Use FOMO now to get bookings for later
Are you enjoying having a full diary once again, knowing you’ve got bookings or the promise of visitors for the coming weeks?
How would it feel to have a full diary next year - ahead of time, so you don’t have to do as much marketing this Winter?
There are some simple things you can do now to increase your chances of advance bookings, and make your marketing easier later.
People are definitely enjoying looking forward and planning ahead a little more, wanting to make sure they have something to look forward to.
There’s been plenty of media coverage about the UK, and now there’s a real sense of FOMO (fear of missing out). Visitors are realising that they need to book tables at restaurants, accommodation, activities, attractions if they want to enjoy a domestic holiday this year. This boom may not continue once everyone can easily travel overseas, yet there are some ways to capitalise on it.
Increased media coverage and social media photos will mean that some people who hadn't thought of coming to your area may now be open to doing so.
A touch of FOMO never hurts to convince some people.
Some won't quite be ready to visit because they don't yet know enough about your area or your business. One way of convincing them is to show what they're missing, and to be really specific about each time of year and what there is to see and do.
By this I don't just mean 'Spring to see the lambs' or 'Winter to enjoy the sound of waves crashing on the shore'. I mean documenting each month, even each week, and showing what happens. This has the added advantage of helping you to showcase different places locally and to add a sense of momentum to your marketing.
Take photos of what’s happening right now in your business and in your area. You might already have some photos of early Summer but dig deeper. Is there a difference between June and July? Between the beginning of June and end of June? You could portray local events, your garden, the food you serve, what's happening in nature, in local attractions.
Try to think about the details, the small differences between each month. You may have to really stop and look because so much happens without us really noticing or we take things for granted. We all talk about changing seasons but at this time of year even a week can make a big difference.
Posts about these small changes are popular. At the moment there are lots of posts on social media about the wildflowers in the hay meadows. Visitors from outside the area really want to know when they'll be at their best. Those from within know that the meadows in some areas will flower much later. What knowledge can you pass on?
It's worth thinking about starting a 'best time to visit' pictorial calendar. You don't have to do much right now - just take more photos that represent your business and area through the weeks (don't forget to capture the date).
You'll be able to use these in so many ways, now and in the future.
Post on social media now with messages such as ‘June is a great time to see/enjoy xxx. Don’t miss out – book zzz for this time next year’. Use phrases like ‘limited places available’.
Set aside time or plan when you can add those images to your website, include in blogs and mailings. Use the passing of time to instil a sense of urgency to encourage advance bookings.
At the same time, make the most of the visitors you’re getting now. Encourage them to join your mailing list (you could say that’s one of the ways you offer last minute availability) follow you on social media, and write reviews.
It is hard to market your business for the future when you're already busy operationally but taking the time to take some more photos is time well spent, not to mention a good chance to take a breather and appreciate all that's good about your business and your area...