10 Tourism Marketing Tips when setting up your Tourism Business
- Create your marketing materials. Start with your Logo so you have consistent branding across all your marketing materials, social media sites, Google business profile and website, if you have one.
Not having a logo from the start can confuse you and your ideal customer. Believe me when I say its easier to have this set up from the start so you don’t have to keep thinking about brand colours and fonts to use consistently.
If you are using different fonts and logos and images to promote your business, don’t expect your customer to know who they are seeing and communicating with.
- One thing to remember about tourism is you need to stand out from your competitors. Put together a new, exciting and different offer that you have not done before to get people’s attention, this could be a night time experience or collaboration offer with another business. Get it out to local businesses and across your social media channels to interrupt the normal or same offers out there and get your customer to take notice (and give returning customers a reason to return). You will more than likely be picked up by tourism magazines, websites and industry to promote it as it is different.
- Network, Network and Network. You cannot get away from the need to talk to people in the industry who can help get your business name out there. Join Networking groups such as Foyle Business Network, Donegal Women in Business, your local chamber office, and sign up for Failte Ireland events, Tourism Ireland events, Donegal Tourism and local tourism offices. Inishowen development partnership, and the Donegal LEO office are all great sources of helpful information.The more people who know you, where you are, what you do, the more return you will get. Sign up to newsletters to know where the next event is happening and bring your business cards.
- Know the industry partners for tourism:
- Tourism Ireland – promotes Ireland abroad
- Failte Ireland – promotes Ireland within Ireland
- Donegal Tourism – promotes Donegal
- Inishowen Tourism – promotes Inishowen
- Inishowen Development Partnership – promotes businesses in Inishowen including Tourism
- Local Chambers – promote business to each area/towns
One thing to note about the above partners, they are not there to promote your business for you. I see this assumption being made all the time. They are there to promote tourism as an industry or all business in one area, they will support you, but not promote you independently unless you provide something of value to the tourism industry such as a unique experience or offer.
- Introduce your business to all the local tourism community such as B&B’s, guesthouses, hotels, cafes, restaurants. Can you partner with any? If you are a B&B can you partner with the local restaurant for a discount of any business you recommend to them and vice versa. Call in, in person with a treat box for the front office staff on a monthly basis throughout your summer season. Dont expect people to just know you are there, you need to work at keeping the relevant people who can recommend you front of mind so when a guest asks, they can recommend you.
- Local hotels usually send out a welcome email to guests in advance of their arrival and also at time of booking, ask them to be included in this email so guests can plan their trips and know about you earlier. You need to get to the know the right person in charge of this and offer something in return, don’t expect to receive and not give anything back.
- Invite local staff into your premises to try your offering before the season starts, have a pre season lunch with drinks and canapes so staff get to know you or ask local hotels if you can present to the staff during an upcoming training session. Everyone wins when front-facing staff know who you are and where you are but don’t expect them to research you, you need to provide them with the information. Again I see this mistake all the time in tourism, other businesses just assume staff know about them but they do not and if they do, they might now know your opening times or easily ways to get to you. Some staff are not from the area. It is on you to make sure the right people can recommend you.
- Ensure your Google Business profile is set up and updated. If you are not sure of how to set it up, get in touch as this is a free and very useful way of getting found on Google. Enrich your profile with great imagery and encourage reviews. Make sure you have contact information clearly displayed such as phone number, email and link your website. There is nothing more frustrating when someone finds you on google but no contact information is visible.
- Blog about the area, use the highlight section on your instagram account to have local information available so anyone who finds you, can also find other things to do in the are. Having a 2-3 day itinerary available for them to browse will be extremely helpful to your customer, the more they know about how much there is to do in the area, the higher the chance of them visiting and coming to you. If you keep adding value to the customers, you will win and this is a great way to add value as they do not know the area as well as you.
- Every time you create content for your business on social media, tag the other relevant tourism businesses in the area including hotels. By doing so it puts you right into their inbox to easily keep them up to date on what you are doing AND it serves as content to use on their channels (Also know as UGC – User generated content)
Bonus Tip: Engagement is key to growing your online business Do not just post and forget about it. Take time daily before and after you post, to engage with other accounts in your feed, relevant to your business. Engage with big and small accounts Reply to stories of the accounts similar to yours.
Get in Touch
If you struggle with Social Media and would like an expert to come into your business and train you or your team on how to use Social Media to drive more sales in your business then get in touch.
My Social Media Training is aimed at small tourism business owners and can equip you and your team with the know how in:
- How each platform operates,
- How to set up your platform for success
- How to create content easily,
- How to get the most out of posting to platforms so that you can grow your followers which converts to sales
- How to create engaging Reels
- How to build a loyal following with an email list
Price is subject to the number of people in your team and the time it takes to deliver the training. This can be done in person within your business.
Marketing for Tourism
Tel: 086 027 5554