10 Online Contest Ideas for Tourism Product Owners

10 Online Contest Ideas for Tourism Product Owners

One of the easiest ways to promote your Lodge or Activities company is running a contest on your chosen social media platforms.

The trick part is figuring out what to do or where to start. You want to run a contest that gets your audience excited to engage with your brand.

You also don’t want to run a contest of the bat with no strategy as to what exactly you want to achieve.

A contest can give you massive results that don’t always have to do with getting more bookings. So let’s get the groundwork in place.

First off you want to ask yourself the following 4 Questions:

  1. What must this competition achieve – what is the end goal?  As I mentioned before your goal doesn’t have to be to get more bookings – ultimately yes that is what you want. But you can make the goal to increase the amount of followers on Facebook to consist of more people who fit your IGA. You can have a end goal that increases the traffic to your website and sign-ups to your newsletter.
  2. Who will this contest be aimed at? Who is your target audience?  
  3. What will be the prize? – Logistics around the prize – How will you announce the winner? How will you get the prize to them?
  4. What are the T&C’s? – How long will the contest run? How will you pick the winner? 

Once you have sorted out these 4 out and source all necessary info we can move on to the fun part! What type of contest will you be running.

Here are some fun ideas to get your creative mojo flowing:

1. Share your adventure with us 

Ask your followers to share some of their photos of past adventures with your company on their Facebook feed and tag you in them. Or post them on your Facebook feed – although I would suggest the former as this will increase the likelihood that their family and friends will become aware of your brand.

2. Best fan sign contest 

This can get rather fun, with some really entertaining results. Ask your audience to make a sign explaining why they need to win the contest. They must then take a photo holding up their sign and post it on your chosen Social Media channel and tag you in the post.

3. Merch Selfie contest 

If you sell branded merch of your business ask your guest to take a selfie of them wearing the merch in or around your area. They can then post it on your site or on their own feed and tag you in it. The selfie with the most likes wins!

4. Photo Contest of local Landmarks

ask your guest to share their selfies at local landmarks around your establishments.

5. Favourite Hotel Food

People love taking photos of their food before they eat. Ask them to submit a photo of their favourite food they ate at your hotel. Winners can eat the same entrée for free when they come back.

6. Share your best travel tip video contest.

Participants could submit a shot video showcasing their best travel or vacation tips to your area. 

7. Name that landmark photo contest. 

Turn a photo of a famous landmark to a jigsaw puzzle. Every day, reveal a piece of the jigsaw and ask your followers to guess what the landmark is. You can do this with any topic – be it your activities, famous native animal or plant life.

8. Trivia Contest

Promote the culture and history of your area by holding this trivia contest. Ask questions about the local history of your establishment, town, province or country. You could pick a certain time period or a person and give some clues as they go along. This is a great contest if your Ideal Guest has a bit of a history obsession.

9. Scavenger hunt trivia contest

Post questions on your Facebook page for which the answers can be found somewhere on your website. This is a great way to drive traffic to your website. It’s also a great way to draw attention to your other activities, products or services.

You could post the clues on Facebook and have a lil contact form set-up through-out your website that allows them to submit the answers with their name and email. This is a great way to increase your newsletter sign-up.

10. Occasion-specific contest

For Father’s Day, ask your followers to tell you about why their dad is the best father in the world and the one with the most votes wins.

If you have your fun day calendar worked out you could run a fun day contest. i.e. To celebrate International Coffee Day we’re running a contest – post a pic of your before and after coffee selfie and tag us in your comments to win free coffee for you and a friend at our restaurant. – this could get some laughable results.

Well there you have it – 10 Ideas to get your contest going. Share some of your past successful contest with us in the comments below.

And as always – if you found this post helpful – like and share it.

It’s a SHARABLE!📢 

Was this post helpful & inspiring? Don’t keep it to yourself – SHARE IT WITH YOUR FELLOW ASSOCIATION MEMBERS!

(Just remember the more people creating content & talking about your city, province or country the more traffic and attention you get from travelers & search engines alike.)

6 Ways to repurpose 1 Video into 70+ content pieces

6 Ways to repurpose 1 Video into 70+ content pieces

One of the main things you have to remember when it comes to content is that you don’t have to focus too hard on content creation but rather on documentation.

Documenting your everyday life at your hotel, lodge or adventure company. You want to start embracing video – telling stories through video. 

As the saying goes if a picture says a thousand words then a video speaks a million. So start using your smartphone and get creative.

