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3 Digital Marketing Tips Every Tour Operator Should Follow

Last updated on November 9, 2022
7 minute read
Key Takeaways

  • Tailor your messaging to your target audience rather than everyone.
  • Spend money strategically to make more money in the long run.
  • Foster connection and community through marketing.

Skill Level


As a tour or activity operator, your work doesn’t end with running your experiences.

You might also be a social media guru, blogger, or photographer for your business.

Put on your digital marketer hat and follow these three important tips for marketing your tours and activities for success.


1. Don’t Try to Appeal to Everyone

Marketing is all about the right messaging for the right audience. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is trying to appeal to everyone with your content, whether it’s on social media or in an email.

Instead, tailor everything to your key audience and target demographics; no one else matters because they’re not the people booking your experiences. Identifying your target audience certainly takes effort and leg work up front, but it will save you a lot of time and money in the long run.

Tailor Your Messaging

  • Segment your email list to target different audiences with personalized content that increases conversions.
  • Write content and share photos/images that are inclusive so you don’t inadvertently turn potential customers off from booking a tour or activity with you.
  • Map your customers’ digital journey to get a better idea of where they are in terms of booking an experience. Are they a new customer? A repeat customer? Someone who has been browsing your website without booking? Tailor your messaging to customers in different stages of the consumer journey for higher conversions.
  • Write content for specific demographics: Get tips on marketing to Millennial and Gen Z travelers.
  • Take a deep dive into understanding search intent and how to address it in your content.
  • Not sure who your target audience is or want to refresh your marketing efforts? Try marketing to your local community as a starting point.

2. You Have to Spend Money to Make Money

Sorry for the reality check, but it’s true! When it comes to digital marketing, you’ve got to have some skin in the game. Fortunately, you don’t have to break the budget.

There are a lot of ways to up your marketing game with inexpensive – or sometimes free! – strategies and tools. By spending strategically, you can avoid wasting money. Do your research and planning up front, and your ad dollars will go much farther. 

Make the Most of Your Marketing Budget

  • As a first step, learn how to set and allocate a marketing budget to best serve your business.
  • Educate yourself on pay-per-click marketing so you understand exactly what it entails and where your money is going. 
    • Pro Tip: If you’re not ready to put together a PPC strategy, whether due to time or money constraints, don’t! There are plenty of other marketing methods to advertise your tours and activities.
  • Use A/B testing to see what content customers engage with. There’s no point in spending money on an ad that isn’t driving clicks, and A/B testing can help you identify small changes to make to your content that will boost revenue.
  • Take advantage of free tools, like these 10 from Google, to get key insights on your website, audience, and more.

3. Show (and Share!) the Love

a group of people standing on top of a snow covered mountain

It’s normal to get a little weary of constantly promoting your business. If you feel like you’re in need of a refresh, work on spreading the love by incorporating other people into your marketing efforts. Guests, tour guides, and local businesses – like other tour operators, area accommodations, and restaurants – want to do business with people who are kind, compassionate, fair, and fun. 

Have fun with your community-focused marketing efforts! The best business is free business, and referral business is usually the cream of the crop. Don’t forget to weave your culture and personality into everything you share for that personal touch that will make others want to do business with you.

Foster Connection Through Your Marketing Efforts

  • Incorporate user-generated content into your campaigns. Ask guests to share photos of their tours and tag your business on social media or highlight your favorite reviews in an email campaign.
  • Use local directories to connect with other businesses in your area and reach new audiences.
  • Uplift and support fellow tour operators by joining the FareHarbor Distribution Network to resell each other’s tours and activities.
  • Feature local businesses like hotels and restaurants on your website. Give them a shout out and work them into your link building strategy – a win-win for both of you!
  • Partner with a local company. Offer a discount for their services, serve their food on your tours, or work together to create a unique experience.

Browse additional digital marketing guides below.

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