Marketing matters, regardless of the industry. Ecolodge operators lean heavily on simple websites and word of mouth to generate business. Sure, those methods are great but it takes more than that to be competitive in ecotourism. Stretch Tourism’s job is to help ecolodges become more successful through have higher occupancy rates enabling more customers to experience a unique sustainable travel experience.
Let’s review three common marketing mistakes we’ve seen over the years.
A website puts your ecolodge on display. It shows who your brand is, for better or worse. Websites should be up to date. That means no antiquated designs, tables, etc. More than 140 million U.S. adults were expected to research a trip online in 2018. Search engine optimization aka SEO is critical in today’s day and age. Is your website optimized for search? Travelers flying abroad like to have their stays booked in advance. If your website isn’t optimized but your neighbor’s ecolodge is, you may get the short end of the stick. Update your website to reflect your brand and what you have to offer.
Word of Mouth
Word of mouth marketing (WOMM) can be an excellent form of marketing. Emphasis on “can be”. For purposes of this post, we will consider both online review and true word of mouth as one in the same. As noted in the book Contagious: Why Things Catch On, people want to share experiences when it makes them in the know. Jonah Berger, author of Contagious, calls this phenomenon social proof. It is one of the 6 basic principles that makes ideas, experiences or things go viral. Word of mouth is all about trust. When a friend or family member tells you about a great experience they had, you believe it. When a friend or family member tells you about a bad experience they had, you believe it. Be cognizant of word of mouth for your business. Don’t make the mistake of ignoring word of mouth. Review online feedback and interact with reviewers. Encourage positive word of mouth through a reward system.
People are afraid of what they don’t know or understand. Digital marketing is the norm these days, but some industries are late to catch on. Digital marketing in ecotourism is a no brainer. Show off the natural assets only you have an ecolodge operator. If you’re not on social media, get on social media. Start with one account, manage it well (or hire us) and grow the business.
Those are just three common themes in the sustainable travel industry. Now, why does marketing matter.
Think about the number of people you are missing out. The more people you have looking at your website, the higher conversion rate, means more people in your door. Online marketing is great because its measurable and you can track or target certain users. If something isn’t working? Change it up. Something work extremely well? Do it again (times ten).
Reach Out Today
Marketing matters. Especially in a tight and competitive market like ecotourism. Contact Stretch Tourism today for a free consultation.