Travelers are here today, gone tomorrow. For some communities, the number of visitors fluctuates wildly with the seasons. Often, summer brings huge flocks of travelers while mid-winter is a veritable dead zone for tourism. Also, it can be difficult tracking where travelers come from and how they found out about your business.
For an individual business, marketing to travelers can be very difficult, especially if you are working alone. However, the marketing tools and technologies that are available today give business owners an unprecedented amount of promotional power.
To wield this power, it takes knowledge and a little bit of creativity. By using the Internet, email and social media, you can connect with more potential customers—travelers as well as locals—than was ever before possible.
These are the three tools you should be using in your business’s tourism marketing plan.
Website – This is your primary way to connect with customers who aren’t located in your community. You need a website, even if it’s something very simple. A website is important for reaching your local customers, but it’s indispensible for reaching travelers—most trip planning today is done online. To get the most out of your website, you have to make sure its structure and content are designed so that your customers can easily find you when they’re searching online.
E-newsletters – Newsletters are a time-tested way to stay in regular contact with your customer base. However, mailing old-fashioned newsletters is expensive. Luckily, e-newsletters do much the same thing. E-newsletters can cover topics ranging from new products to articles about topics related to your line of business. The key is to engage your customer and give them interesting and valuable content. If you collect your customers’ email addresses, then you should be sending them regular emails—monthly or even weekly. If you’re not collecting customer email addresses—why not?
Facebook & Twitter – Social media is a whole new world—and it’s here to stay. Right now, Facebook and Twitter are the two main forums in the social media arena. At minimum, your business should have a Facebook page that you update regularly—at least every week. Posts to your Facebook page can be as simple as mentioning a new product that has just come in. If you’re really ambitious, you can create special contests that engage your customers and grow your Facebook fan base.
These marketing ideas don’t just work to attract travelers. Any action you take in these three areas will have a positive impact on your local sales, as well. Best of all, they are some of the most affordable options available.