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How to Target Tourists Through Paid Ads



The tourism industry is rich and exciting, full of cultural knowledge, shared experiences, and career-building opportunities for marketers.

It’s true. The tourism industry we know today was largely created by advertisers. Before the 1920s, travel was a luxury only available to the wealthy. However, with the introduction of paid vacation time in the 1930s, travel became part of regular American life.

Advertisers were quick to jump on this trend, and Americans began seeing tourist ads show up in their favorite print magazines and newspapers, making travel one of the most sought-after experiences of modern life.

These days, travel is more widely available than ever before. With high-speed trains, planes, and boats, you can travel anywhere in the world in a day’s time.

However, modern consumers aren’t looking in print magazines to find travel inspiration. These days, if you want to talk to your biggest customers, you need to do it online.

10 Ways to Target Tourists With Paid Ads

Creating high-performing tourist ads is not always as easy as it seems. Of course, beautiful beaches and breathtaking views catch people’s attention, but it takes more than pretty pictures to win them over completely.

What’s more, competition in this space is higher than ever before. If you want to outperform your competitors, you need to stand out.

1. Use Geographic Targeting

The tricky part about creating great tourist ads is that your target audience is often worldwide.

You could serve ads to every country in the world, but that’s going to eat up a lot of your budget.

Instead, try delivering your ads to specific locations where you know similar audiences are likely to be. This is called geographic targeting, and it helps you define where your ads will be seen to maximize your marketing budget.

For example, you can target other tourism sites in your city or country to grab the attention of tourists already in your area. Or, you could even set a larger radius to encourage people driving by who may not know about your destination just yet.

It’s also good to remember that while you can target your tourist ads to specific places, you can exclude locations you know your target audience won’t be as well. For example, you may not want to target the local university on summer break as most students won’t be there.

Tourist Ads - Use Geographic Targeting

Discover the Palm Beaches in Florida used this technique in their impressive “Friends Trust Friends” campaign.

By targeting a 30-mile radius around the town of Royal Palm Beach, they targeted both locals and residents, alongside a lucrative out-of-market tourist market. This results in a 23-percent increase in overnight stays for the brand.

Tourist Ads - Example of Discover the Palm Beaches

2. Target Certain Interests

Another way to accurately send ads to your target market is to focus on user interests rather than location.

This can help you show ads to people who are already interested in similar experiences or services you may be offering.

For example, if you run a surf hut on the beach, it would make sense to serve ads to people who are interested in surfing.

If you’re using Facebook ads, you can do this easily by typing in relevant interests in the provided field.

Tourist Ads - Target Certain Interests

Traverse City Tourism leveraged this technique to bolster their off-season tourism traffic.

They used Facebook ads to promote their cherry blossom blooms by targeting users visiting pages about cherry blossoms. They also created lookalike audiences to maximize their reach.

This excellent campaign, created by TwoSix Digital, brought 319,000+ impressions and doubled their average click-through rate.

Tourist Ads - Example of Traverse City Tourism

3. Offer Sales

It’s always a good idea to offer discounts, package deals, and sales within your tourism ads.

Every month, millions of people search for travel-related keywords on tools like Ubersuggest.

The biggest trend in their searches? People are looking for inspirational vacation ideas and affordable deals, according to Bing and cited by Search Engine Journal.

Tourist Ads - Keyword Examples

That means you need to give the people what they want.

Serving special offers, family vacation bundles, and flash sales can be a huge incentive to prospective travelers trying to figure out their next vacation.

What’s more, discounts and deals are a great way to introduce your offerings to new audiences and hopefully retain more loyal customers.

Just remember, discounts and deals have a downside, too.

Loyal customers have a better proven ROI than new customers. While you might spend $5,000 to acquire a new customer, you may only need to spend $200 to keep one you already have.

Deliver your discounts at a reasonable rate, and make sure you’re targeting the right audiences to ensure your budget is spent wisely.

4. Anticipate Their Questions

Great customer service starts with an in-depth knowledge of your customers’ wants and needs.

To deliver a truly exciting experience that will improve your customer retention, you need to anticipate customer questions and include that information in your tourist ads.

For example, a hotel might promote free Wi-Fi or complimentary breakfast options, knowing that this will incentivize customers to choose your spot over another.

You can advertise convenience features as well, such as close to transit, walkable, or included in city sightseeing passes.

Tourist Ads - example of Seattle hotel ad with free wifi

5. Use Images and Video

Tourism is all about the experience, and what better way to showcase your unique offering than with engaging video and photo assets.

