The tour operators’ guide to creating a digital marketing strategy – part 1: the why
Creating a digital marketing strategy is one of those things that’s more than likely on your ‘To Do’ list, but often gets put aside for the more pressing issues your business encounters in the day-to-day. You know you’ve got to get it done but it often falls into the too hard basket, right?
Or perhaps you’re a step ahead and you’ve taken some time out in the new year to tackle the elusive digital marketing strategy…how do you know where to begin?! The world of digital marketing is a convoluted one. Building a strategy around your digital presence sounds easy, but knowing where to start, what you need to cover, and how to document it is where things start to get murky.
Lucky for you, this blog is all about covering the tricky questions, providing you with advice specific to tour operators and gathering some helpful resources for when you feel like diving deeper into certain elements along the way.
So…what’s the point?
According to Smart Insights, 50% of businesses don’t currently have a digital marketing strategy. Although many businesses have at least some sort of digital presence actually having a strategy underpinning your online marketing is a whole new game.
Having even a simple and scalable digital marketing strategy framework guiding you will help you be more intentional with your marketing efforts. It will provide you with a standardised metric with which you can measure your success against and will ultimately save you time and money that businesses without strategies often spend on unplanned reactive marketing campaigns.
If the idea of having a strategy feels a little bit full on we’ve got some good news…your digital marketing strategy doesn’t need to be huge! Don’t get us wrong, there are certainly businesses out there that will have full report style strategies and there’s no harm in that. But if you’re just dipping your toes in the water starting with a smaller strategy that focuses on one or two key elements is absolutely okay!
Where to start
Knowing where to start is sometimes the hardest part. Looking at the mountain that is your digital marketing strategy is daunting but once you start chipping away at it things start to feel a lot more manageable…we promise!
If you’ve had a strategy before you’re already a step ahead! Start by reflecting on that, noting down your learnings since creating your original strategy and focusing your new plan on the areas that seem to have worked best for you.
If you haven’t ever had a strategy you’re still in a fine position to create a meaningful plan that holds weight in your overall business strategy. Start by exploring legacy data from your day-to-day business operations. Where have you succeeded in finding business, which tours have generated the most revenue and how are people currently interacting with your brand online. Once you’ve determined these things you’ll start to see some more obvious paths that you should focus your new strategy on.
Know what you want to achieve
Your digital marketing strategy should complement your businesses overarching mission and goals. Once you understand how your
digital marketing strategy will fit into your wider business plan you should set aside time to come up with a few key goals that will become the driving force behind your online activities.
Here’s a few examples of drivers you may choose to focus your strategy on:
- Increase brand awareness through online platforms
- Generate leads
- Grow brand loyalty amongst existing customers
- Decrease churn and/or win back customers
Once you’ve decided on your drivers you need to ensure they’re measurable. Look back on the data you’ve collected in the past to find a realistic baseline and work from there. Knowing how many leads per month you’re aiming for, or what churn percentage you’re aiming for (and where you’re starting from) will help your team get behind the strategy and work towards achieving it with you.