Over the past couple of days, The 365 Guide has looked at basic considerations for incorporating a blog into your travel agency’s marketing plan. Like any communications tool, however, it is not enough simply to have a blog. You must properly promote your blog to fully realize the potential it has for your agency. Building general community awareness of your blog requires a concerted effort and a continual attention to public relations and the other marketing tactics that you have learned as a business person.
Because a blog speaks for your company, and is by nature conversational rather than promotional, it has a much more “personal” impact on consumers than many other marketing tactics. Therefore, a blog is an excellent opportunity to humanize your company and to strongly communicate your company’s brand and ethic. But the power your blog has to shape readers’ perceptions of your company is lost unless they can find and interact with it. Thus, promoting your blog is an important, extremely vital, part of your overall blogging strategy. Realize that your blog does not exist in a vacuum. Ideally, your blog is one of many components to your marketing channels. As always, use each of your marketing channels to support the others. Utilize every other marketing effort you undertake to promote your blogging activities.
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For example, when you place a display ad in a newspaper, don’t forget to add a small reminder to “visit our blog at www.travelfarther.com/blog/.” A link to your blog should be prominently displayed on your travel agency website and the URL for your blog should be on all of your company’s marketing collateral like brochures, itineraries and business cards. Include the blog’s URL in the signature line of all of your emails and be sure to incorporate the blog address into any trade show materials you typically use. When you write articles for local magazines or newspapers and newsletters, place your blog address in the author’s blurb. When you have speaking engagements, make sure that your blog receives a mention either by you or from the person who introduces you at the event. Each of these cross-marketing opportunities are excellent ways to continually push the existence of your blog into the mindshare of the public and to emphasize the importance of your blog in your overall marketing plan.
It is also a good idea to promote your blog via traditional public and media relations channels. Acquiring a few key readers in your community can result in a much wider audience. For example, if a local newspaper reports on one of your blog entries, you can be assured of an immediate uptick in the number of people who will visit your blog. Likewise, mentions by local radio personalities or other important influencers can cause others to take notice of your blogging efforts. To create this type of local “buzz”, your content needs to strike your readers with both novelty and authority…and that is the topic of tomorrow’s article.
Tomorrow – Blogging with Authority