During this unprecedented time where the tourism industry has been the worst hit, due to travel restrictions across the globe, many tourism businesses have stopped marketing and communicating with their customers.
However, now, more than ever, continuing to engage your target audience is important to your survival for when the world opens again.
In this article we look at six simple marketing activities you can be doing during lockdown to:
- Engage your customers and keep your business front of mind.
- Generate some revenue during the lockdown
- Build the reputation of your business so it stands out from the pack
- Collect your customers’ information so you can market to them when everything is open again.
6 Tips For Engaging Your Customers During Lockdown.
Give Your Customers an Option to Subscribe for Updates
During the time that you aren’t in operation, don’t leave your customers in darkness. Provide them with an option to subscribe where you can be giving them news updates.
Right now, most people aren’t busy and are looking for something to keep them engaged. News updates from your business can be a great option to keep them engaged. By employing this email marketing as a communication strategy with your customers, your business will be top of their mind, and when this is all over, they will most likely use your services.
It’s also an opportunity for you to grow your email database, by asking your prospective customers to support your business by signing up to your mailing list. Look for ways to incentivise users to subscribe, for example:
- Offer a 12-month discount code.
- Offer a unique piece of content like a guide or activity to do at home.
- By subscribing users enter a competition that you have running.
While some users will subscribe without needing to be incentivised, making an attractive offer to them will increase their willingness to give away their email address to you.
This lockdown will not last forever. Gift vouchers are excellent options in which you can use as a tourism operator to attract customers.
When things start to settle, give your customers the opportunity to buy gift vouchers online for future bookings of your services. This will be a good way for customers to show support for your tourism business while at the same, locking in their desire to travel again in the future.
In Australia, gift vouchers are valid for 3-years, so customers can purchase them during the lockdown and plan their next trip well in advance.
Sell Merchandise Online
One lesson that any business needs to learn during this lockdown is that they should embrace technology to diversify the way they make revenue.
The tourism industry is no exception. Instead of relying heavily on physical transactions as a tourism operator, you can start offering opportunities online transactions. Not all services or products in the tourism industry can be transacted online, but for some, it is possible.
Set up an online shop to sell merchandise such as souvenirs, coffee table books (you can make these easily online), stubby holders, and other types of merchandise you can create that is associated with your brand or region you do business in.
When you put up some merchandise online for sale, you will not only keep your tourism business turning over some revenue in the lockdown but will also help you to transition smoothly until things get back to normal.
Give Away Activities for Kids
During this time, many children are at home with their parents. Give parents some help by offering them an activity to entertain their children while also learning more about your business or the region you are in. Make them also to look forward to visiting or use you once things settle down.
An enjoyable activity sheet will not only keep the kids busy but also keep them and their parents connected to your tourism centre. An excellent example of such a tourism marketing approach is the Kids Activity Book from Adventure Park.
You can also introduce yours, such as virtual tours in a park where the kids will be required to make certain achievements to unlock some places in the park. This is not only fascinating but also will create the urge to visit the place physically once the lockdown is over.
Leave a review on Google or TripAdvisor
Business reviews have a significant impact on winning customers. Before buying services or products from a business, most people will look for reviews about the business on Google or TripAdvisor, and this is significantly true for operators in the tourism sector.
Users want to see what the previous customers say about the business and also see how the business interacts with their customers. If the reviews are negative, they will potentially turn away, unless the business handles the conflict carefully and professionally. If the reviews are positive, they become confident about your business and the services/products that you are offering. Therefore, the impact of reviews on the future of any business can’t be ignored.
Getting your loyal customers to leave a positive review of your business is one of the best ways they can support you during the lockdown. This way, they will instil trust in prospective customers in the future.
Send a Facebook or email message with a link to your Google business or TripAdvisor listing to the customers you have served before and request them to leave a positive review about your business.
Most people are stuck at home with little or nothing to do since we are in lockdown. Therefore, they are bored and are looking for something to keep them engaged. Social platforms provide users with the ultimate solutions to kill boredom. Seize this moment and make your presence be felt in the social media platforms.
Social competitions are a great way to attract and engage people in your pages and make them like and follow them. When you have huge social media following, it will not be hard for you to resume operations once the lockdown has been lifted. You will be in front of the minds of your followers throughout the lockdown if you can capture with an enticing prize for your competition. These followers on the pages are the ones you will use to buy or promote your online merchandise.
The current lockdown has impacted virtually all the businesses in the world. However, the tourism industry has borne the brunt and has been impacted significantly. Travel, for the time being, has all but stopped.
However, if you are a tourism operator, you need to keep marketing and engage with your customers and followers. If you go into hibernation, then you will find it harder to wind things up again once the lockdown has been lifted.
Keep marketing to your target audience to ensure you stay front of mind. Get your customers and fans to subscribe, follow and review your business so that when the world opens up again other travellers will see that you are business worth visiting based on your customer engagement and reputation.