Most of us are solo (or close to it) agencies. We work from home or a small office and sales, marketing, planning, accounting, education, customer service, and janitorial all tend to fall under our umbrella title of “travel professional.” And, if we are honest with ourselves, some of these slip through the cracks. Sometimes all it takes is a little note to remind ourselves that from time to time we need to rejuvenate our business. And here are some easily implemented marketing reminders.
General Marketing Tips and Ideas
- Participate in LinkedIn Groups that are about travel. Use those groups to gain insight to what your customers are looking for and what your competitors is doing.
- Don’t forget the 80/20 rule, 80% of your business will come from 20% of your customers. Are you re-marketing to your current or past customers? If not, today could be a good day to start.
- Ask for referrals. Referrals are huge in growing your business and most people will trust their friends, family and associates over a marketing message or advertisement. Ask for referrals.
- Review your past campaigns and see what worked. And more importantly..what did not. Repeat the good. Discard the bad.
- Keep a pad on your desk and use it for all of your thoughts and crazy marketing ideas. You never know when that bizarre thought you had at the bar that night will make a lot of sense.
Tips for Marketing Your Agency
- Take a look at your marketing message, how are you competing? All service businesses see better results when their marketing message is abut the service and experience and NOT the product. Richard Earls has harped on this for years!
- Do you focus on a geographic area? Why not offer some sort of incentive for them to give you a try? Facebook is great at targeting, but don’t forget about the old school. Money Mailers and Val Paks are feeling the Internet heat and are surprisingly affordable. If you have some budget, maybe give direct mail a shot. While not terriby affordable, the results tend to be very solid.
- There is no such thing as “one and done” when it comes to marketing your agency. Stay in touch with customers on a consistent basis to ensure that they think of you when they need you again. Email broadcasting is a fantastic way to do this!
Online Marketing Tips
- You don’t have to be on every social network—and I suggest you aren’t. But make sure you are doing a kick-butt job of the ones you are on. Use them to the max.
- Make sure your website projects the professionalism and the message you want to convey. I suggest freshening it up every year or so to give it a refreshed look. Not necessarily a new look as your brand needs to be consistent. But also, test out any forms on the site. You’d be surprise how easily they break.
- Create exciting content. If you can’t stand to read your site what makes you think others will want to?
- Set up alerts so that you know when consumers are talking about you or your agency. I use Google Alerts which are mailed to me and periodically check on Social Mention for real-time social alerts.
Content Marketing Tips
- Be consistent. Do not expect an occasional blog post will do it for you. It does not need to be daily, but you MUST have something fresh.
- We sell dreams. Content isn’t just text—it includes it of course, but focus on selling the dream. Use photos and video as much as possible.
- Be conversational in your content. This is not a thesis for a doctorate. Write like you are speaking directly to the customer. Leave out the uhms, and ahs and ya knows, but casual is good. Same goes for any videos or podcasts…be conversational.
- While much of what we sell is time-sensitive, the more “evergreen” content you can create the better. Packing tips. Navigating security. Ten places you must see in Rome. Keeping kids entertained on a long flight. Bribe your flight attendant with a pack of chocolate. All are evergreen and applicable for the long run. Bonus, you will continue to get SEO juice for them.