If the word blog is mentioned in any discussions of social media marketing, search engine optimization or marketing plans, it is almost guaranteed that clients eyes go blank, they look to the floor and a sigh comes out. Many people are not writers, small business owners did not think that writing would come an important business function and they were hoping that blogging would become an old strategy and would replaced with a new one. In 2012, blogging is becoming an absolute for tourism businesses that want to maintain a presence on the internet and be found on search engines.
This has been said before and it will become a mantra for 2012. Content is king, consistent content is needed and blogging is the best way to build your presence on the internet. A blog is the best and really the only way to write keywords over and over again so that your webpage ranks higher on search engines. Whether you continue to create pages on your website, or create posts on your blog, bottom line is you need to continue to generate content with your keywords so that customers and guests find you in their search for the perfect vacation.
SEO and inbound marketing is the only way to have clients and guests find you on the internet
4 years ago keywords, SEO and inbound marketing were strategies for geeks. You needed to be a seasoned professional to understand and use Search Engine Optimization techniques to rank higher on the internet. In 2012, everyone is talking about search engine optimization, or inbound marketing. As more people create pages on the internet and competition for readers becomes greater, knowledge of and ongoing use of search engine optimization using keywords is dinner talk. If you are not a geek, and most of us are not, a blog is the best way to start getting noticed on the internet, increase the likelihood of being found, and increasing your presence on the web.
Increase your ability to build business relationships with other bloggers and guests
Your blog can be an opportunity to build great online relationships that turn into online ambassadors when you write an interesting and informative blog for your business and destination. For tourism businesses you have a wonderful opportunity to not only write about your tourism business and what it offers to guests but you also have a wealth of information about your destination! This leaves you with a window of opportunity to engage people all over the world in conversations about the country and city that you have chosen for your tourism business. These relationships will then pass along your information to others and increase your client base. This is how businesses can grow, prosper and continue their success.
Blogs are a call to action opportunity
Not only do blogs increase your presence on the internet, keep customers engaged, create conversations and build ambassadors, but they provide you with another outlet to build a call to action, lead customers to your website or sales point and secure more business. Determine in advance what you want your call to action to be. Do you want customers to go to your facebook page, twitter profile, engage in the comments section, book a room, spread the news about a tour. Decide where you want to lead customers and guests and write your blog post around that call to action. People want to be shown more information and led to other pages on the internet or withing your business so that they gain knowledge, get a deal, are educated. Lead them and you will have more engaged customers in your business.
Blogs can be used as a lead generation tool
Everyone needs new customers. Directories such as Technorati are great tools to gain the extra exposure that can benefit your tourism business. Blog directories are search engines for blogs and build blogging relationships, encourage more comments and can increase your readership when you post relevant and interesting content. On the flipside, blog directories will let you know if your blog is interesting and is being read. If your blog is not gaining readership then it is important to redefine your blog strategy and try again. If it is being read then blog directories will help with all the above strategies.
Generate interest in your destination, travel and resident culture
Without the internet, many people may still be in the dark about other cultures, other countries and interesting travel destinations. Travel blogs have put the world on the internet and enabling people to learn about unique destinations that they had not thought about traveling to. As a tourism business you have an opportunity to share and highlight the wonderful events and cultural traits that are unique to your destination. This sharing of information will inspire others to come and visit, build some real partnerships locally and internationally and gain a readership that would have been hard to reach 5 years ago. Travel blogs are one of the most popular blogs read by people, and yours could be a great success.
With a plan, some patience and a love of what you do and where you live, a business blog is not as overwhelming as it seems. Your regular day is of interest to others. Your experiences and favorite things intrigue people and engage them. You do have something to say, you just have to put fingers to keyboard and write. The benefits outweigh the fear and soon you too will have engagement, better ranking and some solid relationships that build your business.
Need some more convincing? Read these other posts about blogging:
Image courtesy of Eric Brillo