Regardless of whether you run a small bed & breakfast or a business revolving around providing memorable, meaningful experiences to travellers, there’s no doubt that it’s tough being a tourism entrepreneur right now. The good news is that the domestic travel and tourism revival is well underway, and with the April school holidays swiftly approaching, there’s plenty of opportunity to orchestrate a boost to your bottom line.
The best way to encourage families with wanderlust to take action and get booking? Using the various online tools and platforms available to your advantage! Here are some actionable tips to keep in mind, along with some digital marketing don’ts to avoid.
Create and push seasonal specials
Consider different ways to offer holidaying families a few worthwhile value-adds that are bound to enhance their travel experience without necessarily taking away from your profits. For example, you might want to think about collaborating with another travel supplier or entrepreneur in your area who would be keen to offer your guests or patrons access to their product or service at a discount. That way, you can please your clients by gifting them a hearty coupon, all while doing your part to accelerate the recovery of the local travel industry.
Once you have a great special or promotion in mind, the next step is to optimise your digital marketing budget and promote the deal via your website, on social media, and through pay-per-click advertising.
Start creating content
If you have yet to embrace the power of content marketing, now is the time to do so! Create helpful and enjoyable content that will appeal to families who are keen to venture further afield during the school holidays, such as “5 Best Things to Do on the Garden Route in Autumn” or “Family-Friendly Activities Under R200 in KZN” – all obviously relating to the area in which your tourism business or guesthouse is situated. Soon, you will solidify your brand as an authority and remain top-of-mind when families decide to go ahead and book their April getaway.
Dedicate time to link building
Building a collection of offsite links back to your website can improve your SEO and lead to increased traffic which, in turn, could maximise bookings during this time. You can build these links in various ways, such as:
- Creating guest blogs for reputable travel websites.
- Offering freebies to respected travel reviewers (i.e. a free night’s stay at your guesthouse) in the hopes of landing a favourable review.
- Paying an esteemed blogger for a sponsored, promotional article that they publish on their website.
Digital marketing don’ts
Now that you know what to focus on, it’s also important to familiarise yourself with the specific online marketing tactics to avoid. Here are the primary no-no’s:
- Only advertising via your website. You need to take action to actually drive potential clients to your website through other channels like traveller directories, social media, and paid advertising.
- Paying too much attention to finding the right words and not the right imagery. It’s your imagery that will help to seal the deal – think smiling, happy families having the time of their lives and surrounded by breath-taking scenery. Remember to steer clear of stock imagery if you want to optimise relatability and authenticity.
- Only using one social media platform. Do your research to find which social media platforms your target market frequents and make sure that you’re using all of these platforms to your advantage.
- Using the same marketing strategy across all platforms. People use different social media platforms for different reasons and in different ways, so it’s never a good idea to simply create one version of your content and post it onto all of your social media platforms as is. For instance, if you’re speaking to a school holidays promotion, you might want to market it in image format on Instagram, video format on Facebook, and article format on LinkedIn.