Tourism Marketing 101: How to Boost Your Business Creatively

October 3, 2022 Team CNFLNC

Are you trying to come up with new and creative ways to market your tourism business, but keep getting stuck? We want to help you! In this blog, we’ll provide you with some creative ideas for your tourism marketing strategy. There are plenty of ways you can market your business in clever, fun ways while staying on-brand.

Why is it important to have a creative marketing strategy for tourism? Well, it’s simple – you need to differentiate yourself from your competitors and capture your customers’ attention. According to Google’s travel industry trends, most travelers aren’t brand committed. In fact, 78% of leisure travelers do not have a preferred airline to travel with, and 82% have not chosen the accommodation provider they will book with once they first start thinking about planning a trip. This means you must have a strategy to catch their eye and give them a reason to plan their travels with your business!

Here are our top creative ways to market your tourism business:

1. Show off your skills

What makes your travel and tourism business unique? Something that you do that your competitors do not?
Do you have your answer? Great! Now, let’s show it off. With tourism marketing, you want to highlight the human side of your business – your employees serving your guests, the remarkable views of your location, behind the scenes content of how you prepare for your guests, etc. This helps to build trust amongst your customers and potential travelers.

2. Share user-generated content

Encourage your visitors to share content related to your brand during their travels (Quick tip: Create a brand-specific hashtag for customers to tag your business in!). Sharing user-generated content is completely free and serves as a real-life example of people using your products or visiting your destination. Real-life examples are highly influential and help people to get to know your brand better!
Additionally, most customers will share photos, videos, or great reviews of their trip. Request permission to use their content to promote your business across your social platforms.

3. Create a challenge to promote your destination

Social media users love participating in challenges! Create a fun challenge that targets your niche and encourage your existing customers to take part in it as well. Need an idea for a challenge? Let’s say your goal is to get people excited about your destination and the chance to win a trip there through your business. Although you can run this challenge across various social media platforms to reach more people, it is typically recommended that you stick to just one to have everything in one central location. Once you’ve chosen your preferred platform for this challenge, ask your followers to share your post about the challenge and provide a prompt and a call to action, such as “What is the first thing you would do if you won a trip to this location? Tag a friend you’d love to go with!”. At the end of your challenge, choose a winner and give them the prize of a trip to your destination. It’s a win-win for both parties – your business generates a ton of buzz, and they get a vacation!

4. Segment and personalize your marketing efforts

When creating any type of marketing plan, one of the first things you should decide is who your target market is. Who are your tourism marketing efforts targeting? Millennials, couples, families, backpackers, seniors… – these are just a few examples to help you get an idea of where to start.  For example, if your target market is backpackers, you could target men and women who enjoy the outdoors. Share content about the benefits of hiking, spending more time in the outdoors, etc. You could also offer specials during the hiking season for cabins with breathtaking views in the mountains, and include something extra like free dinner at a local restaurant if they book through your ad.

5. Create a tourism marketing plan for your destination

A tourism marketing plan is the foundation of your marketing activities. While this part isn’t so creative, you cannot get to the creative stuff without a good marketing plan. A marketing plan allows your business to set and achieve goals, keep track of what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, and measure the effectiveness of your marketing strategies.

6. Tap travel influencers to drive exposure

Did you know that 80% of marketers find influencer marketing to be effective? Tapping into the influencer industry is a great way to raise brand awareness for your tourism business. Influencers are people who have established an online following based on their personal brand. They build trust with their supporters, which, in turn, allows them to influence behavior and purchasing trends.

Find an influencer that fits your niche and set up a partnership with them. You can help them create content, have a unique experience, and expose your business to a wider audience. Find someone who creates content that relates to your brand and whose audience would be interested in your products or services.

7. Create a travel guide about your destination

Your tourism marketing needs to be focused on your travelers’ wants and needs. Put yourself in their shoes – most of them won’t know your area as well as you do. A fun, informative travel guide is something they would get great use out of.

The guide should be easy to understand and quick to read. It should include ideas for things to do, sights to see, places to eat, what’s new in the area, and other information that you feel is important to know about your area. Tourists love to know the ins-and-outs of your destination, including “locals only” secrets and advice.

Create a guide with a professional design and high-quality photos that even you would be willing to pay for, and then give to your customers for free.

8. Don’t forget about mobile

Millennials travel more frequently than any other generation. They also spend more time on their phones than all other devices, and would rather text than call. When marketing to millennials, you should keep mobile in mind. Make sure your mobile platforms are up-to-date, and your website is optimized for mobile devices. This includes being easy to navigate, fast to load, and having a user-friendly layout.

Tell your brand’s story where they want to see it the most – on mobile. Create an Instagram account for your business to share your best photos, give your followers a unique perspective of your city, and guide them on a virtual tour of your favorite things to do and places to see.

In short, having a marketing strategy that is both creative and informative can separate your business from your competitors and show customers why they should work with you, all if done effectively. CNFLNC has proven capabilities to grow your tourism business through methodical strategies, expertise in digital marketing, and the effective deployment of technology to drive and measure your campaigns and results. Find out how CNFLNC has successfully helped the City of Ouray to exceed its revenue goals in Q4, 2020 during the most uncertain times of COVID-19 here. If you need help creating a tourism marketing strategy that is fun and on-brand, reach out to us today!

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