The first thing to realise is that marketing has changed. What worked before no longer does and those fixed budgets need to be more flexible. The biggest change is how your guests now consume media and how quickly they can share, read reviews and move on to other websites and portals.
Here are my tips for increasing your bookings:
Make sure your website and social media posts use keywords and phrases which really have traffic behind them. SEO should be an ongoing part of the other four activities below from YouTube tags to your image tags within your blog posts.
This from experience seems to be a real issue for many websites in the tourism sector. The issue for many is trying to find something to write about and then worrying how long the post should be!
My advice is to think of documenting rather than creating. This way the content almost finds itself. Short videos of the scene on your doorstep, photos of your chef’s latest creation, local events, staff news, guest feedback and photos.
Blog posts can be just a few lines with images and with your SEO activity build up a lot of authority for your business. (Try and ensure your posts relate to the area your business is in).
NB: You will find that some of your social media posts would make good blog posts. Remember you are trying to get people to your website so use this as your main platform and share from here.
3. Google Adwords
The top search terms on mobile are nearly all Ads and most of your guests are using mobile so an Adwords strategy is important. This is where your SEO and keyword research will be useful in helping you to target more efficiently. Also think of targeting mobile users when they are most likely to be looking. So travel times and work breaks for example.
Also set up a corresponding landing page on your website. When your prospective guest arrives on your website, don’t make them think. The call to action should be obvious.
4 Social Media
You may be thinking you do a lot of this already, you post on Facebook, send a few tweets and update your website offers but is it a co-ordinated strategy? This is not just about making noise and posting using your PR tone of voice. It is about being authentic and real.
Social media is still producing mixed results in many areas of Tourism and this is because some people see it as an extension of search or Google Adwords. Advertising on Social is not the same as Google.
On Google people are searching for a specific service or an answer to a problem. They are in the mindset to buy. So if I search for a hotel in Cornwall and I see Ads for hotels with offers I am more likely to click on them.
On social media I am not looking for your business, I am scrolling through my newsfeed looking at things that interest me when your Ad interrupts me. If I click through I am less likely to to take up your accommodation immediately but I might like the page for later reference. This is why building a relationship and trust with your social media audience is so important.
Also remember your social media fans expect an immediate response to any question they have.
It is also important to interact with ALL social media reviews. Your social media audience have the ability to share your posts and recommend you far and wide.
Getting into people’s news feeds on social media is just as important as getting a high position in Google. I would also recommend posting to Google Plus as this does help for local searches.
5. Video Marketing
Visual is everything. People watch more than read on mobile…it’s easier!
I am not talking about spending £1000s on a corporate video that sits on your home page for 12 months but short 30 / 60 second clips which document what is going on within your business or the local area. These should be on your blog posts, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Getting out from behind your corporate logo will build trust and make you stand out from the crowd. Your content becomes easy to share and reach a larger audience.
Clips can be shot on your smart phone with logos, call to actions added afterwards.
If you need any help in within your business relating to the topics raised in this post please get in touch.