Before we dig into my list of tips to master digital marketing in the tourism industry, I want to share with you the best lesson I ever learned about internet presence, generally speaking. Always treat your business like you would treat your own profile page and your image! Everything should be top quality, consistent and professional.
And do you want to know what the best part is? Digital marketing for the travel industry offers many ways to get yours going and noted online. And what’s more? Best of all, you can apply most of these strategies for free! Well, it will cost you time, imagination and work on your part, but it can be done with a minimal financial effort.
How about we get started?
I‘ve chosen 15 tips for you to check, but keep in mind you can apply them in any order!
1. Get Yourself a Great Website
In order to have a successful tourism business, you really need to be present in an ever-changing market. And the digital marketing for the travel industry is nothing more than a mix of strategies that allow you to better sell to your customers.
Nowadays we barely buy anything without checking the promos online first. So ask yourself this: would you book a tour from someone who doesn’t have a website, or you cannot find online?
I’m sure you wouldn’t.
So, the first thing you must do is create an optimised website. This will not be the free strategy mentioned earlier, but this one is a must! And I also must underline the optimised part: clear, clean, creative design, quick to load and of course mobile friendly. The modern client has little to no patience and time to spend so if your website takes forever to load… he will find another that doesn’t. It is also advisable to have a site easy to navigate and with clear content, where to find the offers, how to book, contact details, etc. The mobile-friendly part is essential, as most of us search online using phones or tablets for anything, these days.
2. Establish Your Social Media Presence
The first rule of digital marketing in tourism or any business for that matter is: be present! By any means, you can think of and on all channels. Create your web page, make your profile on Facebook, on Instagram, YouTube, and post on tourism-related sites like Trip Advisor etc. Reach out to the world and stay active! Post and create quality content. Communicate and express what you have to offer but do it in a manner that doesn’t feel you’re spamming your clients!
Remember what I said in the beginning about treating your business like treating your profile?
You want your presence online to inspire trust and class.
Here’s the kicker: all you have to do is offer valuable information! But always! So whenever you post something, on any of your channels, keep this in mind: Post something that is both true and valuable to them! Quality will help you gain recognition and clicks will follow!
3. Create Or Join Groups On Social Media
Remember those users we were previously talking about? Well, another cost-effective strategy is to search them in social media groups such as Facebook.
Some of these groups have hundreds or thousands of members, usually connected by shared interests, location, hobbies or domains. It’s really a pool for potential buyers! But do remember the same rule we used on our page! Do not spam and offer value, not just a bunch of information!
Later on, you can also create your own group and be even more effective! But take it gradually and grow consistently!
4. Grow Your Social Media Channels Organically
We have another free of costs strategy that will help you get in touch with your followers and convert them into buyers.
What’s an organic growth you wonder? It’s a way of saying that your business will grow with each consistent post you place but it will address only to your pool of followers and subscribers. This is why it is so important to be relevant, posted regularly and on all channels. This way the numbers will grow and you will be addressing a larger number of potential buyers. And don’t forget to actively interact with them!
5. Reply And Comment On Relevant Content
This is one of my golden rules! I mean, this is like basic politeness! This might be online media but still, when spoken to, do reply. Even if you do not like what it is being said to you, or when being criticised, reply in a professional, fact – related manner!
Sadly we all have seen and met that type of social media user, that is there just to comment however irrelevant the comment is, so do reply politely but you do not need to engage in an everlasting debate.
6. Create a Blog
Another tip on how to master digital marketing in tourism industry is to create a blog. It is always a good and personal way to communicate with your clients or customers. You can relate on another level, add your personal touch while showcasing your best offers, tourism destinations, reviews for hotels and packages, videos and photos cases, etc.
But even better, while communicating, you can always introduce those keywords needed for the SEO part of the marketing mix.
7. Guest Post On Tourism-Related Sites
Another cost-efficient method to increase your visibility and get more engagements online is to post and comment on other tourism-related blogs and sites. Offer meaningful and interesting feedback and engage in a mutually beneficial exchange. You can offer your advice and share your experience but as always be specific, on the subject, creative and truthful and your reputation will increase.
