There are so many tools available for online marketing these days, it’s hard to know what works! So we decided to pick out 5 small resort marketing tips from Big Name Brands that can be easily translated into extremely successful strategies in the travel industry.
1. Paint a Bigger Picture
The funny thing about marketing is that, although the goal is to make the sale, it is never supposed to look like it.
The best marketing comes from big name brands that reach towards the same vision as their client persona has.
Notice the terminology they use. It’s not just about their product. Everything they say is focused on how they try to make a better athlete. The tone that it leaves for the consumer is “We care about sports and athleticism, and this product is uniquely produced with X factor that enables a well-trained athlete to jump higher/run faster/etc.”
They also focus on the sustainable use of resources in their website because they know that this is of value to their customers.
What is of value to your customer? Do you have recycling options for your guests? Do you care about sustaining wetland environments? How can you incorporate that into your branding? “Example Lake Resort gives you the luxury of city living amenities, while caring for the beauty around us by using biodegradable soap products for all our guest houses.”
One idea that many hotels and resorts are starting to utilize in painting a bigger picture is cleaning credits. If you choose to not have the cleaning service visit your room over a longer stay, they will give you a $5 credit towards your bill or donate it to a charity on your behalf for each unneeded cleaning day.
2. Keep up to date with the Latest.
The trick to (a) drawing people into your site, (b) keeping them there, and (c) giving them a reason to return is by providing valuable information that proves you are on the cutting edge of your industry.
It piques the interest of some who would otherwise NOT be interested.
What, the office supply company? It’s incredible. Their “Newsroom” page (aka BLOG) is full of intriguing and exciting news that is relevant, catchy, and visually appealing. After visiting this page, my entire perception of the company has changed for the better.
3. Anything Can be said Better on YouTube
Did you know that it costs $5 million to run a 30 second advertisement during the Superbowl? That exceeds the gross profit of most small companies.
I don’t know if anyone is quite sure how effective these commercials are, or if it’s simply a status quo (come on, those Budweiser tear-jerkers!!), but it does say something about the power of a short 30 second – 1 minute video.
Example: Those Budweiser tear-jerkers
How a company that sells adult beverages can get away with making videos about puppies is a mystery – or not. They do it well. They have done an almost unmatched job building their brand with beautiful horses – appealing to a variety of consumers at once. The blue collar working man, country folk, city folk who like animals, people who don’t even like beer but those animals are adorable.
Videos can be made for a variety of reasons: to provide a 30 minute “Imagine the possibilities of staying at our resort” or “A day in the life at our resort” or “Fishing Tips from our Resident Fisherman.”
4. Amp up the visuals!
The first step in amping up the visuals is making sure you have quality photos to work with. No one cares about fuzzy pictures that look like they were scanned from a magazine cutout. Make sure your photos give the right impression.
More in-depth visuals like sliders, embedded videos, and interactive features will require professional programming – but are definitely worth it for increasing the user experience on your website.
I’m not really a car-fanatic. I like my car and it gets good mileage. But this website makes it fun to shop for cars. The graphics are beautiful and they have just the right amount of information without over-loading your average consumer.
5. Be Mobile-Friendly
There are a lot of stats out there about how many people own smartphones, how many people actually use them, and what they use them for. Regardless of which source you look at, there is a general agreement that nearly half of the online queries about traveling come from mobile devices.
In your industry, it is extremely important to make sure that your website is programmed to re-format itself when a mobile user visits.
Facebook is great about advertising its mobile-friendly “Facebook App.” Smartphone users are always grateful to find sites that recognize the need to be easily navigated on a mobile device. (The alternative includes a lot of frustration on the user’s side of things.) Talk to a programmer about ensuring your resort’s website can be easily accessed by all users, no matter what device they are utilizing.
Take heart – the possibilities for your business growth are endless!