You’ve decided to take the plunge and created a travel website. Now what?
Marketing a travel website can be tricky. After all, it’s not like marketing traditional hotel websites which provide online booking and some short-handed automated e-mail follow-ups. With a traditional hotel website, the marketing funnel begins and ends with the website and its inbound marketing. The hotel’s marketing team designs the website, selects a web host, configures the site, and then hands it over to the inbound marketing team, who trains the staff and creates online content to drive direct bookings.
With a travel website, you don’t have a built-in audience and you don’t have an inbound marketing team to rely on. Your best bet is to use a digital marketing agency to market your site.
Build Your Brand
Your travel website doesn’t need to be the best in the world or even have a lot of functionality. It just needs to be able to fulfill its purpose which is to allow for direct bookings and provide information on your chosen destinations.
In order to secure direct bookings, you will need to build your brand. That means creating unique selling points (USPs) and differentiating yourself from the competition. Your USPs should be valuable to prospective customers but not so valuable that they’ll only want to do business with you. In other words, you want to create uniqueness, value, and trust.
What will your travel website’s brand voice be? What will your brand look like? What will your website’s design look like?
Choose The Right Name
In the travel industry, a lot of people have chosen name-based keywords when they’ve named their website. For example, MegastarTravels is often paired with travel as a keyword, and that can help drive organic traffic to the site. The same goes for AttractionTravel.com and ExperienceTravel.com. However, going by the name alone isn’t going to cut it. You also need to consider whether or not the name you’ve chosen is available for purchase.
If you decide to purchase the name AttractionTravel.com, for example, you will need to contact the registry office in the district where the original business was established. It’s also a good idea to register your chosen domain name with Google My Business
Establish Your Credibility
As a new business, you don’t yet have the reputation to rely on. In order to establish credibility, you need to do the following:
- Publish a range of case studies,
- Interact with potential customers via social media platforms (such as Twitter and Facebook), and
- Reply to, or even initiate, customer service queries.
Having case studies and consumer feedback is absolutely essential. The better you are at answering questions, the more likely you are to create long-term value for your business and gain credibility. It also means you can begin to develop a brand voice and style guide for your website.
Curate Content For International Travelers
If you are catering to international travelers, you will need to consider a few things. First, determine how you want the site to appear to a non-English speaking user. Second, decide which currencies you will accept for payments (if any). Finally, take into account any legal requirements or restrictions that may apply, especially if your website is targeted at a specific country or area.
The last thing you want to do is leave money on the table. By determining your international travel site’s target audience, you can ensure you are presenting the correct information and accepting the right kind of payments.
Create Effective Inbound Marketing Funnel
An inbound marketing funnel focuses on bringing potential customers into the top of the funnel where you can capture their attention, and then moving them through the sales funnel, where you can persuade them to make a purchase. You can learn more about inbound marketing here.
One of the first steps you will want to take is to set up automated inbound marketing activities. Even if you don’t have a whole inbound marketing team in place, you can use automation tools to drive traffic to your website. Once you have set up automated inbound marketing activities, you can measure the results and determine the next steps. This will depend on the nature of your business and the size of your website. If your website receives a decent amount of organic traffic, you may decide to expand your team, hire more inbound marketers, and get more creative with your online marketing. If not, you may decide that the results you’ve seen are promising and you may opt for a more modest approach, scaling back your inbound marketing activities in favor of growing your business through direct outreach and acquisition channels.
The Bottom Line
If you’re ready to launch a travel website, the first thing you should do is hire a digital marketing agency to help you build a brand, establish credibility, and develop inbound marketing campaigns. The last thing you want to do is try to build a brand and establish credibility yourself, especially while trying to grow your business. You can find a reputable, affordable agency here.