One of the biggest challenges outdoor adventure companies face with their marketing is creating good content. The type of content that gets shared, read and downloaded. Content that grabs the attention and turns a fan to a happy customer.
Here are five ideas to help any adventure company create great posts, blogs and downloads that get people’s attention and turn casual web surfers into solid leads. Put one or all of these into practice, and your email lists and tour bookings will grow like wildflowers in May.
Did you know that 95% of your prospects check for online reviews before ever making a purchase? I’ve been writing about this topic for a long time, and it still amazes me how few tour companies actively ask for customer reviews.
It’s so freakin’ important!
Why? Because it’s free marketing for your business. Also, it validates for potential customers that what you offer is tried, tested and true. You can toot your own horn all you want about your authentic experiences, but your past customers will do a much better job at convincing a prospect. So, make it a part of your marketing strategy to ALWAYS follow up with a customer within a week of their tour or activity. That way they’ll be able to capture the experience while it’s fresh in their minds! The more recent the experience, the more authentic and emotional their review will be—and emotional testimonials add even more power and conviction.
When these testimonials start rolling in, make sure you create a post on social media showcasing what an amazing time your customers have had. When people are cruising around looking for their next tour, they’ll see those comments and be intrigued by what you have to offer.
Leads, leads, leads! Having a growing list of emails is a powerful way to connect with potential customers. When you have a direct connection to a customer through their inbox, you have more control over your relationship with them.
An email address handed over to you by someone who read your content is a high-quality lead—meaning: contact information for someone who is already interested in what you offer—and you can build on that lead over time by directly sending them relevant, valuable information. Every great email creates a stronger relationship and develops more trust, eventually leading that customer to a booking.
But simply asking someone to sign up to receive your newsletter may not be enough.
Instead, take it a step further by offering something free and useful that they can download, such as a packing checklist or a travel guide. Free content is an excellent marketing strategy to attract, engage and eventually convert a customer. For most outdoor adventure companies, converting a customer can be a lengthy process. Free content is a way to start building that important relationship, so when they are ready to buy, they’ll think of you.
But note! The trick here is to make your free content something your customer won’t think twice about grabbing. It needs to solve a problem beyond what a simple Google search can do.
Need ideas? Read on.
Every potential customer who crosses your path is looking to solve a problem. It could be as simple as where to go for their next adventure vacation or what to do while they’re there.
Your job is to solve their problem by offering content with a solution.
For example, a video or blog that showcases the top reasons why someone should be visiting your location can solve the problem “where should I go next?” If you want to create a lead-generating download like those suggested above, a checklist on what to pack for a desert hike can solve the problem of “I’m afraid to make a mistake.” Answering these questions and offering this reassurance nudges them closer to taking an adventure, and closer to taking it with you.
Here are a few more ideas for useful downloads and content that solve problems for your customers.
Videos are hot right now. Why? Because they are entertaining and easy to consume. In fact, online video will account for 80% of online traffic by 2020, and how-to videos are among the segments that are growing fast. Also, it adds a bit of variety, mixing up those long reads and posts and articles with something more exciting.
Videos also give you the opportunity to SHOW customers why they should book with you. A quick snapshot of the landscapes they’ll experience on a tour. A short snippet of what it’s like to experience your activity. Or a behind-the-scenes so they can get to know the people who are putting on the tours.
This kind of content is evidence that what you offer is true. It goes beyond talking about what you offer and actually shows what you do. It’s a powerful way to connect, offer snippets of info that are helpful, and create killer engagement online.
And if you want to really stand out, try Facebook Live videos. Here are a few ideas to get you started on those.
Amazingly, an adventure company’s website is often the last place that gets improvements. But if you’re trying to convince fans to find out more about what you offer, the content you put on your pages better be compelling enough to make them want to investigate further.
One common mistake I see with website copy is that it’s too generic and vague. Oftentimes adventure brands will talk about how they offer “authentic” or “unique” experiences but they never provide real examples of what this entails. What does it mean when you, specifically, say your tour is unique?
Another mistake many adventure companies make is to write their website to suit a broad audience, when their tours are designed for a specific type of traveller. The more you can tailor your content to the exact type of person who would enjoy what you offer, the more that person will feel like you are speaking to them. And the more you can convey that you understand who your customers are and what they want, the more likely they’ll be to trust you and book with you.
If you want an example of a brand that has killer website copy specifically designed for their target audience, take a look at flashpack.com.
So how do you plan to implement some of these content marketing techniques to turn fans into happy customers? I’d love to hear how these tips inspired you! Comment below and let me know what ideas you’ve tried and how it turned out—or contact me to chat about how to get started.
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