Passport Creative: Storytelling for your international business
Before we get into the good stuff, I want to share a few words about the great team at Bikudo Travel. They’re an online tour operator that focuses entirely on Southeast Asia, bringing tourists to Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, and Nepal.
(I for one can’t wait to get to Sri Lanka after seeing the trips they’ve put together.)
What makes Bikudo so special is they work to create individual, custom experiences for all their clients. These are countries unlike any other, so the trips should be unlike any other, too.
It goes without saying – but I’ll say it anyway – they’ve got itineraries, ideas and inspiration for solo travellers, families, couples and more. With Laos alone, they have 22 trips ranging half-days to 10 days.
From these independent and self-guided tours, clients can also mix, match and customize to create their perfect adventure. It’s clear the team behind Bikudo Travel wants to share their love of adventure and South East Asia (their name is even inspired by a tiny remote village in Northern Ladakh, India!), and that’s what we worked together on doing.
If you’re only selling one thing, it’s pretty easy to sell that one thing: you just point to it. If people like it, they’ll get it. If it’s not for them, they’ll pass on it.
But what happens when your offering is slightly larger? If you’re a travel agency, you likely have more than one potential trip you’re offering your clients.
In fact, you probably have lots more.
Take Bikudo, for example. In addition to their country-specific breakdown, you can check out trips by style.
29 tours related to trekking.
53 tours related to nature, wildlife, and safaris.
60 tours related to culture and history!
So the challenge they had is a good one. There is no shortage of options… but sometimes too many options can be overwhelming.
(As anyone who has spent a half-hour straight scrolling through Netflix without ever clicking anything knows!)
So without dramatically redoing a beautiful (and functional!) site, what were some strategies we could use to freshen the look and get people to think about specific trips?
Oftentimes the answer is hidden in plain sight. Each destination page was full of information but lacked clearly understood connections to that country’s tours.
That is to say, you could read about some Indian history. But if you were looking for the best tour (or tours!) connecting you to Indian history, you needed to be your own tour guide.
As a travel agency, you can provide suggestions and tips to your clients. If you’re worried about favouritism, suggest trips with a qualifier.
Basic examples, but you get the point.
So we set about finding ways to amplify each of the decisions, making each page more readable and more interactive, and adding links with enticing offers.
Not that “Click here for a tour” isn’t enticing…
But you’ve got a curious tourist on your hands! This is your chance to spark some joy and have some fun.
You can see above that a few simple changes start to make a world of difference. By limiting paragraphs to a few sentences and breaking them up with links, the reader can make better sense and jump from item to item.
From there, a good next step is to examine your headlines, those delightful little dividers between paragraphs.
We spent some time working and re-working the headlines. These can be a work-in-progress, and you’ll want to check your site’s traffic from time to time to see how they’re working (are people making it to the bottom of the page and clicking, are certain pages doing better than others, that kind of thing).
From there, we crafted more creative links. Here is a sampling of the final trip links (as well as a chance for you to visit the live page if you’re so inclined).
Check out Bikudo Travel’s destination pages for yourself.
Sometimes it takes an outside eye to keep you pushing toward the ultimate goal, especially after you’ve put so much work into your company and business so far.
Getting a chance to work with travel agencies and tour operators like Bikudo Travel is always a pleasure.
If you’d like a website refresh or a bespoke email campaign to keep tourists coming back, drop me a line.