allow you to leverage somebody else’s larger audience to get your message out there!

5) Press Releases:

When’s the last time you engaged in some good ol’ PR? Travel agents tend to forget how important public relations can be for their business. But if you write an engaging press release and send it to the right media contacts (a.k.a. editors at online and print publications), you can create some awesome buzz for your biz! The two times I’ve sent out press releases in the past year, I scored interviews in Travel Weekly. Not sure when or why you’d send out a press release? I lay it all out in this blog post.

Have you tried any of the travel agency marketing ideas above? How did they work out for you? I’m always curious to know what’s working for travel agents today!

Get More Travel Agency Marketing Ideas: Write Client-Attracting Blogs

Psssst. Want to come up with a year’s worth of blog posts—in just 10 days?

You know you need a rockin’ blog and e-newsletter to attract awesome clients. You just don’t know what to write about … until now.

Sign up for my FREE 10-day Blog Brainstorming Challenge to banish those blog blues! You’ll get:

– 10 days of juicy blog prompts delivered straight to your inbox

– Sneaky tips on how to come up with travel content your readers will devour

Source https://traveltractions.com/content-marketing-ideas-travel-agents/

Source https://www.travelagewest.com/new-travel-agents

Source https://bonvivantcopy.com/secret-travel-agency-marketing-ideas/

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