While marketing and publicity may be the furthest thing from your mind, Christina Koullas, Managing Director of CK PR, says now is the best time to get creative to give your business the edge over others.
Let’s be honest, at the moment your liquor cabinet may be the only thing you’re wanting to investigate! That being said, all those marketing and business ideas you’ve been wanting to develop for so long and haven’t had the time for – that’s what you really should look at exploring.
After the Global Financial Crisis, businesses that were ready to hit the ground running when the recovery began were the ones most likely to thrive.
The current temptation may be to bunker down and hope for the best, but if you own an agency or other travel business and are proactive in the coming months, you could ultimately increase your market share on the ‘other side’.
“Invest in your communications activity in the coming months for future returns.”
Christina Koullas, Managing Director of CK PR
I just called to say, “I love you.”
Your customer database is absolute gold – now and always. Pick up the phone and invest some time in customer relations 101.
Follow up with a hand-written card with a fun photo of your team to add another personal touch and give a face to your brand.
Create emails with a distinct difference
Create a plan for emailing your clients and establish a regular schedule. Look into tools such as Canva, Mailchimp, and Ampjar that can make this process easier and incredibly insightful.
Think about what your clients want to see right now and their possible frame of mind. Are they time poor, are they looking for inspiration, or is their headspace elsewhere? How can you stand out from the crowd and make that subject line compelling?
Perhaps you could work with a digital agency to create a simple (branded) online scrapbook tool or vision board where clients can insert their favourite travel images as inspiration for when they want to start holiday planning again.
How can you be different?
Organisations have been impressive so far with their virtual offerings. Is there a speciality your business could explore but in a different way?
Facebook is currently rolling out a free group video chat to its Messenger platform (up to 50 users per call and they don’t need an account), which may feel more accessible for some clients than Zoom when available.
Perhaps you could offer ‘drinks’ at ‘Hotel [insert travel agency name here]’ and invite your clients to join in via video call. You could make it more fun by setting up your office to look like a resort
Why chocolate is the key to understanding customer offerings
Chocolate as a product has traditionally performed well during recessions and that’s because it’s seen as an affordable luxury during these times.
With limited access to annual leave, decreased incomes, and the possibility of airfare price increases, offering different price points could be essential, such as organised day trips with a difference, or luxury weekend breaks.
Don’t be socially distant (online)
Now is the time to give those social accounts some love, whether that’s Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube or Pinterest.
TikTok is a great one to explore at the moment for video. It may be popular with younger audiences, but it can also easily be shared with other social platforms. Most importantly, it’s a whole lot of fun – and who doesn’t appreciate a laugh at the moment?
Sit down and plan out your content while you have the opportunity, including the copy (text) and images/video.
Are you digitally ‘out there’?
As you’re developing that social content, some topics might jump out at you as great starting points for a blog post. Get those blogs and online articles happening as they’ll make a big difference to your SEO.
Speaking of which, now is definitely the time to make sure your website is up to date.
Become your own publicist
If you don’t currently have the budget to engage a PR consultant or agency, consider how you could generate your own publicity right now.
Think about the media outlets your clients read, listen to or watch, and what kind of stories they’re currently producing. Remember that many travel media outlets are currently on hiatus or have a different focus currently – and don’t forget podcasts.
Do you have a story angle to offer that is compelling and newsworthy?
Angles could include ground-breaking initiatives your business is currently undertaking; research-focused articles; interesting trend predictions or booking patterns; a ‘feel good’ story; or an honest insight from one of your business owners.
Many influencers or content producers are also currently experiencing a dip in business, so you might want to look at establishing an affordable strategic partnership with one.
Get your marketing skates on
Consumers may increasingly look to travel agents for bookings as a result of COVID-19 for peace of mind.
It’s now or never when it comes to dedicating the time to your marketing and PR. Be that business that’s ready to fly when the time is right.
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