You can document so many stories and happenings. Especially if you have some amazing activities happening at or around your establishment. Take video, share stories on Instagram, go live on Facebook – document amazing informative pieces for IGTV. Start building a library of great video content.

“You don’t have to reinvent the wheel every day”

1. Create and Document with Video

Take for example a tour guide, what if you took the time and did a guided tour with a friend. They can record you on video through out the whole tour. Doesn’t have to be anything fancy.

First-off you can cut it up into smaller portions of 15 min each and have 4 pieces to put in a series on your website. Then you can go and cut the video up and have 12 video clips of 5 min each.

 

 

2. Transcribe Video to text

Search Engines love text so what you want to do is get your video transcribe – easy way is to hire someone on Fiverr.com – it costs about $5 and you can have it done in a day or two.

Now you have one whole article – or 4 smaller articles to go with your video on your website or 12 bite-size descriptions to go with images on your Instagram.

3. Take some HD Stills of your Video.

Scroll through your video and check out for greater still shots you can screen-grab and save to use on your social media platforms such as Instagram or Facebook.

4. Audio for Podcast

Podcasts are becoming a big player in the online marketing world so what you can do is take your video and extract the audio into a podcast – especially if you’re sharing very informative content in your video – people love listening to stories, conversations, interviews or fun facts. Once again you can always source a freelancer on Fiverr.com to extract and edit the audio for you.

A great platform to share that audio clip on is the Anchor App – it allows you to share your podcast on various platforms such as Spotify, Google, ITunes all at once

5.Create an Infographic

Now if you’re getting the hang of your canva.com account you’ll be able to create amazing infographics on their using the key facts of your 1-hour talk. You can even create 4 different infographics for each 15-minute clip. These you can share on Facebook, Pinterest, and Linkedin. You can even create mini infographics of your x12 five-minute clips to share as posts on Instagram.

6. Take great quotes for Twitter

If there are some amazing clips in your video where you feel you’re sharing something profound that will benefit or inspire your Ideal Guest then make those tweetable.

Share them as quotes on Twitter with a link back to the main article or video on your blog. Plus you can even use the quotes as part of your Social Media Content Calendar for posting on Instagram and Facebook

Now just imagine you create one such video every month or even one a week!

How fast would your content calendar start filling up?

Just remember the more you share with your Ideal Guest, the more they get to know you and trust you, the higher your chances that they’ll book with you. In this new online economy authenticity and trust is key in building long term business.

It’s a SHARABLE!📢 

Was this post helpful & inspiring? Don’t keep it to yourself – SHARE IT WITH YOUR FELLOW ASSOCIATION MEMBERS!

(Just remember the more people creating content & talking about your city, province or country the more traffic and attention you get from travelers & search engines alike.)

5 Ways to get more direct bookings

5 Ways to get more direct bookings

Just imagine actually getting 80% of your bookings directly – no payment of over-the-top commissions, no worries about non-arrivals and cancelation fees – actually being able to have more control of the guest experience.

I know for many a small hotel or activities company this might actually feel like a far-fetched dream. In almost each and every one of my workshops I get the “Yeah, that sounds great, BUT….” remark when we discuss this topic.

“BUT … then none of the OTA want to work with us”

“BUT… then we have tour operators telling us that they don’t like it if we offer better deals… what about them?”

What about them? Are they going to bail you out if you don’t fill your beds? Can they guarantee you 80% bookings and make a deal saying they are will to work exclusively with you? Will the cover the cancelation fees for no-shows?

With today’s amazing opensource technology making it easy for you to build your own website, take high-definiition video and photographs, even programs like Canva giving you the power to design professional marketing material.

You have the ability to take back the control and run your bed & breakfast marketing all from the comfort of your own couch – all you need is a laptop, smartphone and internet access.

The most important part is to build an audience of people who love your brand and love your story. The best way to do that is to build trust by sharing your authentic self. 

52% of OTA visitors clicking on the hotel website in order to receive more information on the hotel

 If you would like to start boosting your direct booking then here are a few tips on how you can start today to increase traffic to your website and in-turn increase your direct bookings:

1. Become a fountain of knowledge

 

Share what you know with your Ideal Guests. Tell them about what’s happening in your area, in your province, and in your country. Be the source of news they go to if they want to know what to do.

This is a great way to build trust with your potential guest, to show them that you are all about their amazing journey. Be guest-centric, and document content that will educate, inform and entertain your guests.

Think about how little you like to be bombarded with sales calls all day. So why would your guest be any different?

Show them that you are the expert in your area and you are the best person they can chat to if they want to have an awesome adventure in South Africa.