Visual content in marketing campaigns can help you connect with your audience and help them imagine what it’s like to visit your location.

You can use photo, video, and graphic elements within your tourist ads to deliver this messaging.

When using videos and images in your tourist ads, make sure they are contextually clear. Don’t post a photo of a waterfall if you are advertising a kayak trip. Similarly, if your tourist ad contains a video of a white-sand beach, be sure to include details on your hotel or service to attract the most qualified leads.

What’s more, many brands have seen success by experimenting with dynamic visual content.

For example, Travel Alberta used a 360-degree video in their Facebook ads to create interactive, immersive experiences for users.

By interacting with the ad, users could explore fossils in historic Drumheller in Canada. They could even click around in each scene to explore further into the caves.

According to Crowd Riff, these tourist ads resulted in 130,000 views for Travel Alberta, along with 600 shares and 300 comments from users who loved the campaign.

Tourist Ads - Example of Travel Alberta

6. Research Your Past Guests to Target a Specific Audience

Market research is essential if you want to read your audience’s mind.

If you want to create truly effective tourist ads, you need to understand who your past guests are, what brought them to you, and how you can get more guests like them in the future.

For example, if you know most of your guests come from small towns on the West Coast, you can use that information to target that area.

Similarly, if you find yourself seeing an influx of visitors from neighboring towns, it may be worth localizing your marketing to attract those customers better.

This research will help you develop an idea of what a common guest might look like. From there, you can target a highly specific and relevant audience.

7. Take Advantage of Remarketing

As we discussed before, the best customers are repeat customers because they cost less to keep and allow you to better predict your profits going forward.

According to research by Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company, increasing customer retention rates by five percent can increase your profits by 25 percent%. That’s a metric worth aiming for!

How can you get more long-term customers and maximize your marketing budget when creating tourist ads?

The secret is to invest in remarketing campaigns. This will allow you to target people who have already shown interest in your service or location and give you an opportunity to bring them back to your business.

When doing remarketing for tourist ads, be sure to do your research. Most tourists visit many websites to compare and check prices.

If you see a customer returning to your website over and over again, it may be a good time to serve them a discount option or promote your complimentary services.

You can also target customers who completed specific actions, such as buying a tour pass or signing up to your mailing list.

Remarketing strategies can help increase your conversions and sales, alongside creating a stronger roster of repeat customers.

8. Leverage User-Generated Content

User-generated content (UGC) can help you get more shares, likes, and engagement from your audience by leveraging their influential power.

In tourist ads, user-generated campaigns are a great way to spread your brand’s message to interested audiences.

People love to post photos and videos of their travels, so why not use that trend to your advantage? What’s more, it’s a cost-effective method of advertising that won’t break your budget.

A UGC campaign for a tourist ad might look like offering discounts or incentives to users who post about your business. If you’re a restaurant, this might look like discounts on a bill for users who post a photo of a specific food item. If you’re a hotel, you can offer users complimentary services if they check in on social media.

You can also use these UGC materials on your website to show potential tourists what their experience could look like.

Visit Duluth used this tactic in their Summer Guide to Duluth campaign, where real-time photos and videos of tourists were displayed in a UGC gallery on their website.

Tourist Ads - Leverage User-Generated Content

9. Direct Traffic to Landing Pages

It’s important to lead your tourist ads toward your website or other lead conversion points to direct them to points of sale.

Creative landing pages are a great way to customize your user journeys and improve the performance of your tourist ads. Landing pages give you extra opportunities to communicate your unique selling points, such as complimentary services, licenses, or nearby experiences.

Visit Indy put their landing pages to work in a creative tourist ad campaign where they used video content and persona-specific landing pages to engage users. For instance, their “foodie” persona was directed to a landing page that displayed “Things Every Foodie Should Do in Indy.”

The results were a three-times increase in click-through-rates and a more optimized budget for the brand.

Tourist Ads - Example of Visit Indy

10. Make Use of Bing

Travel and tourism are a global phenomena, so don’t get stuck relying on only one search engine to help your campaigns.

Bing is widely used by global audiences, especially when it comes to travel.

Setting up Bing ad campaigns is often cheaper than ads on Google. While the performance metrics aren’t as high, it is worth investing a small budget into Bing so you don’t miss out on any new audiences.

Also, since competition on Google can be high, Bing gives an opportunity to outperform your competitors when creating tourist ads. According to Spinutech, Bing budgets can be 20-35 percent lower than traditional AdWords budgets.

