The Internet has changed the way we interact with commerce – a trend most noticeable in the travel and tourism industry. Rather than visiting travel agencies, consumers have moved to self-researching online when planning or booking a trip. And as anyone in travel marketing can tell you, this digital shift has a monumental affect on your tourism and destination marketing strategy. With customers researching, buying and engaging on their own, the competition online is high for travel marketing. So how can you successfully market your business online to stay relevant and in the running?

Here are 10 quick tips to help get your travel marketing campaigns off the ground:

1. Plan your paid search budget based on consumer trends

Many companies split their paid search budget evenly over 12 months. Travel and destination marketing, however, is a completely different breed. With the busiest season being summer, it is best to focus spending in the months leading up to summer, continuing through to August.

2. Build relationships

Consumers crave a company they can trust when it comes to travel. Don’t focus your travel marketing strategy solely on the sale, but work on building a relationship with your viewers. Engage them in email campaigns and within social media platforms, and don’t be afraid to ask for feedback.

3. Support reviews

Today, more than ever, consumers are looking for reviews, especially for travel destinations. Offer reviews on your site, and encourage you own customers to post reviews of their trips, too.

4. Encourage shared content

Satisfied travelers love showing off their pictures. Incorporate that love of sharing into your tourism marketing strategy by allowing a place for these customers to leave their happy memories on your website. Not only will this make your site more fun and inspire future clients, but it also promotes a great brand image and keeps visitors on your page longer.

5. Start a travel blog

Providing travel content with lists and photos is a great way to generate social media traffic. Plus, it gives clients great ideas for future travels.

6. Take advantage of affiliate marketing

If available, adding affiliate marketing to your travel marketing plan can significantly improve online sales.

7. Continue the conversation after the sale

Show your customers you care about their experience by targeting their specific demographic in your digital campaigns with content that is relevant to them. For example, if they previously went on a family cruise with kids, an email marketing campaign focused on an adults-only trip would not really apply to them. Focus on who they are, not what you are trying to sell.

8. Make sure your online and offline travel marketing initiatives complement each other

Online and offline channels work best when they work together. Use your offline marketing campaigns, such as print, to support your digital campaigns. When it comes to your offline travel marketing, always encourage consumers to learn more online.

9. Usability, usability, usability

If your customers can’t efficiently search on your page, they will have no qualms in going elsewhere. Don’t let this happen. One thing many travel and destination marketing sites fail to do is let consumers search by their own criteria. Allow variables beyond the type of vacation, such as the date, budget and special offers.

10. Optimize for long-tail searches

Search engine optimization is very important for travel and tourism marketing websites. And the long-tail approach – focusing on more specific and relevant keywords and phrases with lower search volume but lower competition levels – is a great way to reach your audience, as people are more likely to search using more specific keywords when it comes to travel. This is a great opportunity to optimize your page. For example, “flights” will be pretty hard to rank for, but “cheap flights to Prague” is much more specific and less competitive.