Tourism marketing during Covid19: Do these things now!
This isn’t another one of those marketing blog posts by so-called experts all hailing social media as your saviour during Covid-19, or shouting from the rooftops to spend, spend, spend on Facebook advertising to keep your name out there. Also, hiring an airplane to pull a big flapping banner and fly over a city won’t work either. (Haven’t actually heard that suggestion yet, but we’re sure it’s coming too.)
None of the above will entirely help you get through the apocalpyse that has hit the outdoor adventure tourism industry.
The good news is that there is still plenty that you can do. Some of the best actions cost little to no money. And each one capitalizes on a key factor: Audiences are starting to search on the Internet like mad for things to do and destination experiences.
Here are three actions to start doing right now. Don’t delay. The adventure tourism operators that take these steps will have an advantage moving forward. The ones that don’t will be lost when consumers embark on Internet searches to find the experiences to fulfil their bucket lists.
SEO will be massive after Covid19
You’re probably throwing much of your spare time into doing posts on Facebook or Instagram. It’s free. True. But back up a second. How much time are you spending right now on fine-tuning your website’s SEO? When people Google wilderness canoe trips in Algonquin Provincial Park, are they even finding you? Does your guiding company appear in the search results? Or, if you do, are competitors appearing higher up in search results than you?
Data from Sparktoro and Jumpshot shows that Google is still by far the biggest traffic referrer. In fact, Google is 10x bigger than the second biggest referrer.
That No. 2 on the chart of biggest referrer is far back in the rearview mirrow. It’s Facebook.
Now, let’s be clear: Social media is still necessary and has high value, especially for engagement. You must be using social media. But Google clearly has extremely high value for helping you be found. Google helps drive people to your website where you have a higher chance of helping them get the information they need. That also is the high quality route to converting them into signing up for a trip. Right now, Google is your best traffic referral option because during Covid19 you don’t have the option of standing at a trade show booth table handing out brochures for 20 hours on a weekend.
Remember: People aren’t using Facebook as a search engine to look for wilderness canoe trips in Algonquin Provincial Park. They’re too busy liking cat videos. Or memes. But people are definitely searching out stuff in your specific niche on Google.
So how do you get started improving your website SEO? Well, think of those phrases that best describe what you offer. And start Googling them. Backpacking trips in Banff. Canoe trips at Quetico. If these phrases best describe what you offer, and your SEO is well done, you will be appearing in search results. If not, you’ve got work to do.
Start by reviewing simple things, like wording on your home page, names of pages on your website, making sure photos on your website also have ALT text descriptions. All of these little things will help. Remember, Google spiders websites every day to gather information for searches. This is how Google helps people find what they’re looking for.
Pro tip: Google’s free Keyword Planner is a must-use tool for researching keywords in your niche. Want to know the average monthly search volume of various terms (ie. Georgian Bay kayaking trips, Algonquin wilderness expeditions)? You can get the data. You can even search more generic terms like guided backcountry trips and narrow it down by country or province to get a better idea of search volumes. Doing this kind of research is free and it’s exactly what savvy adventure tourism companies do.
Keep reading below for more SEO tips…..
Start writing new content (blog posts) now!
Go ahead and start Googling various terms related to what you do. Recognize any trend in the search results? Yep, blog posts appear in the search results too. Now look at the headlines of those blog posts. Bam! You got it! Those headlines have been all strategically written with the right words so that they appear in search results. Creating content is absolutely key to being found by people searching Google. Regular fresh content is also a big advantage because Google loves amplifying websites in its search results that are alive and breathing with fresh content vs websites that are built and never updated again.
The really really really big advantage with regular blog posts is that will also help position you as an authority in your niche. They are also more likely to be reshared by people visiting your website. And when we say reshared, we especially mean being emailed to friends. This person-to-person marketing is very valuable because it’s built based on trust. If Friend A sends your article to Friend B and the email note says “You have to read this!” or “We should do this!” that recommendation is built on established trust. That’s powerful influence!
Create a Trip Planner page (that acts as lead magnet)
This is a powerful technique on a website to move a potential customer further along in the sales funnel to actually signing up for an experience. Create a web page on your website that is password-protected. This page will focus on a niche that you specialize in. If your niche is guided tripping in Algonquin, then build a page(s) around that. For example, it may be a trip planner page for Backcountry Wilderness Women’s Adventure. This page is where you’ll have a couple of videos, perhaps even a video message from you (hey, letting them see and hear the person who will be guiding them is always a savvy step!). Add a couple of short informational blog posts or link to other posts on your website, have a Q&A section, or schedule a live chat with you to learn more. A private live chat can be a solid step for you to show your personality and get buy-in once they e-meet you. The whole idea behind a password-protected page is that people who are more serious about taking that next step will provide their email access and be granted access to your Trip Planner area. Each one of these people is a customer lead.
And that’s the whole focus behind all of the above tips in this post. It’s all about doing little things now that will create customer leads. Which is exactly what you need RIGHT NOW.
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