Tourist Ads - Make Use of Bing


As more and more people search for vacations, experiences, and deals online, the importance of strategic tourism marketing will only grow.

Successful tourist ads leverage all aspects of your conversion funnel in order to best engage with your varied audiences. Audience targeting, visual content, remarketing, landing pages, and user-generated content can help you attract audiences from around the world to your destination.

From there, it’s all about delivering unique and exciting customer experiences to keep your customers coming back year after year.

What other marketing tactics have you used in tourism advertising?

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This unused Star Wars poster could have ruined everything



This unused Star Wars poster could have ruined everything

A recent unused poster design for 1977’s Star Wars has surfaced and reveals just when you think you’ve seen it all around this iconic movie, there’s always something new to talk about. Particularly as this rare and unused Star War movie poster art was so bad it could have ruined the franchise before it even launched.

The unused Star Wars poster from 1977 was posted on Twitter by film nerd’ account The Spaceshipper and many fans of the franchise were thankful it was never used. While some recent film posters, like new Ant-Man 3 posters that are a Photoshop nightmare, this rare Star Wars poster is bad on so many levels – it’s a graphic design fail, the slogan makes no sense and there’s little to engage with.

Star Wars film posters have been some of the best ever designed, from legendary artists such as the Hidlebrandt Brothers who painted the original 1977 poster that was used. Iconic poster artists have also designed for the franchise; the Drew Struzan Star Wars poster for The Force Awakens impresses and Hugh Flemming revealed all in our feature ‘the secrets of a top Star Wars artist’.

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How to Manage Your Online Brand?



You might be asking yourself, “Why do I need to manage my online brand?” It’s a valid question, especially if you’re not sure what managing your online brand means precisely.

In short, managing your online brand is the process of taking control of how others see you and your business online. This can involve creating and maintaining a strong presence on social media, developing positive reviews and testimonials, and monitoring your web analytics to track progress.

By taking the time to manage your online brand, you can improve your chances of success in today’s digital age.

In this article, we’ll explore some key reasons why managing your online brand is essential.

What is an online brand, and why do you need one?

Your online brand is the way you are perceived by others online. This includes your website, social media profiles, online reviews, and all other digital real estate that represents you when someone searches for you or your business.

It’s important to have one because it helps your potential customers get to know, trust, and like you before they buy anything from you. A strong online brand can also help you attract new customers and grow your business.

It’s good to remember that your online brand is the first thing people will see when they search for you, so it’s important to make sure it represents you and your business well.

How to manage your online brand for success?

Your online brand is your reputation. It’s how people perceive you when they see your name, read your work, or interact with you online.

A strong online brand can help you attract new clients, collaborators, and opportunities. But how do you create and manage your brand for success?

1) Consider what you want your online brand to convey.

Are you an expert in a certain field? A thought leader? A creative visionary?

Once you know what you want your brand to communicate, be consistent in everything you do online.

Use the same name, photo, and bio across all of your social media platforms. Post regularly about topics related to your brand, and make sure the tone of your posts is consistent with the image you’re trying to convey.

2) Interact with other people online in a way that reinforces your brand.

When someone mentions you in a post, thank them publicly. If someone leaves a negative comment on one of your posts, don’t delete it – instead, respond politely and professionally.

By managing your online brand thoughtfully and proactively, you can set yourself up for success both online and offline.

3) Monitor your web analytics to track your progress.

Use Google Analytics or another web analytics tool to track how people are finding you online and what they’re doing on your website. This data can give you insights into what’s working well and what needs improvement.

For example, if you see that most of your website visitors are coming from Facebook, you might want to focus on creating more engaging content for that platform.

Or, if you notice that people are spending a lot of time on your blog but not your sales page, you might need to work on driving traffic to your products or services.

4) Make sure your website represents your brand well.

Your website is often the first thing people will see when they search for you online, so it’s important to make sure it’s up-to-date and represents your brand well.

Update your website regularly with new blog posts, photos, and products. Use attractive visuals, easy-to-navigate menus, and clear calls to action.

If you’re not sure how to create a website that represents your brand well, consider working with a web designer or developer.

5) Pay attention to your social media presence.

Social media is a powerful tool for managing your online brand. Use it to connect with your audience, share your work, and promote your products or services.

Be sure to post regularly, interact with others, and use hashtags and keywords that will help people find you. You can also use social media ads to reach a wider audience or promote specific products or services.

6) Monitor your online reputation.

Use Google Alerts or another tool to monitor your online reputation. This will help you stay on top of what people are saying about you online and take action if necessary.

