How to Market Your Travel Agency Online

I’m often asked how to market a travel agency. Truth be told, there are a few clear-cut steps you can take to get the ball rolling, but mostly it’s a case of being in the right place at the right time. If you’re looking to establish a travel agency, here’s what you need to do:

Step one: Register your travel agency with the right paperwork

When you become a licensed travel agent, the first thing you’ll need to do is register your agency with the right paperwork. You can do this by filling out a government website called Travel Agent Registration and clicking on the ‘submit’ button. Doing this will cost you $20, but it’s a necessary step to start your journey. Once you’ve completed the form, you can print out the license and take it with you; it’s also advisable to save the PDF file of the application as you’ll need it later.

Step two: Use the proper terminology

To succeed as a travel agent, you’ll need to know the ins-and-outs of the industry. Instead of calling your company ‘XYZ Travel Agency’, which can mean anything to anyone, it’s better to find a name that implies your company is a full-service agency and preferably includes the word ‘agency’ in your company name. As a rule of thumb, if your agency takes reservations and bookings through a third-party platform, be sure to use terminology such as ‘customer’, ‘guest’, or ‘partner’ instead of ‘client’, ‘person’, or ‘business’, respectively, to avoid any misunderstandings.

Step three: Identify your target audience

In the early stages of your agency, it’s advisable to zero in on a target audience and decide what type of client you’ll be catering to. The world of travel is vast and diverse, so it can be difficult to find one single group of people to focus on. Instead, pick a region or country you’re familiar with, and begin to think like a local. By doing this, you’ll be able to build up a rapport with the people and develop an understanding of their travel needs. This will assist you in providing valuable information to ensure their travel experience is hassle-free and memorable.

Step four: Create a brand identity

When you have a clear image in mind of what your travel agency will look like, it’s easier to come up with a marketing strategy. Take some time to craft a short, snappy biography for your brand that can be used to describe you and your agency. Be sure to include any significant milestone(s) in your agency’s history. If you’re applying for a trade license, the agency’s website can provide a good short bio for you to use. Alternatively, you can use the Travel Agent Registration form to create a short bio that will be used mainly for marketing purposes.

Step five: Create a marketing plan

With a clear idea of who you are, where you’re going, and how you intend to get there, you can develop a marketing plan. The general guideline is to develop a basic digital marketing strategy, and then flesh it out with a human-centered marketing plan. A solid digital marketing strategy can be a valuable tool for a travel agency — especially one that’s just getting started — to help them gain some traction and establish themselves in the marketplace. Some of the digital marketing strategies available to you include:

  • Pricing Strategy
  • Product Launch Strategy
  • Video Marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Mobile Marketing

It’s also important to develop a general marketing plan that takes into account all of your social media accounts. This way, you’ll be able to keep track of all of your campaigns and ensure you don’t lose sight of any of them during the planning stage. As a general rule of thumb, put your most significant effort into your website and social media accounts, as these will be the ones people come back to most often.

Step six: Measure the results of your marketing plan

To ensure you’re not wasting your time and resources, it’s crucial you monitor the results of your marketing plan. This means you’ll need to set a few key metrics to evaluate your progress and determine if your plan is being successful or if you need to change anything about it. The most important metrics you should be monitoring include:

  • Website traffic
  • Social media traffic
  • Email marketing conversion rates
  • Booking traffic
  • Reservation traffic
  • Leads generated from social media
  • Click-through rates on email marketing

Being able to measure the results of your marketing plan is a sign of strength, as it means you’ve identified key performance indicators (KPIs) that you can use to gauge your progress. Being able to track these metrics and prove yourself to be a valuable asset to the travel industry is sure to boost your self-confidence and give you the drive you need to succeed.

If you want to market your travel agency, but don’t have the money to spend on expensive ads or paid social media campaigns, you can use the tactics below to get the word out there about your services. They’re free, so there’s no risk in trying them out:

Step seven: Use free and paid search to find customers

If you’ve spent the previous six steps developing a solid strategy for marketing yourself and your agency, the last step is to put it into practice and start finding customers. To do this, you’ll first need to set up a few keywords for use in your paid search engine campaigns. Doing this can be tricky, as there are a few keywords you might consider ‘dirty’ and, in some cases, even illegal. To find out whether a particular keyword or words are banned or restricted, check the Google AdWords help pages for travel agencies. Here, you can find a list of words and phrases people typically use when searching for a travel agency, along with an overview of why these words might hurt your SEO.

Step eight: Create content to attract and retain customers

To attract and retain customers, you’ll need to create content that is both valuable and interesting to them. The best way to do this is to look at the keywords you’ve discovered during the previous step and craft engaging content that will appeal to potential clients. Some of the content you can create can include:

  • Blog posts
  • Product reviews
  • FAQs
  • White papers
  • Video tutorials
  • Case studies
  • E-books
  • Graphic design

These are just some of the many different types of content you can create to attract and retain customers. Truth be told, creating valuable and engaging content doesn’t have to be difficult — especially not if you have a content marketer on your team. If you don’t have the budget for a content marketer, you can always hire an outside consultant to help with this task. Doing this is also a great way to ensure you’re outsourcing only the most important tasks and focusing your attention on what’s most important to you.

As a travel agent, the main goal of your marketing plan is to establish and grow your brand. To achieve this, you’ll need to become well-known in your industry. One way of doing this is by creating and sharing valuable content with your target audience. The more you can write and share about your industry, the more likely you are to stand out among your competitors.