The travel industry has grown considerably over the past decade, becoming the fastest-developing sector in the world after manufacturing and contributing 7.6% to global GDP in 2022. Whether it’s for business or leisure, people travel more frequently than ever before and they often resort to travel agencies to plan their outings and make the most of each trip. This has made operating a travel agency a very popular business idea these days.
However, starting a travel agency is one thing and turning it into a profitable business is another. We can’t overlook the fact that the influx of travel agencies and companies has brought the market close to a saturation point. Also, the increased digitalisation taking place across all industries has added an extra layer of complexity to the business environment. As a result, it has become increasingly more difficult for travel agencies to stand out from the competition in the digital age.
But where there’s a will, there’s a way. As competition among travel agencies is getting harsher, operators are finding new ways to attract customers and maintain their relevance. So, let’s take a look at some of the best digital marketing strategies that can help you put your travel agency into the spotlight.
Invest in a user and mobile-friendly website
A website plays a crucial role in establishing a good relationship with your customers; it’s the place where all your marketing efforts lead, serving as the first point of contact for potential clients. Therefore, budling a strong online presence starts with creating a great website for your travel agency. Unfortunately, a lot of businesses in the sector don’t know what this implies.
Apart from ensuring that your website is safe and performs properly, there are two very important boxes that it should check: UX and mobile-friendliness. You need to make sure that your website caters to the needs of your prospective customers and provides smooth and easy navigation. The easier it is for visitors to find what they need, the greater the chances of them returning to your site. As for mobile friendliness, since most people these days use their mobile devices to navigate the internet, it’s a no-brainer that mobile-friendly sites get more traffic than non-optimised ones.
Provide quality content
While technical aspects weigh heavily in the balance when it comes to creating an appealing website, so does the content it provides. A site is only as valuable as the content it provides, so focusing on creating fresh and original content that is relevant to the target audience should be a priority for any travel agency.
Think about the information that your audience is interested in and focus your content creation efforts around those topics. This could mean creating travel guides, providing recommendations and tips on how to find affordable airport parking Manchester, sharing personal travel diaries, keeping them up to date with relevant industry news, and so on.
Also, you should try to maintain a balance between the different types of content you include on your site. While it’s true that visuals matter a lot, people could go on Pinterest or Instagram if all they’d want to see is pretty images and videos from different picture-perfect travel destinations around the world. Therefore, you should not neglect the importance of text content on your website.
Focus on SEO
When searching for travel information online, the majority of people click on the first websites that appear in search results. This means that the travel agencies that get on the first page of Google register considerably more traffic than lower-ranking websites, and thus they have greater chances of attracting new customers. Unfortunately, climbing to the top of search results is not easy for travel agencies, with all the intense competition in the industry.
The good news is that SEO can help a lot in this respect. The right SEO strategies can help boost the visibility of your travel agency in the online space, making it easier for users to reach you. But keep in mind that resorting to unethical SEO practices such as keyword stuffing, clickbait or paid links can have the opposite effect, so you need to brush up on your SEO knowledge and skills or outsource these tasks to a specialised SEO agency that knows what they’re doing.
Leverage social media
When it comes to the digital marketing channels that can help you convey your messages and reach your target audience, social media is probably the most efficient of them all. It’s fairly common for travellers, especially Millennials and Gen Zers, to head to social media in search of travel inspiration and recommendations.
So, if you want your travel guides, blog posts and articles about Manchester airport parking and other travel-related content you create to reach the right eyes and ears, building a solid social media presence is the best thing you can do. Being active on social media will not only increase engagement with current and potential customers but will also help you establish yourself as an authority in the field.
Keep using email marketing
Digital marketing trends come and go, so staying on top of these changes is important if you want to gain a competitive advantage. However, there are certain things that remain unchanged and the efficiency of email marketing is one of them. Far from being obsolete, as some so-called experts might have you believe, email marketing is just as useful as ever, as long as you employ the right tactics. Therefore, adding a sprinkle of email marketing to your digital marketing mix is something that can definitely help your travel agency stand out.
The digital age has brought new challenges for the travel industry in general and travel agencies in particular, but it has also provided businesses with new opportunities for growth. Therefore, with the right approach and strategies, travel agencies can thrive in this highly competitive environment.