What is your favorite television program that you feel you have to watch and at the least you have to DVR it because you just cannot bear to know that you have missed an episode? How did you learn about that program to the point where it became your favorite? Did you stumble upon it or did you see some preview that pulled you in and promised to deliver a story that you could resonate with? If you think about it like this, there is a lot of planning that goes behind the scenes of bringing that program to you that will get you “hooked” on it. By appealing to you and others, producers are hoping that you will watch, and hopefully the viewership and ratings will explode.
Think about it like this: The TV program is planned with all the pieces that fit such as the story line, actors, length of program, etc. The target audience is identified. For the audience to even know about the program, there must be a message and a way to deliver the message. You hear the message, you make a decision to watch, and so you tune in. Had it not been for the actual message and how effectively it was delivered, you may likely not know about this amazing program that you have now become addicted to. As a result of your feelings about the program and the story that seems to resonate with you, you begin to tell your friends and family about it and now boom… a whole host of people are watching this program and generating sales and profit for the network.
But we are supposed to be talking about travel — what does this have to do with travel? Hang tight!
Think about your travel services as the television program. Who is it for? How are you going to get your services out to that audience so that they participate in what you have to say and become clients? No matter how much you know about travel and how much of a killer website you have, the phone is not going to ring off the hook until your audience knows about you and what you have to offer.
As a travel agent, you are wearing multiple hats and one such hat is that of a marketer. As a marketer, one way to get visitors to know about you is via your website and another is through blogs.
What is a blog? The definition given is “a regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group that is written in an informal or conversational style”.
What is the purpose of a blog?
A blog is pretty much bait… a way to attract traffic to your website, receive your message, and eventually become a paying customer. If your blog is search engine optimized, it is good bait to hook search engine traffic and provide useful information to your visitors.
Why Should You Blog?
Blogs will help you set yourself apart from others in your field. With so many experts, so many websites and competition on the Internet, you must stand out from the noise and amplify your message to your target audience so you can be noticed.
Blogging Creates Valuable Exposure
- Each blog post you write is a page, and each page is another opportunity for you to show up in search engines
- Each blog post is made-to-order content for each of your social networks
- Instead of linking to another company’s website, you’re sending traffic back to your own site
Blogging Positions You as an Authority
- Potential clients are way more likely to book travel with you if they see you as a thought leader in the industry
- Writing blog posts with helpful and relevant information for your clients and fans strengthens your authority
Blogging Provides a Platform for Quality Feedback
- If your business has flaws, you may or may not be aware of them depending on customer feedback
- Your blogs will give your audience an opportunity to provide valuable feedback by offering comments
- Having a blog is a great way to share information with potential customers
Your marketing strategy should have a common thread.
- Attract visitors to your website
- Convert them through the use of Call-To-Actions or Contact Forms
- Get the Sale and retain that client as a happy customer that will lead to repeat sales and referrals
HubSpot Blogs has a great article on the “whys” and benefits of blogging. Check out their article and image here — they do a great job of illustrating the process.
In a crowded market, we must find the means to get noticed. There is a plethora of information on the Internet about blogging. It is important to start with an editorial calendar and map out a course of action and use the following tips:
- Identify what you will write about
- Determine how often you will write
- Come up with a killer headline for each blog
- Have keywords for your blogs
- Write in a conversational style
- Identify and use CTAs (Call-To-Action)
Hop over to my site, check out what I have implemented, and leave me a comment. I would love to get your feedback on some of my topics.
Judith White is the owner at White Sand Travel in Stone Mountain, Georgia. The full service agency specializes in destination weddings, honeymoon and romance travel planning for busy couples that want an incredible vacation experience without the stress of planning it. You can find Judith online at whitesandtravel.net