 

2.For every sales pitch soften the blow with 3 informative articles

 

This is the formula I would suggest. Before you pitch your latest promotion or package deal.

First, introduce your self. You don’t just walk up to the girl of you your dreams and propose marriage off the bat?

Well, your guests aren’t any different. They want to be courted, slowly, and they want to get to know you before jumping in your bed….😉(pun intended)

So how do you do that – well start documenting and sharing your everyday happenings? If you are a Boutique Hotel owner start sharing on your blog about the amazing organic veggie patch you started for your chef.

 Document and share how your team works tirelessly to make sure that every guest stay is special.   Tell them about the amazing fun-run race taking place next week and show how your staff get ready and prepare for new guest – then document their participation and share that on your blog.

Your blog is like your diary where you share aspects of your hotel’s life with potential guests. Once you have shared atleast, and I mean at the very least, 3 entertaining, informative or educational pieces of content – then show them a great special you have coming up for Easter Weekend.

If you can share more free content before the sales pitch then do so. The more you share free info the easier it is for your potential guest to make the booking, because they feel like they know you.

3.Build that Email List

 

Within your Email Contact list lies a gold mine of potential returning guests. Plus the great thing about them – They are already 70% sure they want to book with you.

Why? Well because they have already gone through the booking journey with you.

We tend to always focus on trying to get a new guest to book – forgetting about the ones who have already booked with us and loved it.

We expect them to know that they can book again. Don’t just sit and wait for them to call you again. Send them small reminders of how great their time was with you.

Set-up a weekly or monthly newsletter that sends them summaries of your amazing entertaining and informative blog posts.

 This way every Monday morning, when they dread the fact that their weekend is over, they open their emails and BAM! your newsletter pops-up.

They’re reminded of the amazing time they had and want to book another trip ASAP. Before the caffeine hits and their boss starts breathing down their neck.

4. Create an Events Page 

 

As my TOW crew will tell you, this is one of the secret weapons I suggest for every tourism business out there. Add an events category to your blog TODAY!

Contact local events companies and ask them to share their calendars with you of upcoming events. This way they get more publicity for their event. PLUS you get the added benefit of traffic to your website for anyone doing a search for things to do or searching for a specific event.

Think about it like this, a potential guest, love Riana Nel and she’s playing at Innibos this year – but your guest not sure which dates or where they’ll go and google “Riana Nel Innibos 2019”.

Now the results are going to be the Innibos Homepage, and then every OTA that has taken advantage of this strategy and posted about the event. 

But what if you, as a small hotel owner, add a lil story about Innibos and maybe chat to the organizers about why they love the event – or share your own experiences of the previous year’s event and how much you enjoyed Riana’s show.

Now what happens, your potential guest, sees that you are an avid Riana Nel fan, Just-Like-THEM! “OMG, we have something in common, OH and you have a great boutique hotel situated close to the event AND YOU OFFER TRANSFERS TO AND FROM THE EVENT? OMG!!!!😱”

Guess who they’re more likely to book with?

5. Share your blog posts on Social Media

 

Once you have created your amazing content start sharing the links to Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter.

 

Create a traffic funnel of clicks back to your website.

 

This is one of the great ways of boosting traffic to your website – share those blog posts on your own website and then share the links to them on Facebook. Especially if you have something informative or entertaining. 

 

Five simple and easy ways to create traffic more traffic for your website.

Remember the more traffic you have the better the chances of getting direct bookings – about 2%, on average, of your total website traffic will convert to online bookings.

Think about how much traffic you need to have on your site daily to convert 2% of your traffic to 80% occupancy. i.e. if you have 10 rooms and you want 10 bookings per day you need about 500 people per day visiting your site.

Need some inspiration for your Social Media Content Calendar?

This is a PDF Document that gives you an example of what the next three (March-May 2019) months of can be for your Social Media.

It gives you a prompt for every day that allows for variety and consistency. I even worked in all the public and school holidays for South Africa – taking the brunt of batch planning off your plate.😉

It’s a SHARABLE!📢 

Was this post helpful & inspiring? Don’t keep it to yourself – SHARE IT WITH YOUR FELLOW ASSOCIATION MEMBERS!

(Just remember the more people creating content & talking about your city, province or country the more traffic and attention you get from travelers & search engines alike.)

15 Topic Ideas to fill-up your Social Media Content Calendar

15 Topic Ideas to fill-up your Social Media Content Calendar

You want to be consistent and make daily posts and, depending on the social media channel, you would like to post on all of them at least once a day.

