11 Tips to Make Customers Fall for Your Travel Brand
- Digital Marketing, Experience Marketing, Tourism Marketing Blog
- Digital Tourism Marketing, Marketing For Experiences Insights & Articles, The Tourism Marketing Approach, Tourism Marketing Strategy
- February 5, 2020
People are pretty picky about their brand allegiance these days – and that’s especially true in travel and tourism. If you want a person’s long-term referral business, expect to do some wooing.
So in honor of everyone’s favorite commercialized, stress-inducing and sometimes-nauseating holiday, (cough, Valentine’s Day, cough), we’re showing our love with a new list of ways to make consumers your bae.
Here’s Our Top Tips for Making Customers Fall for Your Travel Brand
1. Give back.
Today’s travelers want to tour the city with a company that cares about something beyond their own walls, and the same goes for their hotels, and even travel arrangements.
You don’t have to run for Congress or start a non-profit to set your brand apart. Just choose an initiative that you feel strongly about, and show customers what you’re doing to support it. If you use recycled water to irrigate the plants, write a blog post about how much water you save every week. If you worked with local artists for your mural or decor, put up a sign with their bio.
Whatever it is… make sure to actually take action and make it known.
2. Highlight your team.
If you’ve ever been on a date with someone who only talked about themselves, you probably never saw them again after that one never-ending fondue. Same applies for a brand.
Tourists don’t “catch the feels” for a company that’s all about the bottom line, or takes their employees for granted. By highlighting your team members, you’ll demonstrate that the company is compassionate and cares about the entire organization.
Does your “About Us” page only highlight the C suite (or no one at all)? Showcase brief bios and photos of everyone on your team, either on the website or as monthly social media posts. If the Ops department started their own toy drive initiative, share their story.
3. Reveal your softer side.
Whether you’re a national chain or a one-person team, new customers want to feel like your brand is about more than the $5 appetizers or the cocktail tour.
So peel back those layers, and let them know the real you.
Share some candid photos on social. Even if most of your content is about your actual product, sprinkle in a birthday announcement or office party here and there. When you have monthly laser tag nights, take photos for Instagram (bonus points if you come up with your own event hashtag for employees to use when they post their own pics).
4. Keep your branding consistent…
Nobody’s going to fall for your business if they can’t remember it in the first place.
The biggest component of building an unforgettable brand is keeping your colors, fonts, and logo consistent. That means everywhere, from your own site to your LinkedIn and TripAdvisor page.
If these mediums don’t line up, you stand to lose those “jet ski” company leads to a similar brand in town by the time your person’s ready to hit the water.
5. … And make it fun while you’re at it.
If your visuals have been the same since the 90’s, it’s probably time to reevaluate some things.
How would you describe the overall look and feel of your website? Do your primary colors feel lively or stale? Is the tone natural and friendly, or stiff?
Travel is all about adventuring and discovering new experiences, and your brand voice should support that. If it’s time for a rebrand, we suggest starting with your website.
6. Know your type.
If you’re trying to create content that appeals to everyone on the internet, we have bad news for you…. it’s not going to work. It just isn’t. You need an angle (we call that positioning.)
Use Google Analytics to check out the average demographics of your audience: age, location, average income levels and even the devices they use. Dig into your Facebook insights, too.
You can use these numbers, as well as your own intuitive knowledge about your customers, to develop a couple of buyer personas.
If your average ticket-buyer is between 20-25 and fresh out of college, then the mortgage joke you slipped into the last email campaign probably didn’t land. Once you start tailoring your content for the right person, they’ll begin to feel that “spark.”
7. Build your relationship on honesty and trust.
Hey, we all make mistakes. But no one’s fallen for their significant other because they loved their big fat lie.
If you’ve had an unfortunate PR incident, whether through dumb luck or a regrettable 2am Tweet that blew up, address it head on. Apologize by recognizing where you let your clients down. You could even make a case study out of it and invite feedback on how to improve.
Some mistakes are caught and corrected before they escalate. But if things went terribly, terribly wrong, admit it and move on. Your customers will admire the transparency and start feeling those butterflies again.
8. Make it easy to connect.
Has anyone ever brought flowers to dinner but then didn’t text back for two days? That’s how customers feel if your website is big, bold and flashy on their Surface tablet, but then freezes when they try to book on their iPhone.
Every aspect of your site and booking platform should work seamlessly on all the major browsers, screen sizes and phone models. Period.
9. Keep it real in your ads.
Yes, you want to lure in those customers. But don’t resort to false promises.
If you’re running a promotion, have a couple of people proof-read the copy and headlines. Make sure your Google Ads are true to the actual campaign offer. You don’t want to draw in customers with a dramatic headline, only to throw them paragraphs of fine print when they click to the landing page. They’ll leave and you’ll waste money on clicks instead of conversions.
10. Be there. (But just the right amount).
Customers want you to be there for them without being clingy.
We all know what happens with those brands who send too many emails or post on Instagram four times a day: we unsubscribe, unfollow, and go back to Google to pick a different hotel when we’re planning the next trip.
But don’t ghost your new boo.
If a customer had a great experience and signed up for your newsletter or followed you on Facebook, they do want to hear from you. Don’t avoid email altogether just because you don’t check your own Promotions tab.
It’s important to stay present, and be the brand they turn to when the next business trip comes along. The perfect messaging cocktail? Totally relative and depends on your brand. Luckily there’s help for market strategy.
11. Don’t talk Venus if you’re from Mars.
There’s ways to discover exactly how to communicate with your prime audience. Form that mutual connection with testing and various message formats!
If you’re not sure which headline, ad copy, or picture is most likely to bring in conversions, it’s time to ask the masses. And yes, that means some A/B tests.
By rolling out multiple versions of your ads and campaigns, you don’t have to rely on your own intuition. Discover what works best for your audience, then back-up your decisions with hard data. If you want this relationship to last, you need to find out what makes them tick.
Feeling inspired to rekindle the brand love this February? We’d be happy to make you look good for new customers, and keep the current ones wanting mor