Life is a Journey The role of blogs in a tourist marketing strategy Natalie Guse Business in Motion, Social Media Marketing http://www.businessinmotion.weebly.com IABE Las Vegas Conference, 20th of October 2009
Tourism is a very important economic branch in California
California is currently the # 1 Travel destination in the country
Tourism supports jobs for 924.100 Californian people.
Content Introduction 1 Tourism as an economical factor 2 The Internet as a marketing tool 3 4 Blog Marketing How travel organizations can use blogs 5 Summary 6
Internet Marketing Since 1996, the Internet has captured significant public attention. Exponential growth in Internet hosts and personal computer adoption has led to dramatic increases in online activity. Information and communication technologies provide a powerful tool that can bring great advantages in promoting and strengthening the tourism industry’s strategy and operations. The Internet, and the World Wide Web in particular, has revolutionized the promotion and communication functions of tourism. Especially social media marketing is a great tool for tourism organizations in order to make their destination famous.
Two-thirds of the world’s Internet population visit a social network or blogging site and the sector now accounts for almost 10% of all internet time. Social Media Marketing At its most basic sense, social media is a shift in how people discover, read and share news, information and content. Technologies include: blogs, picture-sharing, vlogs, wall-postings, email, instant messaging, music-sharing, crowdsourcing, and voice over IP, to name a few.
Blog Interact with costumers! YOU Communicate! Share! Socialize! Blog
As of April 2007, Technorati, a major blog monitoring service, claimed to be tracking more than 75 million blogs. Blogs A new form of communication on the Internet are Blogs, short for Weblogs. This new form of communication allows consumers to express their own opinions in yet another way. Blogs are a new and original cultural phenomenon, reflecting more the changes and needs in society than simple realization of technological possibility. Blogs are simply online journals consisting of a mix of text, links and maybe graphics. Bloggers are usually people who are strong believers in something and listening to what they are saying in.
As of April 2007, Technorati, a major blog monitoring service, claimed to be tracking more than 75 million blogs. Blogs A blog is a personal homepage with more enhanced connectivity than an HTML-based Web site. In the blog system, individuals communication activities automatically form networks through which they can move from one blog to another without manually adding hyperlinks to each page. Once a communication network is formed, information may flow easily through it. The blog-ad is an attempt to expose the information of products and services to consumers interconnected by networks.
Blogs can provide insight into what is good or bad about the products.
Destination organizations shall use blogs to see what people have to say about the location they are trying to market.
Secondly, location organizations may advertise their locations and services to the virtual communities with blog-ads, which refers to placing advertisement on personal blogs.
Blog Marketing There are millions of tourism blogs on the World Wide Web. Google finds 45,300,000 entries for the key word “Tourism Blog”. The Internet is a place of opportunities – it offers people the way to express their anger, their joy and their satisfaction concerning a product, a travel experience of a service. That creates a lot of opportunities, but also Threats.
If people aren’t satisfied with their travel experience, they more likely tend
to write down their anger or tell their friends about the bad experience, they made
Especially when new travelers do their research on the Web and discover a
lot of negative feedback and blogs on the web. Everybody wants to spend a great time during their vacation and they tend to do research.
Furthermore there are millions of travel blogs on the Web – that is a Threat
too. Travel organizations have to make sure, that they appear in the Blog Sphere at all. It is important to do Blog Marketing and make sure, that travelers are able to find Blogs about that particular destination on the web.
Travel organization can create own blogs and motivate their travelers to
write down their opinions on this particular blog.
Travel organizations can also place ads on personal blogs, to attract more
tourists as well. Blogs can be a great opportunity to market a destination.
In order to develop a long-term strategy for a destination, a travel
organization has to do research. It is important to know, what the travelers like and dislike. Doing research by scanning the travel blogs, written about a destination, is an excellent way to create a Strenght and Weakness Analysis.
Blog Marketing Launching an own travel blog This blog can contain information about the travel destination, restaurants, tips and a lot more. This blog can also be used as an information source for travelers coming to the destination. The advantage of an own blog is, that the travel organization has the chance to control, what is in the Blog. They can scan the written blogs, can track them and also use it as a research tool. The organization can also create a lively network and try to create a good position in search engines, by using affiliate marketing and other tools in order to market this particular Blog site. The Blog site can also be given to travelers coming to the visitors bureau. The travel organization can motivate them to write down their blogs by giving them a present or a discount on a tour or anything.
Blog Marketing Creating an ambassador program This is a new trend in the tourism industry. Hamburg in Germany for example has created an “Ambassador program”. These destinations are looking for Ambassadors to market their place all over the world. These ambassadors have the duty, to write blogs, to write comments on any given internet platform, to mingle with people all over the world telling them about the beauty of the destination, they live in etc. Ambassadors are citizens of that particular region or town. They volunteer and they have an interest in promoting their place. A good way to increase the positive blogs is, to launch an own ambassador program.
Blog Marketing Surveys Annual surveys can also be used in order to increase the number of positive blogs. If a destination knows about the weaknesses, they can develop strategies in order to make the destination more service-oriented and more beautiful. That – in an ideal world – creates a higher satisfaction rate.
Blog Marketing Quality of Service This point is related to the “Surveys”. Annual Service Training for hotel employees, tourist information stuff and all people, occupied in the tourism sector, can increase the Quality of Service in a particular destination, which leads to a higher satisfaction rate. There are also many actions that can increase traveler’s satisfaction with a place, such as local events, infrastructure, orientation systems, friendliness, safety and cleanliness in a destination.
Summary Communities are engaged in fierce competition for tourist dollars. As a result of this fierce competition communities are often on the cutting edge of new marketing techniques. This is why many communities were early adopters of the Internet as a communication tool. Blog marketing is the latest Internet marketing tool to be used to create competitive advantage in the market place.