Travelers use their smart devices to find ideas. They may use their desktop to sit down and plan. Maybe they even use (gasp!) a pen and paper when comparison shopping. However they look for your destination, you should be the answer to the questions they ask.
When it comes to ensuring your destination or attraction is set up for success, regularly updating your channel profiles and using these channels differently for different audiences is key. In order to capitalize on your existing site traffic, and optimize and enhance your strategy at every level of the funnel, these tips will get you started.
Update Google My Business and Apple Maps listings
While it is in the best interests of both Google and Apple to get your business information right the first time, it’s up to you to ensure everything on your company’s Google Map and Apple Map listings is up to date. This means regularly checking your accounts and utilizing the tools’ features. Many small business owners don’t know that to ensure their business shows up on the map built into iPhone; they must also claim ownership of their Apple Maps listing in the same way that they own their Google My Business profile.
Optimize for “near me” Searches
What are your customers looking for when they find you? The literal answer is the products and services you offer in combination with some qualifiers – location being the most likely to be used during the quick decision-making process that drives last-minute sales. In order to be top of mind – and search engine results – keep a close eye on your organic keyword opportunities for core product and service offerings and the locations you serve. A monthly scan of search volume activity related to your area, destination, or key activities may prove fruitful.
Update seasonal content
Not all your customers are seeing all your content, because they can’t all be found in the same place. (And no prospective customer will watch or read the content in the order it was published.) Your most loyal customers are either engaged or bored by your content. If you’re going to maintain multiple channels for your marketing strategy, don’t forget to maintain them all consistently. At the very least, make quarterly or seasonal updates to images on key web pages, social media headers and profile photos, and any other digital places where your logo is included or listed. Fresh content brings fresh perspectives and intrigue from both potential and existing customers.
Brand and Content Consistency
One of the trickiest balancing acts in marketing is the prioritization of investments between marketing channels. Multiple tactics are critical to a well-rounded strategy that considers the values of as many customer segments as possible. Showing up where your customers will find you is much more likely to drive sales than expecting them to find you amid everything they might have going on. To show up, businesses should first identify their core audiences, where they spend their time, and how they make purchasing decisions. From there, it’s all about staying consistent in your messaging across channels and campaigns.
Local versus visitor audience segmentation
In line with the question of who your audience is comes the question of where they’re potentially coming to you from. An ideal mix of customers includes those who are both local to your business and those who might be traveling to find you – and your strategy should consider both segments separately and equally. This means understanding what appeals to your destination or attraction to these two core subsets of your target audience and delivering on those promises. Local customers may be more aware of your business’ presence in the community and make decisions based on that fact. By comparison, those traveling from out of town are looking for experiences to help them make memories about their trip. Regardless of where your customers are coming from, it all comes down to creating a memorable experience for all.
Expand on your local visitor audience with Lookalikes
Once you’ve collected information on your local or will-travel-to-find-you audiences, use audience targeting tactics to build more that look like them. Call Lookalike Audience development; this will build a group to whom you can market geographically, who have the same attributes as those already in your ecosystem. In the case of one Northern Michigan destination brand of our firm, the lookalike audiences regularly prove equally or more valuable, requiring fewer impressions to convert, and engaging more quickly than those that have already visited the destination (even those most loyal to it.)
Gaining the attention of travelers isn’t always straightforward, but its complexity can be minimized with a few key activities. Set yourself up for success with these pro tips.
Contributed by Erin Berhard, Account Executive