Over the years, successful travel communities have been built without spending a huge amount of money from marketing budgets. Don’t get me wrong, most businesses wish that they could have afforded higher profile advertising on TV, radio, and in glossy magazines, but realistically, very few tourism businesses have the budget. In this article, we will highlight marketing on a limited budget.
Keep up with trends
Keep a look out for trends, upcoming events and popular TV programmes where you can use the additional exposure as a way to promote your business. A good example in Yorkshire is ‘The Dales’ documentary shown on ITV, if you are a tourism business in the Dales, you should use social networks to get involved in the conversation on the programme by using the official hashtags.
People will be inspired to visit the Dales, and if you’re being active on the social networks this will help make people aware of your tourism business. Also, look at event calendars in your local area and piggyback off the exposure that the event receives by writing content and getting involved.
Be the go to person
If you come across as being someone knowledgeable in your niche then this can lead to a lot of exposure and it’s a perfect way to market your business. If you run a B&B, be the expert on the local area where your accommodation is based. Prove that you’re knowledgeable by publishing content on your website, or on social networks and make sure you build relationships with journalists and writers.
Word of mouth
Let’s be honest, most of us are influenced by family and close friends through recommendations. Your goal should be to meet your customer’s expectations and if you make a huge impression by providing a great service then there is very high chance that they will recommend you to family and friends.
You might also want to reach out to influencers who are happy to get your message to otherwise hard to reach people. Word of mouth marketing is huge and costs your business nothing if you impress your customers.
Identify a few travel forums and blogs where your target audience spends their time and use these communities to market your business – but, not in a way which appears to be spammy. Like on your social networks, you should use these travel communities to offer value and help the community. On forums respond to questions left by consumers, show that you’re helpful and knowledgeable.
In blog comments ask questions, leave your opinions. Use your real name in the comments, and include a link to your website. Naturally, if people reading your comments find what you say interesting then they can click through to your website to find out more information about you and your business.
I have to say this again – do not spam the communities, add value, participate in the discussions, get involved and prove that you’re there to help.
It’s important that you spend some time building your email list. It’s a great platform to market to people who are interested in your business. Use social networks, travel communities and your own website to attract people to sign up. Add value in the email; give them an incentive to sign up to your email list. Conversion rates within emails are higher than on social networks like Twitter and Facebook.
We’ll cover all of these topics in much more detail over the coming weeks and months but hopefully, this has offered some ideas to marketing on a limited budget.