Adapt your marketing - fill gaps and attract last minute bookings
This year has been a strange one for the tourism industry. Some incredibly busy periods, followed by gaps in demand. Strong bookings for times that are usually less popular, and yet empty weeks at peak season. Flurries of advance bookings, and then many very last minute bookings.
It's unsettling and leading to a lot of concern: a roller-coaster ride of optimism and pessimism.
So what can you do?
It's tempting to simply discount and hope for the best. After all, many people are struggling a…
Delete: a quick easy way to improve your website
How much patience do you have? How busy are you? Do you have a lot of free time?
If your answers to those questions were 'not much, very and no', join the club. It's how most people will answer.
So if we want to help people book or visit our businesses, we need to make it very easy for them.
I often make suggestions for the kind of information and inspiration you should ideally have on your website. But there's a caveat: you can't just keep adding to your website without removing something,…
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…
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 …
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…
Walking in different shoes
A long time ago I went to my daughter's school assembly. It's a memory that has stuck in my mind because it was quite a good marketing lesson!
There was a pile of shoes and boots at the front of the school hall. The teacher told a story about some people who didn't really understand each other.
The children were asked to put on a pair of the assorted footwear and walk towards each other. It was amusing because the shoes and boots were too large, and the children took on exaggerated walks acco…