9 Tips for In-House Tourism Marketers

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Tourism Hospitality Marketing Tips

If you're an in-house tourism marketer, you're probably a very busy bee. Whether you're managing the spill over into sales or helping with booking redemption logistics, your work is never quite finished.

While it may be easy to get sidetracked in the many arms of a tourism or hospitality company, using automation tools and strategizing ways to keep focus will help you work efficiently and achieve results much sooner.

Here's a few of our favorite tips:

1) Listen to your market.

  • Base new endeavors on statistics and trends. Think Google Analytics, quarterly market updates from your CVB, international visitation articles from trusted sources, and past company trends in coupon redemption, seasonality, and service type.
  • Keep your finger on TripAdvisor rankings, social media posts, and things you hear on-site. Use insights for new idea sessions.

2) Know your audience.

  • Remember - you cannot be everything to everyone, nor should you try. A successful tourism marketer knows how to reach to their most opportune demographic and what to say to make them convert.
  • A good idea is to know your primary, secondary, and tertiary targets. Segment your marketing endeavors and create campaigns to speak to them directly.

3) Tackle things in phases.

  • Set goals!
  • Plan to reach those goals throughout a certain time frame. It's easier to tackle many at once when you break them out in phases. Work to be proactive instead of reactive in generating sales.

4) Do not skimp on assets.

  • Tourism purchases are emotionally charged decisions, so good visuals will help create that travel lust to drive engagement. 
  • A great set of photos will pay for themselves a thousand times over. Invest in some professional photography, then use it in social media, brochures, website, and everything in between.

5) Embrace and base in digital.

  • About half of all tourism sales are made online, so make sure that your website functions as a revenue generator. Look at site stats, see where traffic is coming from and how it behaves, and then make content updates to help move the line towards purchases sooner.
  • Social media, paid search campaigns, and other online mediums are an excellent way to market because you can see how ads are working in real time and then optimize immediately.

6) Devote your time to what really matters.

  • Responding to every single TripAdvisor review is great, and it does help, but those hours may have been better spent pulling reports and strategizing for the next quarter.
  • To maximize the time you do have, use tools to automate the small stuff.
    • IFTTT.com's applets are out of this world.
    • Hootsuite is great for managing many social media channels in one place.
    • Google Alerts are a great way to know when your business has been mentioned online.

7) Incorporate print, but do it wisely.

  • Unless you're a CVB with a huge budget, skimp on the branding and go with action-based placements. What publications are most targeted to those in the travel purchase mindset? If you go too high level, it will get expensive, and you won't get the response needed to qualify making such a large buy.
  • Make sure that ads within placements are complemented with a campaign - think digital component, city wide component, or even an advertorial in the same publication. Then ensure that the ads to their job!
    • The larger ads in more targeted pubs tend to work better than tiny ads in nationwide pubs. Creative needs to stand out with a clear CTA and an emotive lead image.

8) Make time to push the envelope.

  • Make room for experimentation in your marketing plans. The "tried and true" only works... until it doesn't.
  • Schedule continued education in your calendar. Seminars, workshops, podcasts, and expert discussions are important to knowing what's out there!
  • Do not be afraid of product development. Sometimes the market will tell you that they want something bit different - this is your chance to make it happen.

9) Surround yourself with experts.

  • Networking is huge! Spot out one person to connect with at each event you attend.
  • Find specialists to take your work further.
    • If you have to work with a vendor, remember that a "one size fits all" company may be cheaper, but it will take more time and brain power from you in the long run. Instead of explaining tourism or marketing to your vendor, you should be using that time to review the expert, new ideas they have for you.

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