By Hazel Brynes

Whether you are looking to establish your brand or redefine what it stands for, there is no better way than a well-planned travel PR and tourism marketing strategy.

Many of the biggest tourism brands have transformed the way they communicate with their customers using new digital marketing platforms – and we have travel marketing tips that will help you do the same.

This is an evolving game. Even as recently as 10 years ago, social media, video blogging and online engagement was merely a novelty, not a commercial consideration. Now, the travel marketing advice is that they are essential functions for getting the most engagement and best results for your brand.

Whether you run a hotel chain, car hire service or airline, the key is to tell your story and drag your consumers along for the journey.

How effectively you do this will determine how well you stand out in one of the most competitive industries in the world.

A successful travel marketing and public relations campaign can define these brands in ways that make more and more customers want to associate themselves with them.

Identity in this market is king and a clever travel communications strategy is key to successfully establishing what your brand really stands for. Here are my tourism marketing tips:

Live the Dream

Communicate as much as you can about your location – posting images, blogs, reviews and videos so the user feels it is unmissable. This allows the consumer to live the dream and turns the potential trip from a “nice to do” to a “have to do”.

Our client Apex Hotels adds value to its website with regularly updated amenities pages, like this one for Apex City of Bath Hotel, which explain what there is for tourists and visitors to do in the cities where they have hotels. Staff even help generate lists of activities and restaurants guests might like.

Engage, engage, engage

Social engagement is key to ensure you are there for every part of the journey. Apps, games and tourist guides ensure you are never far away.

There are other ways, too: run competitions on your social platforms; invite tourists to share their best travel photos using your hashtag on Instagram or Twitter; get out your press coverage on social channels; shout about awards you’re nominated for; hijack news – perhaps not in the manner that bookies Paddy Power do, but you can see the results they get.

Or reach out to social media influencers, particularly those with followers in the market sectors you are targeting.

Nice to be nice

Going all out for your customers is more than just offering random acts of kindness – it’s a chance to out your brand out there and show your customers what you are made of.

Our airline client Flybe regularly turn Blue Monday – January 15, the dreariest day of the year – into Purple Monday in honour of its staff’s uniforms. This year, cabin crews were performing random acts of kindness for commuters at Cardiff Central rail station.

Simple actions such as these can set your business apart from competitors.

Reach out to travellers

Make the real life visitor your mouthpiece – adopt and incentivise customers to be your voice around the world. As they explore, they are sharing their experiences online and encouraging others to live the dream. There is no better brand advocate than a happy customer. Some companies have also adopted a brand mascot that has travelled the world and displayed its journey on social media.

High ranker rewards

Reward high ranking media, bloggers and social media influencers with access to more amenities and discounted rates in the hope they will share their enviable experience with their dedicated followers – it’s the new word of mouth and is now regarded as one of the most valuable marketing assets out there.

We have been championing these tips for our clients for years and are continuously evolving to be one step ahead of the game in this progressive market. If you need help navigating your way through, get in touch.

We are the travel marketing experts. Contact us now on 0800 612 9890.