Why & How You Should Market Your Destination or Attraction to Millennials

Why & How You Should Market Your Destination or Attraction to Millennials

As I reached the top of Helvellyn from the Striding Edge approach, I took a photo of my friends posing by the summit. As I smiled and checked the photo, I noticed another group. Their arms locked together, they smiled at small jokes they made as they all stared at the lakes below us. I took this photo and then approached them to ask if they would like a copy. They were three sisters with their mother. The mother is the lady in green who's glasses you can just make out. The way they face the view as she clings fondly to her daughters; this image will always remind me of family.
Photographer: Matt Heaton | Source: Unsplash

According to Pew, those born between 1981 and 1997 are now the largest generation (75.4 million people), and they travel more for both business and leisure than older generations. Traditional advertising campaigns had worked previously with older generations, but millennials are often leery of destination marketers, forcing businesses to adapt to non-traditional methods. While millennials might take more persuasion, it is not impossible. Keep reading to learn Why & How You Should Market Your Destination or Attraction to Millennials.

1. Get Social

It's no secret that millennials love social media, in fact, a study conducted by EMarketer had shown that 90% of millennials use social media. Almost every aspect of millennial's travel is shaped by social media. Whether its gathering travels inspiration from Pinterest and Instagram, to online reviews on specific spots and tours, to sharing their experiences on their own platforms. Social media is everything, and tour operators, attractions and any business tourism-related should be capitalizing on it. So how does a business get social online? Check out these examples:

• Targeted Facebook Ads
• User-Generated Content (Read more about it here)
• Sharing engaging & relatable content which includes
– Geofilters on Snapchat
– 360-degree videos
– Virtual Reality experiences
– Blogs, articles, etc

2. Make it Instagram Worthy

While sharing your own content is amazing, finding ways to encourage millennials to post and share their own experiences is even better. Again, read more about user-generated content here to understand just how useful UGC is. Also, we've written about being an insta-worthy attraction before, so check that out here. Here's the gist:

• Offer to take their photos for your customers
• Find nice spots that will provide a good looking photo
• Remind your guests to tag your account and use your hashtag

3. Look into "Bleisure"

Baby boomers are starting to retire or are so advanced in their careers that business trips are less common. Millennialls are now the driving force in business trips, and they like to take advantage of the travel opportunity. Millennials are more likely to buy flight upgrades during a business trip, and a more likely to extend their trip by a few days to turn it into a mini-vacation. Businesses in the tourism industry should encourage this behavior by inspiring them to visit your destination or attraction, and include messaging about extending business trips, adding activities to their itinerary and upgrading their experiences.

4. Encourage Loyalty

Unlike older generations, Millennials are more open to loyalty proframs in fact Expedia has said that 51% of millennials find loyalty programs important when they are booking hotel stays. Only 30% of baby boomers found loyalty programs important. By encouraging loyalty, DMO's and businesses can keep a connection with the customer and find ways to get these visitors to return. Offer a good enough loyalty program, and they'll be telling their friends and family as well.

5. Personalization

Millennials like being able to have an experience that can be catered to their interests! They are also searching for simple, and if something is already planned out for them then that is even better! To add personalization in try updating your website and content for easy booking, support, and information. Your business can also promote suggested itineraries featuring on-location & local experiences.

6. Be Authentic

Millennials do not want to feel like the stereotypical tourist. They crave authentic and local experiences. According to the Huffington Post, 86% of millennials would rather experience a new culture, compared to 44 percent who prefer to party or 28 percent who prefer shopping. Take this into consideration when trying to provide immersive experiences.

Millennials are expected to be the largest generation, surpassing even the Baby Boomers by 2028. They also have an estimated $200 billion of spending power, making their generation one to appeal to. At AAMP Agency | Adventure & Activity Marketing Pros, we are tourism & destination marketing experts. We specialize in digital marketing an understand just how important a successful marketing strategy is for your business. Contact us today for any questions or to start growing your business today.

