Remember the "Good Old Days"
Do you remember the "good old days" when advertising was done on paper?
Not so long ago we all had to spend a fortune to print our marketing message on flyers, in magazines and books only to find that it was even more expensive to get these flyers, magazines and books to the readers who are important to us.
Shipping them off to overseas, displaying them in brochure racks and handing them out at trade exhibitions and travel shows was costly, time consuming and showed little or no results.
Today, much of the traditional advertising (anything printed) is replaced by the internet. This has ultimately lowered the costs of marketing tremendously. Don't believe it?
Look at the chart below on how advertising costs have decreased per 1000 reach.here ...
Marketing spend per 1000 reach
On average a company in tourism had to spend a staggering ZAR 4200 in 1998 to create a reach of 1000 (Viewers / Readers / Lookers) compared to only ZAR 1100 in 2014.
Today, you only spend approximately ZAR 1000 online to reach about 1000 "Lookers" compared to ZAR 4000 for the same amount of "Lookers" in traditional / printed media.
As we all know you need a lot of "Lookers" to get some "Bookers" so it is vitally important to ensure your marketing has a high reach. The internet with easy to use travel portals and social networks offers cost efficient and effective reach to your target market.
Sadly, some marketers take this trend too far and believe to do good marketing by only using "free" online advertising options such as commission based booking portals. This is a contradiction by itself as paying commission is actually not free advertising. In many cases paying commission is more expensive than paid online advertising and has the disadvantage of missing out in building your own marketing database.
To benefit most from this incredible development you need to keep a few things in mind:
- You have to have a website and it needs to be a good website! Responsive in layout and attractive in design.
- The traveller needs to be able to BOOK through your website – this is not optional but a MUST!
- Social Networks are what the name says – SOCIAL. If you are in tourism, you are hospitable and therefore SOCIAL! YES and spend a few Rand there as well. It will pay off!
- Be on as many commission based booking portals as possible, even if you only receive one or two bookings a year from them. Being listed there increases your online exposure and WILL help to get more direct bookings too.
- Drive direct bookings by promoting your website through quality travel portals (paid listings) such as the German Africa Adventure Reiseratgeber and the English Africa Adventure Travel Advisor. This boosts your online presence and your own website in search engines but you need to ensure that these portals are linking to your own website!
- And finally - don't stop tradition! Be smart, selective and focused in choosing the right traditional advertising channels.
Remember, never stop advertising as this will enable your competitors to be more successful than you...
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