For example, if you see a negative review of your business, you can reach out to the customer directly to try to resolve the issue. Or, if you see someone spreading misinformation about your work, you can correct it.

7) Manage your online brand proactively.

The best way to manage your online brand is to be proactive. Be thoughtful about everything you do online, from the content you post to the way you interact with others. By taking control of your online presence, you can set yourself up for success both professionally and personally.

By following these tips, you can create and manage an online brand that will help you achieve your goals.

The benefits of having a strong online brand

Let’s look at a few benefits of having a strong online brand:

1) Stand out from the competition.

With so much noise online, it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd. But if you create a well-defined brand, you’ll be better able to cut through the clutter and attract attention.

2) Build trust and credibility.

A strong online brand can help you build trust and credibility with your audience. If people know what to expect from you, they’re more likely to trust and respect you.

3) Connect with your audience.

By definition, a brand is a way of differentiating yourself from others. But it’s also a way of connecting with your audience on a deeper level. When done well, branding can create an emotional connection between you and your audience.

4) Drive traffic and sales.

A strong online brand can help you drive traffic and sales. If people are familiar with your brand, they’re more likely to buy from you. And if they trust and respect you, they’re more likely to tell others about you.

5) Increase your visibility.

A well-managed online brand will increase your visibility online. When people search for you or your business, you’ll be more likely to show up in the search results. And when people see you frequently in their feeds, you’ll be more likely to stay top of mind.

6) Attract media attention.

A strong online brand can help you attract media attention. If you’re known for something specific, journalists and bloggers will be more likely to write about you. This can help increase your visibility and reach even further.

7) Enhance your career prospects.

Your online brand can have a big impact on your career prospects. If you’re looking for a new job, employers will likely research you online. And if you’re an entrepreneur, investors will want to know more about your brand before they invest in your business.

8) Make a positive impact.

Finally, a strong online brand can help you make a positive impact in the world. If you’re passionate about something, you can use your platform to raise awareness and advocate for change.

The importance of staying consistent with your branding strategy

As you can see, there are many benefits to having a strong online brand. But it’s not enough to just create a brand—you also need to be consistent with your branding strategy.

When it comes to branding, consistency is essential. Your audience needs to know what to expect from you, and they need to see that you’re consistent in your messaging and your visuals.

Here are a few pointers if you’re not sure how to stay consistent with your branding:

1) Define your brand.

The first step to being consistent with your branding is to define your brand. What do you want people to think of when they see your name or your logo? What do you want your brand to represent?

2) Create guidelines.

Once you’ve defined your brand, it’s time to create guidelines. These guidelines should include everything from your mission statement to the colors and fonts you use in your branding. By having a set of guidelines, you’ll be able to ensure that all of your marketing materials are on-brand.

3) Train your team.

If you have a virtual assistant or team, it’s important to train them on your branding guidelines. Make sure everyone knows what your brand represents and how they can help you maintain a consistent brand identity.

4) Monitor your brand.

Once you’ve launched your brand, it’s important to monitor it. This means paying attention to how people are reacting to your brand and making sure that you’re still presenting yourself in the way you want to be seen.

5) Be prepared to adjust.

Finally, be prepared to adjust your branding strategy as needed. As your business grows and changes, your branding will need to change with it. By being flexible and willing to adjust, you’ll be able to ensure that your brand is always relevant.

Wrap Up

A strong online brand is essential for any business or individual. By definition, your online brand is the way you’re perceived by others online. And while that may seem like a superficial thing, the reality is that your online brand can have a big impact on your business or career.

If you’re not sure how to create a strong online brand, start by defining your brand and creating guidelines. Then, train your team on your branding strategy and monitor your brand over time. And finally, be prepared to adjust as needed.

Oscar is a passionate full-time blogger and a part-time author. In his personal blog, he writes about software, online influence, and different business models.

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How SEO Works in Digital Marketing




Search engine optimization (SEO) is an integral part of digital marketing.

SEO helps with brand discoverability. When done right, SEO can create the most consistent and by far the highest-quality traffic source which doesn’t require on-going maintenance.

Yet, SEO is usually the most isolated part of the marketing. Whether it is an in-house team or a third-party service that’s delivering your SEO campaigns, it usually exists on its own without really communicating goals, progress or results to the whole company.

This creates silos that can lead to poor results and even reputation crises.

How does SEO work in digital marketing and how can a business make it work better?

What is SEO?

SEO is a collection of tactics (content, technical, link building, even website security and usability) that ensures that your website is easy to understand for search engines.

