Ideas & knowhow

Marketing

Sustainability: why you should talk about it more even if you don't feel you're doing enough (yet)

sustainability

I have never met a business owner who is proud of all they're doing to make their business more sustainable. Not even the gold-starred, award-winning ones. Everyone feels like they're not quite doing enough. Some feel guilty. Others fear that someone will come along at any moment with a big waggy-finger and tell them off. 

It's true: we could all do more. But doing something, anything is better than not doing anything. None of us will ever do enough - that's the reality but...

In the meantime,…

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Promote your business to just one visitor - at a time

Promote to just one person

Small businesses have a great advantage over larger ones: they can offer a much more personalised service, and tailor what they do to suit their customers better. 

It can sometimes be hard to convey this to visitors though.

When you write words on your website, in a mailing or on social media do you ever feel like you're casting your words out into the world, not knowing where they'll land or who will read them? I know the feeling!

​It's hard to write in a way that will appeal to potential new gues…

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Trends you can use in your marketing

Take advantage of trends

I've been considering some current trends and what visitors are looking for at the moment. Can you use one of these to either develop an aspect of your business, or use as a different promotional angle to appeal to specific markets? 

Slow... slower: a strong interest in slowing down, pausing to enjoy the moment or to simply spend a longer time relaxing and being 'off-line', 'away from it all' and escaping a busy world

Silence: building on the slower trend - a chance to just enjoy silence, or n…

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Why heart-felt triumphs over paid promotion

heart felt triumphs paid

I recently met with someone who has a really good business, with loads of potential. But he said that he’s struggling, both to get more attention and new visitors, and financially. When we talked a little more I discovered two things: a) he’s paying for advertisements all over social media; and b) he’s paying someone else to do his social media posts for him. Neither the ads nor the posts are really having an impact - he’s not building followers very quickly, not really extending his reach (how …

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Some ideas in case you're struggling

Struggling

I’ve recently heard from numerous business owners who have said they’re struggling at the moment. Some are disheartened by their lack of bookings and visitors, other exhausted by the extra effort that seems necessary to generate income and uncertainty caused by last minute bookings.

If you’re feeling like this, you’re not alone.

I am running a free marketing workshop (on Zoom so you don’t have to go anywhere and there’s a replay available) to outline what you can do right now - details here. You’r…

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Quick easy refresh for websites and social media

refresh

Want to give your website and social media a quick boost? Need to build engagement on social media and improve search engine rankings?

You could spend a lot of time and money doing all this, but there is one simple action that you can do right now to start to make a difference. Update your photos and basic profile descriptions.

It’s such a small action but has several benefits:

One of the factors that determines your search engine rankings for websites and how many followers your social media po…

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Quick marketing boosts when visitors are uncertain

quick boosts

I’ve lost count of how many conversations I’ve had with people who wondering if the weather will ever get any better, and tourism business owners who say that bookings seem slower than usual. The two are definitely connected! You can’t change the weather but there are two easy things you you can do about it.

The first easy thing…

The world is in turmoil - war, climate change and economic certainty. It’s natural for people to be reticent about planning day trips and booking breaks. But many do hav…

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Back to marketing basics

Marketing basics

Sometimes it’s worth taking a step backwards to help you leap forward.

Now and then I like to re-consider the basics of marketing. It’s easy to make things more complicated than they need to be.

There’s a short sequence of marketing activities that work, again and again. It’s more about words and ideas than anything else, so it’s free.

Here’s what you need to do to get someone to book, buy or decide to visit

Think: does your current marketing do this? Can you change your social media posts so the…

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Use anticipation and FOMO

anticipation and fomo

Can you feel the excitement and anticipation in the air?

As the weather warms up, holidays approach and we slowly cast off our Winter vests, it’s uplifting to look forward to the Summer.

Social media is filling with news of last minute preparations for attractions re-opening, and visitors are posting about their plans for trips.

Now’s the time to take advantage of two related factors in your marketing: Anticipation and FOMO (fear of missing out).

When I talk to some business owners about using a…

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Lessons from award-judging

important for all businesses

I’ve just spent several days judging accommodation awards for the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence. I enjoy doing this as it gives great insights into trends and what others are doing to stay ahead. Perhaps surprisingly though it’s also a reminder to go back to basics.

Some of the best B&Bs or hotels miss out on awards (and bookings) because they don’t do the simplest things. The same lessons apply to other tourism businesses, whether attractions, activity providers, or food and drink outlets.

R…

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