Guest post by Sally Davis Berry
Having “Something for Everyone” is a terrible marketing idea. There. I’ve said it.
When your agency, destination or attraction tries to be all things to all people, you won’t stand out.
You won’t be known for something specific.
You can’t be top of mind when customers are thinking of somewhere to go, because you aren’t memorable for something that excites them.
Target Customers – who are yours?
When I started my blog and consulting business in 2016, I listened to a lot of entrepreneurial podcasts for help and inspiration. Invariably the hosts would always talk about the ‘target customer’. Who is the person that you are trying to reach and why would they want to buy what you have to sell? In order to answer that question, sometimes you have to take a step back and look at your offerings.
- If you are an attraction, what type of visitor is walking through your facility? Your DMO most likely has some research that will profile visitors coming to your area. Does that align with what you see? Do you see families or couples? Are group tours a big part of your business and if so, what type of group tours?
Social Marketing Tips by Catherine
When I work with tourism & travel pros we focus on talking to a very specific type of person. To do this yourself, you may want to create an avatar of your best clients. Understand as much as you can about their interests, demographics, family make-up and why they need YOU! Then ask yourself these questions:
- Do your social sites align with the look and feel of your website?
- Does your voice and style align with the visitor types walking into your attraction?
- How do your videos project your offerings?
- Does your on-line presence meet the needs of your avatar?
The Riches are in the Niches
You don’t have unlimited sales and marketing budgets so you need to decide who your top target customers are. The 80/20 rule (more info here) says that 20% of your customers will bring you 80% of your profit. Take time to figure out who that is. And the clearer you are on who your target markets are, the easier it will be to find them.
Graceland in Memphis Tennessee targets Elvis fans. If you aren’t a fan of Elvis, then this experience probably isn’t on your bucket list. But for Elvis fans, they have several levels of admission– from a general ticket right up to an Ultimate VIP tour- which includes a personal Archives show and tell session! And their fans love it.
Adventures in Good Company is a tour operator who tells you their target market on their front page:
“For over 15 years, Adventures in Good Company has offered adventure travel for women who want an active outdoor vacation.
Are you looking for something fun to do with your sister, mother, best friend, or partner? Or are you traveling by yourself, and looking for a group of like-minded women to join? No matter. Whatever way you start, you will soon feel like you’re traveling with a group of friends. Our trips are for beginners who want to try something completely new, and for experienced travelers who prefer to leave all the planning and organizing to us.”
So when I was looking for a group tour company that would take me hiking places I wouldn’t go alone, it was easy for me to see this would be a good fit. (And it was! I hiked a part of the Appalachian Trail near Harpers Ferry Virginia and canoed on the Shenandoah River)
Social Marketing Tips by Catherine
Is your niche market clearly defined on your social sites? Remember to showcase your niche clearly in these spots:
- Facebook About Section
- Facebook ‘Story’ section on your business page
- Twitter & Instagram bio. Include your unique #
- You Tube channel art and description
- LinkedIn Company and Showcase pages
- Closing frames on every video
- Last slide in a video slideshow
- Video backdrop
- More opportunities here.
Targeting everyone will get you no one
Sometimes attractions will look at a pursuing a new target market because it is growing incrementally. For instance, you had 50 visitors from Maryland last year and you only had 25 the year before. That’s 100% increase! A new market to pursue!
Meanwhile, your traditional markets only grew 3%. But that translates into 1000 new people, not 25. Even though you might think the market you have been in forever is saturated, if it is still growing, you should continue to target them.
Remember when Las Vegas started marketing to families? It was a well-intentioned campaign, but it wasn’t long before they switched back to their tried and true market of adults looking to have fun. And it has grown beyond a gambling destination because adults also like to have fun with day drinking, going to concerts, driving heavy construction equipment, and now smoking legalized marijuana. I’m thinking they don’t target church group conventions.
Social Marketing Tips by Catherine
How well are you targeting your social ads? Did you know that you can target not only by age and location, but also by:
- Zip code
- Newly engaged, newly divorced and new baby
- Interests; history, culinary, adult beverage
- Reading material; Food and Wine, People magazine
- More social ad target options for travel & tourism here.
Refine your sales pitch
Are you are getting packed and hitting the road for trade shows, sales missions, and consumer shows? Try practicing a few sentences like:
- We are a great destination for student group tours and adult group tours where guests are mobile.
- We are family friendly and we have won awards from family groups such as…
- We are a top wedding destination because…
- We are the perfect stop for groups interested in [military history, hands-on experiences, culinary classes, genealogy research, a quick stop for lunch and shopping, architecture, an opportunity to interact with animals, insert your unique element here]
- The top 3 things people come to see when they visit us are…
And please, try not to say,” We have something for everyone”. You just became like everyone else. Your business is way cooler than that!
Competition and Clarity
Competition for visitors gets tougher every year. Not only are we competing with other destinations and attractions, but we are also competing with TV shows, kids’ sports practices, and yard work. The clearer you can describe what your attraction, destination or tour company can offer, and who the best target market is, the better your chances will be of getting them through the door.
If you are looking for help in figuring out your best target markets and developing an Action Plan to get more of them, I can help. Email me at email@example.com and we can set up a time to talk. I’d love to help!
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Guest post by Sally Davis Berry: Sally has held many positions in the tourism industry including sales manager at attractions, sales director at a regional DMO, a stint as a receptive operator and now the Tourism Sales and Marketing Manager at the Corning Museum of Glass. The Attractions Coach blog came about after peers kept asking for advice and consulting jobs. Writing is a passion of mine and I enjoy helping tourism pros become more successful. Learn more here.
Social Marketing Strategies for Travel and Tourism
About Catherine Heeg
Catherine Heeg is a recognized social media trail blazer passionate about social media and marketing in the tourism and hospitality industry. She takes the mystery out of marketing!
She creates and delivers meaningful, dynamic workshops that meet your unique needs in the Travel, Tourism & Hospitality Industry.
Catherine and her team help travel, tourism and hospitality pros design and implement social media marketing strategies and tactics that drive traffic to their social and web sites. Learn more…
Professionals who are serious about taking consistent, winning actions every day to build their business and achieve measurable results love working with Catherine.