If you work in the tourism industry, you probably know that the fight for customers can be a competitive one. More and more people are travelling each year, however, more and more businesses are cropping up to cater to these tourists.
Whether you run a hotel, a restaurant, or a tourist attraction, it’s crucial that you keep reaching out to brand new customers in order to stand out from the crowd.
In this article, we’ll be discussing a few great methods you can implement to improve your visibility and reach new customer demographics in the tourism industry.
Create an impactful social media presence
Social media has never been more important than it is today. In 2019, there were roughly 2.95 billion people actively using a social media platform. While these platforms were initially created for interaction among friends, these days, they are frequently used as a means of connecting businesses with potential customers.
In fact, research has shown that 54% of millennials use social media to research products before they make a purchase. It follows that every business that wants to reach the millennial demographic should make use of these platforms as a medium for marketing.
Begin by researching your competitors. Find out what their social media presence looks like. How often do they post? What kind of content seems to be effective? Which platforms do they use? Use this research as a template that your business can follow. Post relevant content frequently. Connect with potential customers. You’ll be amazed by how quickly you can engage new interest in your business and then monetise this engagement.
Partner with other local tourism businesses
The wonderful thing about the tourism industry is that you and other businesses can work together without detracting from the success of the other. Tourists tend to spend their time and money with a range of separate businesses while they’re on holiday — therefore, it makes sense to connect with other businesses so that you can promote each other to your current customers.
Contact local businesses that aren’t in competition with your own. Offer to set up a joint package or deal. Hopefully, this will encourage your customers to visit your partner business, and vice versa. The partnership will give your business more credibility and will increase awareness and trust amongst a new demographic of customers.
New outreach strategies
An outreach strategy is essentially the plan you have in place to communicate with new customers. Depending on the sophistication of your current marketing plan, you’re probably already doing a fair amount of outreach. Your emails, flyers, and social media is all part of outreach.
A great way to reach new customer demographics is to update and reinvigorate your outreach strategy. Do some research on the demographic you want to reach —what mediums do they tend to most frequently. Focus on building a strong brand voice that appeals to this demographic and fostering lasting relationships with new customers. This will help you to build brand awareness in this new demographic.
If you are struggling to reach new customers, make use of the customers you already have. Referral programs are an excellent way to expand your reach and quickly secure some new first-time customers. Referral programs are essentially a program in which returning customers are offered a discount or offer in exchange for referring the business to their friends, who usually also receive a discount for their first purchase.
Customers love referral programs — both the returning customer and the new customer will feel like they’re getting a deal, and the promise of saving money is often enough for customers to make a purchase. It turns out, 80% of first-time shoppers decide to make a purchase because they know they’re getting a discount.
So, how do you set up a successful referral program? Start by deciding what you intend to offer for both returning customers and new customers. Most companies will give both customers a discount on their next purchase.
If you run a hotel or a restaurant, you may decide to give a free service instead of a discount. For instance, you may offer returning customers a free meal during their next stay, or a free room upgrade. If you own a hotel, you may offer a free starter or dessert for referrals.
Follow tourism trends
The tourism industry is a fast-moving one. If you run a business in this sector, you may feel whiplash from how quickly the marketing trends can change. By staying on top of the latest trends in the tourism industry, you won’t get left behind. Stay up to date by following blogs and magazines that cover tourism marketing.
As of 2020, marketing trends in the tourism sector are tending towards targeting mobile devices, using lots of video advertising, and implementing dynamic content strategies.
Optimising for mobile
In the tourism industry, all signs are pointing to the importance of mobile marketing. As of last year, 21% of hotel bookings are made via mobile devices.
Making use of video
Customers are drawn to video, so including videos in your advertising is key. For instance, including the word “video” in the subject line of your emails increases the open rate by 19%. Plus, customers are four times more likely to watch a video about your business than to read about it.
Implementing dynamic content
Personalised content is key. It’s crucial that you use tools that allow you to address customers by name in emails and track customer preferences so you can send content tailored to target each individual.
Keep improving your reach every day
The tourism industry has always been competitive, especially when it comes to securing new customers. In order to continue to be a relevant player in your local sector, you need to continue to reach out to new demographics and find new customers continually. We hope these tips on marketing for new demographics has given you some inspiration and a good jumping off point for your new outreach campaigns.