7 Ways Travel Brands Can Attract New Customers

7 Ways Travel Brands Can Attract New Customers

Tuesday, February 26th, 2019

As the travel industry becomes increasingly competitive, gaining new customers can prove difficult in a crowded market.

Most of us spend more time than we’d like to admit blithely scrolling through our social media feeds – and these hours usually prime us to visit certain destinations before we even start thinking about booking our flights. Online marketing, of the sort provided by an expert travel SEO agency, is an indispensable tool for travel companies looking to attract customers, but there are many offline ways to attract new business.

If you’re running a travel company and looking for a new strategy, let’s look at seven ways you can attract new customers.

Word of Mouth

Word of mouth is a powerful way to attract people to your travel brand. People are 90% more likely to trust and buy from a brand recommended by a friend.

The best way to get started is in and around the business. Get employees involved with business updates, future goals and strategies. Throwing in a little incentive such as commission is a fantastic way to get people on board – you may find they know somebody who is in need of your services.

Competitions

Sometimes in business, the way to attract new customers is by offering your services or a sample of your product for free. Although this idea may not seem the most profitable at first, it’s the best way to gain attention immediately as everyone loves to win something for free!

By running a competition, you can ask audiences to share or retweet your post, which means you will reach their network, too. By giving the winner a taster session, you are able to show off how amazing your business is. With some brands generating more than 30,000 new followers, the key is making sure you promote offers to the right audience on the right platforms. This will make sure that you are generating hot leads and not just giving away your time and efforts.

Example: Travel company WOW Air took to Snapchat to launch a new campaign. The company called all budding travellers to upload a two-minute Snapchat story and post it to their site. With winners being given the chance to spend their summer as a content creator for the airline, it was a huge success. The airline was able to not only gain streams of free authentic content for its site but also appeal to the interests of its audiences.

Networking

With the amount of internet users continuing to increase, online is the quickest way to connect with audiences and potential collaborators. Through carrying out engagement and distributing the right content, catching their attention could lead to that all-important increase in sales.

Another top tip is to attend business networking events. Held in the majority of cities (and usually once a month), professionals are given a time slot to discuss their work. This is a great way of expanding your knowledge, learning from others and most importantly, attracting new business.  The perfect opportunity to connect with other brands, the right partnership or outreach arrangement could help you to reach new audiences with ease.

SEO

in a world where 75% of Internet users never scroll past the first page of search results, search engine optimisation is crucial to gaining new customers.

Many brands neglect SEO, allowing savvy competitors to benefit from new business.  With Google powering 73% of online searches, brands must increase their search ranking to attract new leads. Websites must now adhere to strict guidelines in the form of algorithms to stay at the top. These include the monitoring of content, domain authority, and much more that is reviewed by Google. With new algorithms constantly introduced, showing up on the first page is a task that requires close attention to attract new customers.

PR

If you’re starting your travel brand on a smaller scale, it’s always great to head to your local newspaper. Usually keen to support businesses in the area, newspapers are a great way to gain local attention. This is a great way to start an organic following and ensure a healthy turnout when holding PR or networking events.

By featuring alongside potential customers’ favourite TV shows or daily read, they are more likely to trust your business. If you have a bigger budget for advertising, you can look into producing billboards, TV adverts, radio and or bring in campaigns to attract people to store. Although this is a costly strategy, you can guarantee a wide audience will see your brand.

Here’s a good example: tapping into the growing demand for virtual reality, Thomas Cook launched a PR campaign called Try Before You Fly. Offering a virtual experience through headsets to potential holidaymakers, the campaign took place in select stores around the world. Attracting new and existing customers, the campaign was a success, with a 190% increase in sales from the New York branches alone.

Social Media

Travel is, much like fashion and dining, aspirational, so it’s a perfect fit with media-sharing platforms like Instagram and YouTube. A shot of a pristine beach or a mountain trail can persuade in a fraction of a second – and that’s sometimes all you have.

By maintaining a presence on these platforms, you can tap into the day-to-day lives of your would-be customers. Moreover, you’ll be able to engage with them publicly and create a thriving community – a portion of whom may go on to visit your site, book a flight and maybe even come back for a return visit. You might already have noticed that a given demographic comprises most of your customer base.

Example: travel site booking.com is great example of the power of social media, and has a strong presence on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Creating a series of local travel guides for audiences through video, it utilises the importance of storytelling. Having used 14,000 employees stories for past campaigns, the company is a success on social with more than 15 million likes and follows combined.

Influencers

As the internet grows, so do the influential people on it. Audiences are now choosing to look to their favourite travel blogger, columnist or podcaster for recommendations.

Through contacting the influencer directly, you can collaborate with them to publish content for an agreed fee. A great way to gain new attention, your brand will immediately be seen as authentic and a trusted source. When doing this, always research who your audience listens to and which sites they will follow. Outreaching to the wrong influencers is a waste of time and resources.

Example: Airbnb has launched a number of successful influencer campaigns over the years. In 2017, it launched a campaign alongside popular music event Coachella. The company provided complimentary stays for different music acts and also influencers with a significant social-media following. As the guests posted videos of their new festival homes on social media, Airbnb benefited from a wider reach and was able to promote the brand to millions of followers.

With so many options for marketing your business, it’s hard to know where to focus your budget. While online is much cheaper than traditional marketing, you still need to make sure you invest where you can gain a positive return. By following the steps above, you’ll have a clear and concise strategy when attracting new customers to your travel brand.