Building a marketing strategy takes a lot of time and effort. From emails to social media, advertisement and networking, it is one of the most important aspects of any successful business. But how can you engage with an audience beyond your known circle? Simple, make them to come to you.
Inbound marketing is the best tool for tour and activity providers. While other methods rely heavily on advertisement, inbound marketing is a gentler approach that builds up a relationship with your audience. If done well, it can turn traffic into customers.
Here are five simple ways to increase your visibility this month.
What does Inbound Marketing mean?
According to Hubspot, inbound marketing is a strategy that uses "marketing to bring potential customers to you, rather than having your marketing efforts fight for their attention... inbound marketing is about creating and sharing content with the world."
It is a way to draw in an audience by providing them with the content they would find most valuable. Unlike some methods of advertising, it aligns products and ideas with people who are looking for that particular solution. This helps increase visibility by driving in an audience that wants to share with like-minded people.
1. Visuals for visibility
Travelers who book online are looking for an optimized website that presents information in a clear and appealing way. Most people planning a tour or activity want to get the facts quickly, without reading through several pages of content.
So, how do you share your message without pages of text? Speak with imagery.
In any inbound marketing how-to, the first thing you're likely to be told is to write good content. A blog, social media share, or even an insightful forum post can add exponential value to your brand. But it's not going to be the first thing that draws them in.
Good imagery draws in a wider audience than a page of text can. Whether it's a photo, infographic, or an inspiring video, your potential customers are much more likely to notice it first.
Once you've set up the story with the photo or graphic, if the reader is engaged they will stick around to see what you have to say.
2. Make sharing simple
With a widget for your website, sharing content is a simple click away. It's technically become easier than ever, but it's not as fun to share a dull-looking schedule of events as it is to share a stunning visual. As mentioned above, image-heavy content is the easiest thing to share online.
Someone who visits your site might be convinced to book a tour from the information they read, but it could be several weeks before they take their trip with your company. It could be even longer before they tell a friend or colleague about it.
With shareable content, customers can talk about their experiences at the time of booking, after a pleasant experience, and even during the tour. When someone is scrolling through their Facebook homepage and see the video of your company's rafting tour or paragliding adventure, they'll stop and take notice.
You'll make it easy to share the initial content, but the impressed viewers will write the rest of it for you with their comments and shares.
3. Post at optimal times
Marketing with your blog is a subject we've covered extensively here. It is important to create quality content, but it won't have the same effect if it's not presented at the optimal times. The best time to post is during the hours when people are most likely to be scanning their phones.
Darian Rodriguez Heyman, co-founder of Social Media for Nonprofits has dubbed this strategy the Burrito Principle. It relies on the idea that when people are doing basic things (like eating a burrito during their lunch break) they are most likely to have free time to check their phones. According to the principle, the four best times to post are:
- 8:30am— when people are coming into work
- 12:30pm— when they’re checking their phone during lunch
- 5:30pm— on the bus/train ride home
- 10pm— when the kids finally go to sleep
According to Heyman, 10pm is generally the best time to post during the week. Before bed, many people are looking towards the next day and even time to dream up their future plans. This can include travel and tourism, so posting when people are looking at their phones can be a good way to attract customers.
4. Curate good content
Not a writer or visuals expert? That's okay, not every expert in tourism can be one in content creation as well. Many successful businesses find someone with experience in their preferred mediums and simply curate their content.
For writers, you can hire a content writer to work part-time for your business. This doesn't have to be an official employee of the company, as there are many freelancers who are niche writers for various tours and activities. Another efficient way to pool talent is to invite guest bloggers to write special posts for your site.
For photos and other visual aids, you might be able to get away with using images from free stock image providers like pexels.com. For custom images such as infographics, hire the help of a professional. Again, a freelance designer is a great option for small businesses.
5. Master a few keywords
Search engine optimization is something we talk about often around here, and for good reason. Your website could have the best concepts online, but who will see it if it isn't searchable? Increasing your SEO skills will get your website seen, even by people who may have not known they were looking for you specifically.
Along with quality content, keywords are a vital part of an efficient inbound marketing strategy. But many people make the mistake of trying to use too many of them.
Just because you can use every keyword that relates to your business, it doesn't mean you should. By focusing in on one or two that really apply to your company, you'll get more intentional traffic. If they like what they see, you'll soon turn searchers into customers.
Here are a few simple keyword ideas for tour and activity providers:
You can decide which words would fit your content best, and you should because keywords are only valuable if they're relevant to your website. Optimizing your website isn't difficult, it just takes a bit of knowledge. You can read more about efficient SEO here.
Online visibility starts with a good website. Learn how TrekkSoft can help your business grow in the new year.
Published by Sara Napier Burkhard
Sara is a writer from the American West Coast. In recent years, she's written for companies like Hipmunk, iTourMobile and Mylikes. She now resides in Zurich, Switzerland where she finds new adventures and attempts to speak German with minimal success.