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Your website is your storefront. In many cases, it provides a prospect’s first impression of your company. You know what they say about first impressions; you can only make one and it better count. The good news is that keeping in mind a few fundamentals and making a few simple tweaks to your website can take it from bland to brilliant. You can create a website that attracts visitors, converts clients, and helps you build a prosperous and exciting business.

Here are 10 tips for taking your web site from bland to brilliant: Read the rest of this entry »

Limiting myths are the stories we tell ourselves to justify a timid approach to building our travel practices. Most limiting myths have a small truth somewhere in their origin that, over time, takes on a far greater importance than their reality suggests. By examining these myths, you can greatly diminish their influence in your travel practice. Here’s a limiting myth we will tackle: “You cannot compete with the big online travel agencies.

This limiting myth is not true. In fact, the online travel agencies (OTAs) cannot compete with you! But only if you play to your strengths. Let’s see how.

Read the rest of this entry »

As a travel and tourism professional, you know our industry and your clients.

But what ensures that you stand out in the noisy world of social marketing?

Did you know that over 50% of today’s travelers will rush to the keyboard, rather than the phone to make their travel bookings? (source: Hotel Executive) Creating the WOW in your social presence can be the difference between attracting their business or NOT!

Yet, for many in our industry finding the time to succeed is a challenge. What if you have a checklist of habits, like the famous “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Steven Covey?

Here are 11 essential habits as you grow your social presence: Read the rest of this entry »

This New Tool May Be a Game Changer!

Don’t you love it when you find a new tool that just makes your life so much easier or that gets much better results than what you were using before? I think in terms of social media, Adobe Spark can be one of those game changer type tools for travel professionals.

Here’s something you may not know about me: I suck at graphics. Seriously bad. I am great with all kinds of technology, but when it comes to making things “look pretty,” I am just not your girl! Because of that, I am always on the lookout for new tools to make things like quote photos for Facebook look better.

Finding something that can create fabulous, professional looking social media graphics in a matter of minutes is good. Seeing that the tool can also create beautiful videos with audio narration and music, well that’s even better. Finding out I can use it to build a really stunning itinerary for a client and give them a custom link to their visual itinerary… now I’m sold! Read the rest of this entry »

Expanding Your Digital Footprint

While working with some travel professionals on the topic of  “Expanding Your Digital Footprint” my research revealed a rather surprising weak spot. Most of the travel professionals were eager to know the best practices in social media, search engines, websites, newsletters and blogging. But many also quickly confessed to a deficiency of fundamental knowledge on how to get started.

Most often, it is the technology we find daunting. It is not hard to understand why many travel professionals have problems with digital marketing.  Our passions run to the travel experience, not technology and marketing.  To become really proficient in any branch of digital marketing takes precious time and resources.  Yet, beyond the technologies, the fundamental skill sets are largely the same whether networking in your local community or digitally. Read the rest of this entry »

How to Supercharge Your Social Ad Targeting

Are your social ads bringing you exposure, engagement, and extraordinary results?

The science of ad creation has taken on a life of it’s own. Let’s sort through some of the details and the best ways you can make sure your social ads reach the right people, at the right time, with the right style of conversation.

Novice Level Advertising Tips

To Boost or not to Boost! That’s the question on top of the minds of many travel pros. While Boosting a post on Facebook is really easy, it may not afford you the best use of your advertising dollars… or it may! It becomes a trade-off of quick and simple versus time and talent.

Boosting a post can be an effective way to reach more of your fans when you select one of these boost options: Read the rest of this entry »

Marketing has two goals: the retention of existing clients and the acquisition of new clients. From existing clients you achieve stability, and it is from new clients you achieve growth. When you design your marketing properly, both your new clients and existing clients first notice or are reminded of your presence, investigate your offerings, and finally enter into conversation with you about the services or products you offer.  At this stage you have an actionable lead and enter into the sales cycle. The process of drawing the potential client closer and closer to you, finally resulting in an actionable lead, is sometimes referred to as the “Marketing Funnel.”

Meet the Marketing Funnel

Indeed, all good marketing strategies are funnel-like in their conception, design and implementation: Read the rest of this entry »

Social media is an important part of any online marketing strategy, but it’s important to realize that it’s only a part and not the whole thing. You may find that Facebook works so well to build your audience that you neglect other marketing channels. Social media should be just one aspect of your overall strategy.

There are several reasons that this is the case. For one thing, people generally aren’t on social media to buy. Social media provides a way to build brand awareness and make connections with potential clients. You usually have to lead them off of social media in order to make the sale.

Another reason is that it’s simply always good to diversify. You don’t want to put all of your eggs in one basket. What if one day, the excellent results you’re getting from Facebook stop? You’ll have to start from scratch elsewhere. Read the rest of this entry »

Spring has sprung! For many of us it means refreshing, renewing, and planting the seeds for success. Think about your closet, sock drawer, garage, and garden. Imagine the sense of re-energizing that comes after a deep spring clean.

In the world of social marketing for travel and tourism pros, let’s look at how we can let the sun shine in and market more clearly with small steps to refresh, repurpose, and revitalize.

Refresh

I’ll bet you have a number of social media sites that you use regularly to market and mingle. When is the last time you took a hard look at what your clients really see when they find you socially? Here are a number of spring cleaning ideas to refresh your own presence. Read the rest of this entry »

As you may know, I’m currently engaged in a study of travel agency websites. Indulge me for a moment and consider the merit of my strongly held belief: consumers don’t need another place to buy travel. Consumers have an almost unlimited access to travel product. They can buy direct from suppliers, from other travel agents, from monster-sized online sites, and from organizations and clubs like AARP or Costco.

