The Turkish tourism sector has seen a sharp slowdown in arrivals this summer, largely due to the economic crisis in Russia, security concerns, and a sluggish domestic economy. The problem isn't small, either. Tourism income was down $7.73 billion (13.8%) in the second quarter of the year compared to the same period last year, according to data from the Turkish Statistics Institute (TÜİK).
For Turkish tour operators, a good digital marketing presence is of utmost importance in order to adapt to the dropping arrivals rate. Here are some ways to boost your marketing online.
1. Use visuals to show off the best of Turkish heritage
Turkey is often renowned for its hot air balloon rides, especially in the Cappadocia region, where the wind streams flowing through the valley create perfect conditions in which to fly.
There's also Turkey's world-class scenery, including magnificent mountain ranges, rivers and forests that act as natural preserves for the wildlife, flora and fauna.
Show off this cultural and natural heritage in all of its vibrancy though high-quality photos and videos. By distributing these effectively through your online marketing, you'll convince tourists that Turkey–and your tours–are a good decision.
You can get a great start with our comprehensive article on visual content marketing.
2. Include common keywords that tourists search for on your website
Think about how you want tourists to find your tour or activity website. Will they search for "hot air balloon rides", "hikes in Turkey", or "river cruise tours"? Put yourself in your client's shoes and adapt your content accordingly.
Include relevant keywords on your website and increase your chances of getting discovered online. You can do this with our advice on creating personas of your target customers.
3. Find customers for your tours through paid search or Google AdWords
To increase the chances of your tourism business getting found on Google, you can venture into paid search with Google AdWords. This works on a pay per click (PPC) basis, so you only have to pay when someone clicks on your ad. You can also choose very specific keywords, so AdWords can work well if you have a niche tours business.
To get started, we compiled some tips on how tour companies can create a successful paid search strategy.
4. Maximize your online presence
Use social media effectively in order to engage previous customers and broaden your client base. Create and publish a steady stream of content, including blog articles and press releases to highlight all the fantastic tours and activities your destination has to offer.
You can use our range of marketing ebooks to give your online presence a boost, starting with our Ultimate Social Media Guide:
5. Get an online payment system to avoid losing out
Your customer's experience begins the moment they land on your website, browse through your products and make a booking. Simplify your booking process by integrating a online booking and payment system on your website to avoid losing out on potential customers.
It's 2015, don't make customers pick up the phone to make a booking, or ask them to email their credit card details to you to make a payment. Get a safe and secure payment system to deliver a professional experience from the very first moment customers reach out to you.
Are you a tour or activity operator in Turkey? What did you think of this article? Let us know in the comments below!
Why not learn more about TrekkSoft's booking and payment system? It was created with business owners like you in mind.
Written by Lucy Fuggle
Lucy is Head of Content Marketing at TrekkSoft. She tries to read a book a week, travel solo every month, and share ideas on lucyfuggle.com. You can usually find her in Switzerland's Berner Oberland.