8.9. Keyword Research and SEO
Since the next two strategies are very closely connected and work as a whole, I’ve decided to place them together. If you remember we have mentioned the fact that your site and pages need to have good health and a good SEO (Search Engine Optimization) so let’s start from the beginning!
The importance of digital marketing in tourism industry is showing you how to find the right words, channels and people. It’s important to find your client’s desires and your market niche. For this purpose, you need to find the right keywords to put in your messages, posts, and website. And the keywords research part of the tourism digital marketing strategy is a tool that reveals what are the words your clients actually put in the research bar so that you can direct them to your business.
After doing your homework and creating the profile for your customer’s needs you need to find the right keywords to add in the website and in all communication channels. For that be sure to use tools, as there are plenty: Google Keyword Planner, SemRush, Ahrefs, etc, for you to get ahead of your competition.
Now the SEO part comes into action. It’s not enough to have the right keywords and phrases. You need to build the site and the pages to be both accessible to users and search engines! In order to make it, even more, SEO friendly, make sure to make each page is properly optimised, create quality content, don’t just through in keywords and also don’t forget to create links to other search engine optimised pages such as directories, tourism-related web pages, blogs, etc.
10. Create Video Content And Share Online
Video content is expanding fast. So it only makes perfect sense to use it. Upload it on Youtube, Vimeo, Facebook, Instagram etc. Imagine you have a hotel or a restaurant, a small cosy coffee shop in a tourist area. With a short, creative and quality video uploaded and shared you can literally reach clients from all around the world and make them your potential clients. You can link it to your website, blog and get people to comment on it, to like it, add your preferred call to action like book online or contact us for promo offers! Get creative!
11. Add Your Business to Google Maps
Your presence on maps is quite important. It establishes credibility, in case you are a tourism agency, but it is vital if you are an accommodation for example. Just think about how you get to your hotel in a foreign country: type in the address and the GPS or the map application gets you there. So you should not, under any circumstances, miss from there. And, as always, make sure your contact details are accurate and updated.
12. Use Google My Business
As it turns out Google is your best friend when you want to implement a digital marketing strategy for your tourism business. You can and should, create a profile on Google my Business. It will be a very helpful tool in getting you promoted even more. Like all other marketing tips, you can use this one to get better exposure for you and promote your offers, services, contests, etc. After creating the profile, make sure to add photos, add your offers, and answer the reviews you get. There are a lot of ways to interact with your clients on Google my business and the best news is that it’s also free!
13. Do Email Marketing
It is said the Email Marketing is the channel that has the highest conversion rate. Kind of makes sense if you think that those who sign up to receive emails from you do it voluntarily and out of interest in what you have to offer!
So use this tool carefully! Add in all the sparkly offers, catchy title and best features you have to offer. Make sure to salt it with photos or links to video content, contact information and always use your favourite Call to action! It can be to book online, or ask for more information; maybe you want them to check a blog article! Your choice!
14. Start Paid Advertismenets
And now let’s get back to another tip! We covered the organic growth for the site and pages but sometimes we need a little extra something to get us noticed! And there are ways. You can use Google, or Facebook, Instagram or YouTube. You can pick your best channel of communications and just run with it! Just make sure that your campaigns are relevant and bring you that extra volume of clients or sales you needed!
15. Do Content Marketing
As a digital marketing strategy, the content aspect of the tourism business has various ways to manifest. Whether be by photos, videos, comments, posts, blogs, stories or shares you can use any and all of them and you should. And these days we all use it! We are following and searching for any relevant or great-looking content. So keep yourself active, promote your destination, business, discount offer, early bookings or whatever is your best feature!
Final Thoughts To Perform Digital Marketing In Tourism Industry
As a conclusion, I would advise you to mix and match and try to see what works better for you! There are countless tips to master the digital marketing in the tourism industry, and there are always new opportunities to take and new paths to discover. Keep yourself active, present and always curious to see what’s new and you will do just fine!
Which of these tips do you think you would like to try out for your travel business?
Let me know in the comment section!