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Hawaii Marketing In A Digital World
There are lots of unknowns in the world of tourism, but what we do know is that we want here in Hawaii. Fewer visitors, more money, and fewer issues. To achieve these results, we must be clear about what we want and where we want to go.
- Quality visitors who are respectful of our host culture, our environment, and our communities.
- An increase in spending per visitor with lower island-resource usage.
- Enough visitors to support our economy but not too many that destroys the island.
- Create living-wage careers for the Hawaii tourism economy.
To achieve these goals we have to make sure our marketing and sales efforts reflect that. Here are some points that we are doing with our businesses that you should do too!
#1 Reinventing Hawaii Online With Quality Content
Hawaii digital marketing in 2020 will heavily rely on the quality and relevance of content and media that potential visitors can find on the Internet about your experience.
It comes down to creating the right type of content that is vital in reminding travelers why Hawaii (Maui especially), is the best place in the world to visit and to re-attract tourism going forward. It’s up to small business owners like yourself to break out of the mold and strive for excellence. That means going beyond your comfort zones, abandoning outdated marketing models, creating more interactive tours, building more sustainable operations, and providing unique experiences at locations that donʻt negatively affect communities.
The key is to create and share high-quality content, which reminds people exactly why Hawaii is still the world’s most favorite place for vacationers. Turn what we may feel as mundane into something extraordinary.
Build Quality Content
- A great image that tells a story is worth it. In a time when less and less people are reading what you write, hire a great photographer to help describe your service.
- Creating the right type of content for your demographic can be difficult. An expert with the right tools and experience can develop a content marketing plan.
- Follow the rules in your niche. Authoritative content and a clear topic focus with the right formatting and presentation will go a long way.
Some important points to consider when doing up new content;
- Donʻt over-promise. Itʻs better to under-promise and over-deliver.
- Use high quality images and angles that they will not be able to experience directly, like time lapses or drone footage. Visitors love seeing different perspectives and not a straight copy of what they will see on the experience.
- People in images are important. Allow your customer to imagine themselves in the scene with emotional engagement.
#2 Website & Content Updates During Downtime
Get a jumpstart on vacation season by using this time to update your website content. Make a list of what makes you unique and accentuate these features and amenities on your website with new higher quality media that instantly sets you apart from your competitors. The better your content looks, the more likely users will engage, which increases their retention.
Hiring a local professional photographer or videographer is a great investment that always pays for itself many times over. We know that visual medium is a great way to connect to your customers. Put higher production value into your visual experience to give potential customers an insight into who you are and what you offer.
Update Your Website & Marketing Assets
- Create one or more videos that help explain your service and give the impression of a quality experience. Short and to the point is the best way to go. We can help create beautiful videos.
- Review your website content. Does it still make sense? Can you explain something a little better? Improve it; however you can. Every little bit helps.
- Add questions and other user-generated content. Did customers email you questions from your site? Publish your answers to your site. Collect guest images for which you have media releases.
#3 MOBILE SPEED ANALYSIS & SPEED OPTIMIZATION
Let’s get into a few technical things that are very critical to marketing your business. After creating great content, we need to make sure it gets delivered to the users properly.
On average we are seeing more than 70% of visitors on a website using a mobile device.
Mobile speed and experience is now more important than ever, and will only continue to grow as an essential factor. Be sure to review how your content displays on all devices. Many sites look good on a desktop, but their mobile counterpart has a poor interface or low readability, which causes a lot of users to give up too soon.
- Improve website mobile experience. If you are looking to build a new website, focus on the mobile userʻs experience first.
- Review the tools and see how your current site is functioning. Use Google PageSpeed Insights, Google Search Console, and GTmetrix to see how your website is performing on mobile devices and gain insights on how to improve it.
- Upgrade your website infrastructure and architecture by improving the layout, the content management system, eCommerce engine, and tweak the code where you can.
- Optimize the delivery of your information by using services like a Content Delivery Network (CDN) or setting up a private server, even if itʻs just virtual one, so you get maximum resources allocated to your site
DEV Ask your web host or developer if you are using the latest technologies like PHP7, HTTP/2, GZIP compression, and make sure you are using an SSL certificate. Ask your web developer to configure your cache plugin for optimal loading speed for new users and test thoroughly across multiple devices and locations to make sure it’s loading as intended across all devices.
#4 Perform Website And Marketing Competition Research
Use research tools to analyze your competition. Study your competitors’ sites in-depth and take note of what you are missing or what you need to improve. Sign up to SEO web tracking software systems that provide plenty of options for your niche and location. Plug in your competitors’ URLs to see how your site compares to theirs. Track all your important and relevant keywords to see how they perform over time. Check out our SEO analyzer tool below.
Hawaii Tourism Authority provides monthly reports and historical comparisons so you can make the right choices about how and when to spend your marketing dollars.
#6 Support Your Community And Its Environment
#7 Emphasize Your Strengths To Stand Out And Increase Value Perception
#8 Review On-Page Metrics, User Engagement, & Conversions
Familiarize yourself with how long users are staying on your website, how many pages they are visiting, and the bounce rate. Realize users on your site are scanning for key data points that present them with the info they are looking for without having to search or read a lot. Most new users visiting your website will be scanning for key points.
