Customers are to a business what water is to fish. A business cannot thrive or simply cannot survive without its clients. The common questions most travel businesses face in the B2B travel market are ‘How to get quality B2B leads for travel agents’? What are the most effective strategies to get leads? How to ensure maximum return on investment? This blog post will help you get answers or at least show you a way so you can evaluate and quantify your marketing strategy.
Below is a list of strategies to generate B2B leads for travel agents:
- A great product:
This might seem too obvious but the first and most important requirement to get high quality leads to your travel business is to have a great product! A great product is a great marketing tool because once your clients are happy with your product, they recommend it to their partners and peers and word-of-mouth marketing is still known to be the best form of marketing. Recommendations from business partners, associates, colleagues and peers creates a huge impact compared to any form of marketing available today, be it search engine marketing, social media marketing, email marketing or telemarketing, especially in the B2B market. Recommendations are golden and this is one of the best opportunities to gain clients’ trust who would then voluntarily recommend your product to others.
What are the features or must-haves in a great product? A great product –
- Is always updated with the latest technologies and features and provides enhanced value to customers. Such investments ensure long-term benefits and sustainability to a travel business.
- Makes everyday process of administrating agents and sub-agents easier so travel businesses can focus more on what matters most to them – their business. This alone has been a huge hindrance in the plan of acquiring leads for travel agents and is one of the most important features travel agents look for when searching for a travel reservation software. This also allows agents to keep track of bookings made by different travel agents from different channels so they can offer discounted prices to agents that are making more bookings. In a nutshell, a great product should resolve every issue or every problem that a travel agent faces and provide a huge return on investment.
- Makes growing and scaling easier. A state-of-the-art travel reservation software must make it easy to scale and grow as much as the company can. Adding n-number of travel agents and managing everyone should be a breeze. This not only allows a travel business to build and grow a network of subagents from varied locations, but also help meet bottom lines by increasing business.
- Provides advanced agent modules that reduce costs associated with errors and data corrections. A great product will minimize dependency on staff by automating error correction thereby helping travel agents and B2B wholesalers scale up operations.
- Is always up-to-date. The importance of having an up-to-date system is already discussed in this post before. Speed, security, reliability and scalability are the most common concerns of travel businesses and an updated product provides them all with greater efficiency. A good travel technology solutions provider would simplify extremely diverse and complex tasks, keep a track on the latest trends prevalent in the travel industry and hone their product based on them.
- Is usually an all-in-one product. A great product would encompass all the services and allow large travel businesses manage them in one place. From hotel bookings, to flights, to transfers, car rentals, tours and sightseeing, a product must offer managing all the facets in a single place.
Apart from the number one necessity to generate high quality B2B leads for travel agents, businesses can consider investing in the below marketing modes to reach potential clients and businesses –
- Email marketing:
The second form of marketing that has the most impact is email marketing. Emails have been the traditional marketing mode for over a decade now and will probably continue to reign as most B2B clients are more bound to be available on emails than on social media. The right email at the right time to the right person can make a huge difference. There are many legitimate methods of getting email addresses of potential clients –
- Contact form (by offering a complete contact form on your website).
- Opt-in offers (by offering incentives like research reports or white papers or newsletters when potential leads sign up).
- Networking websites (by reaching out to potential leads on networking sites like Linkedin).
Email marketing automation works wonders in generating B2B leads for travel agents as it allows them to send highly personalized and targeted emails doubling the chances of acquiring potential leads.
- Search engine marketing:
The importance of Search Engine Optimization and Pay Per Click Marketing is discussed in this post. SEO and search engine advertisements are the third most effective marketing modes and one of the most important ways to acquire B2B leads for travel agents. The B2B clients often search for products or troubles they face on search engines. Using SEO and PPC ads, you can optimize your website to appear in the beginning of the search results when potential clients search for your product or service. While email marketing is considered as the best lead generation channel by Placester, a new research from Hubspot shows that SEO is the best channel. SEO is very important for any online travel business and should always have a separate budget in your total marketing budget. While SEO and PPC advertising complement each other, you can have a look at this post to understand the differences and direct your efforts if you are having a limited marketing budget.
- Content marketing:
Another marketing channel that has a huge ROI is content marketing. This involves publishing the right content and making it available in front of the right people. Travel agents and business owners often search for solutions to specific problems they face in their businesses, so providing a comprehensive and ‘ready-to-implement’ solution by carefully studying the problem and preparing high quality content is a huge win. This not only allows B2B travel agents to acquire leads, but also present a travel solution provider as knowledgeable in the travel industry. When agents realize that you know what they are looking for, and you can help them resolve their troubles, they will contact you, increasing the probability of converting those contacts into businesses and partners. The types of content that work in this approach are blog articles, eNewsletters, white papers, online presentations, infographics, case studies, research reports and microsites. A good content marketing strategy requires a degree of diversity and experimentation to understand where the biggest growth opportunities are for a travel business.
- Social networking sites:
While this can be a topic of debate as most B2B marketers tend to be on the search and emails, social media can also prove as an effective marketing mode in some cases. Some social media sites like Linkedin are an effective place to look for and connect with B2B contacts.
Acquiring B2B leads for travel agents become a whole lot easier if you carefully understand and implement strategies that work. Did you like this article? Do you think we missed something? Would you like to contribute to it? Let us know in the comments section below or get in touch with us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Linkedin.