Travel Agents

Yes, you need to be doing marketing right now

Nick Bendel

Nick Bendel

There are two questions I’ve been getting asked a lot over the past few weeks.

“Nick, should we be doing content marketing during this crisis?”

“And, if so, what should we talk about?”

Let me give you quick answers to both questions, before going into detail later.

Yes, travel agents should be doing content marketing right now. And you should talk about whatever your clients consider interesting, relevant and helpful.

Why you should be doing content marketing right now

The aim of content marketing is to build trust, credibility and brand recognition with your existing clients and your potential future clients. Why? So you can generate leads and sales.

Do you want to make sales? If so, you should be doing content marketing, both during the crisis and after.

As I’ve been giving business owners this advice recently, they’ve sometimes replied: “But Nick, won’t people find it annoying and insensitive if we do marketing at a time like this?”

Well, they’ll only find your content annoying and insensitive if you publish annoying, insensitive content. You should never publish annoying, insensitive content, no matter what the state of the world.

If your content is interesting, relevant and helpful, your clients will be happy to consume it.

What you should talk about in your content marketing

Now that you know you should be doing content marketing, you might be wondering what sort of content you should publish – or what sort of content your clients will find interesting, relevant and helpful.

The key is to think of things from your clients’ perspective.

If you publish content that basically says “Look at us! We’re desperate! Give us money!”, your clients will find that annoying and insensitive. Why? Because it’s all about you.

Instead, you should publish content that sends this message: “You’re the centre of our universe. We understand your hopes, fears and values. Your problems are our problems.”

How you can help and inspire your clients

Let me share four examples of content you might want to publish during this crisis.

First, offer expert advice. Tell clients what they can do if their flights and tours have been cancelled. Let them know where they stand with bookings for later this year that have not been cancelled but are now uncertain. That will show you care about their problems.

Second, deliver news. Keep your clients abreast of relevant information about travel restrictions, airline policies, rewards points and the like. In uncertain times, consumers are hungry for quality information from expert sources.

Third, share special offers. Sure, travel is restricted now, but, sooner or later, we’ll be flying, cruising and touring again. Just be careful with your messaging. Your content needs to be focused on your clients (“If you’re confident about the future, now could be a great time to take advantage of some amazing deals”) rather than you (“Give us money!”).

Fourth, provide inspiration. There are two reasons why consumers spend money with businesses – to solve problems and live better lives. It’s great if you publish content that helps your clients solve today’s problems, but you should also excite them about tomorrow’s pleasures. Again, take care with your messaging. It should be something along the lines of “Here are some magical destinations you can visit once the lockdown ends” rather than “For God’s sake, give us money!”

You can do great marketing without spending a cent

Here are four different ways you could deliver your content:

  • Website blogs – detailed news and in-depth advice
  • Email newsletters – special offers and news
  • Facebook videos – advice and commentary
  • Instagram photos – inspirational travel shots

Unless you want to outsource this work to a content marketing agency, you can do all four of those things for free. ‘Doing marketing’ doesn’t have to mean ‘spending money’.

Always focus on your customers

The fundamentals of marketing never change, regardless of what’s happening with the economy or the world.

Make your clients the centre of your universe. Focus on their hopes, fears and values. Provide them with content they consider interesting, relevant and helpful.

If you do that, you’ll build trust, credibility and brand recognition with your clients. And that, in turn, will lead to sales down the line.


Nick Bendel is the CEO of Hunter & Scribe, a content marketing agency that writes blogs, social media posts, ebooks, emails and website copy for travel agencies.

Featured image credit: iStock/jossdim

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Tourism

Travel conversations are booming on Twitter. Here’s how brands can capitalise

We’ve delivered plenty of bang for your buck here with some valuable research findings and a few useful travel marketing tips, courtesy of Twitter.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Tahiti to reopen to international tourists from May

Here’s hoping the Australian government has French Polynesia included in its travel bubble plans.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Two-way trans-Tasman bubble gives NCL chief hope of Aussie cruise restart

by Huntley Mitchell

Travel Weekly’s editor enjoyed an extra-special breakfast yesterday morning, having been treated to a virtual update from Norwegian Cruise Line’s boss while eating his eggs on toast.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

WTTC report reveals tourism suffered loss of almost $5.9 trillion in 2020 due to COVID-19

This report confirms what we already know (tourism had a very bad year in 2020), but it also reveals how quickly the industry will rebound, under the right circumstances.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Rex to launch Sydney-Canberra flights this month

Regional Express certainly doesn’t seem to be intimidated by the flying kangaroo’s domestic market dominance, judging by this move.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Tourism New Zealand appoints new CEO

As this latest major announcement proves, it really has been a big week for Tourism New Zealand.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Quarantine cowboy: Aussie traveller transforms hotel room into scene from the Wild West

An Aussie art director has made international headlines after fashioning himself a cowboy costume using food packaging while undergoing hotel quarantine.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

WATCH: Zac Efron cops rake attack while filming travel doco

The High School Musical star and general heartthrob experienced the mishap while filming an episode of his Netflix series.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

AFTA welcomes $1m support package for Tasmanian travel agents

Tasmanian agents, rejoice! Premier Peter Gutwein has put his superhero cape on and flown to the rescue.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Iconic French actress redecorates Hotel Lutetia’s Parisienne suite

Paris’ Hotel Lutetia has recruited French actress Isabelle Huppert to redecorate one of its signature suites.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Aussies could be travelling quarantine-free to Singapore, Japan and Fiji as soon as August

Quarantine-free travel may soon be allowed to select Asian and Pacific countries as soon as August, so tell your clients to start mood-boarding their long-awaited getaways.

Share

CommentComments

Road & Rail

Train carrying tourists crashes in Taiwan, killing at least 51 people

The express train hit a runaway construction vehicle in Taiwan and is the country’s worst rail accident in 70 years.

Share

CommentComments