Many tourists are ditching the guidebooks and following recommendations on their mobiles as they travel. What are the benefits for your tourism business of going mobile? From our work with many leisure industry clients we’ve identified 5 reasons why mobile marketing is key for tourism.
1. Your competitors are already interacting with your target audience
It’s not just about keeping up with the Joneses. Making sure your future customers are hearing your voice as well as the messages your competitors are posting ensures you are still in their consciousness. Twitter and Facebook have the edge over a website or flyer because you can build rapport and a genuine relationship with people who might be interested in visiting your café, staying at your accommodation or bringing their family to your attraction for the day. Grabbing the attention of tourists who are at a loose end and inspiring them to visit your premises with a text message or push notification is now an exciting possibility when harnessing the wealth of mobile marketing tools available.
2. It can be lots easier than the website to set up.
If you’ve already grappled with your own website, don’t worry you can still make use of all that material you’ve created by taking a look at how your website appears on a tablet or phone. Depending on how your site was set up, it might need adjusting slightly to become usable on these more up-to-date gadgets. If you set up social media accounts Twitter and Facebook your content will automatically work well on smartphones. Set up a basic account and explore sites like LinkedIn and Instagram. Ask your current customers and suppliers which platforms they use. Focus on being where they spend their time. Ask other business people that you know for tips. Get some quick wins under your belt while the seasons in swing and use the off-season to work on longer term strategies.
3. People are less likely to travel with laptops, maps or guide books these days
It’s getting harder to keep track of the amazing developments in technology. Your tech savvy customers will often set off for a day out and plot out what they’re going to do based on recommendations they’ve read on TripAdvisor, Facebook or Swarm from Foursquare. Take a look at how other businesses or your local tourist authority are integrating social media links, QR Codes (small images that when scanned link to a website or app), or phone apps into their traditional marketing material. Posters and flyers with digital links provide an instant city guide when coupled with the gadgets visitors are carrying with them.
4. The latest suite of gadgets and apps range from free to affordable.
Whatever your budget you can get access to affordable devices and many of the apps we’ve mentioned here are free for basic business use. We run lots of affordable online and face to face training sessions designed to get you started, not baffle you with geeky details.
5. You’ll get great returns from just a few hours a week.
As much of what you’ll need to do to establish your mobile marketing presence will be inexpensive, you’ll really be looking at whether the time you dedicate has been well spent. We usually advise that businesses pursue new digital marketing ventures with gusto for at least 3 months before deciding if it’s giving a good return on investment. Don’t give up too soon!
We know it can be a busy time for all those working the summer season so, perhaps do some light pottering when you get chance over the peak season and start your research ready for an off-season project to get your tourism business on the social media map in the near future.
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