How to create high quality leads for your tour business?

Imagine you do beer tours in Scotland. Or multi-day tours in Italy.

Doesn’t matter what kind of tour business you are in.

Maybe you want to get more international customers.

Or that potential customer would find and book with you in the process of organizing their tour and not after they are on the spot.

What can you do?

Being active on social media, blogging,.. yes.

But are you doing it strategically for maximum impact?

Also, for us in tourism, we hear that “content is king”.

We know we should interact with our audience. We want to.

Increasing the size of our audience is a task we put lots of effort in.

We know we should create content for them.

The content they like and want to share.

But not all content is equal.

There is a gap here between creating content and answering the question “what content to create?”.

In this post, I would like to share my plan for content creation

I think we should all stop creating content just for the sake of creating content.

This brings us to the most important question for your messaging.

WHAT DOES YOUR POTENTIAL CUSTOMER NEED TO BELIEVE TO BOOK A TOUR WITH YOU?

Imagine someone you would love to have on your tour.

She is perfect, interested in the exact things you offer.

Ideal client.

She comes in contact with you or your company.

Maybe sees your post on Facebook and clicks through.

Are you telling her everything she needs to know and hear to book?

She is getting answers on your website, in your emails, on social media, Trip advisor,… on all channels you use for communicating with your audience.

This is where she gets in contact with your message.

But your message has to have a purpose and a goal.

So how do you create messages and content that do just that?

That takes a potential customer and transform him into someone eager to buy something from you.

If we go back to our beer tour in Scotland, what are some reasons a person wouldn’t book a tour with you?

  1. If you do not sell the person on Scotland as a destination, we stand no chance, because he will not even come to your destination.
  2. If there are other beer tours close and you did not show why you are different or better,
  3. If he doesn’t like beer.
  4. If he thinks you add nothing of value to tasting beer, he can just go to a pub and taste on his own.
  5. If he doesn’t see an added value in culinary/drinks aspects of a destination.
  6. If he wants a private tour or small group tour and you offer only huge tours.
  7. If you are out of the way and you don’t convince a traveller, it’s worth taking a detour just to visit you.

These are some beliefs you maybe have to address when a potential customer is in contact with you.

(You can discover some important ones by doing customer research.)

What can we do about these beliefs? Can we change the way he thinks?

Let’s tackle them 1 by 1:

  1. Show how and why Scotland is amazing.
  2. Show how we are different or better.
  3. Write an article “What if I don’t like beer” where we educate how to take this more like a tasting challenge, challenging your taste buds to feel the difference or some other technique
  4. Write a story, case study how an amateur tastes and how a professional tastes.
  5. Explain that culinary/drinks are connected to the culture and history
  6. Explain why a huge tour is better for him than a private one
  7. Sell your uniqueness here. (The answer to the question: What do you want to do for your customers?)

Address these beliefs on your website, emails, social media, blog, videos,…

Would these answers help you get this person much closer to booking with you?

You bet they would.

There is still stuff missing, but you are much closer than before.

What about if you sell multi-day tours in Italy?

Let’s flip it around this time. Potential beliefs someone has to have about you doing a tour for them are:

  1. You have years of experience doing tours in Italy.
  2. Your tours are more expensive but you also get much more out of them. So I get the most out of my money.
  3. I am the person who is adventurous and likes to travel and is willing to spend money on experiences, not things.
  4. Italy is safe enough to travel.
  5. Italy should be number 1 on your travelling list.
  6. People like me go to Italy often.
  7. The destination you offer is perfect for me because I like old buildings and country roads.

What should your content be addressing?

  1. Tell your story (about us page on your website does this already)
  2. Never just talk about money, always about what they get and the feelings and experiences and possibilities when they travel WITH YOU.
  3. Challenge them, create tension in them so you show them the path of what kind of person they want to be. Somebody stays home finding excuses or someone taking action and enjoying life.
  4. Easy to find stats to support your case.
  5. Easy to find reasons what your customer is searching for and can find in Italy.
  6. I am not the first person over the age of 65 travelling solo with you on a tour.
  7. Show the old buildings and the country road.

This is a short demonstration of what I meant. Let’s find a process behind this.

Simple 4 steps to create effective messaging for more leads and booking.

If he believes the things we will educate and present to him, you and your tours are the only answer for him and booking with you will make sense emotionally and rationally.

What are the steps to do this?

Step 1: List all the necessary beliefs

Just think about all the things this person has to believe:

  • About you; (That you are an expert, you have been in the business for a long time, that no one else can make a tour like you,…)
  • About himself; (That he is somebody that does tours like this, that he earned this vacation, that adventure is his middle name,…)
  • About your product. (It’s safe, that it’s made for people like him, that the destination is something incredible, that he will have a good time,…)

Write as many as you can. This is the first version.

