How to market your travel business, part 3: LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the third most popular social network behind Facebook and Twitter. The nature of the platform is considered quite different to the other social giants, in that it is the "professional network", and its users have their business hats on. It’s widely used for networking, recruitment and communicating B2B, but it is underutilised as part of a marketing strategy.

This article should hopefully change assumptions you may have about LinkedIn, allowing you to use it to its full potential to reach a wide audience, create brand awareness and get conversions to your travel website. LinkedIn is often overlooked in the travel industry, and isn’t considered to be a B2C marketing tool – but it is in fact a very powerful platform.

LinkedIn is evolving

There is no better time than now to start using LinkedIn for marketing and sharing content. Recently, LinkedIn has focussed on becoming more of a publishing platform, turning it into a hub of informative and inspirational content. This creates a big opportunity for businesses to post travel-related content to inspire LinkedIn users, such as destination information, travel trends, stunning imagery, and so on. These changes from LinkedIn mean you can now reach beyond your direct connections, and push more content out to potential customers.

And, because LinkedIn has less “clutter” than Facebook and Twitter, it proves a good way to get content seen organically because it isn’t lost in a sea of irrelevant content.

LinkedIn for marketing B2C

LinkedIn is great for generating leads and getting conversions to your website once you get your message out there. According to research by HubSpot, LinkedIn is 277% more effective in generating leads than Facebook and Twitter, making travellers 3x more likely to book as a result of inspiration from LinkedIn.

Achieving a wide organic reach is difficult - that's why we'd recommend putting a little money into LinkedIn's marketing tools, so you can offer your products to a huge audience of professionals.

Effective marketing tools

Text Ads:

Text Ads are an easy and cost-effective way of communicating a message with an audience of your choice. Using LinkedIn’s precise targeting, you can select your ideal customer and set a budget for your PPC (pay-per-click) campaign, paying only when someone clicks on your ad on the right hand side of their screen.

Sponsored Updates:

Sponsored Updates are hard to ignore as they show within people's feeds. Simply put some money behind an existing post, choose your perfect audience, and see your update appear directly in their news feeds.

Display Ads:

This is similar to Text Ads in that they display on the right hand side of feeds rather than within it. While the positioning of them suggests they are easier to ignore, Display Ads allows you to use imagery to create an eye-catching advert.

Sponsored InMail:

InMail is something that you can’t do with Facebook or Twitter. It gives you the ability to contact anybody on LinkedIn, by dropping your message right into the inboxes of the people you want to target.

Professionals travel too!

LinkedIn may be the professional social platform, but it’s important to acknowledge that they have normal lives outside of work, and aren't constantly seeking work-related content! Professionals could be browsing LinkedIn while seeking distraction – and it's your business that could offer that by showing their next family holiday or hiking trip, for example. It is still is a platform full of individuals – not corporate robots!

Is LinkedIn a match for my travel business?

It’s fairly obvious that LinkedIn is the best place to market your products if you’re selling business travel, but it applies to many more niches if you think outside the box. LinkedIn’s audience consists of influential, well-educated individuals with big aspirations, and these people are likely to have hobbies.

If you’re selling adventure travel for example, or cultural tours involving historic or artistic points of interest, then LinkedIn is more effective than other channels in targeting that well-educated, worldly audience you're after. It may be best to give investment into LinkedIn a miss, though, if you’re after a tech-savvy audience of Millennials seeking budget travel – head to Twitter or Instagram for that!

So, are you a travel business with products that would be perfect for LinkedIn’s professional audience? It’s time to beat those assumptions that LinkedIn is limited to B2B networking, and get your travel business on board with marketing on the growing social platform. In the meantime, feel free to click the icon at the bottom of this page to connect with Digital Trip on LinkedIn.

© Digital Trip