Are you marketing in all the right places?
Are you constantly bombarded with wonderful marketing tips? They all make sense and sound promising but how do you implement them all? While some marketing gurus insist you must be on Facebook, others suggest you should be on the latest Social Media channel of the hour and others insist direct mail is not dead. With so many social media channels and marketing avenues, it can be overwhelming to learn them all and chose which ones are the best to reach your ideal client. How are people successful at it? When presented with too many options most people become overwhelmed and decide to do nothing. Most agents I’ve spoken to don’t have a marketing plan in place. They have so many options they are confused and have no clue where to begin.
One of the best things you can do is look at your business branding, does it reflect your niche and is it attractive to your clients? Branding is more than a logo; it reflects how people feel about your brand and what they can expect from you. Your brand should also reflect you and your personal interests. Surely you wouldn’t specialize in adventure travel when you don’t have an adventurous bone in your body. Think about why you started a travel business, was it because you noticed a void in an area you thought was underserved? In my case, I was a frustrated bride-to-be that couldn’t find a travel agent that would email me back since I was in Iraq at the time and couldn’t meet with them.
Take an honest look at your brand and your message. Does your brand reflect how you can help your ideal clients who are looking at someone in your niche to serve them? If you specialize in girlfriend getaways are you addressing the challenges (AKA pain points) they face as they plan their travel? Further, who are they? Are they single young women in their mid-thirties who are afraid their youth will “pass them by” without having traveled to certain destinations on their bucket list? Do they feel like they are running out of time with their friends before they all go and get married and start having babies?
If you this information the next step is to find out how they like to be marketed to, where do they go for travel information? Do they love seeing travel pictures on Instagram and magazines? Do you think they would appreciate a handwritten postcard from a destination you recently visited that may be of interest to them? If you think so the next logical step would be to heavily market on the channels you know they “hang out” in. There are at least 5 social media channels that are most commonly used. It is smart to have a presence in as many as you can but dedicate the bulk of your time to the ones your customers frequent.
If your customers frequent Facebook and Instagram it would be a smart move to develop a strategy to market heavily on both. Due to algorithm changes in Facebook, it is best to study when your fans are online and schedule posts that are relevant to their pain points. As we mentioned before in the single ladies example one of their pain points was that they were afraid of “running out of time” to visit certain destinations. Your posts should address their pain points in as many ways as you can. If you take the top three pain points and make a column for each you can write as many topics as you can under each. You will have plenty of content to post in both Facebook and your blog (you are blogging right?).
The Instagram app was designed to be used while on the go. Most people share their day, vacations, food, family, etc. It is a wonderful medium to share pictures taken during a familiarization (FAM) trip. Unlike Facebook, it does not have a timeline algorithm, therefore, your followers see what you post in real time. If your target client were a heavy Instagram user (as the single ladies on this article) I would post pictures while on FAMS. It is important to use appropriate and popular #hashtags in order to increase the chances of your pictures being seen by your target clients. These are just two examples of where you should be marketing depending on your ideal client and how they work. Once you get to know them very well you will be able to sit down and figure out where you need to be putting all of your marketing efforts. Spreading your message across multiple channels hoping something will
“stick” is not only a waste of time but it will have very little return on your investment (ROI).
Regardless of where you chose to market your business please remember that consistency is the key. You need a long-term and consistent plan in order to determine what works and what doesn’t. When you combine the right information, creativity, and consistency I guarantee you will see results.