In Kenya tours and travel industry has been the backbone of our economy. In 2018, the industry contributed 8.8 % to our GDP and recorded millions of foreign visitors. The industry is truly attractive and this has contributed to an increase in competition.
Just like any other business, we all looked forward to having a successful 2020, however, in the wake of COVID-19 many have lost hope. The pandemic has affected all business causing a change of strategy, loss of jobs and closure of businesses. The tourism industry has been the most hit due to the restriction of movements from regions to regions and flight bans.
In this article, we are going to discuss how tours and travel agencies can leverage digital marketing techniques to redeem their sales and have a comeback after the pandemic.
Leverage on search engine marketing.
Before you plan your vacation, business travel or family holiday, the first stop is always Google. You use terms like ‘best travel agencies near me’ or ‘ affordable vacations’ etc.
Tours and travel agencies can strategically target people entering such enquiries on Google to display ads to them. Google ads allow you to target geographically, this means, a tours company in Kenya can advertise to travellers in Canada, Italy and any other country. It also gives you local geographical targeting, where you can target your ads to be shown in specific cities, regions or counties.
The best thing about Google ads is that they allow you to communicate with the user at the most optimal time. Your ads will only be shown to people who are actually planning to travel or are actively looking for travel destinations. Through Google Ads, you can run search ads; to be displayed on Google search or display networks, which will be displayed on Google display networks and partner websites.
Website & Digitalizing the process
When it comes to digital presence, a website is your face, it makes the first impressions with the consumer. It can inspire trust or incompetence. First thing first, make sure that your website is user friendly, this means making sure that all the destinations, itineraries, offers and tour details are displayed in a way that is easy for the consumer. Your website should carry all the information that a traveller needs about a destination and the services you offer.
Digitalizing the process means that it should be possible for the consumer to book a tour online without having to visit the office.
Leverage on social media marketing
We are living in a vertical word, meaning, we are always hooked in our phones. Most of this time spent on the phone we are always scrolling on our social media timelines. Travel and tours companies should leverage social media marketing and content marketing. Through social media marketing, ads can be geographically targeted to reach people in desired locations and regions. Moreover, ads can be targeted based on interests whereby the ads will only be displayed to those people who have already shown interest in travelling and vacations.
Trough social media ads, companies can run travel ads in which these ads are shown to people based on their travel destinations interest and preference. They can also leverage on creating content that shows off their services, destinations and expertise to inspire trust.
Research shows that 95% of first-time website visitors are only there to research on your website and not to purchase. This means that they are in the Intonation search or consideration stage in the consumer purchasing journey. Once they leave your website or Facebook page, you can use social media marketing to remarket to them so to keep your brand name in their minds. Trough remarketing effort, you will be able to convert them easily.
Indeed, acquiring a new customer is always more expensive compared to maintaining the ones you have. Therefore, as much as getting new clients is important, maintain the ones you have is key. You can use digital marketing to retain your clients.
First, you can run special offers just for your loyal customers, this can be achieved by running an email marketing campaign to all your clients. You can also run an appreciation campaign, and holiday wished to your existing customers. For example, you can run a destination suggestion campaign to everyone who has travelled within the country and entice them to take international destinations in their next vacation.
As we think about a change of strategy to tackle this pandemic, consider digital marketing. It will give you a chance to talk to your customers at the most optimal time and hence get a high return on investment.
As much as we are hit and businesses are suffering during this pandemic, we should not lose hope. Let us believe that better days are ahead.
#digital marketing for tours and travel agencies
Thank you for reading our article.
If you have any other strategies that tours and travel agencies can use to grow, feel free to leave us a comment.