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.
There are a number of exciting new live video options that you can tap into and bring people together for an interactive conversation.
Let’s look at these leading edge options and talk about how we, as travel pros, can use them to grow our relationships and businesses.
Periscope vs Meerkat
These 2 live video streaming platforms connect you to your audience for a conversation. You use your mobile device to stream a live video and viewers can ask questions along the way. Both of these platforms are mobile apps that travel pros can use to:
- Live stream from a trade show, giving people a chance to chime in with questions for other attendees and suppliers at their booth.
- Live stream from a site inspection; invite your pied pipers to join in and ask questions.
- Snapshot of a ‘day on the road’.
- Provide destination overviews and showcase top sites.
- Showcase your new ________; office, motorcoach, activitity, ship, destination…
- Interview suppliers for a live Q&A.
- Interview clients for a live testimonial or reaction to an activity.
- Interview an industry leader.
- Share industry news and updates.
- Provide a behind the scenes view of a ship, resort, hotel, restaurant, etc.
Here’s how this might work for you:
Let’s say you’re doing a hotel site inspection and a number of your group leaders or pied pipers are watching the site inspection from the comfort of their office. That group leader may have a question about the size of the rooms designed for special needs guests. While on the site inspection you can ask the hotel staff person to provide the room dimensions, then you can visit a room of that type and live stream it so the group leader can see it immediately. This gives your group leader a chance to see the room and assess its amenities, all while being able to ask more questions along the way. The cool thing is that all this is live and real time! What a great way to inspire conversations and generate excitement with clients and potential new clients.
Not sure if video is right for you and your clients? Here are some stats that may surprise you.
Top Travel Advantages of Periscope
- Videos are saved to the app and available for 24 hours. You can also save them to your devices’ camera roll.
- You can share the stream and repurpose it on YouTube
Top Travel Advantages of Meerkat
- Once you’ve finished streaming, your video is gone. This may inspire more people to catch you live and ask questions.
- Meerkat videos can be shared on Facebook.
Blab.im vs Google Hangouts
These ‘live-casting’ video platforms allow you to meet with people and have a ‘face to face’ on-line conversation. Available in desktop and mobile formats.
Tour Operators & Travel Consultants: Imagine being able to meet with your group tour participants in advance, even though they hail from around the country. Having that advance face-to-face connection between group members brings them together even before the trip begins. After a trip, a live-cast can keep the buzz active.
Suppliers: Imagine being able to meet with your top travel consultants to provide the newest updates or seek their input.
Here are some creative ways to use live-casts:
- Host an interview with a supplier and invite potential group members.
- Host a meeting for clients, either travel pros or potential group members.
- Travel pros can meet with confirmed group members before and/or after their departure/return.
- Suppliers can meet with travel pros for training and updates.
- Travel pros can start a conversation about travel and invite members to join in.
- Ask Me Anything-style pre-trip meetings.
- Live training sessions.
- Live Q&A sessions and interviews.
- Itinerary planning and brainstorming meetings.
- Final pre-trip meetings.
Top Travel Advantages of Google Hangouts
- While only 10 people can participate in a Hangout, you can record and send the link to others.
- People are familiar with Google (some find Hangouts difficult to manage and trouble-shoot).
Top Travel Advantages of Blab.im
- While only 4 people can be seen live by viewers, an unlimited number can listen, watch, and ask questions. With the 4 seats that are part of the live conversation, people can be moved in and out of seats easily to allow for questions, comments, and a lively discussion.
- The Blab can be recorded in both audio and video format. You can then share your Blabs socially and on-line.
- You can pre-schedule a Blab and let your clients know in advance via social links or email.
These exciting new tools give us another way to connect, engage, and inspire clients. Since each of these tools are public forums you have the advantage of being able to expand your audience and grow your client base. By adding these tools into your toolbox, you’ll want to rethink your marketing strategy and put together a new plan of action. Embrace the future of video and elevate your client relationships.
Which of these are you using? Which will you try next?
Catherine Heeg, international speaker and trainer, focuses on social media marketing & communication for the travel and tourism industry. Join the conversation and connect with her at www.cmsspeaking.com and socially.
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