How to Use TikTok to Promote Your Travel Business | Orioly

How to Use TikTok to Promote Your Travel Business

With approximately 1.56 billion monthly active users, TikTok has emerged as one of the most popular social media platforms and a powerful tool for promoting tours and activities.

Beyond its extensive user base, TikTok offers a dynamic content format and an algorithm that boosts engaging videos, making it the perfect place to leverage creative and visually appealing content.

This has the potential to reach a global audience, foster community engagement, and drive bookings to your travel business.

This article teaches you how to showcase your travel experiences on TikTok to capture the attention of potential customers and drive more bookings.

What is TikTok?

TikTok is a social media platform launched by ByteDance in 2018, designed for creating, sharing, and discovering short-form videos. It has quickly become one of the most popular social media apps worldwide and is expected to reach 2 billion users by 2027.

The app allows users to produce videos ranging from 15 seconds to three minutes, often set to music, dialogues, or sound effects from its vast library. TikTok’s key features are:

  • Short-Form Video Content: TikTok’s primary appeal lies in its short, engaging videos. This format is perfect for quick, impactful storytelling and has driven the platform’s rapid growth.
  • Music and Sound Integration: Users can enhance their videos with popular music tracks, sound bites, and voice-overs, fostering creative content and viral trends.
  • Interactive Tools: Features such as Duets, Stitch, and Live Streams enable users to interact, collaborate, and engage with each other’s content in unique ways.
  • Algorithm-Driven Content Discovery: TikTok’s sophisticated algorithm curates a personalized feed for users, known as the “For You” page, based on their interests and interactions. This helps even new users reach a wide audience if their content is engaging.

TikTok’s Popularity and Demographics

TikTok is particularly popular among younger audiences, with significant user engagement coming from the 18-24 and 25-34 age groups. This makes it an ideal platform for reaching younger travelers interested in topics related to travel and adventure.

The app’s user-friendly interface and engaging content format have contributed to its widespread adoption and high levels of daily usage.

On average, TikTok users spend about 95 minutes per day on the app, significantly higher than the time spent on other social media platforms. In comparison, users spend about 34 minutes per day on Facebook and 39 minutes on Instagram. YouTube also sees substantial user engagement, with users spending around 47.5 minutes per day watching its video content.

Why is this platform relevant in the travel industry?

TikTok’s potential as a marketing channel is undeniable.

The app’s visual and interactive nature is perfect for showcasing destinations, experiences, and sharing travel tips.

Many DMOs, tour operators, accommodation providers, restaurant chains, and other businesses in the travel industry are using it to enhance their marketing efforts. They do this through various content strategies, such as behind-the-scenes looks, user-generated content, storytelling, and participation in viral trends, to attract and captivate their audience.

Is TikTok the right social media to promote my travel business?

Before investing your time and money on TikTok, consider the following questions:

  • Is my target customer in the 18-34 years group?
  • Do I have the right equipment, time, and will to consistently create content for this platform?
  • Are my tours/activities good material for authentic, entertaining, and informative content? If not, how can I turn them into attractive content for TikTok?

Once you have the answers to these questions, you can move to the next step: creating an account on the platform.

Setting up an account: Personal vs. Business

TikTok offers two types of accounts, and the one to choose depends on how you want to use the app.

Personal Account: This account is tailored for individuals who want to create and share content for personal expression and social interaction. It provides access to all standard TikTok features like video creation tools, filters, and effects. However, it offers limited analytics, only giving basic insights into video views, likes, and comments. This type of account includes full access to TikTok’s music library, which features popular and trending songs.

Business Account: The business account is designed for brands and businesses to promote their products or services, engage with their audience, and gain detailed performance insights. Business accounts come with TikTok Pro Analytics, offering in-depth audience demographics and engagement metrics. Besides that, they offer access to TikTok’s advertising tools, the Business Suite for content management, and the option to add contact details and a website link in the profile bio. The only downside is the limited access to popular songs to avoid copyright issues, instead, it includes royalty-free tracks.

How to create engaging content that drives bookings to my business?

1. Showcase Unique Experiences

Highlight the unique aspects of your tours through short, visually appealing videos. Show behind-the-scenes footage, breathtaking sceneries, or exclusive activities that set your tours apart.

