Travel agents in The Travel Network Group can become the stars in a “ground breaking” digital marketing strategy focused on personalised videos.
The group, which includes Worldchoice, TTA and Independent Travel Experts, has unveiled a heavyweight “digitalisation strategy” for 2017, which it claims will help it recruit new members and grow agents’ sales as well as stand out from other consortia.
The group already runs four high-street retail campaigns a year but these will now be themed into categories such as family, touring, cruise, UK, faraway, and 2018.
The strategy involves using content from the group’s business suppliers to use in personalised videos for members to email or send as SMS messages to their own client database or use on their social media channels.
Any messages used by members in shop windows will be backed up by videos on their own websites, while it will also allow agents to get in front of the camera and talk about products for videos for their own customers.
Si Morris-Green, group marketing director, said “Not everyone is a film star. There will be a lot of encouragement and training. Those with an entrepreneurial approach to marketing will benefit.”
Videos will include contact details of members’ businesses. Agents will also be able to send digital “welcome home” or special occasion postcards to clients which include videos on them for clients to watch.
The group is creating a TV studio at its Woking head-office to film content and is using staff already involved in producing Worldchoice TV and Cruise Club footage for home shopping channels to present, edit and produce the videos.
Morris-Green said the group was making a “sizeable investment” in the new strategy.
“We have been working in TV for four years and this strategy allows us to bring the proposition to life,” he said.
“We want to take content from operator partners and edit it for members. If we have messages to get out to members, doing it in-house means we can do it straight away. We have invested heavily in technology to personalise each of these videos. Everyone gets a lot of emails and you need cut-through.”
He said research showed conversion rates were far higher when consumers watched videos rather than standard “flat” content in emails or SMS text messages.
“We know our members will win new business and it will set them apart on the high street and in their local markets,” he added.
So far 550 of the group’s 900 members have signed up to be part of the group’s marketing plans, which is free. The group will publish a schedule of its filming schedule for agents to know what to expect and build into their marketing.