Build trust and be transparent
Online travel agents can build trust among millennial travellers by sharing relevant content and featuring references and good reviews. It’s also important to present offerings in a clear, authentic, and personal way. Traditional marketing methods such as magazine ads and direct mail campaigns are less effective on this connection-seeking, information-consuming generation. Millennials want to participate in the discovery process, and gather inspiration by browsing travel-related content online. An honest and inspirational blogpost can take online travel agents far when it comes to building a stronger relationship with millennials.
Start the conversation—then listen!
Another way online travel agents can connect with millennial customers is by being accessible for dialogue via different online channels including social media. Ask for feedback and let both existing and potential millennial customers participate in creating the actual offering that they are supposed to buy. Also, be aware of the power of reviews and recommendations. Millennials are highly influenced by authentic recommendations, especially they come from friends or other people they admire and trust. Online travel agents can leverage this fact by encouraging and incentivising happy customers to document and spread the news of their positive experiences.
Mobile-friendly technology is a no-brainer for online travel agents who want to engage millennials. Always connected, this generation uses the smartphone as their tool of choice for nearly everything—including searching for inspiration, making travel plans and booking trips. Online travel agents should make sure that their website and social media content are optimised for mobile viewing and interaction. And make sure the user experience is seamless—Millennials will move on quickly if a digital experience is overly complex or glitchy.
Offer personalised travel experiences
Millennials prize freedom highly, and prefer having a wide variety of options to choose from. They also value quality service and exclusively tailored experiences. Rather than offering up the usual pre-packaged travel offerings, online travel agents should focus on creating personalised offers and “Instagrammable” VIP experiences. And be sure to leave plenty of room for spontaneity. Millennials dislike rigidity or airtight plans. Rather, they prefer having the opportunity to explore and discover new experiences and adventures on their own.
Share stories of transformation
While Millennials don’t shy away from luxury, travel serves a deeper purpose than an indulgent escape. With this generation, travel is viewed more as a vehicle for change. They don’t merely want to relax, view the sights, and buy souvenirs. Millennials want travel to mean something. They want to explore freely, feel deeply, grow and tap into a greater sense of fulfilment. Online travel agents can connect with this desire for transformation and self-actualisation by sharing inspirational stories and imagery featuring off-the-beaten-track travel experiences and authentic, life-changing moments.