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TravisLongmore
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I’d take a step back and focus on your marketing strategy to start.

It can take some time but it doesn’t have to be done all at once.

Define your goals and objectives
This should include your business goals and objectives as well as your marketing goals and objectives. The marketing goals should ladder up to you business objectives and can include things like website traffic, time on website, social media engagement, shares, lead generation and brand awareness.

These goals should stick to the tried and true S.M.A.R.T formula – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. Avoid ‘vanity’ metrics like Facebook or Instagram followers which don’t specifically lead to business objectives and are having less of an impact as organic reach declines.

This is a great time to solidify your business missions statement, unifying theme and values so you know with all of your marketing moving forward, they align to these and stay consistent.

Do a digital audit

Without knowing where you are you can’t know where you’re going. This is the stage you want to identify opportunities for cost-savings, performance improvement, and competitiveness with a comprehensive digital media audit.

Redoing this every year provides great insight into what’s worked the previous year, what hasn’t, what’s changed in the industry and your business and what you need to change to adapt.

Some of the things you should cover off:

What digital marketing channels are you on?

What’s your current marketing tech stack? This covers the tools you use to market your business effectively. Building a tech stack should make your life easier and help automate some of the processes. Things like Mailchimp for automated email marketing, Hootsuite for social media scheduling and insights etc.

What content worked previously? To find out, check your engagement on social channels using the insights and analytics features or if you need a deeper understanding you can invest in platforms like Hootsuite or Iconosquare. Google Analytics will give you an understanding of website traffic, where it came from, the time spent on your site and much more.

What advertising has been done previously, what worked, what didn’t? Why? If you’re putting money into your content marketing and running paid campaigns you want to have a clear understanding of what’s working. Dig deeper into these campaigns so you have a benchmark moving forward to measure your future success.

Audit your website – What’s your website speed? Is it mobile responsive/friendly? Do you have high bounce rates? Do your visitors drop off before purchase, do they abandon cart? These are just some of the questions you need to answer to understand if your online web presence is performing the way it should. To find out the speed of your website we like to use the Pingdom Website Speed Tester. Not only will this give you an idea of site speed, it’ll also recommend ways to fix some of the issues. If you manage your own website, you can research how to fix some of the more pressing issues or pass it along to your web developer. Google Analytics can give you a lot of insights about your business and how users are interacting with it. Not only can you see what content or pages are getting the most traffic, it can also show you how long they’re spending on each page, bounce rates and can also show a users journey throughout your site with their Behaviour Flow module.

Is your tracking in place? If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it or see if it’s working. The two main pieces of tracking you’ll want to include in your website is Facebook’s Tracking Pixel and Google’s Analytics code. The Facebook pixel allows you to track users who click from Facebook and end up on your website. You can then see what they do when they get there with Google’s Analytics platform. Google’s Analytics platform gives you insight into where your readers come from, how long they spend on your site, which pages they visit and much more. The sooner you get these setup and on your website the sooner you can glean insights into your website traffic.

Are your channels set up correctly? Make sure you have all your digital channels set up correctly so you get the best bang for your buck on each one. Raven Tools explains how to set up each platform on their blog.

Who is your customer?
With your auditing out of the way, you should have some high quality data to look at and you can spend some time seeing if that matches up with who you thought your audience actually was.

There are times when businesses find the people purchasing their products or services are actually different to who they thought or who they initially intended.

Build out a set of customer personas and refer to them as you create your content and begin to market.

Based on this information, you should be able to workout which platforms will work best for those demographics. You can Google ‘Social Media Platform Demographics’ and you’ll get a bunch of resources that explain exactly who uses each platform. For most small to medium businesses, you want to focus your efforts on one or two platforms at first. Spreading yourself too thin will only mean you won’t get results from any of them.

Proactive Social
This tip focussed on finding the communities your audience are in and beginning to interact with them there. This isn’t about promoting your business as such, it’s a way for you to give back to communities already established and providing value to them. The idea here is to continue to provide value over time and you’ll come to be seen as a valuable member of the community and build trust so people will want to use your product or service. Platforms like this one, Quora, Instagram and Reddit are all good sites to get involved with. None of these platforms like self promotion so don’t even think about it. You’ll do more damage to your brand than you stand to gain so don’t bother with any self promotion.

Remember, with all of this, it’s about contributing value and becoming part of the communities. It’s not about marketing your business.

Now you know who you’re trying to reach and what platforms they’re on, it’s time to figure out what content will resonate.

What problems do you solve
Spend some time digging into the problems your product or service is trying to solve. Focus on the feelings your customers get once they use it. For travel, that should be fairly easy!

I LOVE to use answerthepublic.com to put in some keywords and see what people are searching for online. That gives you a great starting point for content!

Choose your platforms
I mentioned this before but I wouldn’t try and be on all platforms if you’re doing this on your own. Focus on one or two that you know your customers are on and build those first.

How will you be different
If you don’t have a point of difference you’ll get drowned out by all the noise online. Figure out what you do differently and make sure that resonates in all your messaging.

Editorial/blog calendar and content calendar
Do up a simple editorial calendar so you know what content you need to produce and the timelines around when you’ll produce and publish it. I just use a Google Sheet to do mine and it works well. This gives me a clear timeline of what I’m producing and when I need to finish them.

I then use Trello and it’s calendar add on to build out a content calendar. This includes my editorial/blog content as well as any curated content, upcoming events, seasonal content etc. This gives me a visual representation of what I’ve got coming up.

Some people use their social media management tool for this instead of Trello and I have to admit that’s a much better idea in theory. Using Trello means I’m essentially doubling up the work with my content calendar but I’ve found the SMM tools are horrible with their calendar features.

Remember to focus on quality content and don’t get sucked into producing quantity over quality. If you can’t be on 3 social channels, focus on one with great content.

What’s your budget?
I’ve got a very defined budget for my digital tech stack and my advertising dollars and stick to that no matter what. It’s so easy to overspend in marketing so don’t get sucked in.

Measuring success – Tracking and reporting
Make sure you have a way to measure your results. You should have set up your tracking codes and pixels so have a way to bring that together to see what’s working and what isn’t. I use Cyfe for this. It brings in the analytics and insights from different platforms and displays it in a nice dashboard for me.

While it may seem like a lot of work, if you follow these steps you’ll come away with a robust marketing strategy. It will need to be revisited as your business changes or evolves but this will be the backbone of your marketing.

It may take a little time to get right and implement but it will be almost as important as your business plan and stats have shown that having one of those doubles your chances of success.

Get stuck in and get it done over a period of time and you’ll only have to update it as your business grows. Good luck!