As a travel entrepreneur, you wear a lot of hats — and CMO (that’s Chief Marketing Officer) is one of them.
It takes time (and passion!) to market your travel business effectively. Luckily, there are TONS of tools out there aiming to make the marketing process easier for entrepreneurs.
Without further ado, here are 7 of my favorite travel agent marketing tools — and you don’t have to spend a penny on some of them!:
My Top 7 Travel Agent Marketing Tools to Help Build Your Travel Business
1. Help A Reporter Out (HARO): This is a free public relations tool that connects writers and reporters to sources (that’s you!). Three times a day, HARO sends out an email full of requests for specific sources; there’s a whole section just for travel. I was recently quoted on a blog because I responded to a reporter’s query — and it only took me five minutes to type up and send my quote. There are two big benefits to responding to HARO: 1) It’s a chance to get your name in front of your ideal prospects, if you’re pitching publications and blogs they read, and 2) Whenever a reputable outlet links to your website, it boosts your SEO. Learn more about HARO in my recent blog post here.
2. Later: Later is an easy-to-use scheduler for Instagram. I love it mostly because I HATE typing long captions on my phone. Plus, it allows me to put spaces in my captions (which you can’t do natively in Instagram), which I think makes them easier to read. Plus: It’s free to schedule up to 30 posts per month. BTW, I don’t use a third-party scheduler for my Facebook business page, because the gurus I follow have mentioned that FB gives greater reach to posts created within its own scheduler. Food for thought.
3. Facebook Image Text Check: Speaking of Facebook, if you run FB ads this is a must. Facebook doesn’t like cluttering newsefeeds with ads that contain a lot of text, so use this tool to upload your ad image to test if your image is too text heavy. The tool will tell you the likelihood that your ad’s reach will be affected by the amount of text in your image.
4. Canva for Work: You know those cute quote graphics floating around social media? They were probably made in Canva. Canva is an online graphic design service that makes it super easy to create share-worthy quotes, infographics, and more. Canva has a free version, but I sprung for the paid version (the “Canva for Work” option) because it allowed me to upload my brand fonts, save my brand colors and templates, and download images with transparent backgrounds. Even if you’re not tech-savvy, you can make something worth sharing on Canva (don’t worry, this isn’t Photoshop-lite).
5. Lead Pages: So you’ve got an awesome opt-in offer or IFO that you want to use to build your email list of itching-to-book prospects. Great! Now — how are you going to get people to sign up? Enter Lead Pages, an online tool that allows you to collect email subscribers through landing pages. You can create your own landing page for your opt-in offer by using one of Lead Pages’ templates, then you integrate the landing page with your email autoresponder. If you’re still iffy on this whole list-building process, I break it down here. Lead Pages starts at $25/month.
6. Mail Chimp: Since I write, format, and schedule e-newsletters for a handful of clients through my e-newsletter service, I’ve gotten to test drive a bunch of different email autoresponder systems. Mail Chimp is my favorite. I like Mail Chimp for travel agents because 1) You can start out with the free version (if you have fewer than 2,000 subscribers) and upgrade later, and 2) It has a nice clean, modern feel that supports images well. It’s one of the essential travel agent marketing tools if you plan to grow your list of leads.
7. Unsplash: My hands-down favorite source for stock photos. They’re absolutely beautiful, and totally free to use without attribution. Tons of breathtaking travel photos on there as well. I source photos from here every week — and you should too.
What are your favorite travel agent marketing tools?
What are some of your favorite travel agent marketing tools? Is there another online tool or resource you use to help you market like you mean it? Share it with me and I may include it in a future blog post!