Many things will change in 2021 for tour marketing.
To start with, traditional approaches like generating positive online reviews and social media will not be enough to stand out.
Even focusing on video is old news.
To make it big in 2021, you’ll need a comprehensive approach with multiple marketing activities that work together well.
Today, we’ll cover some of the best tour marketing tactics that are often neglected due to focusing on the large (and overcrowded) channels that everyone else is using.
By giving these underrated concepts more consideration, you’ll have the basis to form a comprehensive marketing strategy for the new year with multiple elements that work together like magic.
So without further ado, let’s look at 8 underestimated tactics for successful tour marketing.
1. Optimize your pricing
Pricing is a sensitive subject.
It’s hard to make changes because it’s risky.
What if your sales drop substantially? What if people get annoyed and don’t buy from you anymore?
Here, it’s important to put your experimenter hat on.
One of the most effective ways to determine the optimal price is by surveying your customers.
You can create a free and beautiful survey with tools like Typeform.
In addition, you can use discounts to test how demand changes at lower points. You can also do special premium offers (by adding extra value) and see how that affects demand.
You can also introduce different tiers of service and then see which one is most profitable so you can focus on it. The important thing is to have a good reason for making any price changes.
Be wary of showing different prices to different customers (known as A/B testing). In many cases, this will lead to more problems than advantages.
If you’re just starting out and you don’t know how much you should charge, talk to potential customers and look at how your competition is priced.
Click to learn more about creating a successful marketing mix.
2. Email is still big
Despite the rapid growth of social media, chatbots, and search engine ads, email is still one of the most effective channels out there.
For tours and activities, email is a way to reduce reliance on new customers.
Once you have a visitor’s email address, you can reach them later with targeted offers and promotions that add value so they come back and purchase from you again.
It’s also a great way to boost referrals.
You can run more effective referral programs using email so more people know about your service and ultimately buy from you.
Learn more about email marketing for leisure companies in our dedicated article on the topic.
3. Define the right add-ons
Marketing a tour company is hard.
Getting someone to your offers pages is a big win so you should maximize the opportunity.
This is when add-ons come in (also known as cross-selling).
Customers are most receptive while they are buying so this is a great time to offer complementary products and services that provide more value.
But make sure you don’t confuse cross-selling with up-selling. The former relates to selling an additional product or service while the latter means you’re upgrading the customer to a higher tiered offer.
Amazon is the biggest example here – you can often see a “Frequently bought together” highlight on the product page (see below).
So, what do you do about it? Define the right add-ons for your products and include them on your offers pages. You’re sure to bag some extra sales and get a higher ROI from your promotional efforts.
4. Partner with influencers
In recent years, influencer marketing has exploded.
This is especially true in the travel industry where people turn to real reviews and experiences of other folks before they make a buying decision.
Therefore, it can make a big difference when you partner with an influencer and offer them your tour or activity for free in exchange for a review.
Of course, you’ll have to provide an amazing experience for them so it can be risky. After all, if you fail to make a good impression, they could seriously harm your reputation.
So only use this tactic if you’re 100% confident you can deliver.
5. Get SEO right
Getting people to your website is a big part of tour marketing.
And one of the highest leverage, long-term approaches is Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Getting found on search engines is crucial because that’s how people acquire information these days. If they are in the consideration stage and you show up during their search, you increase the likelihood of getting a booking tremendously.
So how do you get SEO right?
There are 2 main components: your content and how you promote it.
1) Your content
It’s not enough to create your offer pages and your website description if you want good results from SEO (although these elements are important).
You also need helpful information to educate customers about your city and how they can have a great time.
2) Your promotion
Next, it’s time to promote your content.
You might ask – aren’t people supposed to find my content using search engines?
Well, yes, but they won’t until you rank on page one (which gets almost 90% of all clicks).
And how do you rank there? Promote your content.
The crucial thing here is acquiring backlinks from other websites that signal your site is an authority on the subject.
By combining these two elements, you will climb up Google’s rankings faster.
6. Review your toolset
Most of these tips are easy to implement on their own but as the list grows larger, you might wonder “How do I get all this done when I have only 24 hours in the day?”
Well, this is where the right tools come in.
There is a variety of free and premium tools you can use to automate and speed up your promotional efforts. That’s the real leverage that can help you promote your tour company like a pro.
You can find our pick of the best marketing tools for tours and activities here.
Almost half of the global internet users browse on their phones.
In addition, our data shows that over a third of tour and activity bookings are made on mobile.
In 2021, it’s going to be more important than ever to establish and maintain a strong mobile experience.
But isn’t that expensive?
The truth is you don’t need a full-blown app – but you do need a mobile-responsive website at the very least.
Find out if your website is mobile-friendly here.
You should also pay attention to the partners and Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) you work with – how good are they with mobile? This will have a big impact on your success rate from partnerships.
8. Master multi-channel management
Okay, we went through a bunch of underused tactics that can complement your existing initiatives.
But how do you manage all of this?
What happens when someone makes a booking over the phone, another one comes in from your website and then you have a third from an OTA?
Now, you could track everything meticulously in a spreadsheet, always staying close to your email, phone, and other channels.
But a better way is to use a dedicated online booking system to track all of your sales in one place. This way, you’ll save time for improving your products, doing more marketing, managing your resources, or lying on the beach – it’s really up to you!
Read more about creating an effective multi-channel strategy here.
As competition for people’s attention increases, marketing channels lose their effectiveness.
This is why you should look towards underused tactics to supplement your primary efforts.
Today, we looked at a variety of approaches to help you build successful tour marketing campaigns in 2021.
As we touched on multiple topics, here’s a brief summary:
- Start by considering your price and overall position in the market.
- Use email marketing to reduce reliance on new customers and stop grinding 24/7.
- Introduce add-ons to your offers to maximize the impact of your promotional efforts.
- Leverage the power of influencers that share the same audience with you.
- Review your website to see if it’s mobile-friendly.
- Create educational content and promote it heavily to get long-term visitors from search engines.
- Make sure you track bookings in a single place so you don’t go crazy.
- Finally, tie everything together with the right tools to help you build and optimize your online presence.
With that, we hope you found at least one helpful tip to boost your marketing efforts in 2021 and we wish you an amazing year ahead!
You might also like:
- How to Market a Tour Company for Free: 7 Big Platforms You Should be on
- 10 Ways to Promote Your Tours for Maximum Sales
- Marketing Mix for Tour and Activity Operators