I often write about how to improve your tourism marketing, even on a low budget. What about the things we might be doing wrong? Could we save time and money just putting right a few mistakes? The answer is a very definite ‘yes’.
These six marketing mistakes are all really common. I find myself making some of them too, and have to make a conscious effort to go through them from time to time to make simple, no-cost improvements.
Marketing mistake 1: Making it too hard for your customers to find you, to know what you offer, and want to buy from you
We want people to spend their money with us. They’ll do that if they 1. know about us, 2. know what we do, 3. like what we do, 4. trust that we’ll do what we say, and 5. really want what we do. Your marketing needs to be geared to achieve all this. Often very quickly. In competition with many others.
So bland statements like ‘we’re open’ or ‘we offer a unique product with something for everyone blah de blah’ just won’t work.
You need to make it much easier for people to buy from you.
Here’s an example:
If I tell you about my marketing consultancy, the books I wrote years ago, the destination strategies I’ve developed, the online marketing workshops you can buy, the workshops I run, you’re unlikely to immediately see the benefits of what I offer to businesses like yours.
It’s all too long-winded and vague.
However, if I sum all that up with just one sentence that shows that I might be able to help you, you’ll be more interested.
For example: I help to make businesses - like yours – better and more profitable.
So, you definitely need one strong, clear message.
Luckily, that’s an easy thing to put right. You can do it now. When you re-write it, make sure you include the kind of key words your guests search for, so that you can help improve your search engine rankings at the same time.
Marketing mistake 2: Too much information, not enough inspiration
Remember, you’re promoting a tourism business. Not toilet rolls, not machine parts, not baked beans, but something that people can get excited about. You’re promoting an opportunity to escape reality, to do something interesting, to enjoy the beauty of your area, to relax…
Take a look at your website and other marketing. Have you just spewed out information, instead of offering any inspiration? Of course you need to offer information, but inspiration is really important too. It’s what will make people feel excited and happy to book or come to visit you. Inspiration can trigger action, and differentiate you from other businesses.
Marketing mistake 3: Not enough repetition
Once you’ve put 1 and 2 right, you need to do it again and again. We used to say that people need to see marketing messages at least 3 times before they take action. Now it’s more like 7 times. So you need to repeat your key message much more frequently than you probably think.
I talked about this in a recent blog. It’s one of the easiest things to improve on, as it also saves time and effort. Remember, there are lots of different ways to repeat marketing messages, so it doesn’t feel too repetitive.
Marketing mistake 4: Far too few photos
This is a really common, and important mistake. We’re asking people to commit to coming to see a place they might not have been before. We’re asking them to make an effort to travel to places they might know but have forgotten. That can be hard to do. Words can offer information, inspiration even. But most people want to see pictures of your business and local area. I’d say only 5% of all businesses have enough good, varied photos on their website.
If you don’t have enough images of the right kind, showing potential visitors everything they want to see, they’ll look for them on other sites. Which means they may get side-tracked and not bother to come back to your site.
I hope you’ll agree that so far these marketing mistakes are easy to put right?
The next two are easy to deal with too, and are the ones that make the biggest difference to any business.
The final one is the one that will have the strongest impact on your profitability.
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Please note: all articles are copyrighted Susan Briggs