  • Example: Create a montage of a hot air balloon tour at sunrise, capturing the preparation, the ascent, and the panoramic views from the balloon. Use captivating music and quick cuts to keep the video engaging.

2. Leverage User-Generated Content (UGC)

Encourage your customers to share their experiences on TikTok using a specific hashtag. This not only provides authentic content but also builds trust among potential customers.

  • Example: Launch a campaign asking past customers to share their best moments from your tours with a branded hashtag like #ExploreWithUs. Repost these videos on your account to showcase real customer experiences.

3. Utilize Storytelling

Tell compelling stories that highlight the cultural, historical, or adventurous aspects of your tours. Narratives can make your content more memorable and relatable.

  • Example: Post a series of videos where a tour guide tells fascinating stories about a historical site included in your tour, interspersed with clips of the location and its highlights.

Engage with current TikTok trends and challenges to increase visibility and reach. Create your own challenges related to your tours to encourage user interaction.

  • Example: If there’s a trending challenge involving nature or travel, create a video that aligns with it, showcasing a scenic spot or unique activity from your tours.

5. Educational Content

Provide informative content that adds value to your audience. Share travel tips, cultural insights, or interesting facts about the destinations you cover.

  • Example: Post a video explaining the best packing tips for a safari tour, including what to wear and essential items to bring.

How to distribute this content to the right audience?

1. Use Eye-Catching Thumbnails and Captions

Ensure your video thumbnails are eye-catching and your captions are intriguing to entice viewers to watch your content.

  • Example: For a snorkeling tour video, use a thumbnail featuring vibrant underwater scenery and a caption like “Discover the Hidden Gems of the Ocean!”

2. Cross-Promote on Other Platforms

Share your TikTok content on other social media platforms to drive traffic and increase reach. Embed TikTok videos on your website or blog for additional visibility.

  • Example: Post your TikTok videos on Instagram Stories and Facebook, encouraging your followers on those platforms to check out your TikTok account for more exciting content.

3. Collaborate with Influencers

Partner with travel influencers who can authentically promote your tours to their followers, providing credibility and a broader reach.

  • Example: Invite a travel influencer to experience one of your tours and create content about it, tagging your business and encouraging their followers to book.

What are the next steps?

Engage with Your Audience

Interact with your followers by responding to comments, hosting live Q&A sessions, and acknowledging user-generated content. Engagement builds a community and encourages loyalty.

  • Example: After posting a video about a new tour, reply to questions in the comments about the best time to visit, what to expect, and booking details.

Monitor and Adapt

Use TikTok’s analytics to track the performance of your content. Pay attention to what resonates with your audience and adjust your strategy accordingly.

  • Example: If a particular type of video, such as behind-the-scenes footage, performs well, create more of that content to keep your audience engaged.

Extra Tips

Maximize the effectiveness of your TikTok content strategy by:

  • Including a Clear Call-to-Action (CTA): Make sure to add a clear CTA at the end of your videos and/or in the captions of your posts. For example, “Book your adventure now! Click the link in our bio.” or “Don’t miss out on this experience! Book now through the link in our bio.”
  • Providing a Direct Link for More Information: Ensure that your TikTok profile includes a link to your website where users can find more information about your tours and activities and ultimately book directly with you.
  • Using Booking Software for Online Reservations: A seamless booking experience is crucial for tour operators who want to effectively use TikTok to receive more reservations. Ensure your website is integrated with booking software like Orioly, so potential customers can book your products after watching your content.

Conclusion

TikTok’s dynamic and engaging platform offers a unique opportunity for tour operators to promote their services and drive bookings. By understanding TikTok’s audience and leveraging its features—such as short-form videos, interactive tools, and algorithm-driven content discovery—tour operators can create compelling content that resonates with potential customers.

Implementing strategies like showcasing unique experiences, leveraging user-generated content, and utilizing storytelling can significantly enhance engagement. Additionally, using clear calls-to-action, providing direct links for more information, and integrating booking software ensures a seamless user experience that can convert views into bookings.

Embracing these practices will allow tour operators to harness the full potential of TikTok, transforming engaging content into tangible business growth.

Do you want to learn more about promoting your tours and activities only? Download our ebook Low Budget Digital Marketing Strategies for Tour Operators.

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