So I thought it timely to re-publish this particular article.

Travel, travel everywhere.  Read the rest of this entry »

Raise Your Visibility With Facebook Live

Have you seen Facebook Live yet? It’s a (relatively) new feature on Facebook that lets you broadcast LIVE video over Facebook using your mobile phone. For a long time this cool feature was only available for verified users and the media, but it is now rolling out to everyone and can be an amazing tool for marketing your business. You can “go live” now on your personal page, your business page and as of this week… in Facebook groups, too!

Video is the type of content that often drives the most engagement over Facebook. It’s also a great way to increase that “know, like, and trust” factor that we are all looking to build with potential clients, right? They get to see your smiling face and hear your voice; it makes for a much deeper connection than just reading your posts. This takes it up a notch further. Right now Facebook Live content is showing higher in the newsfeed of your Facebook friends and fans than any other content. Read the rest of this entry »

4 Blogging Questions & 13 Fresh Answers

Did you know: marketing pros who write a blog are 13x more likely to enjoy positive ROI.

Yet, when you think about writing your next blog, does writers’ block hold you in its icy grip?

Are you frozen at your keyboard wondering why people blog?

Let’s explore some of the advantages and strategies to ensure your writing time is rewarding. Read the rest of this entry »

Does Facebook Know You are a Travel Expert?

Facebook has been hard at work making some changes lately (no big surprise there, right?), but the good news is that some of them will be a great addition for service-based businesses such as travel professionals. You’ll want to check out this new Facebook update and make sure your business is ready to take advantage of this new opportunity to increase your visibility to new potential clients! Read the rest of this entry »

7 Advanced Social Marketing Tactics

Do you have a great looking social presence, but not as many ‘super fans’ as you’d like?

These ‘super fans’ are an elusive yet powerful voice for your brand. Understanding who these fans are and how to capture their attention is a bit of a challenge, so here are some tactics to identify and engage with them. Read the rest of this entry »

How to Create Shareable Social Content in Less Time

Do you have plethora of photos?

What about a variety of videos?

How about a bunch of blogs?

What do we do with it all?

For many of us in the travel, tourism, and hospitality world we have bits and pieces of content floating around, waiting to be pulled together into shareable content. This re-worked content can take on new life and can live in a variety of different social and traditional marketing campaigns. Read the rest of this entry »

8 Keys to Social Media Success

Going in to 2016, it’s no surprise that most travel agents have social media included in their marketing plan. Using social media to promote your business can be lucrative if you know what to do to make the most of it.

It’s easy to get bogged down in the details of what was the reach on this post or did that pin drive clicks to your web site, but it’s important to look at the big picture and double check those big social media best practices. You have to remember that social media is not a short-term game. It takes time and commitment as well as a specific goal in mind.

Here are my top social media best practices to keep in mind… Read the rest of this entry »

Accelerate your Social Marketing Analysis

Knowing what to measure can be as baffling as sifting thru all the insights, analytics, and numbers.

Knowing why you’re measuring is key to your success.

Does your analysis give you a better idea of what action YOU can take? Do you better understand your marketing direction or what resonates with your fans?

We all love to see our fan base grow. Yet if those fans aren’t working hard for you by sharing, liking, or commenting on your content, are their growing numbers meaningful to you? Read the rest of this entry »

7 Steps to Socialize your Marketing Campaigns

Is your next marketing campaign percolating in your mind? If you want to do something different to set this marketing promotion apart, how about putting your campaign on caffeine?

While your BDM’s have given you awesome marketing tips, you really want this campaign to pop! You want to capture attention. Whether this campaign revolves around a supplier promotion, your next exclusive group departure, or a new destination you’ll be promoting, you want to make a splash.

How can you integrate your social and traditional marketing to give it a jolt? Read the rest of this entry »

Do I Really Need a Web Site?

I’m not sure what it is about travel professionals that is different from other entrepreneurs but “do I really need a web site?” is a pretty common question. I never really hear other business owners ask that question. They seem to accept it as a given, but for some reason that isn’t the case with travel agents.

The best way I can explain my answer to this question is that it’s a lot like how I answer travel clients who ask “do I really need a passport for this cruise?” Do you absolutely, positively HAVE to have one… no. Is it a good idea to go without one? NO. Should you have one? YES. Is it worth spending the extra money to have one? YES. Read the rest of this entry »

4 Tips To Shape Your Live Video Strategy

Are you interested in providing your clients with leading-edge information as an inspiration for their next booking with you?

Do each of your group tour clients seem to have the same questions?

Would you like to be able to share info and gather opinions with people around the world in a live format that’s like a group conversation?

Imagine if you could cover all those opportunities in one video conversation? Just think how much time you’d save and how much your clients would love to interact with you and other travelers. Read the rest of this entry »

“I have a Facebook page, but I can’t get anyone to like or comment on anything!” is something I hear often from travel professionals. They know that social media can help build their business, but they can’t quite seem to get things moving on their page. I can relate. I spent YEARS with a Facebook page that might as well have had crickets chirping in the background. Fast forward to today, and we have an active and engaged community of over 22,000 fans on our page and Facebook drives a lot of traffic (and bookings) for the agency. Read the rest of this entry »