How To Make Your Tour, Attraction, or Destination Website More Credible

How To Make Your Tour, Attraction, or Destination Website More Credible

Tea at a laptop
Photographer: Dai KE | Source: Unsplash

When you're a tour operator or run an attraction or destination, your website is everything. It features your product, builds your brand awareness, can increase your conversions, and shows that your business has credibility. However, what may seem like small or simple mistakes can affect your business greatly. Keep reading to learn how to make your tour, attraction, or destination website more credible.

1. Show Your Reviews

If you're claiming to be the best tour operator in town, you better have the customer feedback to prove it! On your website, your business can include testimonials from TripAdvisor that link back to the original review. Also, don't share reviews where it says that it's written by "John Doe" if possible include the photo of the person leaving the testimonial.

2. Show That You're the Real Deal

Showing that you're a legitimate business will boost your credibility. Ensure that you have a physical address and accurate contact information on your website. Visitors need to feel like they are interacting with a legitimate business and not someone that is shady. To take this step even further, implement a Google Map on your contact page or the bottom of your page in the footer

3. Show That You're An Expert

If you've got experts on your team, include their credentials. If your business is affiliated with an organization, include that too! You can also include team member bios where you discuss their experience. When you're focusing on this step, of you link to another site always ensure it's a credible site!

4. Make It Simple to Contact Your Business

Site visitors do not want to have to dig to find your contact information. The harder it is to find, the less credible you seem, which makes them less likely to book with you. Include contact information in the header and footer of your website, and you can even include a contact page where they can send a message directly to your business.

5. Have A Professional Design

Visitors quickly evaluate your site's design to determine if it is credible. When designing your website, pay attention to layout, fonts, images, and more. Need help with your website? Start here.

6. Show Off Your Team

On your site, show the people behind your business and find ways to convey their trustworthiness through images and text! Include quality headshots and engaging bios.

7. Make It Easy To Use

A simple site that is user-friendly is the best thing that you can do for your business. To do this, ensure your site is responsive, that all media works, that booking software is simple, and that your business and its products are clear & concise.

8. Keep It Updated

If your site is out-of-date or not updated/reviewed regularly, be prepared to lose a lot of credibilities. Keep your website updated with its upcoming tour dates, keep up with technology, and keep your plugins updated to avoid any technical issues.

9. Go Easy On The Ads

Avoid having ads on your site as much as possible. If you must have ads, make it clear what is sponsored content and what is your content. Avoid using any sort of pop-up ads, although one simple email sign-up or promo is something that you can get away with, viewers don't want to see it more than once.

10. Check For Errors

From issues with plugins to small typos and grammar errors, run through your site with a fine-tooth comb and fix any kind of error you can find.

There you have it, How To Make Your Tour, Attraction, or Destination Website More Credible. If you have any questions or need help developing your website, AAMP Agency | Adventure & Activity Marketing Pros specializes in web development & digital marketing for the tourism industry. Contact us today.

10 Digital Marketing Trends to Expect in 2020

10 Digital Marketing Trends to Expect in 2020

Digital Marketing

Photographer: Diggity Marketing | Source: Unsplash

2020 has arrived, and with the new decade comes new digital marketing trends that your tourism business, attraction, or destination needs to get on board with. Don’t worry, we’ve done the dirty work of finding out what trends to look for, so just keep reading to find out which Digital Marketing Trends to Expect in 2020.

1. Interactive Content Marketing

Want to spice up your content and appeal to your audience? Using content to generate sales is nothing new. We’ve been doing it for years! However, instead of static content, it’s time to embrace interacting with your audience. You can do this by including things such as the following:

• Quizzes

• Polls and Surveys

• 360-degree videos

• Infographics

• Augmented Reality Ads

Interactive content works to grab the attention of the viewer, and then provide them with a value or experience, which is why interactive content works! While it does require some persuasion on your part to get viewers to participate, it will help in boosting your conversions.

2. Personalization

Personalization can apply to every aspect of the tourist experience, and today’s consumers have come to expect experiences that closely match their preferences. If an experience can be tailored to their expectations, the more likely they are to become a returning customer. Some examples of personalization in marketing are targeted ads, product & tour recommendations based on the viewers’ previous purchases, and personalized email subject lines & text.

