The worst advice I’ve ever heard about tourism marketing

What not to do in marketing your tourism business

What are many tourism businesses doing that’s causing untold damage to their online marketing? How can you implement the latest in digital marketing to boost your business online?

“All of us, at certain moments of our lives, need to take advice and to receive help from other people.” Alexis Carrel, Nobel Prize Winner 1912

But not all of that advice is necessarily accurate, even if it is well-meaning.

When I was at primary school, one of my friends suggested it would be really funny if I stuck a button up my nose – it was funny for about five minutes but then the trip to the hospital, the unpleasant experience of having it removed by a long hooky thing, and my mum’s worried face kind of took away the joy. Lesson learned: not all advice is good advice.

What do you mean you’re not on [insert the latest social network here]?

bad marketing advice: follow the crowdThere is always a new kid on the block – a sparkly new social network that is flavour of the month for a few weeks – and then it passes and a new platform launches into the mainstream.

Dabbling with the latest shiny new tool can be fun, but it isn’t necessarily going to enhance your marketing – stick to your core goals and use networks that work for what you’re trying to achieve.

Email marketing is dead

email marketing vs social mediaEmail marketing is the sleeping giant of digital marketing – did you know for instance that organic reach on Facebook (i.e. the number of people who see your posts) is a measly 6%, while on email the average open rate is between 20 and 30%.

That means your message is five times more likely to be seen on email than Facebook.

If it doesn’t make up part of your marketing today, you’re missing out on a major opportunity.

The best way to improve your email marketing? Buy a list

targeted email marketing“So I don’t have to do any hard work? I can just buy a list of hot leads who are going to be fighting amongst themselves to stay in my holiday cottages?”

Sadly not – there is no such thing as a shortcut – building your own email list can take time and effort but the people on that list have chosen to be there, know who you are, want to hear from you, and are therefore significantly more likely to buy from you.

Publish as many blog posts as you can

why not to publish loads of content on your blogContent is king – the more you publish the more web traffic you get… er, no.

Quality over quantity every time – the data from WordPress (the world’s biggest blogging platform), suggests that there are around 2.73 million blog posts are published every day. Adding to this mountain of information with pithy posts isn’t going to transform your marketing.

Creating relevant, timely, useful content that your readers love just might – what do they like reading about? What are their interests? Tailor your blog posts to their needs and your organic web traffic (and bookings) should increase over time.

#Hashtag #holidays #cornwall #tourism #happyface #lovecornwall

#WhatWasIThinking – the growth of the #hashtag in everyday conversation and online content has been rapid.

Jimmy Fallon & Justin Timberlake show you what a Twitter conversation sounds like in real life:

There is even a scientific guide to hashtags – but data from Buffer suggests that tweets containing more than two hashtags on Twitter actually show a 17% drop in engagement.

Hashtags have their place in online marketing, to highlight keywords, expand the reach of your tweets, and join in wider conversations, but use them wisely.

Bonus tip: Check out for loads of info on trending hashtags

Save time and automate all your social media updates

social media automation problemsWhy waste time sitting in front of your computer posting content when you can schedule it all in advance and forget about it?

There are plenty of reasons – scheduling tools are a fantastic way of maintaining visibility on social media, but how are you going to actively engage with people when you’re not really there?

The clue to success on social media is in the name: social media. One of the best ways to grow your audience on social media is to be there, talking in real time, replying to comments, sharing other people’s content, asking questions.

You can also fall into the unfortunate trap of posting inappropriate content in the light of news events, as seen below by the NRA Rifleman, published on the same day as the 2012 Colorado shooting:

untimely scheduled tweets
Not cool, NRA. Not cool

Cramming your website with keywords will trick the search engines – muhahahaha!

keywords in SEOWe’ve all seen it – a web page that features so many instances of a carefully chosen keyword or phrase that the content barely makes sense.

Keywords might have been essential to optimising your website in 2005 but search engines have got cleverer, and may actually penalise you for excessive use of a word or phrase. Write for people, not search engines and the SEO will follow.

There is no shortage of advice online – there is no shortage of content online – but some advice is outdated, misleading and even plain wrong. What bad marketing advice have you heard? Share in the comments below or over on the Facebook page.
bad tourism marketing advice article

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