Make Your Brand Stand Out to Attract New Customers
As a tour or activity operator, you know a steady flow of customers is crucial to maintaining the growth and success of your business.
You need to capture the attention of any potential customer, whether they are looking for a thrilling adventure, in-depth tour, or relaxing experience. The challenge is learning to stand out in a crowded market to reach those high target audiences.
Finding tried and true strategies infused with brand personalization and getting to know your audience allows you to go above and beyond. Word of mouth about the quality activity and tours you offer will spread like wildfire online and off.
Here are some key tips to become an undeniable “must-do” for your target customers.
Learn From and Use Your Current Audience
Want to know how best to attract new customers? Look to your current audience base. What makes them tick? What about your tours, attractions, or activities makes them want to book?
Using tools to understand your current customers’ demographics, interests, needs, and buying habits informs how to attract similarly interested leads.
Consider your existing customers and build new profiles based on their interactions with your brand. These “lookalike” customers will be your target audience.
Pro Tip: A great online tool for this is Google Analytics. You can track your website visitor demographics, habits, interests, and even location data to learn more about who is interested in what you offer.
Don’t forget your current customers are a fantastic lead source. You can use promotions and referral programs that encourage them to bring in more customers organically by trying some of these strategies.
- Have tour guides and activity hosts ask customers to refer friends, family, and coworkers at the end of an experience.
- Offer incentives like discount codes through an automatic email link for any people customers suggest.
- Create a rewards program that encourages affiliates or offers benefits for customers who come through a referral.
- Always ask for reviews. Authentic user-generated content is a gold mine you need to read more about to get quality reviews.
We cover more of these tips for targeting your best-fit audience and leveraging their backgrounds in this guide.
Get Your Business Featured in the Media
No one will come to your lobster tour off the coast of Maine if they do not know your ship is in operation. So you have to spread the word to attract more customers. That means getting your activity featured in online and offline media.
Seeing a feature about freshly boiled lobster with butter melting over the top in a local newspaper, social media feed, or online forum is irresistible—and will lead to more bookings.
You can do this by building relationships with local journalists, business organizations, and partnering with events. When you create a newsworthy story, guest post, interview, or engaging content, it can be easily shared and pushed by media platforms.
Pro Tip: We offer a comprehensive guide to getting your business featured in the media that is a must-read for any businesses working on their PR strategy.
Turn to Your Local Market
Sometimes you may get so focused on building or expanding that you risk forgetting the local clients right under your nose.
Setting up your Google Business Profile is a quick way to avoid this mistake. When you fully optimize your profile, you boost your SEO (search engine optimization) and create an easy reference for local clients searching for experiences like yours.
Go a step further and use social media and targeted ads to hit up your local fans. Google, Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram all offer easy-to-use ad targeting and promotional features that improve:
- The ability to target local customers by age, location, gender, and interests
- Using keywords matched to your SEO strategy and geolocation
- Marketing your business in high-traffic areas where you need to stand out
- Getting a massive ROI for extremely low ad costs
Pro Tip: Never underestimate the power of local marketing. Print flyers and brochures to hand out at libraries, grocery stores, and give to partner companies, hotels, concierges, and destination marketing organizations like your local chamber of commerce or travel agency.
Work with Influencers
If you haven’t started using Instagram or TikTok, now is the time to learn!
Over 72% of marketers used Instagram alone for influencer campaigns in 2022 (HubSpot).
They know one of the best ways to find customers is by using influencers to market, review, and interact with their brands. The same is true for your business.
Whether you run a white glove boat tour service around the Hawaiian islands or a New Zealand Lord of the Rings tour, partnering with influencers means you get to directly appeal to people already interested in your experience. Some easy ways to find solid influencers to hire include:
- Search Google for your topic and influencers
- Look at who your current followers are following
- Do hashtag research (for example, #hawaiitours, #hawaiiboating, #explorehawaii)
- Use free tools like Ainfluencer
- Leverage Google Alerts or search by keywords on social media platforms
- Offer incentives on your website that encourage influencers to reach out to you
A great place to start is TikTok. There are more than a billion monthly active users on TikTok, all engaged in interacting with the people, influencers, and brands they meet on the platform.
Explore Partnership Opportunities
FareHarbor partner programs are a surefire way to get more eyes on your business. By having your tours listed in more places, you reach a wider audience, and even attract the attention of those who might not have found your business organically.
Both FareHarbor Connect and the FareHarbor Distribution Network give you the opportunity to expand your distribution through popular channels, like OTAs and resellers.
Attracting new customers might feel like a challenge, but you can make it easier by learning from these techniques. It’s all about going above and beyond the experience your customers expect, so when they share photos online or talk about their recent trip, other people will want to see for themselves.