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MarketingSherpa Video Archive

How Travel Leaders Built User-generated Content from 4,000 Agents and Increased Leads 91%

Brian Hegarty, Vice President, Marketing, Travel Leaders Group

Over the last few decades, the travel industry has gone through major changes. Millennials are traveling more than the baby boomer generation, and their expectations have drastically changed. They want to be more actively involved in trip planning, which could include anything from gluten-free gourmet dining experiences for the foody, to finding the most thrilling leap-off places for the bungee jumper.

Brian Hegarty, Vice President, Marketing, Travel Leaders Group, noticed the changing landscape and realized that to maintain relevancy in its space, the company would need to adapt along with it. "Customers don't want to be marketed to anymore; they want to be part of the conversation."

In this full, free interview from MarketingSherpa Summit 2017, Hegarty shares the aha moment that launched Travel Leaders to the front of the industry.

Hegarty and his marketing team began to focus on travel agents, rather than travel itself. They played with the idea of creating an online marketplace where matchmaking of travel agents with customers of like interests and travel experiences took place. This would not be your typical generic user profile found on many travel sites. It would have to offer something unique in the market.

What if TLG equipped travel agents to better serve customers by training them to share their travel stories and travel preferences online? What if they trained travel agents to market themselves, to learn how to write content more effectively, to use multimedia?

Agent-generated content became the secret sauce. This program increased the volume of leads generated from 0 to 100,000 over the first three years, with a 25% conversion rate and $5,000+ average sale.

Hegarty shares how to:

  • Launch and scale a user-generated content machine that drives high-quality leads and sales
  • Equip and motivate your users to tell their unique stories while delivering value to customers
  • Develop a new channel to drive engagement, traffic and transactions
  • Expand and build your existing content program to support broader marketing campaigns and deeper funnel opportunity