Have you ever been to an industry event and met someone who instantly exchanges cards and then walks away? You know the type; they don’t really start much of a conversation with you and it seems like all they want is to grab your card and run off to the next person.
Would you ever re-connect with that person? Or, more importantly, do business with them?
Do you ever think building brand awareness is like a spray & pray operation? Pass out as many business cards as possible, post as much content as possible and pray that something reaches the right people who are interested in booking with you or visiting your destination.
This can be exhausting and expensive. Guess what, there’s a far more structured strategy to grow awareness of your business.
Let’s back up a second and look at the steps of the sales process.
We’ll focus on the first step—Awareness. So, let’s dive in and explore this as a socially savvy tourism pro.
Picture your upcoming group tour marketing plan and let’s think about how to build awareness of your company, as well as the tour, in this first step of the sales process. Our goal is to:
- avoid the thumb scroll
- attract potential new prospects
- generating leads and prospects
Here’s an awareness-building roadmap to attract attention and start building a relationship that will potentially lead to a sale.
Building Brand Awareness
Let’s think about your existing clients as we begin building this roadmap. Ask yourself (or your clients) these quick questions:
- What made them decide to look more closely at your tours/attraction/destination?
- What marketing channels did they use in their research?
- Which visuals attracted their attention?
With these answers in mind, it’s time to start constructing the brand awareness journey that will inspire trust and showcase your credibility and value proposition.
Social Brand Awareness
Whether your company is brand new or has been in business for years, earning new clients is key to your survival. Social marketing helps generate potential clients and, when you optimize your social pages, some of the heavy lifting will be done for you.
Let’s start with some brand awareness basics that many business owners overlook.
Cover Images and Grids
Whether your clients hang out on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or YouTube, their welcome mat to your business is your cover image. Ensure it’s up to date and highlights current tours and products.
Consider the grid people see when they visit your Instagram profile. Is it a jumble of images? Or does it use a grid-planning tool to organize your offerings? Check out tools like:
Your Specialties and Services
Once your brand comes to the attention of new fans, showcasing your specialties, tours or services is essential. Here’s some key ways to accomplish this:
- Set up a ‘Services’ tab on your Facebook business page. Then highlight each service you provide. You’ll find it easy to add a ‘Services’ tab by navigating to Settings > Templates & Tabs > Add Tab. Once the ‘Services’ tab is added, you’ll be able to add a description, price and image.
- Building awareness is simple when you use the attributes of each platform and get creative.
- Write a Facebook Note (like a blog post) highlighting your newest offerings.
- Compose an ‘Article’ on LinkedIn
- Remember to build a Company Page on LinkedIn
- Create ‘Specialty’ or ‘Showcase’ pages from your LinkedIn Company page
- Shoot a video highlighting the benefits of your service. Post the video to all your social platforms and include it in an e-blast
Starting a relationship with potential new clients and building brand awareness is tough, unless you create a tool to stand out and capture attention (and email addresses). A lead magnet is that tool!
Consider creating a freebie that’s so irresistible that potential new clients will HAVE to have it. Here’s some creative ideas as well as delivery methods:
Once you have your lead magnet created, it can work its magic on a variety of social sites. Simply create a social post offering your downloadable lead magnet, then use this as the basis for a well-targeted social ad. Remember to collect email addresses in exchange for this freebie.
When adding your lead magnet to Instagram, make sure that it stands out in your bio. While we have only 1 opportunity to include a link in our bio, ensure it works overtime for you. Set up a tool that allows you to include more than 1 link to your content. Check out the following tools:
While we don’t like the thought of an automated message when we’re trying to reach out on social, the value is that your potential new clients will see something from you instantaneously whenever they message your company. Set up both a greeting and a reply message on your Facebook business page.
Voice, Tone, & Style
Finally, successfully building brand awareness comes with the task of producing quality content that has a consistent feel to it. This helps people instantly recognize your brand.
But what does that mean?
Consistency comes in the form of:
- A written tone that represents your company and speaks to your clients
- A video style that reflects the tone as well as the visual style of your brand
- Filters on images that are consistent and recognizable
- Pinterest board names, photo album names along with Twitter moments reflecting your tone & style.
- You-Tube play lists mirroring your brand
- Brand colors in all your graphics, infographics and cover images
Unfortunately, building brand awareness is not a quick, overnight process.
Nor is it simply passing out and collecting business cards.
Nor is it simply attaining e-mail addresses.
It’s a marathon, not a sprint!
Starting with the next piece of content you create, carry your brand into the minds of your future clients.
Catherine Heeg, International speaker & trainer, focuses on social media marketing strategies for the tourism and hospitality industry. Connect with her at www.cmsspeaking.com and socially.