In a Google survey, 83% of respondents reported that they used online resources to research their most recent holiday. Fewer than 6% bothered with offline resources like magazines, newspapers or travel agents.

There’s a lot of competition out there for that 83%. It’s not enough to just create great content, but you have to know where to put it, and in the end – how to make it work best for you.

  1. Help your audiences answer questions.

For travel businesses, local knowledge is valuable stuff. Knowing when to go to a place, how to get there, where to eat, or where not to eat is exactly the kind of information that travelers are looking for when they plan their trips.

For tourism businesses marketing directly to travelers, the best place to start is content that makes travelers’ lives easier by helping them plan their trip. If you own a dive shop, you know the best places to dive and the best times to go… put that information out there and let the people looking for it find you.

Trafalgar, an outbound tour operator, maintains an “Insider Experience” portal that offers prospective travelers hints about things to do and see in their destinations, delivered in short videos with local experts.

Canadian Mountain Holidays, an Alberta-based skiing and hiking outfit, offers travelers timely information like snow reports and webcams broadcasting from various summits. In addition, their blog is loaded with advice for extending your trip to Canada. Finally, they offer a complementary “Ask an Expert” service for more detailed travel-planning information.

  1. Give them what they want – when they want it.

Many travel businesses market themselves often think of their client interaction as “before the sell” and “after the sell.” – planning and experiencing. In reality, there is a much more nuanced decision making process for nearly every leisure travelerg. Try to put yourself in the mindset of your target traveler and think what questions they might ask themselves; then, create something that will help them answer it.

  1. Make Sure the Content is Working For You

Tourism businesses have the ability to generate new leads and gather great consumer intelligence through tourism marketing channels that weren’t available even a few years ago.

Tourism companies can leverage their social media to generate qualified marketing leads by “fan-gating“ exclusive offers or sweepstakes eligibility on Facebook or tracking movement with shortened links on Twitter. Online forums like TripAdvisor or Lonely Planet’s Thorntree are excellent places to engage with travelers directly, generating leads along the way and driving traffic to valuable content on your website. Most e-mail marketing software allows businesses to track the subscribers that interact most with content in e-blasts and newsletters. Placing downloadable content behind website landing pages provides an opportunity to

By using all of these channels together, tourism businesses can turn their websites into comprehensive travel planning centers for prospective travelers, helping to establish themselves as trusted local experts.

  1. Don’t Stop!

Aggregating local knowledge and finding ways to effectively communicate it with audiences should be a priority for businesses in the travel industry.  This is the principle behind tourism inbound marketing . The most successful businesses are those that continually engage their audiences with new, highly valuable content.

This article has been re-posted with permission from www.solimarinternational.com/resources-page/blog/itemlist/tag/Social%20Media%20Marketing?start=10

Posted by Jordi Pera

Jordi Pera is an economist passionate about tourism, strategy, marketing, sustainability, business modelling and open innovation. He has international experience in marketing, intelligence research, strategy planning, business model innovation and lecturing, having developed most of his career in the tourism industry. Jordi is keen on tackling innovation and strategy challenges that require imagination, entail thoughtful analysis and are to be solved with creative solutions.

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