I LOVE! Small Biz Survival, the Rural and Small Town Business Resource! http://www.smallbizsurvival.com/.
I highly recommend signing up for the newsletter. While not every post is going to be a must read, they come up with some excellent ideas that can be used for marketing, whether you are a small or large lodging establishment, and regardless of whether you are city or rurally based.
Three recent posts caught my eye which should be a must explore, for lodging marketing possibilities, and which don’t cost a dime.
A fam tour for locals
From the blog: Put together a fam or press tour of your best local attractions and a few hidden gems. Plan it as though you were planning for the biggest, most important travel writers. Invite your local bloggers, Twitter and Facebook users, and Flickr photographers. Include a few former locals who are also online writing, blogging, etc. Today, these people are your biggest, most important travel writers.
Local photos for tourism
From the blog: A photo walk is a group of photographers walking through an area more or less as a group, shooting lots of photos. Anyone can pull one of these off, with maybe one or two helpers. Photo walks also fit well into other events. Do a photo walk through your arts festival, your quilt show, your car show, or your heritage festival.
Some takeaways and suggestions:
- Give credit to the photographers and writers, if you put albums in your Facebook Fan Page, give them credit and a blurb if possible, a link back to their website (even if they are just a local business and not a professional photographer or writer) is always appreciated and enhances local good karma.
- Photos and articles can be used for Google+, blog content, twitter posts etc.. Need some ideas for what to post online in your social media? Have a folder of written articles, photos etc. to draw from the fam tour and the photo walks.
- Do photo walks seasonally, this gives you a great way to get all season photos of your area.
- Do fam tours seasonally: summer tours will miss out on winter skiing events for instance. If you have a big local event that goes on yearly, like the NH Craftmans Fair, recruit your photographers and writers to go hit up the event and you will have content and images specifically for that event for future advertising purposes.
And an additional marketing idea
How to use historic photos and postcards in tourism
From the blog: Small towns change slowly, but they do change. Historic photographs and photo postcards show how your town used to look. But how do you share those with visitors? They’re on display in the museum, right? Well, young people aren’t going to your museum. So, let’s reach those young people where they live, right on their phones.
- The local historical society would probably be more then happy to help you out with old photos, don’t forget to mine the internet for photos, (use with caution though and with appropriate and accurate credit)