The tourism industry is about to come back in a big way, bringing exciting opportunities for hospitality businesses, destinations, and cultural and heritage experiences.
In order to get ahead of the competition, you’ll need to start preparing your marketing strategy now. Here are the essential tools you’ll need to succeed.
Just want to talk business? Schedule a free consultation.
Marketing for hospitality
If you’re marketing your business in the hospitality sector, it’s important to be able to show potential customers what a great experience they can have. Whether you run a restaurant, or a boutique accommodation experience, showing your customers and guests where they’ll be staying and eating allows them to feel confident that they will enjoy the experience.
Visual imagery is especially good for this purpose, so tools like social media platforms work great! They allow you to have an organic and natural interaction with the public while providing insights into your staff and premises. All of this adds up to create a personal touch that creates trust.
Another helpful tool is Google My Business. This is the panel which appears to the side of your Google search results when you look up a business. If you check this out, you’ll see that many businesses will post images and articles in their Google My Business. Again, it’s all about building trust.
Marketing tourism destinations
If you are marketing a destination, there are many tools you can use to gain attention. One of the most effective ways to draw attention to your company rather than your rivals is the effective use of search engine opimization (SEO). This basically refers to the strategies that increase the likelihood of your webpages, blog posts and other content on Google.
We’ll summarize a few of the techniques we use here, but if you want to learn more, check out a post we wrote about blogging for Arctic tourism – blogging is a great way to get word out about your destination and inspire people to come visit. The basic premise of SEO is that you want to write content that people want to read. This way, Google can provide that content to people and build a reputation for being a good search engine. Really search engine optimisation is your way of helping Google, and them helping you in return. Here are the basics:
Read more: Top tourism marketing strategies for 2020
SEO for your website
Say you’re writing the website for a tourist destination. You can be reasonably confident that people are looking for your destination already, so it’s important that when they search, your website is the one coming out on top. You can do this by optimizing content to rank for certain keywords. Make sure to use the name of your destination in the headers and your text, as well as the alt-text of any images. This will help your site to list higher on the results page than your competition.
When building your website, it’s also vital that you remember it is essentially the online equivalent to your physical premises. The way it looks should represent your business. You also want to make sure it’s up-to-date and provides the information people want to find. People may use it as tourist information and giving them this useful info could encourage them to come back and visit you in real life! You can learn more about the process we use for building websites for our tourism clients, here.
Content marketing makes use of both written and visual content to show what your business offers, build support, and reinforce your SEO strategy. The most obvious form of content marketing is text, such as blog posts, but things like video, imagery, and customer reviews also count.
Blogs are perfect for SEO, as they allow the integration of so many features that Google loves and can be used to implement a few sneaky tricks to get extra engagement.
When we write blogs for our clients, we make use of a philosophy called inbound marketing. This can be thought of using the metaphor of a cat. If you chase the cat, it will run away from you, whereas if you have what the cat wants it will come to you. In this metaphor, your clients are the cat. Inbound marketing says that you should provide your clients and potential customers with content that they find useful and interesting. That way, when they’re in need of your services, they’ll remember and trust your business. In the context of tourism, this could mean writing blogs about the locations you run tours in, the activities you organize, the equipment that you rent out, and so much more.
We also make use of the waterfall method. This is a strategy that makes Google’s algorithm rate your blog posts more highly. Google really likes it when external websites provide links to your pages, think of these links as a referral. If someone likes your content enough to refer people to it, Google will rank your page higher for searchers. However, external links can be hard to come by, so we use our own blogs to provide those links! By writing an overarching blog which summarises a subject, then writing more detailed blogs on each facet of that subject, we can link all the blogs together and encourage Google to trust that the content in each post is useful.
Video marketing is something we’ve been discussing a lot lately, for one main reason. Video is the closest people can come to genuine human interaction, without being together in person. This makes it exceptionally powerful right now, and it’s only going to keep getting more important.
We’ve written before about the stats that show why you should be using video, which you can check out, here. The important takeaway is that video can be used everywhere, including your blogs, to provide a quick synopsis. They can run in your ads, on your website as a personal introduction to the company, and anywhere else you post content. People love video because it’s easy to consume and easier to remember the information given. Remember, as we said before, give the consumer what they want and they’ll come back time and time again.
Tourism is particularly well-suited to video. You’re offering experiences that people already crave, which look visually appealing, and that inspire people. Make the most of it!
Marketing heritage and cultural tourism
When you’re marketing heritage or culture, the most important thing is to identify your target audience. Different aspects may appeal to different demographics, and you’ll have the most success if you tailor your marketing to those demographics.
We’ve discussed content marketing, and its ability to immerse people in the experience. This aspect is even more valuable when you’re marketing something as story-based as culture and heritage. The use of written content and video can really allow you to tell the story of your site or attraction and draw people in. Giving people a taste of what it feels like to be there and feel the age or the atmosphere of a cultural site is a really effective way of drawing them there in reality.
In order to draw even further attention to your company and the cultural and heritage sites you are running, you can make successful use of direct advertising. Google and Facebook ads can make use of all the elements we’ve discussed here: text, imagery, and video. This allows you to show off your company and everything you’re offering and lure people in. If you want to learn more about social media advertising or Google advertising, check out our blog.
Want to talk strategy? Schedule a free consultation.