The Adido team were delighted to attend the 18th Visitors Attraction Conference (VAC) 2021, live in London at the QEII conference centre, and it was great to see so many familiar faces attending in person.
The past 18 months have been particularly challenging for the tourism and hospitality industry. Now, following a bumper staycation summer, filled with a new set of challenges, businesses across the sector attended the event to take stock of the current situation, look for positive solutions to shorter-term issues, as well as longer-term strategies.
Our CEO Andy took to the stage to share his expertise with a whistle stop presentation covering ‘Digital Marketing for Attractions’. He covered numerous areas including social media, and whether the increasing popularity of Tik-Tok as a platform would be suitable for the sector.
He shared his top ten points for attractions to start thinking about this Autumn as we head towards 2022.
His topline advice and tips included:
- Be strategic with your time and money. Don’t invest time in every channel available when you don’t have the time, expertise or budget. Be selective and get focused.
- More time is spent consuming media online now than offline. Make sure you plan ahead and spread your resources and budget in the most effective way.
- In order to achieve your objectives, understand as much as you can about who your customers are. Do you really know them, their motivations and where they are most likely to research? If you do, it can help you plan better to align yourself to where they ultimately purchase your product or service.
- Related to the above, if you have several target audiences, don’t forget that rarely does ‘one size fit all’, so planning ahead is even more essential to organise your money and effort. As well as this, longer term strategies will require you to appreciate the future of your audience/s; does growth in that segment still exist? Is it a segment where you can forecast growth? Try and analyse all the information you can to build a solid picture.
- If social media forms a part of your plan, question whether you should be regularly active across all of the (often changing) platforms available. For example, Tik Tok is hugely rising in popularity, but before you dive straight into building a profile, check the audience who are predominantly engaging with it. Also be realistic - do YOU understand it and do YOU have the energy or skills to ‘get it’?
- On this note, think VIDEO first on social channels, get CREATIVE and try to produce ‘SCROLL STOPPING’ content. BUT, don’t just use a certain channel because everyone else is. Remember, it’s OK to say ‘no’, and concentrate on existing channels to maximise exposure and engagement with your target market and customer.
- For any organic search, you need to be at (or as close as possible) the top of page one. Any content not achieving first page ranking will rarely (if ever) attract people. Remember to check your UX and usability, with the phenomenal power of smartphones, a poor mobile offering is no longer acceptable.
- Don’t forget that knowledge is power. Track and collect as much data as you can, whilst you are allowed. We will soon be losing data as we enter a ‘cookie-less’ world, so get data mining as soon as possible.
- Less data means we will have to present ever stronger messaging to get cut through and see impact. Start to prepare now, and imagine how your future communications & reporting are going to be shaped.
- With your content, follow a path to maximise the success of your messaging. For example, a winning strategy on Tik Tok would be to:
- Understand your audience
- Have a personality
- Trust your creatives to present your values correctly
- Take the time to get it right
- Make sure you have time to moderate your account/s
A hugely successful example is shown here by the Black Country Living Museum. They presented an excellent session outlining the successes they’ve had (including 25% of ticket sales coming as a result of their TikTok channel at one point!) as well as some real words of wisdom along the way.
And don’t forget, your strategy can be defined by what you say ‘no’ to. Remember that no one is super human, so don’t try to spread yourself (or your team) too thin, because generally you aren’t going to be able to do everything really well.
“A word of thanks from myself and also on behalf of the steering committee which guides VAC for your excellent presentation yesterday. With VAC now in its 18th year and having pivoted to a virtual conference last year, it was lovely to be back at the QEII in person and to see so many people. The number for whom it was their first London visit or physical conference for 18 months was considerable. It was great to have your succinct views on some of the big things in digital marketing for attractions, and I hope that the next 12 months sees continued business success for Adido.”