How content marketing can help your tourism business
One of the effects of an impending recession is that many people take longer to make a decision than usual. Visitors may need more reassurance than usual.
When times are tough, businesses tend to do one of two things:
They try to sell like crazy, going into omnipresent overdrive, constantly posting on social media, offering discounts and thinking that sooner or later persistence will pay
They struggle with the sense of doom and gloom, think marketing is probably pointless, and go into semi-hibernation.
I’d like to suggest a different way forward.
This method of marketing will also stand you in good stead for when things get better.
It’s called content marketing or educational selling. It's simpler than you might think, and it doesn't really involve selling...
No matter what it’s called, you’re probably doing some of it already.
The idea is that you actively show what you offer and how you can make people feel better. You don’t need to swamp people with adverts or pushy sales – during tough times, they can just make people feel overwhelmed.
By offering useful information and advice, you help visitors to feel more secure. This encourages them to spend, either now or later.
There’s a very useful side-effect to this activity: it really helps with search engine ranking and getting links from other sites and social media.
This blog is an example of this approach. I don’t write ‘pay me to help you market your business’ all over the place. Instead I show businesses how I think and demonstrate some of my experience. So when a tourism business owner needs help with their marketing, they come to me. In 30 years of running my business, I've never paid for advertisements to promote it. There are so many other things you can do instead.
How does this relate to tourism businesses?
In essence, it means adding information to your website, perhaps in the form of checklists, blogs, more photos, maps etc which you can also link to on social media, and mention in mailings.
This additional information will ideally show potential visitors why your business is good, showcase your local area, and highlight any skills or special features you or your business have.
Here are a couple of examples:
An activity provider might write about their favourite equipment or outdoor clothing. They could include a gallery or short video of their favourite local spots to cycle, climb, run etc. Or they might write about the health benefits of what they do. Another option could be to describe how visitors have overcome challenges thanks to their skills, and how they felt afterwards – a kind of combination of blog and review.
An accommodation provider can write about the changing seasons and highlight year-round reasons to visit. They could list five of their favourite walks, or do a photo collage of the best spots in their accommodation to sit and read. They might write short blogs on local attractions or places to eat and drink.
This might take a little effort but each of these ideas gives additional reasons to visit and book.
They show the business owner knows and loves their area, and can offer good advice.
They build loyalty and help to reassure visitors.
They add useful content to your website which helps improve your search engine rankings.
They all sell, without being pushy or over-bearing.
Think about the questions you’re often asked – and answer them in a blog, on a short video, in a checklist or a montage of photos.
You might not get an immediate response using this approach but the effect definitely builds over time. A brief blog written right now is never a waste of time!