Top five tips to renew your digital marketing focus
In this article, we’re sharing the top five tips to increase your return on investment in marketing your tourism business and how to get more value from your digital assets.
#1 What are you trying to achieve and how are you going to get there?
No operational plan or marketing activity can be successfully implemented without a clear understanding of your business goals and the top strategies to achieve them.
What are your business goals for the year? Is it increase your profitability? If so, by how much? and by when? Is it to reinvigorate your product and the experiences that you offer? Are you looking to enter new markets?
Review your business goals and set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relatable, Time-specific) goals. Keep lean and focused and aim for no more than three goals and just one big hairy goal will do!
Be clear about who your primary and secondary target markets are. You can’t be everybody’s ideal choice, but you can be highly appealing to narrow segments of the market. Be guided by who your most profitable customer is and the people most likely to purchase from you and develop personas for these markets. What are their pain points and how does your product and customer service meet their needs? What are their likes and dislikes, demographics, purchase behaviours and website, social media and technology choices? With a deep understanding of your ideal customers and their purchase behaviours you can focus your marketing strategies in their direction.
#2 Get tangible benefit from social media
The vast majority of small and medium businesses are on a journey of experimentation with social media. They haven’t yet implemented a consistent approach and aren’t convinced on whether it is helping them meet their business goals.
By now you’re convinced that social media is not going away. Facebook is the social media choice for all ages and increasingly consumers are referring to Facebook business pages for information and ways to contact businesses. Instagram continues to grow in its usage and is the pictorial canvas for businesses to connect with target audiences and promote brand awareness. So, how are you going to ensure that your efforts are rewarded, and see the impact on your business?
The priority is to get organized and to get into a cycle with your marketing. You need to ride the digital wave, not be swept along by it. Develop an annual marketing plan listing key events in your region, holiday seasons and things going on in your business. Schedule quarterly campaigns and brainstorm monthly content themes that will support the events and holiday seasons as they approach. At least a month ahead, map out a monthly content and social media calendar outlining what content you will create and how many posts you’ll do (be specific to each platform, do not post the exact same post on Facebook and Instagram) and be consistent.
Facebook rewards consistency and your post will get into more users’ news feeds if you post often. Be consistent in the number of posts you do a week. Aim for one per day and if that’s too much, then four per week.
Enlighten yourself with the best hashtags to use on Instagram and apply those tags consistently and specifically for different posts. They will give your posts a longer life with people finding your posts well after the date you posted them.
#3 Implement a video strategy
Video is much more engaging than still images and communicates your message more easily than written words. Facebook will reward you if you post video directly on their platform rather than linking to YouTube. All the major platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are competing to get you to post video directly with them, so do it and enjoy the reach they’ll give you!
Invest in development of professional short web ready videos that you can post on your website and use in blog posts and on social media. Post them on your own YouTube channel as well and be sure to load a good description and tags.
Skill yourself or others in the business in capturing and editing video. It’s fun and easy with your mobile phone (I’m assuming your mobile phone is only a couple of years old). Make 15-30 second videos a regular feature of your social media posts.
#4 Be your own customer
It’s time to critique and nit-pick your own offering. You might be doing pretty well, but there are always things you can do better if you’re in the mood to look for them.
Do some secret shopping on your staff to see how well your enquiry is handled.
Go ‘incognito’ (Google it!). Search for your type of business to see how well you appear in Google for those searches. Try searches on friends’ phone to see how well your website appears, without putting in your business name, and how easy it is to search your website and book online.
Putting yourself in your customers’ shoes is a valuable test to see if you’re completely happy with what they find and how easy it is to do business with you. Your discoveries will guide you in the creation of your digital priorities.
#5 Get data savvy
There can be no excuse for businesses not to use data to help make their business decisions, since data is so accessible.
You’re sitting on an amazing data asset in Google Analytics to tell you about how people are using your website, what they’re finding useful and where you’re losing them, and that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Get familiar with the basics of Google Analytics so you can answer these questions yourself or at least know its capabilities, so your digital support person can give you the reports you need. Learn how to analyze the reports. Then you’ll truly be informed, and your digital strategies will be much more focused and results driven.
So, what are you waiting for? Start goal setting, reviewing and planning so that you can have a fantastic year for your business, your staff and your customers! There are so many opportunities in the digital age for small businesses to shine against their larger competitors and to be able to reach and connect with their target niche markets.
To achieve great results, you need to be focused on your segment of the market and prioritize the channels you’ll spend your time on. You must have the most appealing content, be consistent, provide excellent service online and in person, and measure and analyze your activity.