You don’t know what will work. Not yet. It’s just important to start.

I will take us for example. We sell tours in the Mediterranean countries and the tour are over 2 times more expensive as an average tour on our local market, where we focus at the moment.

Besides the basic questions that we answer on our website (authority, years of experience etc…) some beliefs we want to go through in our messaging are:

  • How a cheap tour can end up costing you more.
  • Why is the culinary aspect important for a good travel experience?
  • The current way of travelling is not satisfactory, an empty shell of what it could be
  • Travelling can bring “riches”, bring you experiences, a change in your character for the better.
  • Travelling in a group is better than travelling alone (we see competition as much in solo travelling than in other tour operators)
  • True travel is not sightseeing but is authentic and connected with the life of the destination.
  • How should you treat yourself on your tour for maximum enjoyment and experience?
  • Why and how not to allow for your travel to become boring as an iron rod in concrete
  • Why do you need a quality hotel in the centre for a good travel experience?
  • A trip is an investment, see the true value in it.

(WE CHOSE THESE BECAUSE WE BUILT OUR TOURS IN THIS WAY AND THESE ARE THINGS OUR CUSTOMERS VALUE)

We need to EDUCATE people WHY IS THIS SO.

The most important word here is “educate”.

We are trying to change the reader’s beliefs by educating them strategically.

A simple example.

One belief we are tackling is that a cheap tour can end up costing you more

We are more expensive so we show that a cheap tour can be more expensive when you look at factors other than money like time spent, experiences lived, etc.

Plus other tours are usually not all-inclusive as our tours are.

So we are educating on hidden traps (cheap hotels in the middle of nowhere that take lots of time to get to the centre, no food, no wine, extra tickets,…)

We educate on what a person has to watch out for when booking tours.

He can book any tour with any tour operator.

But he should know about these things.

It is our responsibility to educate.

Even if they end up buying somewhere else.

This is helping, educating and not selling.

Step 2: Rank them by importance.

So now you have your beliefs, rank them by importance. Go for 80:20 rule.

What are the 20% of beliefs that will cover 80% of the beliefs?

With us that could be:

  1. Why is the culinary aspect important for a good travel experience? (The culinary aspect of our tours is very important in our case.)
  2. How a cheap tour can end up costing you more? (we are more expensive so we show that a cheap tour can be more expensive when you look at factors other than money)
  3. Travelling together is better than travelling alone  (we are targeting people who want special experiences that a regular tour operator can’t offer. so people try to do it alone. our goal is to show why it’s better to go with a group)

We create our content with these beliefs.

Step 3: Prepare your arguments

For each belief prepare an argument and proof for your argument.

A short example from us about the belief “Travelling together is better than travelling alone,”

We are trying to sell the idea that travelling together is better but also that our tours are not classic group tours where travellers are like sheep.

“This is not a group tour  

But people happy to travel together.

Each of our guests has its own character.

We are proud to combine different characters into an excellent company.

We listen to your individual interests, needs, desires…

Imagine, it is good for you to travel with such a company, to sip Santorini wine or rum from Andalusia. a glass of good Italian wine or Andalusian rum alone or in a small group?

The company has a maximum of 20 people

We found out that the right number of guests is 20.

With less than 15 people on the tour, a variety of characters is maybe missing (a party with only 10 people is not the best).

With over 22 people experience certain rigidity occurs, as the best restaurants, hotels, wineries have difficulties to accept bigger groups.

So we have determined the number of maximum 20 people that works perfectly.

However, certain tours we run with 4 – 8 people. “

The proof is the logical argument that with less than 15 people on the tour, a variety of characters is missing, with over 22, you have trouble getting into some hotels and restaurants.

So now the person will be more likely to search for tours that have group size around 20 because she believes that the group has to be big enough to be interesting and small enough to be flexible.

That’s all.

Step 4: Communicating this to your ideal customer

The last step is discovering how to present this message to your ideal customer.

You want to use all the channels you have at your disposal to reach them.

Don’t be afraid to repeat your message over and over. Familiarity brings trust. And trust brings sales.

If they are using FB, post these messages on Facebook. Send them emails educating them.

Write blog posts and distribute it to your network.

The goal is to have your messages ingrained in the people you are trying to reach and teach.

Be present where they are. And speak in a language they understand.

We are trying to educate them and serve them, so they will have a better experience and a better life because of us.

That’s it. That’s what you are trying to do.

Hope this is helpful.

Would love to hear your comments.

Lan

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