In these uncertain times we find certainty using tried-and-tested principles that have worked in the past, and apply them to our new – and temporary – reality. Understanding how the digital marketing funnel works along with the buyer’s cycle can help keep your establishment top-of-mind and inform a successful social marketing strategy that works for your business.
This is a guest post by Eco Africa Digital
Lizanne du Plessis is the Founder of Eco Africa Digital. Her team has been specialising in digital marketing for the tourism industry since 2013.More about this Guru
What is the Travellers Buyer’s Cycle?
The buyer’s cycle identifies how travel booking decisions are made in the mind of the consumer. It is a process that develops over time, requiring ‘nurturing’ along the way through channels like social media, where content inspires future travels so that when travel restrictions are lifted, consumers are already convinced, well-informed and ready to book.
Understanding how the Digital Marketing Funnel works
The digital marketing funnel details all the inputs and outputs involved in a campaign. However, when it comes to social media, the focus is on ways to increase online awareness and engagement. As the foundation, social media is the most important step to securing direct bookings further down in the funnel.
People crave an escape – especially during a global pandemic. This is where social media becomes so valuable as it provides people with the distraction they need, and it’s where a brand can plant seeds that inspire future travel bookings. Here’s a detailed look at the type of content needed to do this and how to create it.
Simple content ideas and inspiration for Social Media:
Establish your brand’s unique selling points and core values and stick to these. Focus on creating content that aligns with the below themes, and include copy that gets people dreaming about the future.
- Activities - “Wouldn’t it be great to swim at our beach again soon?”
Talk about activities on offer in a way that gets consumers excited about a stay at your establishment.
- Establishment exterior – “We will be waiting to welcome you back at our lodge…”
Reassuring consumers that they will get an opportunity to return.
- Friendly staff – “We live for our guests and are already planning for your return…”
This post shows transparency and care, while also creates intrigue and making guests feel valued.
- Nature – “As adaptive and resilient as ever…”
Inspire hope and reflect on lessons from nature which can be applied to the consumer’s life.
- Quote – “Inspiration on the balance of life…”
Source quotes that are positive and talk about the power of unity. Consumers are bombarded with negativity and positive posts will stand out.
- Establishment interior – “As we find ourselves in a time of reflection and facing inward…”
Showcase your establishment’s interior, whilst encouraging the act of self-reflection, as this is something guests usually do during their stay.
- Animals – “Now that we have time to appreciate the birds in our garden…”
Relate animals found on your establishment with your consumer’s current world, or talk about how nature has returned during lockdown.
Tips on Using Your Mobile Phone For Social Media Content Creation:
All you need is a good quality phone camera to capture the right images to fit the above themes. Simply familiarise yourself with the following rules and start building up an image bank:
- Take a combination of images so that you have content for multiple social media formats eg. Facebook or Instagram Stories: Portrait orientation, Posts: landscape orientation.
- Principle of thirds: Place your object either a third from the left or the right – some phones offer a setting where a guide appears that can help you achieve this.
- Always have the blue sky meeting the landscape on a line one third from the top.
- Use ‘Portrait mode’ for shots of people.
- Focus on the Brightness and Contrast settings when editing photographs.
- Grow your Instagram following by engaging with people who follow establishments similar to your own.