3. Conversational Marketing

Today’s consumers are busy and expect speedy solutions, which is why conversational marketing will be an effective strategy this new year. Conversational marketing uses customer data to drive conversions, improve engagement, build customer loyalty and more. So what are the ways that your tourism business or attraction can incorporate this strategy?

• Live support

• Chatbots

• Loyalty Programs

• Email Marketing

• Artificial Intelligence

By utilizing conversational marketing, your business can also personalize their approach and connect with the consumer. It also helps that it adds a friendly touch!

4. More “Authentic” Branding

Over the course of the past year, consumers have expressed a yearning for authentic, and genuine experiences. Consumers have also expressed that they expect brands to be transparent and authentic in their marketing efforts. So how does a tourism business like yours accomplish this? Rely more on emotion and less on the facts! Instead of writing “5 ways to enjoy this destination”, try writing “this is what it is like here, here’s why we love it, and here is how you can experience it too”.

5. Mobile As A Travel Tool

The travel industry has made great strides in creating mobile-ready information for travelers, but there is still work to be done! Tourism businesses and attractions should begin integrating their offerings onto already existing platforms, such as allowing tours to be booked through TripAdvisor.

6. Optimizing Content for Voice Search

With smartphones and AI assistants such as Alexa and Siri, the use of voice search has grown by 187 percent in 2018 and continues to grow according to Canalys reports. With the rise of users searching online using their voice, content marketers are focusing on optimizing their content to match. Most users speak differently than how they would conduct a text search, for example, instead of typing “weather Los Angeles”, a user would ask, “What’s the weather in Los Angeles today?”. Because of this, content marketers would need to optimize their content for voice search by anticipating questions their audience would ask in a conversational manner and create content based on those questions and longtail keywords!

7. Video Marketing

Video marketing has become one, if not the, most important marketing trend! We’ve written about the importance of Video Marketing before, so check it out here. Not convinced? Check out these stats:

• 70% of consumers say they have shared a brand’s video (Wyzowl)

• 72% of businesses say video improves their conversion rate (Invodo)

• 54% of consumers say that watching product videos makes them more confident in their online purchases (Forbes)

• 92% of mobile video consumers share videos with others (Mill for Business)

• Click here for 100+ video marketing stats you need to know in 2020

8. User-Generated Content (UGC)

We’ve written an ultimate guide to User-Generated Content, so be sure to check it out!
UGC is a resource for marketers who want to tap into marketing to Millenials and Gen Z. It’s a great way to source content, building brand awareness and authenticity, and so much more.

9. Influencer Marketing

Yes, influencer marketing will still be a thing in 2020 and there are no signs showing that it will slow down. What we will see in the upcoming year is that this strategy will mature and adapt. In 2020, we will see an increase in paid media budgets for influencers’ posts to better reach their audiences. Also, Instagram will continue to hold the title as the preferred influencer marketing platform, however, TikTok will start to take a part in this market.

10. Improved Security

Customer security has always been an important factor, but as technology continues to advance so does your business’s efforts to keep customer information safe. If a consumer feels that their information isn’t safe on your website, they won’t bother to complete the booking and are unlikely to become a returning customer.

Digital marketing trends and destination marketing trends can be a very tricky thing to watch and implement. That is what AAMP Agency | Adventure & Activity Marketing Pros is here for! Whether you need answers to your questions, a website built, content marketing or more, we’ve got you covered. Contact us today to start capitalizing on these upcoming digital marketing trends.

Top 74 Holidays in 2020 for Social Media Content

Top 74 Holidays in 2020 for Social Media Content

2020 Sparklers
Photographer: Jude Beck | Source: Unsplash

Sometimes, it can be incredibly difficult to think of new and engaging content that your followers will love. It's ok, it happens to the best of us! To break through this kind of rut, we suggest spicing things up on occasion with fun and relevant holidays! There is more than just the big ones such as Labor Day and Christmas! We're talking National Smile Day, Employee Appreciation Day, and even National Cheeseburger Day! Here are our Top 74 Holidays in 2020 for social media content.

