How To Market Your Small Business To Tourists
Norfolk’s tourism economy brings in approximately £3.3 billion annually and provides over 67,000 jobs (that’s 18.7% of all employment in Norfolk). That’s a healthy economy and a lot of revenue your small business can draw from. That’s why every small business in Norfolk should have a marketing strategy that targets tourists. Marketing is an important skill to master if you want your small business to grow. So much so, that marketing skills rank among the top 10 in-demand skills on LinkedIn. Segmented marketing targets specific groups or demographics, like tourists. Marketing to tourists doesn’t have to involve big budgets or elaborate campaigns. Here are five easy ways to market your small business to tourists.
Get listed on online business directories
Joining the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce is a great way to network with other businesses. There are also several online business directories you can join to target both local residents and visitors to Norfolk. Some directories charge a listing fee but others are free to join. Here are a few to start with:
The Business UK directory offers its members free advertising. Local Business Forums lists businesses across three districts in Norfolk, covering the towns of Attleborough, Snetterton, Breckland, Broadland, South Norfolk, and Thetford. On Yell.com, you can place sponsored ads and purchase digital marketing packages that run pay-per-click advertising campaigns. They also have a smartphone app that allows customers to easily find your business, get directions, and leave a review. Buy Local Norfolk is passionate about local sustainability. If your business uses products and materials sourced locally in the making of your goods, this is a great directory to join.
Place marketing material at tourist hot spots
One of the easiest ways to reach tourists is with old-fashioned print marketing. Think of how many times you’ve browsed the leaflet rack while waiting to check-in at a hotel. Plenty of other tourists do the same thing. Print a batch of leaflets, brochures, or business cards and distribute these at airports, hotels, car rental offices and any other tourist touchpoints you can think of. If your design skills are lacking, Norwich Print Solutions can help design your promotional material.
Technology and travel have converged. Today, tourists do most of their travel research and planning online. According to Google Travel, 74% of travellers plan their trips online compared to only 13% who still use travel agencies. That’s why online marketing is a must to draw tourists.
Paid advertising on platforms like GoogleAds and Facebook ads allows you to fine-tune your target market. You can create campaigns that target a specific demographic, location, and even time of day. It also lets you choose the best keywords to attract the right customers. If budget is a concern, pay-per-click advertising allows you to control your ad spend by setting an affordable campaign budget.
Approach bloggers to highlight your business
Influencer marketing has exploded over the last few years and for good reason. Having your product or service mentioned on a high-profile blog can boost your business’s reputation. Successful bloggers have built up a loyal following who trust their opinion. If they mention your business, their readers are likely to trust you too. It also helps you acquire valuable backlinks to your website. All of this increases the chance of tourists finding your business when searching for travel information.
When working with bloggers, it’s important to find the right fit. Put together a list of suitable travel bloggers and local bloggers who focus on the Norfolk region. Before approaching the blogger, do some research on their criteria for sponsored posts. If they are open to a sponsored post, offer to send them a product sample or invite them to experience a service you provide. Most bloggers will only recommend a product or service they have used and like.
Book your spot at local events
If you sell crafts or food, having a presence at local events, markets, and fairs is a great way to take your business to the customer. If there are events taking place during school vacations or over the Christmas season, like the Norfolk Creations Christmas Fair and Holkham Festive Food Fair, book your spot as a vendor. At these times of the year, there are more visitors to our shores and many of them attend these festivals.
Marketing your small business to tourists can be accomplished on a small budget yet boost your annual turnover in a big way.