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Summer is upon us. It’s an exciting time of the year for local businesses that depend upon seasonal foot traffic to sustain revenue. After all, tourists have clear goals in mind – consume, experience, and spend. If you want to be a beneficiary, you need to gain an edge over competition who all vie for their attention. The good news, is that modern tourists rarely wing it like they used to. The proliferation of digital transformation has afforded them new ways to do their homework about a given destination and the product/service offerings within. How can you be the one they find when they do? Let’s review.

4 Tips to Using Digital Marketing to Get Visiting Tourists to Frequent Your Local Business this Summer

Make Sure Your Google My Business Listing is Completed and Updated

The cliche of a tourist wandering around town with his/her face buried in a map still holds true. However, they now peer into a smartphone instead of folded parchment, as cartography has gone virtual via Google Maps. To increase the odds of them finding your business above others that litter the digital grid, you must improve your Google My Business (GMB) profile. To attain a 100% completion score be sure to do all of the following:

    • Provide an engaging and informative business description in your brand’s voice (this is your pitch!)
    • Add the opening date of the physical shop/store
    • Add all services offered
    • Add all on-premises products offered
    • Add online attributes (i.e. accessibility, virtual services, etc.)
    • Enable Google Reviews
    • Set business hours (including seasonal, long weekend, and special event hours)
    • Upload photos of your physical space in addition to staff, products, and services (as applicable)

“Customers are 70% more likely to visit and 50% more likely to consider purchasing from businesses with a complete Business Profile.” (Google)

100% profile completion is the minimum. Beyond attaining a perfect score, update your Google My Business profile with Posts on a weekly basis. Posts may include new images, videos, blog articles, and media releases that feature your business. The more active you are, the more likely your GMB profile (via Google Maps) will appear for info-seeking tourists.

Get Discovered in Hashtags

The other tourist cliche, is a camera hanging around the neck. The new digital version of this is once again found in their smartphone. As visitors snap photos and take videos they share them on Instagram and TikTok. They use local area hashtags when doing so, and then explore those very same geo-targeted hashtags to learn more about the city/town they’re visiting. This is an opportunity to be found.

When posting, incorporate hashtags that let visitors know where your business is, and what it is. If a food truck in Vancouver, post hashtags may begin with the city (i.e. #Vancouver) then nearby neighborhoods (i.e. #DowntownVancouver and #YaletownVancouver) followed by what the business is (i.e. #VancouverFoodTrucks) and conclude with specifics (i.e. #VancouverTacos). Given that visibility in a feed for a popular hashtag on Instagram or TikiTok is fleeting, you must post daily during tourist season to remain current.

Ramp Up Blogging to Target Visitor Queries

When preparing for vacation, people perform a lot of online research about a given destination. They search using the prefix of “Best”, “Top” and “Most” such as “Best day trips from Toronto summer” or “Most fun things to do in Toronto”. They also use the terms “Where”, “What” and “How” such as “Where to find […] in Toronto” or “How to […] in Toronto”. Within these innumerable searches are article ideas for your business. The call to action of each article should lead people to your brick and mortar as a means to provide the desired product or experience. When written under the guidelines of SEO best practices your content can rank on local area search.

Don’t let competitors or regional media be the ones to produce this content. Instead, follow our guide for How to Come Up with Blog Ideas for Your Website to lure tourists in your direction. In addition, follow our tips to writing interconnected articles to that you can get more than one position on Google Page One.

Market Specials Specific to Tourists

We’ve provided insight for how to get more “eyes” on your business during tourist season. Now you want to hold their gaze. How to you further their interest? By creating promotions specifically for them.

Have some fun with the concept, offering 20% OFF (etc.) on the first purchase for anyone that shows their out-of-province ID, international passport, or plane ticket. Give them an added bonus if they agree to share their purchase their social networks.  Fire on all cylinders once you have promotions in place, as you have a short window to work with. Leverage existing platforms (GMB, Instagram/TikTok, and your optimized website) to promote specials. In addition, consider Facebook Promoted Posts and PPC. Paid promotions are important as you may not have time to gain organic exposure on Social or Google Search.

Need help optimizing your GMB, social networks, blog strategy, and targeted promotions in time for tourist season? Contact Strategis Consulting Group today.

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