According to the State of the Global Islamic Economy Report 2022, Muslim tourism spending went from US$58 billion to US$102 billion in 2021, and is expected to reach US$189 billion in 2025 at a 4-year CAGR of 16.5%.
Marketers and business owners in the industry need to understand the Halal Travel Development Goal framework introduced by MasterCard and Crescent Rating in 2019.
Understanding this framework will help you set up proper business goals that can be reflected in your marketing and advertising efforts.
Word of mouth is by far the most effective form of marketing. The reason for this is that people buy from brands they trust.
Unlike an advertisement, a peer recommendation or review on social media can turn someone’s attention to how he or she can live the same exciting experience as their friend.
Capitalize on How Social Media Has Changed Travel and Tourism
Travelers conduct their trip research and do almost all of their planning online. They turn to social media to ask questions. TripAdvisor is probably the most optimal social media platform and social network. Although it is not your conventional social media platform, its 390 million users will beg to differ.
More and more Muslim travelers are turning to such networks to ask for support when planning their upcoming holiday trips. Travel photos, reviews, and images are popular and widely shared on social media platforms.
For would-be travelers without a destination, social media is a great source of inspiration. People often dream of leaving behind their routine for a week in paradise but do not yet know where they will go, where they will stay, or what they will do.
This is the perfect opportunity for your halal travel business to inspire them. And if you can offer strong value for money and attractive accommodation options, you can eventually convert them into customers.
Social media gives your halal travel business the ability to provide excellent customer support. It allows for questions, comments, and concerns in a single place, 24/7 helping you to showcase your dedication to your customers.
Facebook pages, for example, are great in providing instant results through their comments feature or Messenger. An additional benefit is that you can show your appetite for customer support in public and develop a reputation of quality service and professionalism with both current and potential customers.
Use These Quick and Effective Social Media Tips
Serve the Buyer Journey
Pre-purchase: As mentioned earlier in this article, would-be travelers do most of their research online. A big chunk of that is on social media. Make sure you are on the relevant social media platforms with a proper strategy to inspire, inform, and support them.
Purchase: Travelers follow up on social media for more detailed trip planning after their purchase or part of the purchase. Muslim travelers who have decided on a destination, for instance, may be looking for halal restaurants and family-friendly attractions in the vicinity of their hotel. Link your business online with other relevant halal businesses so you are easy to find.
At Destination: Make it easy for your halal tourism customers to include your business when they use social media. Give them an easy way to check in on Facebook and allow them to tag your business on other networks.
Return: After a great experience, your customers are now enthusiastic and emotionally involved with your brand. It is the best time to solicit positive reviews. Make connections with them online, thank them for any content they post about your business, and ask them directly when they return if they will write a review.
Share: Grab your audience by sharing information on the best local spots, and areas of interest. Provide them with “how to get around” guides for different locations, and act as their virtual tour guide. You will be at the top of their minds when they are ready to book.
Instagram It: Instagram is a powerful social media tool that will produce high engagement for your halal travel business. To encourage your customers to engage with your tourism business, you need all aspects of your tourism business to look desirable on Instagram.
Engage: One of the keys to success with social media is being social, and tourism is a very social industry. Take the time to listen to your existing and potential customers. Use a tool like Hootsuite to track conversations around your keywords. Take part in the conversation and help someone out if they ask a question that you know the answer to.
Run a Competition: Run regular competitions to win holidays, weekends away, and short breaks. Offering something for free can be done in a variety of ways, but always make sure that you read the guidelines for each platform you use.
Display ads are great for travel and tourism if done properly. Travel and tourism are very visual and there is no better way to advertise a sunny beach anywhere in the world than showing a high-quality image with an awesome offer.
Automated Ads: Whether you are a small company with a small capacity or had to let go of some of your marketing team members as a direct consequence of COVID-19, automated production is for you. With halal tourism recovering, you could find your halal travel company pressed for time to create enough volume of ads to bring in potential customers. With the help of Celtra, Creative Studio, and HootSuite Ads, you can take the leap to Creative Automation.
Integrated Publishing Options: The past few years have seen many rapid changes – almost overnight when it comes to world events. There we were thinking that the world was getting back to normal after the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine started. Another phenomenon that we are witnessing now is the “Airport Crisis”: unusually long queues at airports, flight cancellations due to lack of staff, and so on. Luckily with display ads, you can update them even while they are live using integrated publishing options. That way, you can keep your messaging fresh while reflecting on current events.
Live Data: Related to integrated publishing options is the use of live data. Keep your customers informed about the cost of flights, travel restrictions, etc. by linking your halal travel display ads to live data feeds. Using a live data feed, you can connect halal tourism display ads to your data feed to control what you want to share at a particular moment. By doing so, you can quickly adapt to new rules or trends.
Remarketing: If there is one “must” for your halal travel advertising, it is remarketing. The travel and tourism sales cycle is relatively long for the b2c industry. This means that presenting visually compelling ads to keep the potential customer’s appetite intact, based on the content they have consumed, is a no-brainer.
Read more about Advertising Halal Travel With Display Ads
Why Become a Resource for Your Travel Customers
In the halal travel business, just like in any other business, you have to spend money to make money. But you add more value to the business by investing your time and effort, which in the long run will give shape to your business. After all, time is money, so it’s still of great value whether you’re putting in cash or effort.
You can build your audience, establish trust with your customers, understand your market, become more relevant, and draw people to your business by providing information as free resources.
When your halal tourism company is a valuable resource, you become more than a travel agency, bed & breakfast, hotel, restaurant, etc. Your customers perceive you with respect. They can approach you for advice and rely on you.
Halal tourists will include you early on in their buyer journey and travel plans subsequently making your business a key part of their life.
Become a Superstar to Your Halal Travel Customers with P.R.I.M.E
Taking from Inc.’s article Becoming an Exceptional Resource for Your Clients, we take a look at how to apply their P.R.I.M.E model to your business to become an exceptional resource for halal travelers.
P.R.I.M.E. is an acronym that Inc. uses to describe achieving a level of relationship where customers perceive a business as a key resource and a contributor to the fulfillment of their needs.
Let’s see how it fits into the halal travel narrative:
P (Primary): Become the first point of reference for your travel customers when they have a problem or questions in your area of expertise arise. Halal travelers should see you as a vital element of a successful trip or holiday.
R (Resource): Become an extension of your customer’s travel mentality. Enhance their capabilities to make the right choices when traveling. Think of the best travel insurance, where to stay, what to avoid, niche destinations they wouldn’t have thought of themselves, etc. You can do this by joining forces with other relevant organizations.
I (Involved): Create a relationship based on transparency, kindness, and trust. Always show that you have your customers’ best interests at heart. You should take every opportunity to strengthen the relationship and keep it at a level of satisfaction where neither you nor your customer will be trying to get out.
M (Managing): Take charge of your halal travel customers and help them understand their situation, their risks, and their opportunities. A great example of this would be using a traffic light system to warn travelers of potential travel disruptions, impending political violence, airport strikes, or other issues that would harm their travel plans.
E (Expectations): When you consistently manage your customers’ expectations based on the problem that has been diagnosed, you will be regarded as a P.R.I.M.E. resource. Expanding the customer’s grasp of the problem, its implications, costs, as well as the financial impact, is crucial. Co-create the solution’s expectations, and what their trip/holiday will be like once the problem is solved.