January Holidays for Social Media

1. Wednesday, January 1st – New Year's Day

2. Thursday, January 16th – Get to Know Your Customers Day

3. Monday, January 20th – Martin Luther King Jr. Day

4. Friday, January 24th – National Compliment Day

5. Saturday, January 25th – Chinese New Year

February Holidays for Social Media

6. Sunday, February 2nd – Groundhog Day

7. Sunday, February 2nd – Super Bowl LIV

8. Sunday, February 9th – National Pizza Day

9. Friday, February 14th – Valentine's Day

10. Monday, February 17th – President's Day

11. Thursday, February 20th – Love Your Pet Day

March 2020 Holidays for Social Media

12 Friday, March 6th – National Employee Appreciation Day

13. Saturday, March 7th – National Be Heard Day

14. Sunday, March 8th – International Women's Day

15. Tuesday, March 17th – St. Patrick's Day

16. Thursday, March 19th -First Day of Spring

April 2020 Holidays for Social Media

17. Wednesday, April 1st – April Fools Day

18. Friday, April 10th – National Siblings Day

19. Saturday, April 11th – National Pet Day

20. Sunday, April 12th – Easter

21. Thursday, April 16 – National Wear Your Pajamas to Work Day

22. Thursday, April 16th – Get to Know Your Customers Day

23. Wednesday, April 22nd – Earth Day

24. Tuesday, April 28th – Pay It Forward Day

May 2020 Holidays for Social Media

25. Friday, May 1st – May Day

26. Monday, May 4th – Star Wars Day

27. Tuesday, May 5th – Cinco de Mayo

28. Wednesday, May 6th – National Nurses Day

29. Sunday, May 10th – Mother's Day

30. Monday, May 25th – Memorial Day

June 2020 Holidays for Social Media

31. Monday, June 1st – National Say Something Nice Day

32. Friday, June 5th – National Donut Day

33. Monday, June 8th – National Best Friends Day

34. Saturday, June 20th – First Day of Summer

35. Sunday, June 21st – Father's Day

36. Sunday, June 21st – National Selfie Day

37. Tuesday, June 30th – Social Media Day

July 2020 Holidays for Social Media

38. Saturday, July 4th – Independence Day

39. Tuesday, July 7th – World Chocolate Day

40. Wednesday, July 15th – Give Something Away Day

41. Friday, July 17th – World Emoji Day

42. Friday, July 31st – National Mutt Day

August 2020 Holidays for Social Media

43. Sunday, August 2nd – International Day of Friendship

44. Saturday, August 8th – International Cat Day

45. Sunday, August 9th – National Book Lovers Day

46. Monday, August 10th – National Lazy Day

47. Saturday, August 15th – National Relaxation Day

48. Sunday, August 16th – National Tell A Joke Day

49. Wednesday, August 19th – World Photo Day

50. Wednesday, August 26th – National Dog Day

September 2020 Holidays for Social Media

51. Monday, September 7th – Labor Day

52. Friday, September 11th – National Day of Service & Remembrance

53. Sunday, September 13th – National Grandparents Day

54. Monday, September 21st – International Day of Peace

55. Tuesday, September 22nd – First Day of Fall

56. Tuesday, September 29th – National Coffee Day

October 2020 Holidays for Social Media

57. Friday, October 2nd – World Smile Day

58. Sunday, October 4th – National Taco Day

59. Wednesday, October 14th – National Dessert Day

60. Friday, October 16th – Bosses Day

61. Saturday, October 31st – Halloween

November 2020 Holidays for Social Media

62. Wednesday, November 11th – Veterans Day

63. Thursday, November 19th – National Entrepreneurs Day

64. Thursday, November 26th – Thanksgiving Day

65. Friday, November 27th – Black Friday

66. Saturday, November 28th – Small Business Saturday

67. Monday, November 30th – Cyber Monday

December 2020 Holidays for Social Media

68. Tuesday, December 1st – Giving Tuesday

69. Friday, December 4th – National Cookie Day

70. Thursday, December 19th – Hanukkah Begins

71. Monday, December 21st – Winter Begins

72. Thursday, December 24th – Christmas Eve

73. Friday, December 25th – Christmas Day

74. Thursday, December 31sr – New Year's Eve

14 Common Website Mistakes That Affect Your Bookings

14 Common Website Mistakes That Affect Your Bookings

Photographer: Kobu Agency | Source: Unsplash

According to data from Euromonitor International, 44% of travel sales and bookings are expected to occur online during the next five years! Meaning, your businesses' website can be a high-converting machine if it's done right that is. To build a website that will attract customers and get your business more bookings, check out our 14 Common Website Mistakes That Affect Your Bookings.

