In a tourist-centric town like Durango, we often feel like the tourists are the ones we need to cater to. I have found that this is an inaccurate portrayal of what business owners need to be doing. I have a motto that I like to use: "Market to the tourists, serve like they're locals."
If you market your business as you would to tourists - using the latest digital and traditional means of advertising, you're likely to catch the eyes of not only the passers-by but also the locals. If you treat your tourist customers like you treat your locals - like you'll see them again tomorrow at the grocery store, down the street when you're walking your dogs, at the next local event you go to - your customer service will sky rocket.
Some things to keep in mind for 2017 and beyond:
With 2017 nearly half done, and tourist season almost over, now is the time to start thinking ahead about what you can do during the typical "slow times" in Durango. Start thinking about what you want your business to look like online and use digital marketing to your advantage during the shoulder season. Are you especially slow right when school starts? Maybe it's time to sit down and write a blog post. Are you going to get super busy before the holidays? Maybe it's time to do a photo shoot - or two - of new product or of your employees and get some original visual content for your website. If you need more tricks or clever ways to keep your customers engaged year-round, feel free to contact us and we'll be more than happy to provide you a free online audit!
As I discussed in a previous post, making sure you have your marketing wrapped around the customer journey is an important first step on your way to having a successful marketing campaign. But let's talk more in-depth about digital marketing and why it is so important.
The way we traditionally know marketing is changing - we've all seen it, we've all felt it, we all know the inevitable Digital Train is coming our way. There is nothing we can do to stop it and that is SO exciting.
Digital marketing is a world full of social media, email, website, paid search, and SEO. All of these words have their own little worlds behind them and all of these little worlds work together to create this wholesome, well represented picture of your virtual business. What I'm saying is that you can't just have one piece of the puzzle and expect wonders to happen, mountains to move.
What you can do, however, is invest time into a comprehensive marketing plan - one that touches on every little aspect of your company's presence online.
You want your website to be stop numero uno. This is your main piece of real estate for the internet - your office or storefront, if you will. You want your clients landing on your website so they can see all about your business - what you do, why you do it, how you do it. Your website is your home base - from which everything else is connected. So, you want your search engine optimization strategy to be its strongest. You want strong, informative, engaging content to live here because that will ultimately drive potential customers to become your strongest advocates. This is the place where you win them over.
You want your business to have an actively engaged following on social media platforms (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook) in order to show the customers that you have personality, respond quickly to their customer service concerns, and are willing to connect with them on a more personal level. Social media is a great place to really grab your customers' attention, keep it, and turn them into strong advocates.
You will also want a strong email marketing campaign. Why? Because email marketing is a great way to have an intimate conversation with your most loyal customers. Sure, most of us delete the sales-y emails we get in our inbox - but this is where a strong email marketing strategy comes into play. Knowing what your customers want and why they come to you for their business is key when creating an effective, high-converting email campaign.
All of these bits and pieces add up to that larger puzzle to help give your customers a wide lens from which to view your business. Managing your online reputation well and having a strong digital marketing strategy are the two best places to start when it comes to marketing your business for 2016.
Meg is the owner of Oh Hello Digital and, when she's not writing for her clients, she'll take time to share her digital marketing insights and advice here. Want to connect with her? 👇