With both travel bans and event cancelations, many tourism marketing organizations, cities, events, and brands are struggling to know exactly what they should be doing instead of their standard promotional activities. Well, there’s a lot you can be doing to get ahead. Because while it feels never ending right now, the Covid19 quarantine will not last forever (thankfully!), and while life might look a bit different over the next several months, people are still planning and dreaming about traveling and attending events. So what can you do in the meantime to reach your audience and prepare for the future? Here are ten FREE and paid areas of digital marketing to work on…
1. Post Social Media
Yes, you should still be posting to your social media channels. While this may not be “business as usual,” your fans are on their social media now more than ever. Share great photos, videos, virtual tours, and more ideas HERE to engage with your audience. While your fans may not be able to be physically with you, they can connect virtually. And if they’re anything like, I already have a list a mile long of places I want to visit, restaurants to eat at, and events I want to attend!
Advertising during this time isn’t going to look the same as your usual strategy, but while you might not be selling tickets or grabbing event RSVPs, now is a great time to focus advertising on growing your following, growing your email list, or running a general awareness campaign. Secure eyes now for all your marketing plans later.
Further Reading: The 3 Ads Every DMO Should Be Running
3. Setup or Utilize Email Marketing
Because social media grows more and more ‘pay to play’ every year, we encourage our clients to invest and grow their email lists. When you send out an email newsletter, it hits your audience directly in their inbox, you don’t have to fight with completing channels and Facebook’s dreaded algorithm (which seems to change every other week).
4. Host A Webinar or Live
Everyone’s doing it! And there’s a reason. They’re relatively easy to set up, and they connect you face-to-face with your audience, right in their home. When you record a webinar or a live Q&A, you’re creating content that will ‘live forever’ on your channels. We’ve utilized videos that are several years old from clients and achieved tons of views. You can also use tools like webinars, or “going live” to expand and grow your audience. Invite local businesses and experts to chat about your location or event and reach a potentially untapped audience.
5. Double down on community management
People are engaging more, leaving comments, and reviews because so many of us are stuck at home. Respond to comments, messages, and share what you’re doing during the Covid Pandemic to connect with your fans and show them there are real people behind your social profiles.
Now’s the time to tighten up your promotional materials, create a cohesive ‘look’ for social media assets and your email newsletter! There are tons of free tools to tackle this yourself, or work with a digital marketing agency like us to rework your online “lewk.” We LOVE creating branding guides and branded looks to help our clients have consistent, clean looks, that showcase their brand.
7. Audit Your Website
Heck, maybe now’s the time to redesign it altogether? Does your website look straight out of the early 2000s? You’re not alone, but you don’t have to stay that way! There are tons of great designers out there ready and waiting to take you from Microsoft Pages to 2020 in just a few weeks. If you have some extra budget saved, this might be the perfect time to start this process, and you may even get a good deal!
8. Bank Some Blogs
Commit to writing a cache of blogs that you can publish now and save a few for a rainy (read: very busy!) day. Blogs or news updates are the content that keeps on giving. Focus on perennial content that you can reuse.
Ideas might include: Your 5 Day Trip Planner to Forks, Washington!
Your Camping Checklist For The Olympic National Park!
The Top 10 FREE Activities In Sequim, Washington!
Can you tell we love our clients in the Washington area?!
9. New Photography and Videography!
We’re begging you! PLEASE, take this time to hire a great photographer/videographer to create some beautiful images your marketing team (AHEM!) can use in the future. Some ideas: Beauty shots of your downtown area, local foliage, arial drone videos of your city or event space, or famous local destinations (statues, parks, etc). Not only will you be stocking your photo archives for promotional materials, you’ll be helping a small business like a photographer, survive.
10. Create Systems!
One of the things we pride ourselves on at Method are our systems and strategies. Are you always looking for passwords? Set up a password document, or better yet (and more secure) sign up for a password management system like One Password. Create your marketing timeline for the next six months to a year! If you don’t work with a team like Method on your social media, create a content calendar (here’s ours for FREE!) and plan out your upcoming posts.
11. BONUS: Take our FREE Marketing Self-Evaluation?
No idea where to start? We created a self-evaluation for your tourism marketing (though any brand or industry can use it!) aimed to get you thinking about your marketing strategy.
Now’s the time to work on a few of those marketing projects you have lying around, and if you’re looking for a partner to help guide your digital marketing strategy or get you prepared for a post-Covid19 world, we’re here for you! Call us!