Tourism Advertising Ideas from a Kelowna Marketing Firm
Like most modern tourism companies in the Okanagan, you probably have some semblance of an online marketing plan in place. But if you’re not gaining the level of brand awareness or sales you desire, it might be time to consider using targeted campaign strategies used by the type of marketing firm Kelowna tourism operators recommend.
At the very least, it’s mandatory to use social media accounts so you can engage existing and potential clients. You probably use email to keep in touch with past guests, and hopefully you have a high-ranking website that’s acting as an online sales rep. But if you’re looking to go a step beyond that, here are some ideas that will bring your digital marketing efforts to another level.
Advertising on Facebook is effective for reaching your target market. That’s because half the planet uses it (well, more than a billion anyway).
These ad campaigns allow you to create compelling offers, videos and slideshows that tell your unique brand story and the tourism services you offer. Best of all, your ads will show up in front of the right people at the right time in the right place because of Facebook’s advanced audience targeting.
Done correctly, Facebook ads can lead to increased:
- Brand awareness – get your business in front of 1000s of the right people
- Post engagement (likes, shares, comments – plus the possible viral effect)
- Facebook Page likes – ramp up your fan base longterm
- Clicks to your website – drive online traffic. Facebook ads are like roadside billboards with a neon arrow pointing to your business.
- Sales – sales! Yes, make money. There’s an ROI waiting for you.
Tip: Slideshows are particularly useful in places where there is a sporadic Internet connection because they require less bandwidth and data to view. As an added bonus, they cost less to create.
Side note: Google Ads are another powerful way to build awareness and drive sales that we use on a regular basis for our tourism business clients. The strategy is different depending on whether we’re talking about Search Network (text) ads or Display Network (graphic) ads. Both can be very effective, but we’d need a whole other blog post to talk about this….
Reach Out Through Your Local Tourism Association
If you are a member of your local tourism association, you’ll have an opportunity to tap into their considerable marketing reach through their periodic email newsletters. Even small associations are connected to vast networks of industry peers, consumers and stakeholders who will be receptive to your message. They have spent years building large email lists and popular websites and social media accounts. They exist to help you. Reach out to them!
Partner with your local tourism association to get the word out by:
- Placing ads or offers in tourism association email newsletters
- Announcing events with a press release (they can help distribute or publish on their site. Example: http://news.totabc.org/submit-news/)
- Call them to brainstorm about joint venture advertising ideas (the sky’s the limit)
Don’t Ignore Online Directories & Review Sites
Consumers rely on the old fashioned printed directories far less than they used to. And why would they when they can easily find your company with a quick online search? Your website is all-important, but being found on multiple directories will lead more guests to your door. Your company’s Google ranking is influenced by the links created on these directories that point back to you. So the benefit is both increased website traffic and boosted search engine rankings
Some of the most popular directories include:
- Google Places for Business (important for reviews as well)
- Bing Places for Business
- Yahoo! Local Listings
- Yelp (important for reviews as well)
- Trip Advisor (important for reviews as well)
- Yellow Pages (online at www.yp.ca)
There are countless other directories where you can sign up your business and create a profile, providing potential clients more avenues to your business. If you’re looking for more brand awareness and web traffic, we have great ways to elevate your company and we’d love to help. We have 100+ directories and sites that we’ve collected over time.
Blog About Local Attractions
As an experienced marketing firm in Kelowna, the Twin Creek Media team knows one of the best ways to engage new clients is to write blogs that focus on what tourists are looking for when they’re planning a trip. For example, writing articles that incorporate your business + topics like “best things to do in Kelowna” is great way to attract readers.
Keep you blog fresh, keyword rich, with great photos, links for readers to take action, and you’ll be off to a great start. You’ll also have content to share on social media channels. If the idea of writing a weekly article of 300 words sounds daunting, this is where an agency can step in and help. Blogging has number of great benefits because it:
- Provides a valuable service for the reader
- Builds consumer trust
- Establishes you as a local authority
- Promotes your business
- Helps boost your ranking on Google because the article matches what people are search for (our clients that rank on the first page of Google see double or triple the number of website visitors. Seriously!)
- Attracts more potential customers when shared
- Provides info to share on your social media accounts
Online Gift Certificates
One way to get clients to instantly commit to using your services and products is to offer online gift certificates. For added incentive, you could even package them with special online promotions and discounts.
Once an online gift certificate module is added to your website (costs vary from $500 to $2000+), the ongoing costs are minimal. You can make money even when your business is closed on the shoulder seasons. Since online gift certificates can be purchased online, and emailed to the recipient, it’s all hands-off and takes zero time out of your day. Profits margins are typically large because a number of gift certificates sold will never be redeemed. One American study found that about 50% of all retail gift certificates will never redeemed. Sad as this is, it means free money for your tourism business. That’s a cynical way to look at it though. We’d rather see 100% redemption, and guests becoming raving fans afterwards… here’s to another great tourist season. Cheers!
Are you looking for a marketing firm in Kelowna that understands tourism? Twin Creek Media builds high performance websites designed to make you smile. With ongoing marketing support, we are your secret back office team helping you reach your (ambitious) business goals. Get in touch with our Discovery Document or call us at 250-762-4001.