25 Digital Marketing Strategies for Tourism
By Tomahawk on
Digital marketing is an ever-evolving part of promoting your tourism business. With new tools and technologies being developed constantly it's vital to keep on top of the latest strategies available to you. That's why we continue to provide a wealth of content in the form of eBooks, articles, and webinars to assist with your learning journey!
Our Tourism Tech Talks series in 2023 delivered 5 digital marketing webinars with 5 strategies shared by subject experts in each. These 25 strategies are summarised below covering: Something New, Something Reliable, Something Underrated, Something DIY, and Something Trending. The five key digital marketing topics are:
- Social Media Marketing for Tourism
- Google Strategies for Tourism
- Brand, Design & Storytelling
- Technology & Tourism
- Translating Google Analytics 4 for Tourism
We recommend you read the full webinar article for each topic below to explore the strategies in more detail and get the most out of the learning opportunity. Watching the webinar videos also provides more insights and context to the content. Enjoy!
Jaimee Beck explored effective social media strategies tailored for the tourism industry, with real-world examples and hands-on approaches.
1. Something New: Use AI for Content Creation
In a world driven by technology, embracing artificial intelligence (AI) can be a game-changer for your tourism marketing efforts. AI-powered tools like ChatGPT can streamline and automate several tasks, including content creation, social media calendars, and copywriting. These intelligent systems can analyse data, identify trending topics, and even curate captivating content that resonates with your audience. The efficiency of using AI will allow you to focus on higher-level strategies and creative initiatives, while the AI handles the repetitive tasks saving you precious time.
2. Something Reliable: Community Management
In the world of social media, building strong relationships with your audience is crucial for long-term success. Community management plays a vital role in cultivating trust, loyalty, and advocacy among your followers. The whole purpose of social media is to build trust, familiarity and a connection with your audience. Think of your social content as the conversation starter, and your community management as the conversation itself.
3. Something Underrated: Closed Captions on Video
Captions on videos are becoming a very popular way to communicate the messaging on short-from social media video that can be used with or without voiceover. The key reasons captions are expected to be the norm are:
- Accessibility: captions make content accessible for users with hearing impairments.
- Engagement: captions keep people watching until the video ends, especially if they have the sound off.
- Search Optimisation: adding captions to your videos increases your keyword density and diversity, improving SEO.
4. Something DIY: User Generated Content
User-generated content is a powerful asset for tourism businesses as it showcases authentic experiences from real customers. Encouraging UGC is a cost-effective way to expand your brand's reach while building trust and credibility. In fact, 80% of consumers say user generated content highly impacts their purchasing decisions. (source: Stackla survey)
5. Something Trending: Brand Authenticity
In the era of social media, brand authenticity is a prevailing trend that is here to stay. Today's consumers value transparency, honesty, and a genuine connection with the brands they choose to follow. For tourism businesses, this means showcasing the true essence of your offerings and the unique experiences you provide. By staying true to your brand's values and personality, you'll forge deeper connections with your audience, leading to increased brand loyalty and advocacy.
View all of these 5 social media marketing strategies in more detail and the webinar video in our full article.
Tip Varnakomala unveiled key trends and best practices in leveraging Google tools to enhance online visibility, attract visitors, and drive bookings.
6. Something New: Google Analytics 4
Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the next evolution of Google’s analytics tracking software. It enables you to collect, track, and measure traffic and engagement metrics across websites and apps. Google Analytics 4 should be considered a new(ish) platform, not an upgraded Universal Analytics.
5 ways to get the most out of GA4:
- Engaged Sessions vs Bounce Rate
- GA4's biggest strength is it machine-learning capabilities with automated "Insights"
- Advanced attribution models
- Custom reports
- Referral spam filtering
7. Something Reliable: Google Business Profile
A Google Business Profile puts your brand front and centre with your potential customers on Search, Maps and other Google Properties. It is therefore a critical method for creating awareness and attracting clicks through to your website. If you haven't set up your FREE Google Business Profile by claiming your listing, it's a MUST DO! Once set up you also need to maintain the content with updates, new photos and respond to reviews.
8. Something Underrated: Google Ads Bids Strategies
What is an automated bid strategy? Automated bidding is a Google Ads bid strategy designed to maximise results based on your set campaign goals. Google ads uses signals such as device, OS, time of day, location and more to determine the likelihood it will achieve the smart bidding goal.
9. Something DIY: SEO Basic Keyword Research
Search engine optimisation is the process of improving your website to increase its visibility in Google, Microsoft Bing, and other search engines for organic unpaid traffic. It's all about keywords! A Keyword is a word or phrase on your website that matches the words and phrases people are entering into search engines to find what they are looking for.
The following outlines some steps you can do yourself to cover the basics:
- Create a list of relevant key words
- Find related keywords
- Search your website for identified keywords
- Add missing keywords in to your website content
10. Something Trending: YouTube Shorts
YouTube Shorts is a short-form video feature introduced by YouTube to compete with platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels. It allows users to create and share videos that are up to 60 seconds in length.
Why Are YouTube Shorts Important?
- Brand Awareness
- Cost efficient
- Mobile Friendly
- Potential to go viral
- You can create content for multiple platforms at the same time
View all of these 5 Google strategies in more detail and the webinar video in our full article.
Pallavi Karambelkar illuminated the significance of branding and storytelling in the tourism sector and offered practical tips to captivate and engage the target audience.