1. Unresponsive design

Today, mobile rules the market! If your website isn't responsive and can shrink down to fit the size of the screen it is being viewed on, you could be instantly missing out on bookings.

2. It's flat-out boring

We are in the tourism and destination industry! Meaning you should be selling a fun experience, and your website needs to reflect that.

3. Lack of Personality

Always make sure to include an "About Us" page and have some fun with it. Having this kind of information on your site will help you create a connection between the customer and your business.

4. Information Isn't Clearly Stated

Consumers don't want to have to dig through the pages of your site to find tour times, locations, etc.

5. Slow Loading Site

You should be checking out how fast your website loads, and on different devices! If it's taking too long to load, if buttons or images appear out of alignment, etc., it's going to be even harder for your customers to book!

6. The Tours Lack Character

What makes your tour or destination different from all of the others? On your website, give insight into what makes you different! Aim to create excitement about your business, and don't rely on the name of your tour to entice customers. Include descriptions with intriguing text and information!

7. Abusing Fonts

Yes, adding a bolded header can draw attention to a section – but bolding everything? How dare you. Don't bold every other word, use various font colors, put italic and bold text next to each other, etc. Pick 2 (at most 3) different fonts, and keep it simple! You want site visitors to read about your business, not be angered by your wonky fonts. Also, never use Papyrus or Comic Sans, these are the joke of the font world and will instantly cheapen the look of your site.

8. Inconsistent Theme

Consistency is key in all of your marketing efforts, from branding to social media, and yes – to your website. Make sure that your website is consistent with everything else, such as graphics and images.

9. Blocked For International Viewers

Don't disable your website for oversea visitors! If potential customers can't find your business or even know about it, how can you expect to get more customers?

10. Lack of Security

Keep your website up-to-date! If your website is hacked your business could be at risk. It is a pain to deal with, it can affect your website traffic, your google ranking will be affected, and your company's information & data could be at risk.

11. Is It Functional?

While your website may look beautiful, does it function well? Do all buttons, links, and pages work properly? Are there clear calls to action? If your website doesn't function properly because you prioritized design over function, your visitors will notice and take their business elsewhere.

12. Background Music

Absolutely not! This is not MySpace. Your website visitors do not want background music when browsing your site, it'll leave them scrambling to find the source to silence it. It also eats bandwidth and can create an awkward situation for your site visitors.

13. Cluttered & Busy

Keep the site simple, and let the text and images speak for itself! If your site is cluttered with bold colors, patterns, too many images, etc., it can turn a site visitor off. Not only that, but it can affect your Google ranking!

14. Lengthy Booking Process

Site visitors have come to expect an easy selection process and simple booking. This can be easily achieved with a booking software such as Peek Pro. *Shameless plug incoming* When utilizing Peek Pro software, you're optimizing your booking sequence and turning it into a high-converting machine. At AAMP Agency | Adventure & Activity Marketing Pros, we are familiar with a range of booking software and always ensure to implement them in all of the sites we build.

We could go on and on about common mistakes that could be costing your tourism or destination business bookings, but we'll stop at 14 (for now). If you're needing some examples or inspiration as to what a beautifully designed, functioning, and converting website looks like, just take a peep at our extensive portfolio at iwerxconnect.com!

We happen to know a thing or 50 about how to develop a website for a tourism or destination business. We are destination marketing experts for a reason, so if you're feeling a little overwhelmed, just give us a call and we'll help you get your business to where it needs to be.