Use less-is-more approach by having your visitors think less, but understand more in the same amount of time.
In many cases, a user returns to your website a couple of times before they commit to really diving into your content. Most people are in a Speedy Gonzales research mode. It’s up to you to emphasize what you offer and do best in the simplest way possible.
- Analyze your website visitor behavior. Use tools like heat maps and your website analytics data to understand what users are viewing and what they are clicking on the most. Users may have missed your best information because it was too far down the page or clicked a misplaced link that sent them outside the booking funnel.
- Try timing yourself on your own website to see how much you can digest in 90 seconds and consider running a user testing campaign to get feedback from real-world users.
- Segment your audiences and track their actions. Track more than just the purchase and see what triggers your users to take action, including phone calls, emails, contact form submissions, or even clicks from your site.
- Don’t have revenue, conversion, goals, or accurate analytic data that you can review? We can help you set that up. This issue should be your first issue to resolve because, without precise data, you will be making decisions in the dark and leaving your marketing strategy to a guessing game.
#9 Get Cheap Facebook And Google Ads
#10 Paid Ads Optimization
#11 Eliminate Spending On Outdated Marketing Concepts And Non-Converting Channels
#12 The Power Of Remarketing
#13 Optimize Your Marketing Resources
#15 Professional Website Design
Research local reputable web designers that use WordPress to build websites.
WordPress powers over 35% of websites on the internet, and it has the most potential for building on over time with its massive development community.
Its market share of Content Management Systems is 65%.
Do You Have A Low Website Budget?
If your budget is low at this time, then ask the web design company to develop only the core pages you need and provide them with content and examples of websites you like. It makes the process so much easier if you have all your content ready before hiring a web designer. If your new website deadline is flexible, you can pay over time and still afford a quality website.
#16 Use Maui Marketing Premium WordPress Suite
#17 Advertise on Hawaii Travel Information Websites
Informational sites are a little bit different than bloggers and social media influencers. These websites usually are top-ranked for traffic across a broad range of topics within the niche while hosting a variety of general information about a region or industry. The successful ones should be seeing millions of visitors a year.
Reach out to popular Hawaii websites that would be most beneficial for your business and contact their advertising department for details. Negotiate the best deal for your tour or activity to make your profile stand out in your relevant category.
Invest in long term promotional relationships with Hawaii travel guide websites like mauiinformationguide.com, mauiguide.com, and gohawaii.com. Act fast during pre-season months to get listed on these websites and secure top placement on the pages directly related to what your tour, activity, or service offers.
#18 Hawaii Travel Bloggers and Social Influencers
Prepare your relationship marketing strategy ahead of time with complementary strategies with other local businesses, bloggers, website owners, and professionals.
Connect with local bloggers and social media influencers. Vetting them takes a little bit of work but we can help you understand the value of this channel, how best to use it and when to use it. Set up a consultation about this today.
Start now so you will be able to leverage these relationships and influence higher sales from upcoming vacationers that frequently read local travel blogs and follow social media influencers who are authorities on the locales.
We encourage our local businesses to contact Hawaii travel bloggers and influencers related to your niche during the slow season and offer them free tours in return for a genuine blog review or social plug. Do this before the peak visitor seasons, so you are ready to leverage their postings and positive reviews during prime pre-arrival guest booking periods.
We are focused on the Hawaiian tourism market, but much of our info is applicable worldwide and for almost every industry.
#19 Connect With Local Businesses And Artists For Creative Collaboration
There are so many local talented musicians, artists, and professionals in Hawaii that need someone to take a chance on them. It’s a great time to connect and synergize with other businesses to create a better experience for your users and shared customers with lots of mutual benefits.
Donʻt miss the many benefits of business-to-business relationships. In digital marketing, cross promoting with others in your niche can bring greater visibility and ranking in organic search. The niche doesnʻt necessarily need to be your exact industry. (i.e.: Restaurants cross-promoting activity providers in the same region.)
Get started on working with other businesses and local artists with a few of these ideas:
- Connect with other like-minded businesses to cross-promote or offer deals by leveraging combo tours.
- Reach out to local talent that complements what you offer. They may be reaching an audience you can not.
- Create your tourism experience unique by hosting a local musician or artist to perform on historically slow days or times.
- Promote these unique experiences on your website and marketing channels to gain hype upon which you can build. Activity online helps branding and user engagement overall.
- Collaborate with the artists to promote the event and connect your audiences for mutual brand exposure.
#20 Supporting Your Community Non-Profits, Cultural, And Educational Associations
Hawaii businesses and professionals can start getting involved with local charitable organizations, community groups, and nonprofits by sponsoring their efforts and donating time, labor, and resources. We can help you spread aloha and win-win situations for your community and business.
One of the best ways to promote your business is by connecting with eco-conscious organizations that are already active and visible in your community. Check this list of local groups and organizations that are making a positive difference in Maui and across Hawaii.