Travel is one of the industries most impacted by COVID-19. Yet travel professionals must continue to address their clients’ needs even when they are not asking for the sale. Despite the current economic climate, they must ‘show up’ in the marketplace and map out a clear strategy, in order to be effective when there is a rebound.
It is important to note that this should be a regular strategy even outside of a global pandemic.
Against a backdrop of serious health and safety risks with a limited appetite for travel deals, travel professionals face many challenges as they adapt to the new reality. But they must capitalize on client outreach opportunities, to maintain a presence in the marketplace via email newsletters, social media, blogs, and webinars. This strategy will build help visibility and trust and ultimately lead to conversion when the market reopens.
Travel pros should continue to show up and create content so that they can be heard when the time is right and the situation normalizes.
Here are some resources to help travel pros develop a game plan that will allow them to shift, transform, and ‘earn’ their clients' business when the market recovers.
Make the pandemic a shared journey
The best time to connect with clients is when they are not actually buying, as this presents an opportunity to fully educate and engage them. Travel professionals will be better able to pivot, leverage their strengths, and address information gaps to build long-term client relationships. Through a process of analysis and brainstorming, they can gain a deeper understanding of their target audiences to deliver effective content to address their needs.
Get into the hearts and minds of an audience by asking the 5W Questions: Why, What, Who Where, and When to develop an agile strategy and forge a path towards future recovery.
WHY – realignment of marketing goals
- Why is this content important?
- Why should clients choose you over other travel professionals
Strategy: Continue to be at the forefront of travelers’ minds to catch the demand when travel resumes.
WHO - identify your ideal clients
- Who are my ideal clients and where are they traveling to?
- Who benefits most from this content?
Strategy: Share personal stories to engage clients, analyze their needs and build trust.
WHAT – develop a library of content
- What type of content are your clients consuming?
- What information do they need to know?
Strategy: Audiences want that human connection, so entertain, educate, and inspire them. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Re-purpose testimonials, photos, FAQs, or checklists. Ensure that the content is still relevant and hits that sweet spot between what the travel pros want to share and what clients want to know.
WHERE – utilize all marketing channels
- Which channels are most effective?
- Where do my clients go to get travel information?
Strategy: Promote content across all channels: social media, websites, and emails have become the storefront to unleash content that will inspire clients and generate leads.
WHEN – the time is now to maintain visibility and trust
- When was your last post or website update?
- How often do you post?
Strategy: Show up in the market now to reap the benefits when travel resumes. Listen to your audience, pivot quickly, and adapt in real-time.
If these things are done consistently, when it is time to sell and ask for the business, you will find the process a little less stressful and a lot more profitable.