Marketing is an important tool for building and maintaining a tourism business. Growth requires reaching different people and making them aware of what your business offers, but relying on word of mouth can only do so much. Investing in marketing strategies is the wiser choice in the long run. The right marketing campaign will be effective and yield high rewards, such as a wider tourist reach and better feedback.
But when you’re the owner of a small tourism business, you won’t always be in the position to allocate a huge budget to marketing campaigns. Keeping a business afloat is already difficult enough without the strain of cutting your budget to promote your brand. So, we’ve come up with a few marketing strategies that won’t drain your wallet.
1. Understand your client
Not being specific about the kind of clientele you want is a mistake that many business owners tend to make. Oftentimes, we have the mentality that increasing brand awareness automatically translates to more customers. What you should do is narrow down your focus on a niche market and interact with the communities you find there that have a high chance of connecting to your business.
Let’s say you sell personalized, hand-crocheted hats. You’ll probably have a hard time competing with other brands if you target the general market. Try reaching out to a more specific audience. Maybe artistic tourists might go to your business instead of other gift shops. Identifying your niche audience and understanding their problems make it easier for you to target their needs and supply them with what you can offer.
2. Be unique
Let’s face it: many marketing campaigns only involve positive scripting. Your products may not be the best in a very saturated market, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have a shot at setting your business apart from the rest of your competitors. Ask yourself what makes your business unique. Would you buy your own product despite how there are so many like it being sold already? How are you so different from the rest?
Identifying what makes your business different is crucial because that will be the main reason why potential clients stay and keep supporting you. If you’re unique because of your prices, your branding, or the kind of product or service you offer, it’s important to let the audience know right off the bat.
3. Focus on one thing at a time
With the rise of digital technology, the ways of reaching out to people seem endless. It can be tempting to make your presence known on every social media app in the hopes of reaching more people, but this is a marketing no-no. Remember: you’re still on a tight budget. Spreading yourself too thin right now will only stress you out, and you may also confuse people if you’re not consistent with your media presence.
Stick to one method and objective. Think about your ultimate goal. Craft your marketing strategy around that objective and build from there. Having too many goals and executing them all at once will put you at risk of failure and burning out, so take it slow.
4. Think of short-term goals first
Planning things for the future is good, but allocating money to a strategy that takes too long to yield results isn’t the best use of your resources. You have to manage the goals you set to put things in a better perspective. Aim for goals that will get you more immediate results. Doing so will boost your morale and help things pick up faster than waiting around for uncertain results.
Let’s say you want to increase your online presence. Jumping the gun and using a search engine optimization or SEO strategy right away is risky because you have to wait for months before you can start seeing results. Don’t be scared to ask for advice from other business owners and experts. They can help you identify which marketing method works best with your short-term goals.
5. Take care of your customers
What attracts customers to a small business is the feeling of connecting and being appreciated by another human being. Treat your loyal customers: come up with a special rewards system, or invest in a customer satisfaction program.
Big corporations tend to forget that customers are people too, and appealing to that sense of humanity is what can endear clients to a brand. Be grateful and gracious, and let them know how much their support means.
A final word
Having limited resources shouldn’t stop anyone from being successful at owning a tourism business. These five strategies will help your brand be the best it can be while still allowing you the room to tailor-fit the marketing strategies you feel are good for you. You’re on the way to making the most of your business, and we hope these tips help you get there quicker.