2020 has been a difficult year for the travel industry, more specifically for the cruise industry, but there still appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel. That light at the end of the tunnel being wave season 2021, the time of year where sales for the cruise industry are known to be at their peak. Although Covid is still making its presence felt, the demand for travel still appears to be there as many avid cruisers are purchasing cruises for the future. With this being said, travel agencies must prepare themselves for this very lucrative time of year from a sales and marketing standpoint, as it could be crucial to their survival during these grueling times.
Before we dive into the tactics that are going to drive sales for your travel agency, let us discuss some crucial tasks you need to do before-hand that are going to allow you to maximize the potential of your efforts. One of the key elements of success for your travel agency and the strategy you have going forward is going to be having an analytics platform in place, preferably Google Analytics. Google Analytics will provide you with the insights you need for your digital marketing efforts. If you do not already have Google Analytics, you should have it implemented to your website immediately. You can learn how to implement Google Analytics here or you can feel free to contact us for any assistance with tag management via our contact page. Now, you are going to want to prepare your travel agents for wave by polishing them up on their sales abilities, their mindset going into wave, ship information, and promotions relevant to what they sell. For example, Norwegian Cruise Line prepares their personal cruise consultants for wave with meetings that usually run around an hour long, focusing on areas such as cancelation policies, CruiseNext coupons, navigating Salesforce, stressing urgency, and much more for a total of six days to make sure that their cruise consultants can service guests to the best of their abilities during wave. You should focus on these two areas immediately, having each of these done preferably by the middle of November if you wish to have the best results.
Leveraging Google Analytics for Wave
There is a reason we want you to have Google Analytics set up before wave season actually hits, and it is because Google Analytics is really going to help you develop the best marketing strategy possible for wave. Through Google Analytics, you will be able to see what destinations your guests are interested in the most, as well as which stage of the buyer's journey your customers are in, enabling you to tailor digital marketing efforts to your customers on a more personal basis. This is very important to understand because this information will not only yield a greater return for you, but it will also lower the costs of your digital efforts. During late November and the month of December, many of your customers will either be in the awareness or consideration stage of the buyer's journey, meaning they will be actively researching the vacations they are interested in via your website. With this being said, Google Analytics will basically be feeding you what your customers are going to be looking for during wave. You can create retargeting advertisements and other promotions featuring these destinations your customers have shown interest in to ultimately close sales during wave season.
Now is the Time to Build Brand Awareness
We all know that now is a rather difficult time to be driving sales via the cruise industry, knowing this, your marketing efforts should currently be centered around raising brand awareness and awakening that need to cruise within your customers. Make your travel agency standout by creating advertisements that inspire people to get out of their homes and explore the world using the services you provide. Many people have been cooped up in their homes for months and are itching to get out and enjoy a great vacation, so now is your opportunity to show them what you do and how you can help them escape the nightmare that 2020 has been for many. Digital advertising efforts on social media, search engines, and web pages centered around this goal would be the perfect way to capture the eyes of people who have never heard of your travel agency before. Going back to the importance of an analytics tool, you will be able to measure how many new customers are coming to your website and how much your traffic has grown as a result of your digital marketing efforts by using a tool such as Google Analytics. Although some of your customers may not be ready now, you will be putting yourself in a better position to close these customers during wave season.
Keeping Your Audience Engaged with Your Brand
In order to ensure that your efforts in driving new customers to your website does not go to waste, you must find a way to keep them engaged with your brand from now up until wave. With that being said, encourage them to subscribe to your newsletter, sign-up to get weekly/monthly offers available on your site, and suggest to them following your blog or social media pages. Encouraging your new customers to do so will allow you to constantly be in front of them without having to spend any additional marketing dollars. Eventually, these efforts should warm your customers up to book a cruise with your travel agency whether it be in the future or during wave season. With this being said, make sure that you already have valuable content and marketing material to last you from now through the month of April. By having your content readily available, you won't have to quickly throw pieces of content together that may not be as valuable as they could have been if you would have taken the time to plan it out. You should already be producing content and promotional material such as the ones I have mentioned for your existing customer base to spark repeat purchases.
Overcoming Marketing Struggles for Your Travel Agency During Wave
We understand that Covid has hit many travel agencies around the world hard, making it difficult to hire the personnel needed to run these efforts to the best of their abilities. We also know that the complexity of these tasks on top of the everyday duties of a travel agency may make it difficult to execute these tactics. That is why Selva Digital offers digital marketing analytics services specifically for travel agencies at a significantly lower cost than hiring a marketer, giving you the ability to focus on what you do best for your travel agency. We are offering flexible monthly payment options with no long-term commitments to ensure that you are able to afford our services and give your travel agency the best chance possible to generate more sales and build better relationships with your customers during these difficult times. Click below to get a free consultation and find out how we can grow your travel agency this wave season!