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Clever marketing ideas for your tourism business during a pandemic

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4 min read

The world has changed, and it’s not a stretch of the imagination to say that the world as we know it will never quite be the same again. Stretch that imagination in a positive direction and use this valuable opportunity to reimagine your marketing efforts. 

SMMEs have a critical role to play in kickstarting the tourism sector. Provide your customers with all the inspiration and tools they need to travel with confidence!

Here are some smart ideas to market your tourism business during a pandemic:

Note: With customers still hesitant about venturing out, online marketing is where savvy SMMEs are focusing their efforts. Now is the time to prune your website and social media channels. Optimising technology and tools remain vital.

Content is key

Compelling content remains key. Don’t forget the basics (ask the three questions of ‘what’, ‘who’, ‘why’ with any piece of content). Remember that as an SMME, the most successful way of working your way into the heart of a customer and securing their loyalty is to solve their problems.

Clever content ideas include:

  • Share behind the scenes posts. More than ever, customers want to see the faces behind your brand. Share #behindthescenes clips to humanise your brand even further. This type of content is a particularly smart way of highlighting your amped-up COVID-friendly health and safety protocols.
  • Profile your team. Feature a short “meet XXX from our team” with some fun facts and a great photo of your smiling staff member.
  • Describe a day in the life of XXX.
  • Make good use of short video clips and tutorials. Reshare that video you made during lockdown to spark interest in your product and remind the customer that now they can experience that product for themselves, physically, not virtually! Videos remain the most popular medium to engage.
  • Jump on popular hashtags. Share content on hashtags such as #TravelTuesday, #WanderlustWednesday and #ThrowbackThursday that work well for leisure travel content.
  • Try a new platform. If the platform reaches your target audience, why not post your #MzansiChallenge on TikTok, do an Instagram challenge or experiment with a Facebook live video. It’s easy to do a quick search to check what’s trending on TikTok and other channels.
  • Go old school. If you have foot traffic near your business, go old school with a blackboard outside highlighting your specials, product or inviting people to pop in and share a coffee and chat.
  • Support other local South Africans by thinking of collaboration opportunities with local artists, designers, retailers and that tiny shop down the road.
  • Run a photo contest using one of the ideas above.
  • Use powerful visuals. Can you make that FAQs sheet on your website into a bite-sized infographic rather?
  • Sign up a guest blogger. Consider guest blogging for a brand or individual that shares your company’s values and target audience.
  • Write handwritten thank-you notes for customers. 
  • Use vehicle branding or ‘merch’. How about a branded car, t-shirt or cap? Come up with a quirky tagline and no doubt your brand will become a “legend” in your neighbourhood.
  • Implement rewards points, incentives cards or coupons – an easy way to encourage repeat business!
  • Ensure your LinkedIn profile is up to date and use the site for networking.

Challenge your team

Your team is your greatest asset. Start a fun competition challenge with them using any of the above content ideas to see who can come up with the quirkiest marketing ideas. 

Don’t forget the basics 

Keep your customer informed every step of the way, sharing your journey to reopening and keeping them informed of what’s happening in your business.

Ensure your opening hours and contact details are updated on all of your platforms – and don’t forget about updating them on Google either. Check Google Places and Google Maps. 

Have fun and think of out of the box. You’re looking for new, interesting ideas that spark interest for your customer. Honestly, no ideas are off the table. 

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