Your group trip could be epically amazing. It might be life-changing or the most fun travel experience that someone has been waiting for, but if you don’t market it right then they’re unlikely to be attending. Marketing group trips, whether it’s for a tour company, retreat or a community, can be difficult if you’re not sure where to even begin.
We’ve pulled together our top 9 marketing tips for travel and tour businesses, to get your head in the business game and make your trip the most successful it can be.
Have a structured plan
There’s no point in organizing an amazing trip but not having a marketing plan. It should be one of the first things that you do because marketing should be on your mind from the beginning! Structure a marketing plan based on how far away the event is, who your target audience is, and what your goals are.
- How many trip places do you want to sell two months out from the retreat or trip?
- How many a month before?
- Do you plan on offering early bird discounts?
- Or encouraging repeat customers to bring a friend?
These are all questions you need to ask yourself at the planning stage to help you structure a marketing plan for your tour or retreat.
Research your target market
You can’t market your trip successfully without having a target audience. Technically, you can’t even plan a successful retreat or trip without having a target audience either. Knowing your ideal customer will help you figure out the details of your trip and imagine who will attend. You’ll then be able to investigate tactics to reach those particular customers. If your customers are on Facebook, Instagram, or booking sites, that’s where you should be!
Have your social media in check
Speaking of Instagram and Facebook marketing, it’s really important that you have your social media in check. When potential customers are in the research phase they may come across your tour or retreat, but they are then likely to check out your social media presence, blogs, and review sites, to see what your presence is like and what others have said about your business.
Social media should be an important aspect of any marketing plan. Check out our social media tips!
Encourage repeat customers
It is much easier to market to repeat customers than new ones. They are already aware of your business and brand, and have hopefully enjoyed their previous trip! If you market it right and engage with your customers after the trip ends you will hopefully have access to them through them following you on social media, or email marketing.
But encouraging repeat customers isn’t just about making them aware of new trips, it’s also about recognizing their loyalty. Think about offering individual discount codes or bring a friend discount.
Extend your audience
While engaging with your previous customers is important and can lead to high levels of successful sales for your trip or retreat, extending your audience is important too. Don’t just rely on your established community attending your next travel experience. Instead, think about how to use them to broaden your audience by sharing your trip and inviting friends.
However, you should also investigate marketing on whole new platforms to reach completely new customers. For example, websites like WeTravel have a marketplace that may help you to reach more customers, and easily share your trip on social media. You can also look into communities on Facebook or other websites where you can share about your trip.
Use SEO techniques
Creating a website is relatively cheap and easy now, especially if you choose a simple platform and just use it to share about your business, and upcoming trips and retreats. However, Google plays a huge role in driving traffic to your website and helping people to find out about your travel business. It’s imperative that you employ SEO techniques like using keywords throughout your text that people may search for, and work to get sites of authority to link to yours. Check out more on how to make Google love your site!
Focus on what you can do for your customers rather than just what you do
A common marketing mistake is to focus on what you do, rather than what you can do for your attendees. Instead of stating the facts about what your travel or yoga business does and why you want to do it, spell out the benefit for your customers. While recent trends in marketing show that people want to connect with the company they choose and therefore imparting your story is important, it’s also necessary to market your trip in a way that allows them to see themselves taking it, and benefiting from the experience.
Communicate with customers
Keep open lines of communications with old customers and new. Engage with customers after the trip ends and keep them up to date on upcoming events and experiences. Once customers have booked their trip with you, keep them up to date on what’s happening and generate excitement about the upcoming experience.
Track your campaign
Lastly, learn from your marketing successes and mistakes. Be sure to track your retreat or tour marketing campaign to see what worked and what you can change for next time. Who bought tickets, where from, when, and how did they hear about your business? It’s easy to track this information in a booking form or possibly a post experience survey, if it is completed. You can use what you learn to structure your next trip marketing campaign!
Using these top marketing tips for travel businesses should help you well on your way to running successful tours and retreats. Check out our free resources for retreat leaders, group trips, and tour companies for more top tips!