Operating a local or tourism focused experience, accommodation or activity is hard enough, without having to worry about where your next customer is coming from. It used to be word of mouth, or even a little ad or listing in a local or national travel magazine. Maybe even a flyer down at the local information centre. But things have changed.
More specifically, word of mouth has changed. People don’t talk like they used to, people go online. They use their mobile phones, tablets or other internet browsing devices to surf the web, check Facebook, Google and apps like WikiCamps. They crowdsource information to see if they should visit or stay at your experience, accommodation or activity. It happens all of the time, any time, and you need to ensure you can be found.
Crowdsourcing is the new word of mouth, other people’s reviews, feedback and advice, received online, reassure and provide confidence in your next customers choice. And there are so many choices, you need to get it right.
5 ways to effectively promote your tourism, experience or accommodation business online
Presence (be found)
The internet, specifically the digital age, has presented a lot of different apps, websites and platforms (channels) to promote your tourism business online. Some stand out more than others, some are more relevant to your customers than others. At a minimum, you should ensure you can be found on the channels below:
Google Business (Be found in Google Search and on Google Maps)
Facebook (Be found when people search others experiences)
Instagram (Be found when people look for images)
WikiCamps (Be found by travelling families, couples and grey nomads)
Trip Advisor (Be found by those looking for reviews and referrals)
Youtube (Be found on the fastest growing search segment – video)
Maybe you already have a presence on each of the channels above, or maybe you just set them up. Either way, this one is critical – consistency.
Make it clear who you are and ensure you look the same across all of the channels. Whoever finds you, wherever they find you, should have no doubt it is you and find easily your preferred contact details and a great short description.
This is about two things – brand recognition and then capturing a lead or booking. In point one we identified 6 key channels that your customers will be searching. And most will use more than 1. By having consistency in presence you will put yourself in the best possible position to get that enquiry or booking.
Each of these channels have a profile picture, a title, a short description, an address and often links to the other platforms. Make sure you look the same across all the channels.
With a presence on each of the channels, people can find you. They can now also get in touch with you through up to date contact details. But why should they? Fresh, regular content, sharing what you do, where you are or what current customers experience is critical.
This doesn’t have to be hard work or a big theatrical production. Social Media has rendered celebrity endorsements and actors as unnecessary investments. People want to see reality, they want to see who you are and the typical experiences your customers or guests have.
Share great mentions or reviews online, ask a visitor or guest if you might be able to take a photo to share it or capture your own behind the scenes video or photos. Aim to post 2 or 3 times a week, minimum.
When you post, include your location, your name, key local sites or attractions. When people go to Google or Facebook, or any of the other channels, they will search “Accommodation near XYZ”. Your content is very searchable and if it is fresh and regular, channels will put you towards the top of the results.
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Now that’s a cool way to @exploreuluru We headed over to @ulurucameltours this morning’s for a 1.5hr loop walk from their camel farm through the sandunes overlooking Uluru. It was a really cool experience, a bumpy one, perhaps not best to do it with a sore butt post the bike ride around Uluru yesterday! 🤣 #travelwithkids #travelblogger #familytravelblog #familytravelblogger #familyadventures #travelgram #familytraveltribe #kidstravel #travelblog #familytravelling #familytraveller #familytravelgram #travelingwithkids #biglap #ozbiglap #travelaustralia #caravanlife #caravanningaustralia #vanlife #caravanningwithkids #tawk #uluru #ulurucameltours #seeuluru #exploreuluru
Reviews & Feedback
Reviews & Feedback is the new currency when it comes to finding somewhere in the tourism industry. Your guests used to ask friends or family where a great place to go, experience or see is, but now they turn to online.
Once you are found, be it through your great consistent profile on all of the key channels, or your fresh regular content, reviews are the next port of call.
If you know a client or guest has had a great experience, perhaps they shared it at checkout or on completion, don’t be afraid to ask for a review. Let them know how much it would mean for you and your business.
Follow up any guests or customers you have had, not long after they have left or finished, and ask for feedback. You can do this by email, over the phone or even face to face. If the feedback is good, ask them to leave a review on one or more of your preferred platforms.
Channels like Facebook & Google reward fresh, regular, relevant content and great reviews. If you deliver on both, you put your business in the best position to be found by new clients, guests or patrons.
You now have a great presence online, you have great content, you’re gathering feedback. You look fantastic! You now need to accelerate your distribution online.
Contact local information centres or tour operators to share your content online. Contact local media outlets, newspapers, magazines or radio. They too are looking for content, and by sharing yours you get additional reach and they get new content.
Also think outside the box. Travelling Australia right now are countless numbers of families, couples and grey nomads. Many have their own digital presences across the same channels you are trying to conquer. Offer to have them stay, experience or join what you have to offer at a discounted rate or even on a contra basis in return for the creation of content or reviews that you and or they can share to both your audiences. This can be a win win where for incremental costs you can accelerate being found online.
The digital world is constantly evolving. What worked last year doesn’t necessarily work this year, and old posts and content will certainly get pushed back by what is fresh, new and relevant.
If you’d like some help with your digital strategy or content, or perhaps are still a little confused on what to do next, get in touch with the Todoing Family! We’re WikiCamps Ambassadors and would be happy to work with you. We’re able to share our knowledge, skills and experience from 20 years in digital and now almost a year travelling Australia full time in a Caravan.
For more information on our services, please check our info kit here or feel free to submit an enquiry, below.