There is a shift going on in the business world led by digital media. The world of business travel is also changing and lead generation can seem really overwhelming here. But, once you understand marketing and how to generate leads, you can pretty much dominate any niche.
What is your lead generation strategy as a business travel agency?
- Is it word-of-mouth?
- Are you sitting and waiting for a new lead to come in?
- Are you sitting and waiting for somebody to make a referral for your business?
- Are you attending networking lunches and hoping prospects would call you?
Just showing up to any event and promoting your product or brand name online isn’t enough. Business travel managers will have to understand the importance of mastering the ins and outs of lead generation tools and strategic social media platforms to attract the most qualified business travel leads—and turn those leads into sales.
“A good 25 percent of our business comes from lead-generation,” says Sara Butruff, owner of Travel Leaders Apple Valley.
Muffett Grub, of Cruise Holidays in Knoxville, Tenn., also reports lead-related growth at her agency. “In the last two years, I have seen a big increase in lead-generation,” she says. “It’s primarily driven by the clients’ limited base of knowledge on a specific area of travel—they are looking for an agent to help with the ‘unknowns’ of travel. The advanced CRM programs, marketing tools and lead generation…are a big part of my success as an agent,” she says. “They provide far more opportunities than I could generate on my own.”
There are a number of ways to spread the word about what you do to attract new leads: travel nights, trade shows, social media, online advertising, and more. As the travel industry is rapidly becoming a competitive market, and with the rise of online media consumption by your target travelers, digital/online marketing has become an important aspect for creating effective leads for business travel managers.
Your budding business travelers are online, on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Google.
SO HOW DO YOU STAND OUT FROM THE NOISE TO GET THEIR ATTENTION?
In this blog, we will look at the anatomy of lead generation with selection of channels to generate leads to market your corporate traveltech solutions. So, here’s the logic.
Email Marketing to Generate Business Travel Leads
Travel is one of the world’s largest industries, contributing US$7.6 trillion to the world economy, according to Statista.
To all appearances, email marketing is a key tool for corporate traveltech industry marketing. Out of all the different marketing strategies you can employ, email marketing remains the king. For corporate travel managers, a great email campaign can cultivate a considerable amount of leads, which will ultimately produce a good number of sales resulting in a massive return on investment. To start your email marketing campaign, you first need to build your email list. Once you are done with your list, you should start setting weekly or bi-weekly newsletters to your email list with business travel deals, travel tips, and any other important information relevant to the travel tech solutions and services that you offer. Your newsletter should always include a “Call To Action” such as “Contact us to Book Your Next Business Trip” or, “Click Here for More Information”.
Email marketing automation software can help you build your email marketing tracks. By creating and scheduling your emails, you can have efficient and cohesive communication with your target employee traveler that will be highly valuable to your target audience.
Also, using an email list verification tool, you can ensure you are marketing to the right people. A verification tool is useful when generating leads using emails as it assures the delivery is straight to the inboxes of valid recipients.
Make corporate travel lead generation the least stressful part of your job with email marketing.
A website can be a Hub for Lead Generation
Website optimization is another great way to generate travel tech leads. For business travelers, the first port of call will always be your website. Ensure that your website has a specialized and rich level of content that your lead will be looking for in order to make their decision. You need a well-optimized website that appropriately describes what your travel business is all about. Your website should describe each and every service and travel tech tool & solution provided by your business, like hotel booking, car rentals, flight bookings, etc.
Regularly update your content and graphics with the right solutions to manage corporate travel. Don’t try to make a sale too hard. According to HubSpot, companies who blog 6-8 times per month get twice the lead volume of companies that don't. You can promote your offers in your blog posts by including a CTA to a relevant offer at the bottom of the post and hyperlinks to your landing page within the body of your blog post. Have creative ‘Call-To-Action’ which encourages your website visitors to leave their contact details.
Leverage Video Marketing to Generate your Leads
The objective of any marketing campaign is, to generate more leads and drive new sales. Video content is far more engaging in these respects than typical text ads.
An excellent and effective way to get your business travel services & solutions out to customers is by leveraging YouTube video marketing. It helps you reach many of today's corporate travelers that have a short attention span or do not have much time to read, prefer looking at images or watching a video. Use video as a centerpiece of your landing page. Adding YouTube video on your landing page is an effective use of resources than just adding it to arbitrary pages of your website. The logic is simple- landing pages are designed for conversion. Your target corporate travelers will fully concentrate on the video and watch it to the end without having their attention shift off. TripActions has done it the right way.
Also, watch TripActions, Meagen Eisenberg, who is helping deliver the best experience in business travel. TripActions is the leading example with 2,000+ corporate customers.
Each type of video content has a set goal. When your goal is lead generation, it is better to gate a video. After you’ve stimulated their interest in the content that leads up to the video (e.g., a detailed explainer video of the successful travel program, of a modern business travel platform that combines the latest AI-driven technologies or a product demo), you gate the access to it. It will both create leads and let you check how many viewers will give you their contacts. Every opportunity you get to record a great video related to your traveltech products and solutions, to upload to YouTube, you should do so as it will separate your corporate travel business from the competition which will help you getting more leads and turning them into sales.
Attract More Attention and Generate Leads with Niche Branding
Latest emerging technologies, AI, voice recognition, machine learning, online transactions, are new ways in which travelers, suppliers and travel managers are communicating—the advances in business travel are coming at a blistering pace. If you wish to differentiate yourself from everyone else out there and give customers a compelling reason to enlist your services when booking their trip, you need to identify an area of specialty and focus your marketing and branding to that niche.
BCD Travel wants to separate itself from the competition by providing personalized service and support to its customers and branding it effectively for that purpose.
With SAP Customer Data Cloud, the company is building its third-generation traveler identity management system for better customer service.
In response to changing industry dynamics, leading global travel management company BCD Travel has unveiled its own dedicated global hotel division – Stay by BCD Travel. The new business, headed by its recently appointed Senior Vice President, Hotel Solutions, April Bridgeman, will offer “a dramatically new approach to managing hotel programmes,”.
source: BCD travel
Stay by BCD Travel will offer spend management, content aggregation, shopping and booking, virtual payment and digital invoice management, price assurance, hotel rate availability management, analytics, awareness and adoption campaigns, merchandising, and the use of frequently updated market-level rate targets.
When your website content, your social media profile, and your company name represents something other than the general hotel and flight packages, your service will entice more attention and accelerate leads converting into sales.
Use Social Media Channels to Drive Traffic
In the age of digitalization, no business can survive without a strong online presence. As a travel agent, the social media opportunity are endless. The multiple social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, allows you to know your customers and build a personalized relationship with them, while also fetching in new leads by having your name and voice known.
As a travel marketer, you should use your social media channels to keep your audience updated with the latest travel news and information. Utilize platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram to show consumers what they're missing out on, if they don't book through you. Here, watch Peter Giorgi, CMO of Celebrity Cruises, discussing the latest trends in travel marketing technology.
If you’re attending a travel expo, trade show or hosting a client appreciation party, social media is a great way to inform people about it. You can also promote any deals or sales you’re having on specific destinations.
The social network will give business travel marketers the greatest variety of engagement opportunities, access to the biggest audience, and integration with a ton of free marketing tools.
All in all, the above discussed lead generation anatomy can help you reach a wider audience, attract more leads, and convert them into customers. All the best!