As the travel industry slowly sees opportunities to recover, B2B travel companies are looking to market new solutions, collaborate and to help with that recovery. Over the past 18 months, the media landscape has changed, so how are B2B travel companies now able to make their voices heard? Here are some of the areas to focus on.
The power of influence
Social influencers might have their origins in the consumer world, but the power of influence is more important than ever. Your influencer engagement can come in many forms, particularly as traditional ways of working have been disrupted.
- B2B buyers are influenced by a wide range of voices, so build collaborations with industry influencers that your customers consider important. For example, use your customers as brand ambassadors or link with leaders of associations or industry analysts.
- Use your network to encourage stakeholders to promote your news across their own platforms and channels.
- You can start small by trialling a range of influencers to assess what works best with your budget and your potential customers and what engagement you monitor.
Nurturing the media – what has changed?
Time-pressed reporters are harder to reach than ever before, so giving them what they want, in the right format has never been more important. Also, with budgets squeezed, publications are increasingly having to prioritise contributions from financial supporters.
- Is what I’m offering original, does it include meaningful data? Consider front-end research to establish yourself as a trusted resource or incorporate white label surveys.
- Should I shift the balance of paid, earned, shared and owned activity to support key publications this year?
- How can I nurture key journalist relationships?
What are they saying about you?
In these fast-changing times, it is even more important to know how your brand is perceived by potential customers, so you can respond accordingly.
- Using monitoring tools such as Sprout social to gauge brand health and conversations.
- Increasing paid social content, such as boosting LinkedIn posts, to enhance brand awareness and be part of the conversation.
- Assessing feedback on customer review sites and commenting back positively where appropriate.
B2B customers increasingly expect a more personalised buying journey and an emotional connection with your brand. For one of our Mobility as a Service clients, we recently leveraged one of their employees’ personal public transport accessibility challenges to tell a wider story around the client’s technology and how it can help passengers with disabilities.
- Does our website promote customer interaction? Does it use assessments, surveys and calculators?
- Does our brand elicit a positive emotional response from potential customers? Does it maximise the power of people-focused case studies and employee testimonials?
Stakeholders want to know that they are part of the sustainability solution, not part of the problem. Communicating your sustainability ambitions and how you are achieving them has never been more important. Check out the 8020 Communications guide to sustainability communications for our process to project and strengthen your commitment to sustainability.
Things to think about:
- How are we communicating about sustainability to our stakeholders?
- Is our communication about our focus and performance in this area consistent across all our channels?
The pandemic might have shaken many areas we took for granted, but companies that are able to adapt their communications strategies to this ‘new normal’ will be key players in the travel sector’s road to recovery.
At 8020 Communications, we are proud to be members of the travel community. As travel PR and digital marketing specialists, an ABTA Partner and supporters of the industry we are here to help. If you need feedback on your PR plans or a sounding board on a tricky issue, please give us a call or drop us an email anytime.