Seeing where your business interconnects with other enterprises within your local community can be ideal for finding the perfect marketing partnerships and collaborations
Let's have a look at a tourism based business that has more opportunities than initially considered ...
Bed and Breakfast Retreat
You've had enough of the city and have bought a beautiful bed and breakfast business with stunning views in a friendly little coastal town with mountains out the back and life couldn't be better. Except you need to be very careful about your advertising budget because the move has been more expensive than you thought and you really need to make this work.
While you and your partner have always been a hard workers, neither of you have any experience running a B&B. The handover week with the previous owners was invaluable and went so quickly, you know half of it didn't stick and it is vitally important to make the peak season work so you have enough working capital to get your through the quiet times.
What has always attracted you to this part of the coast is the vibrant arts and craft community and the local beauty. The B&B will let you be part of this, meet interesting people with similar interests and earn a healthy living (well that's the plan at least). What matters is attracting the right customers and spending the limited resources wisely.
Jane and Garry love the coast and always make an effort to get down for at least one of the annual events in the area. They don't always take the kids, treating the time away as a bit of a romantic escape and like to be comfortable in their surroundings, enjoy good food and wine, walk on the beach, get along to key festival events and escape the daily grind.
The Ideal Customers....
For each the local festivals Jane subscribes to their newsletters and social media profiles and periodically checks out their websites and blogs. Jane likes to know what is happening in the area as she has dreams of spending more time down there and being called a local. But for now, work and school for the kids is keeping them in the city and the online news is fuel for her dreams.
One of the favourite festivals is the annual art long weekend with workshops, prizes for works done in a range of mediums, exhibitions and shows. Jane loves seeing the local businesses sponsoring the prizes and shows as she thinks this represents the values of a smaller community, where local small businesses get involved in local small events.
If it is an interesting looking business then Jane will click on their link and check them out online and that's how they discovered the river side shack with the best oysters they'd ever tasted.
Garry knows how much Jane enjoys checking out the Instagram and Facebook pages, planning their next escape with where they'll stay and go to eat. He quite enjoys the festivals and particularly likes it when they have the local men's shed and model train club showing.
Garry was particularly impressed when Jane won a mid-winter weekend away in a snug cabin with a wood fire place, big comfy bed and a hearty dinner in town. The kids were packed off to his brother's and they experienced the coast for the first time in the cooler months and realised it was much better than they thought. The child minding was paid back when Garry's brother and sister-in-law went down to the same cabin a month later.
Since then, Jane has made sure she's gone in every accommodation competition promoted via the festivals and while they haven't won another weekend, they have stayed at two of the places Jane discovered through them.
Jane loves the comments she gets when she shares on Instagram and Facebook where they're staying and what they're doing. There are always beautiful views or little displays she can get a great photo of and who wouldn't want to live the life that has the weekend get away?
The Key is Understanding
So when you're looking at how to promote the business effectively and affordably to those who love where you are, make sure you understand what's of interest to your customer and how they will learn about what's happening.
The Power of Marketing Partnerships and Collaborations
Smart collaborations with those with existing databases will rapidly extend your reach. Local festivals are always looking for sponsors with prizes and accommodation packages are ideal. Getting together with another business like a restaurant or an activity such as horse riding or an artist workshop (or all combined) can be perfect.
Setting up your own online hub with website, blog and social media channels can support any social media promotions you receive from strategic partners as well as happy guests sharing photos of your beautiful B&B.
The key to the strategic partnerships can be making it really easy for potential guests to connect with you online so making sure that there are working links to your key pages is very important. And if it is in print for the catalogue, program or magazine then make sure your phone, website, at least one social media page and email address are provided.
By choosing to be involved with your local community with events and promotions you are not only reaching a far wider audience but forge stronger links within the community that is important to you.
More ideas with: solar panel business and a SEO and Content Marketing business.
Explore the idea of your customer's journey with this exercise.