People have always shared their travel dreams and adventures with others. Early on, travel magazines, brochures, home movie projectors and Polaroids were the media of choice. Now, the game has gone digital, but the themes are largely the same: “I love to travel and I know you do too. Where should I go next? What should I do? What should I see?”
In fact, travel appears to be one of the six most discussed topics on social media. This tells us if we do our marketing well we can generate thousands, even hundreds of thousands of enthusiastic followers, evangelists all. Of course, if we do it poorly we can spend a lot of money and time only to decide marketing doesn’t work.
If a consumer believes that a company or service is authentically inspiring, they will gravitate to it, support it and even promote it to others. However, if they perceive it as inauthentic, they will shun it as one more noisy imposition - a part of the marketing and advertising clutter through which they must daily wade. The social media teams of the best practitioners in the travel industry are keenly aware of the nature of good conversation: they listen more than they talk and, when they talk, say something interesting.
They position their company ethic in such a way that people rally around it, converse and tell others.
The public shows a loyalty to such companies, to a company ethic totally in tune and responsive to the wellspring of passion for travel. The marketing wizards at such companies tap into the passion of others and nurture it through attentive conversation. The images they choose to populate their brochures, advertisements and social media pages are all about inspiration. It really is that simple. And that hard: enthusiasm of the magnitude necessary to succeed.
Certainly such companies have "products” but inventory remains in the background as a manifestation of the inspiration their marketing platforms generate. Travel product is not front and center, but embedded in the conversation as an example of the way in which the passion and enthusiasm can be realized in the lives of their followers.
You can inspire your clients by providing fodder for their travel dreams. Speak to them about possibilities, learn to tell stories and back up your efforts with great pictures, quotes and examples.
Feed your clients a steady diet of inspiration and they will come to you when they want to travel.
PS: Need help? Travel Research Online has launched Voyager Websites, offering content for travel professionals to assist and inspire your clients! With more great content than ever, all in one place for travel professionals!
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