11. Something New: Horizontal Scrolling
Horizontal scrolling on a website is an emerging design feature that presents featured content with a horizontal scrolling action to view more, rather than the traditional vertical scrolling. We see this being used a lot on smartphone apps like Netflix, so with this familiarity, it is now becoming a new design feature for websites.
12. Something Reliable: Your Story
Every brand has a story! It is stories that people will remember rather than facts because they create connections, offer authenticity and build trust. Your brand story will share your WHY rather than your WHAT. Why did you start your business? What is your passion? What are your values? Share the same values and story consistently to avoid confusion.
Sharing of your brand story and values can be done by weaving them into all aspects of your communications - in your logo, on your website, in your "tone of voice", in your hashtags, how you respond to emails, and so on!
13. Something Underrated: Fonts
Fonts offer so much for brands but are often not mentioned. Each font has a personality and can evoke emotion and relatability. A good typography should almost seem invisible because they do a job at a subconscious level. You should choose a font type that matches your brand personality.
14. Something DIY: Creating a Brand Kit in Canva
Canva is a popular DIY online tool for creating marketing collateral designs - anything from social media posts and reels to brochures and website graphics. There is a specific feature in Canva which allows you to set up your own "brand kit" so that you can then easily and consistently apply your branding across all of your designs.
15. Something Trending: Brand Accessibility
Accessibility in the sense of user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) means a design is "inclusive" so that a broad range of people can use your content. Which means that people who are less able (whether it be temporary or permanent) are not disadvantaged when viewing your website.
View all of these 5 brand, design & storytelling strategies in more detail and the webinar video in our full article.
Lez Gunnion navigated the technological landscape introducing AI tools and other advancements that can support and enhance the marketing of tourism businesses.
16. Something New: AI Chatbots
Chatbots are found on a website as a pop-up that allows visitors to the site to ask questions in a live chat format. They are used to provide automated customer service, answering questions to solve issues, and to provide information that encourages sales and bookings, all without using a human. Traditional chatbots have been around for 2-5 years, however a new generation of chatbot has now evolved to bring us chatbots powered by AI technology that provide considerably better intelligence with more "human-like" responses.
17. Something Reliable: Mobile Optimised Website + Integrated Booking Engine
You probably already have this right? It's a very important piece of your marketing that is your own, reliable, controlled technology. These are of course the basics - a must have! Having the control over your own website and it's content means you can personalise it to your own brand, FAQs and designs, and is your best way to achieve direct commission-free bookings.
So how does this fit into a rising technology strategy? The answer lies in the next evolution of Google's search generative experience (SGE). SGE is an experimental version of Google’s search engine that uses artificial intelligence to generate contextual answers to complex questions. Find out more in our full article how you can prepare your website for the new Google SGE.
18. Something Underrated: Your Data
The data that is found in your Google Analytics allows you to understand your customer and how to drive bookings. This is your most important technology asset but is often underrated. Looking at your own data helps you to make better decisions when creating online ad campaigns so you know key aspects like who to target, what locations to target, and which of your content coverts more bookings
19. Something DIY: Leverage 2 Free Platforms
Understand the search terms for which your website ranks by linking your Google Search Console & GA4. Google search queries are not available in GA4 by default, like it was in Universal Analytics. However, in just 15mins, you can connect your search console and pull through this data into GA4 so you will continue to have this valuable information in your reports.
20. Something Trending: Performance Max for Travel Goals
Performance Max or PMax is a goal-based, AI-powered campaign type that allows advertisers to access Ads channels and inventory from a single campaign. Powered by Google’s AI, Performance Max for travel goals helps you easily expand your hotel’s reach and drive more direct bookings across Google. With one easy-to-set-up campaign, you can reach people in the important moments when they’re planning their trips.
View all of these 5 technology strategies in more detail and the webinar video in our full article.
Renee Goodsell showcased key features of Google Analytics 4 to highlight how it assists in understanding user behaviour and optimising marketing efforts to boost revenues.
21. Something New: Calculated Metrics
A Calculated Metric allows you to create a formula using data that Google automatically measures to get a meaningful result for your business. Create and use Custom Metrics (number) & Dimensions (descriptive) when you want to understand something that is not already measured by Googles’ predefined metrics (e.g. page views) plus the new ability to calculate metrics within GA4.
22. Something Reliable: The Data is Still Reliable
It might just have a different name! Here's a list of key metrics and what they are now called in GA4:
- Total Users is now Active Users
- Returning Users is now Engaged Users
- New User is the same
- Page Views is now Screen Views
- Bounce Rate is now Engagement Rate
- Average Session Duration is now User Engagement Duration Per Session
- Transactions is now Purchase
- Conversion Rate is the same
- Goal Conversions is now Conversion Events
23. Something Underrated: Google Signals
Google Signals collects data from users who are signed into their Google account AND have Ads Personalization turned on. Switching this on prevents the double or triple counting of these users by allowing for bettering tracking across devices & browsers.
See the full article to find out more about the benefits of Google Signals and the how to turn it on in GA4 in just 5 Clicks!
24. Something DIY: Build a Basic Report
You can build your own custom report in GA4. Using the "Explore" section of GA4 you can build you own custom reports to view data that is the most meaningful for your business. In the webinar we went through the steps involved in setting up a custom report - see the steps and screenshots provided in the full article.
25. Something Trending: Google Insights
Google Insights is a feature that provides you with personalised insights and recommendations based on your data. It uses AI machine learning to identify trends and patterns in your data, and then provides you with actionable insights that you can use to improve your website & marketing campaigns.
View all of these 5 GA4 strategies in more detail and the webinar video in our full article.
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