Are you normal?
My mother recently pointed out something that I think is a little unkind. She commented that I keep saying that I've worked in tourism marketing for over 30 years but I'm old (according to her) and it's now nearly four decades. Nothing like telling someone they're older than they think!
But there is a good side. Or so I choose to believe.
Experience. Lots and lots of experience. I've helped and advised many different businesses - all in tourism, in many different areas and sectors and differe…
Positive trends for UK hospitality
This week I've been judging the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence (accommodation) and noticed some positive trends:
1. Good businesses really are memorable, with stand-out appeal: independents manage to do this well, and some chains are trying to find better ways to differentiate individual properties. Some businesses have made significant investments in their properties, but it's not just about cash - creativity and guest-focus really count.
2. Since last year's judging panel, it seems that…
Three quick tips = big difference to your website
I've recently spent a LOT of time looking at tourism business websites. I'm one of the judges for the VIsitEngland Awards for Excellence and have been sifting through countless application forms and then double-checking the look, feel and contents of websites.
Considering these are some of the best tourism businesses in the country, it's been frustrating to see how many websites are not as good as they need to be to impress potential visitors.
The best websites aren't necessarily the most ex…
Emojis in your marketing
Emojis make people smile 😃. They're fun. But they're not very professional?
Using them in your marketing - whether it's in an email, or your social media - would be like speaking slang in a business meeting instead of 'proper' English. Or?
If you target very traditional people who are perhaps quite formal, they may not react very positively if you pepper your marketing communications with emojis.
However, most tourism-related businesses have an audience who are now very used to seeing plent…
Promote your business using the 'information gap'
If I say that I can tell you '3 easy ways to increase your profits', what's your response?
The cynical ones among you might think it's too good to be true, but most people are curious and want to know more. You might think that you pretty much know everything there is to running a successful tourism business, but a little part of your brain will still want to know more, just to double check.
This is 'information gap curiosity': the idea that most humans want to find out more when they think …
Social media ideas for Spring
It's the one thing everyone tells me they struggle with - ideas for social media posts.
What can you write about to keep people interested and engaged, and to encourage them to plan a visit to your business?
Here are a few ideas
Before we get started: instead of just scanning through these ideas, I suggest you get a pen and paper (it works much better if you can actively scribble, not just think or type) and jot down related thoughts as you read each topic. Let the list below spark more idea…
Information vs inspiration
Are you making an easy mistake in your marketing? Something that makes a big difference, but which is luckily easy to resolve?
I've written before about how sometimes we're just not saying what we think we're saying.
There's another common mistake we often make.
Information or inspiration?
A common error is to offer too much basic information, when people actually need inspiration.
The key is to think what your visitors need to know, and when.
Image you're vaguely thinking about a holi…
Stop the scroll
We want people to scroll - to find our posts and information. But then we want them to stop. We need visitors to stop scrolling long enough to take in the reasons why our areas and businesses are worth visiting. We need them to stop scrolling so they can choose us.
We need visitors to absorb essential information on our websites, and visitors don't always have the patience to scroll all the way down your pages to find what they're looking for.
The answer: use really compelling information and…
Use the right images to promote your business
We often say that a picture is worth a thousand words. We know that images and videos are now an essential part of promotional activity. But do we use the right photos?
Making some simple changes to the images you use can make your marketing much more powerful.
Using the right photos is part of persuading visitors that your business is good for them, relevant to their needs, that they will be welcome and are making the right decision. Visitors need 'evidence' and using the right photos is pa…
Compare these sentences:
We're in a great location in RandomUnknownVillage, with lots to see and do. There's something for everyone.
You'll love our hidden location in RandomUnknownVillage, close to SomewhereFamous and AnotherWellknownPlacePeopleSearchForOnGoogle. It's ideal for anyone who wants to relax and enjoy two great pubs, x attraction or our recommended walks to x, y z.
I've had lots of experience and know about marketing
I've worked in tourism marketing for…