Unfortunately, consistency can be next to impossible while you still have to run your business as a small boutique hotel owner. The best way to ensure your posting fresh new content on social media on a consistent basis is to create and use a content calendar.

By using online software such as Canva and Later.com you can batch create and schedule your social media ahead of time.

 

The saying goes – “If content is King – then consistency is Queen”

This takes some time to set-up but once you get the hang of it you’ll only need to spend an hour or two per month to schedule and automate a batch of social media content.

But how do you create fresh and engaging content for your platforms? How to do keep your followers wanting more?

The simple answer is posting a variety of interactive content. Here are just a few quick ideas for you to populate your content calendar with:

1. Short video tip/ educational videos

This is a great way of showing your Ideal Guest that you’re there to help them make the best of their trip. If you’re a Boutique Hotel in Hermanus think about a video on what to pack for a holiday at the beach – or if you’re a guide in Pilanesberg National Park – how about sharing some educational video clips on the various fauna and flora found in the park?

The main thing to keep in mind is what would speak to your Idea Guest Avatar and how can you show them you understand what they want, need and desire. This is why you need to make sure you have an Idea Guest Avatar to refer back to for ideas.

2. Go behind the scenes

Go behind the scenes and show them a peek of a day in the life of running your establishment. Show them the work that goes into making everything run smoothly. This could be your chef preparing a great dish, your grounds staff pruning the bushes and tending the organic veggie patch or even your housekeeper fixing up a room and making sure the mini-bar is stocked.

3. Sneak Peek

Show them what you have going on – or what is busy brewing when it comes to specials – if you and your team are hard at work getting all the decorations ready for your Valentine’s Package coming in February then share that with your audience.

4. Promote Yourself

You don’t want to do this too often else you might just look more “salesy” that you like to. You want to do this just once a week. Showing your Ideal Guest what they might be missing out on. So think about the various different facilities, activities or features your establishment has to offer and then share some images about that with a Call To Action to check out your website for more info.

Now most travelers like to book their next holiday straight after the last one or after a break – this means that the best times to post new promotions are on a Monday or directly after a school holiday, public holiday, long weekend or festive season.

If you’re running a special this would be the place to share that with them – creating a professional post in Canva to accompany your Special details.

Any reviews that you would love to share this would be the post to share them in. Set-up a review post template in Canva to help you create your artwork fast without losing your brand consistency.

The Promote yourself is a great post to promote any articles or informational blog post you post to social media channels – Think of the Traffic Funnel we discussed in the workshop. 

5. Ask Questions

Asking your followers questions is a great way to connect with them and to help you build trust. Let’s be real for a second, none of us enjoy a one-sided conversation. By asking you followers questions you not only show that you are truly interested in them but you also get to know what your guest like and dislike. It’s like a free market survey that actually helps you build trust.

PS: Just remember to interact and engage with your followers if they take the time to answer your question

6. This or that

As with Ask Questions – by giving your followers a choice – for example, loading two images onto your Instagram post – One of tiramisu and the other of a malva pudding – then asking your followers which one they would choose you:

 

  1. Peak their intrest and engagement.
  2. You show them that their opinion matters.
  3. You get to know the like and dislikes of your followers – Which will help you know what your Ideal Guest values.

7. Fill in the blank

Fill in the blank questions ask your audience to fill in the blank to a statement you provide.

These are great questions to tailor specifically to your Ideal Guest Avatar and generate engagement 

For example, a Safari company could post, Fill in the blank: my favorite animal of the big five is __________. Or, a travel agent could post, “Fill in the blank: My favorite travel destination is __________.”  

8. Get Personal

This is where you open up a bit and show your values and the thing you and your team do to make a difference.

Do you have someone on your staff who started out working in the gardens and now is head – sous chef? Share their story.

Or how about a cause that is close to your heart such as Safe the Rhino Foundation. In the description share some information about them and the amazing work they do with your audience.

    9. Be An Expert

    With this post, you can show your Ideal Guest that you’re not just another Boutique Hotel or activities company out to take their money. No, your heart and soul beats with hospitality and your main mission is to help them have the adventure of a lifetime.

    Share tips and tricks on traveling to your area as well as news and information that might affect their trip.

    Be their online travel expert in all thing South Africa, Mpumalanga or Safari. Become the source they go to when they need to get info on traveling in South Africa.

    10. Share The Love

    When you share the love you can show your followers a bit more about yourself. Share causes close to your heart or people that you feel have made a big difference in your industry.

    Tag your loyal followers and show that you appreciate their engagement and interaction with your company.