Basically, it ensures a machine knows that your page will be easy to find to a human being who is looking to solve a related problem.

Search engine traffic is one of the highest-quality traffic for many reasons:

  • Unlike PPC (paid) traffic, it doesn’t require an ongoing investment to keep coming
  • Unlike social media traffic,  it doesn’t require an ongoing work to keep coming
  • Unlike social media traffic, you are not interrupting people’s browsing. Instead you give them what they were actually searching for.

In other words, it is consistent and it converts well. No other digital marketing tactic beats that.

Apart from driving direct traffic, search engine optimization helps build brand awareness by increasing your brand’s organic findability.

Keep Your Whole Team Aware of Why SEO is Important

The great thing about today is that everyone understands the value of ranking high on Google! Sadly, however, many folks only know that they “need SEO” without having really understood what that means. 

SEO these days is too hard for a digital marketer to do alone. Many SEOs find themselves in situations where an executive will simply come down and go “Why are we not ranking well for ‘dingwobble’?” 

Keep working hard with teams for them to understand how they contribute to the SEO process:

  • Product Marketers who are responsible for the business, personas and messaging understand that SEO is critical to driving the bottom line revenue numbers they are looking at. Part of the persona developing process should be the development of the “digital persona” – what websites and search terms are these people looking for? This helps the product marketer when it comes time to develop messaging, as that is going to be critical for developing the content, so the right search terms better be there!
  • Field Marketers responsible for the campaigns need to know how SEO fits within their campaign, how it in fact is core to our demand generation, and how to make sure to keep the campaigns integrated.
  • Marketing Communications is creating the content, so SEO should very well be top of mind for them, as the content itself will be critical in impacting how successful SEO will be.
  • But that’s not all! Often, other groups are creating content (Press Releases, Blog Posts, Presentations, etc.) that also end up on the web and impact SEO. Whether it’s Corporate Communications, Investor Relations or even Legal teams, working with them is critical.
  • IT manages the infrastructure and can be very critical to the technical aspects of SEO.
  • Sales and customer support teams are at the forefront of marketing talking to your future and current customers, so they need to be involved in the SEO strategy. Creating relevant content goes beyond keywords. It needs to address real problems and answer actual people’s questions, and your client-facing teams will be your best source of inspiration here.  
  • Executives also care! While they can’t often influence the day-to-day of SEO, they will care a lot about the bottom line, to which SEO contributes.

Educating all of these people about SEO helps empower them, as well as position yourself, the SEO, as the subject matter expert who is not just someone back-office who gives very little visibility into the black box of SEO, but someone who is actively educating and contributing to the organization’s success.

Review and discuss common KPIs early and often to make sure everyone knows what victory looks like to the team.

Additionally, SEO should be a solid part of any project launch as it impacts every stage of product positioning. From choosing a business name to choosing a website builder, your initial efforts should be driven by SEO best practices.

What is the key to SEO success in a constantly changing environment?

As a practitioner of SEO, I believe that you need to look to ensure you are looking at both developing yourself in both depth and breadth of knowledge. A key danger in the name of being informed or being a part of the SEO community is spending all your time debating tactics and practices rather than testing them. 

Additionally, SEOs as with all employees need to look outside their field to stretch and learn how to be more well rounded. This could mean learning to code, or educating yourself in some other area of the business you work for.  This will expose you to ideas others may not have.

As a manager of people, success is really about diversity of expertise. Who you hire and the kind of people you hire will be far more valuable than much of what people invest in with regards to SEO programs. You have to have people who can roll with the punches and develop a skill for self-management and personal growth. 

Finally, I think knowing what your real goals are in having an SEO program are the key to long term success. The reality is you may get more traffic, but if that traffic is not from qualified leads and generates real revenue then the benefit may be very little. Having well defined goals and metrics will also help you avoid chasing algorithm changes and focus on the big picture.


SEO is the most essential long-term digital marketing strategy but to make it really effective, you need a knowledge team that is well-integrated into the company’s life. Good luck!

Ann Smarty

Ann Smarty is the brand NINJA at Internet Marketing Ninjas as well as the founder of numerous startups including MyBlogGuest, MyBlogU, ViralContentBee, TwChat and many more.

Ann Smarty has been an online marketing consultant for 10 years providing high-quality digital marketing consulting through her services and courses (both free and paid).

Ann Smarty’s content marketing ideas have been featured in NYtimes, Mashable, Entrepreneur, Search Engine Land and many more. She is known for her indepth tool reviews, innovative content marketing advice and actionable digital marketing ideas.

Source: Ann Smarty

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