This is for you - whether you’re just starting out with online booking or you just want to improve your strategy. Tour providers, just follow these tips and boost online sales. Picking some of them is a great starting point. Then implement the others with time.
The Strategy for Tour and Activity Providers - Boost Online Sales
Assuming you already have everything taken care of from the technical side (i.e. website and implementation of your “book now button”, regarding SEO, etc.), we’ll start with the first next steps you need to take when it comes to your online tour business.
1. Start Blogging - Be a Reliable Source of Information People Will Be Returning to
It’s safe to say that blogging will only bring you benefits for your business. If you aren’t already running a blog associated with your tours and activities, then you’re missing out on the limitless potential of content marketing.
By producing free, valuable content, you will create trust in your brand and keep people informed. Blogging also gives you something to share on social media and helps you rank in search engines.
A simple yet highly effective way to get started with content marketing for your business is to think of all the starting-point queries people have about your tours and activities, and tourism industry. Using your blog, you can answer these queries as individual articles.
If you need more advice on this topic, we already wrote about blogging in one of our previous articles - Content Marketing Tips for Tour Operators.
Tour operators can use a blog to offer tips, tutorials, and resources related to tours and activities, and travel industry. All of which will help you boost online sales.
2. Interview Industry Influencers - Get Recognized as a Knowledgeable Authority
Additionally, connected with your blog, you could post interviews with industry influencers. This is a prime example of how to create epic content.
Interviews work because they are win-win situations. Your interviewee will get more exposure, while you get their hands on some hot content for publication, which in this case, is your blog.
3. Build an Email List of All Your Tours and Activities Admirers
Building up an email list for marketing purposes is absolutely essential.
Having a list of emails from previous and potential customers means you can get your information, your offer of tours and activities, as well as content into their personal mailboxes. In contrast, updates made to your Facebook and Twitter pages will almost never be able to reach your entire following, due to time zone differences and other factors.
Start building your email list today by including an email subscription form somewhere noticeable on your website. Here’s a clever way to convince visitors to sign up for your list. Instead of simply saying “Join our Newsletter,” offer an incentive or some type of value for signing up. For example, that could be a free download for a guide you have written. Some expert advice about one of your destinations, tours or activities. Or it could be a discount coupon you can offer them for one of your next trips. That guarantees a real boost online sales for your tour business.
4. Run a Survey and Offer Visitors of your Tours and Activities what they Want
Learning about the common pain points and desires of consumers can help you make all the right moves going forward and boost online sales.
Consumer surveys are an ideal tool for obtaining honest feedback. Unlike your friends and family, consumers have no qualms about hurting your feelings by picking at your web design, your marketing material or the quality of your tours/activities.
5. Networking on Forums - a Great Place to Leave a Mark of Your Tour Business
Online discussion forums are great places to give out industry tips and advice, answer questions, and acquire a customer or two.
Use Google to search out some active forums that may directly relate to your niche. When you post, ensure you aren’t breaking any forum rules when you promote your tour business and your tours and activities. Get to know the limits and restrictions of the forum, and stick to them. Using your forum avatar, signature and profile page to promote your tours and activities are usually well within the rules.
You may feel the temptation to post and promote wildly, but keep it professional. No forum will tolerate constant promotion or posts full of links to your website. Besides, acting in such a way online will damage your tour business name in the eyes of other forum users. So, keep it simple by posting just enough for people to notice you, but not enough to constitute spam.
Besides forums, LinkedIn Groups are also a great way to connect with other industry professionals. Just search the keywords and ask to join in. There are vast amounts of public and private groups set up for specific niches, allowing you to post questions and converse with other members.
6. Offer a Contest or Giveaway to your Fans
Everybody loves free stuff, and if you want to reach more potential customers while launching your sales efforts, a contest or giveaway could help you do just that.
Not only can contests and giveaways help you build valuable inbound links, they are also a great way to show potential customers that you can be trusted and that your brand means business.
For example, tour and activity operators could ask people to post some interesting travel photos of their own. Or write a funny anecdote from their previous travels. Or you could even ask them some interesting questions related to the destination of your tour. In return, the winner(s) could get a discount coupon for one of your tours or activities, as well as a piece of your merchandise if you have it. This way, more people will hear about you and check out your website and your offer. Well-placed booking button will grab their attention and you’ll boost online sales.
7. Be Active on Social Media to Get Noticed by New Potential Travelers
Twitter’s beautiful simplicity is what makes it one of the most effective ways to engage with your target travelers. An excellent method for finding potential customers is to proactively search for people tweeting or posting questions about your industry or following pages similar to yours. Reach out to them in a helpful way.
When it comes to representing personality and creativity via social media, the three big visual platforms do it best.
Pinterest, Instagram, and Vine all allow you to take a slightly different approach to engaging with consumers. These platforms are the perfect place to present the creativity and passion that goes into your business behind the scenes.
Snap pictures of your tours, take videos of activities you provide, tell a story with images. Always aim for beauty if possible. People love beauty.
Facebook is still a social media powerhouse. Leverage your personal Facebook profile and your business page to engage with friends, family, and acquaintances and to get people talking about your tours and activities. Get creative with status updates and interact on public groups and fan pages relevant to your niche.
It’s also important to keep Facebook Ads in mind. Much like with AdWords, you can create targeted campaigns to attract likes, make sales, and promote your brand.
You can read more about that in our recent articles - What Tour Operators Need to Know about Facebook Advertising & Best Value of Facebook Insights for Tour Business. You can also download for free special reports that will certainly be helpful for growing your online booking sales.
Go Online and Attract Travelers
It’s absolutely understandable that taking your tour business online can be a little overwhelming. If you’re just starting, you may find yourself a bit lost. But you have to be aware that it’s not enough to just have online booking software and place the booking button to your website. You also need to work on the visibility of your tour business and constantly try to reach as many potential customers as possible. These tips will help you with that goal and consequently, you'll successfully boost online sales.
Reach out to us if you’d appreciate some help! If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact us or share it right here.
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