As a small/medium sized travel brand, chances are you operate in a niche market. Perhaps you specialise in wedding and honeymoon packages, sell specifically to the luxury market, or maybe even focus on a particular type of escape like villa breaks or activity holidays. This is brilliant as it means that you can focus your expertise on a particular section of the market that you know inside out, but it can also mean that growing can prove challenging.
Here are my 5 tips for growing your travel business.
Firstly, look at your target audience and your product. See what you sell and who you sell it to, then look at what you DON’T offer that your customers might need. If you’re selling honeymoons, then think about a mutually beneficial partnership with complementary wedding businesses offering discounts, added value offers, or even simple referral schemes.
It is surprising that so many smaller travel brands don’t harness the power that sits under their very noses- their database! Unthinkably, some don’t even maintain them. An effective database should be up to date (people move often), and can be an invaluable tool for research into new growth areas, alongside targeted direct marketing campaigns. Remember to keep campaigns relevant, interesting and include a strong call to action!
They say that birds of a feather flock together and when it comes to finding new customers, the best source is often your current customers. So if you have a database packed with adventure loving people, chances are they have lots of friends who also love adventure holidays. Implement a simple loyalty programme and give your customers a chance to tell others how great you are!
Travel works so well on social for two reasons. Firstly it’s such a visual medium that lends itself to travel imagery and secondly, people love travel and holidays so are highly motivated to share their experiences and other content. Work out a good social and content strategy and get in the game!
As holidays are such big investments, both financially and emotionally, customers can hesitate over trying a travel brand they’ve not used before. Creating familiarity with your brand through PR helps them to develop not only awareness of who you are, but a level of understanding and trust to enable them to make the all-important first enquiry with you.