    11. Inspiration Quotes

    Quotes tend to get a lot of engagement on social media.

    Share one of your favourite inspiring travel quotes.

    You can style quotes on a beautiful photo or a plain coloured background using a design tool like Canva.com or apps like Textgram.

    Set-up a quote template – just as you would for the reviews – in Canva so you just have to add a few, download them and upload them into Later.com for scheduled posting.

    12. Thank Your Followers

    A simple thank you goes a long way.

    Don’t forget to thank you, followers, for taking the time to follow and engage with you online – show them your genuine appreciation.

    13. Small Business Saturday

    If you support local entrepreneurs and small business owners in your area – this is a great post to not only show your support but also help them build awareness with your Idea Guest.

    If you know your Idea Guest Avatar and you know that this is something they would love then share it. You creating a win-win-WIN for everyone.

    The small business wins because they get more exposure, you win for helping your guest with information and your guest win they might just be looking for just such a product.

    14. Public, School & Fun Holidays

    Keeping your Ideal Guest Avatar in mind, you can create fun content for your social media channels. If you know that your Ideal Guest might just be a fan of Squirrels.

    By sharing an image of a squirrel on your property and a caption:

    “Happy Squirrel Appreciation Day! This is Fred the local long-eared squirrel “ #SquirrelAppreciationDay

    You’ll be connecting with your Ideal Guest on a deeper level. Showing them that you like and appreciate what they like and appreciate. Plus you get to have a bit more fun with your post and let your creative side lose.

    15. Favourite Things

    This is a great way of showing your Ideal Guest that you have their interests at heart. By sharing travel apps that they might find useful, things that you love and gadgets to make their travel easier – you’re building trust and creating a friendship.

    For example – Let’s say your IGA is a single dad who loves traveling with his kids and sharing memorable vacations with them. He has a 3-year-old girl and a 6-year-old boy – Maybe you know of a great lil gadget that will keep them entertained on the long ride from Gauteng to Plettenberg bay.

    You want to share this with your travelling dad. He would appreciate your forsight in helping solve a stressor for him.

    PS: I created all the post examples in Canva.com in less than 35 minutes.🥳

    It’s a SHARABLE!📢 

    Was this post helpful & inspiring? Don’t keep it to yourself – SHARE IT WITH YOUR FELLOW ASSOCIATION MEMBERS!

    (Just remember the more people creating content & talking about your city, province or country the more traffic and attention you get from travelers & search engines alike.)

    Is your Tourism Establishment’s Website ready for Alexa? – Voice Search

    Is your Tourism Establishment’s Website ready for Alexa? – Voice Search

    Is your Tourism Establishment’s Website ready for Alexa? – Voice Search

    #mondaymarketingminute – the easiest way to start incorporating voice into your online marketing strategy would be to add a QnA Section to your Website.

    🤔 – Think about the type of questions your guest would ask or have asked you in the past. Questions about what to expect traveling to your establishment, what there is to do in the area, etc. Example: “Hey Siri, are there any boutique hotels in Cape Town?” or ” Alexa what outdoor activities do they have for families in Pilanesberg?”

    Ways to Increase Direct Bookings for your Boutique Hotel – Tip #8

    Ways to Increase Direct Bookings for your Boutique Hotel – Tip #8

    Want more Direct Bookings? Get Socialising!

    I have noticed how few Boutique hotels actually use the power of social media and it pains me sometimes. We live in such an amazing age – where marketing to your guest is something you can do 24/7 – 365. No need for expensive TV or radio ads. No need to place a big article in your local newspaper (which never make sense to me as the guest you want is from out of town). And no need to print expensive brochures year after year, only to throw half away because your prices have changed.

    With the internet comes this amazing ability to, not only research your Ideal Guest Avatar but to market to them directly without wasting any money on advertising. With platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, you have the tools to create tailor-fitted marketing profiles to suit your Ideal Guest Avatar perfectly.

    Yes, there is a strategy and a learning curve involved. But to avoid working on your digital marketing is the worst mistake you can make. Information technology is a rapidly growing market that is increasing at such an exponential rate – if you think by avoiding it you can still do good business down the line you are making a big mistake. The growth is at such a rate that with every passing day that you don’t invest in learning you are falling behind months and even years.

    If you want to increase your bookings invest some time in getting to know the online marketing game. See how you can use it to speak to your Ideal Guest Avatar and start creating consistent entertaining and informative content.

    PRO TIP: Start with the social media platforms you are already familiar with and use them to send potential guests to your website.
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