To reach traveling customers who are on the go you have a few options depending on your goal.
There are two types of traveling customers who you might want to reach.
There are those who:
- Recently traveled to your targeted area.
- Those currently traveling in your targeted area.
Knowing your audience and who you’re trying to reach will open up the options for how you can reach these two types of traveling customers.
There are also organic ways and paid ways you can reach traveling customers.
Organic methods aren’t as targeted and take time and effort to build up. Paid methods can be extremely targeted but may seem pricey to start out.
There’s also no reason you can’t use a combination of both which is what I always recommend. A mixed approach is always better than depending on one way of reaching customers.
Reach Traveling Customers Organically
When you’re looking at how to reach traveling customers organically, you have to think about how people look for stuff when they travel. Stuff could be a restaurant, an activity, or even just a quick snack.
The first thing you have to know is that there’s an extremely high likelihood that your customer is on a mobile device. That means you must cater to mobile customers in a way that makes it easy for them to find you.
Your business must be available everywhere and be easy to find no matter what app consumers are using. Our directory management service makes that possible.
You must market your business to mobile first.
Whether you’re going for leisure travelers or business travelers, they’re likely using a mobile device to navigate their trip.
Not only that but leisure travelers are likely to be looking for activities after they’ve arrived at their destination. In fact, 85% of them look after arriving according to a study by Google/Ipsos.¹
So how do you reach customers locally in an organic way?
It’s all about helping local customers find your local business.
There are many lists of top XX desert places, etc. on sites like Trip Advisor and Yelp.
These are simple lists of the best-rated places to eat in each local area.
The lists aren’t customer made, they’re generated based off number or ratings a business has and how high their rating is. A combination of both factors goes into ranking the top places.
How difficult it is to get on these lists is all dependant on your location.
It’s easier in a small town to be included in these lists. In a large city, it might be nearly impossible unless you have an extremely highly trafficked establishment.
Curate Your Own List
Lists from websites like Trip Advisor and Yelp are impersonal and flawed in determining who is on them.
Those big sites who deal in quantity only rank locations with a lot of ratings already. The quality of food is a factor in being on the list but the quantity of ratings skews the results to exclude a lot of great locations.
Besides, everyone’s taste is specific and everyone is looking for something specific.
Curating your own list or being included on a list of the best places to *fill in the blank* is also an option.
That could mean you need to have an amazing product, service, and get in touch with whoever curated the list. As far as creating your own list, there’s some work that would need to be done.
Ranking a list of the best XYZ on your business website can look a little self-serving if you include yourself unless you’re a complementary but not competing business.
For instance, if you’re a dessert establishment and want to rate the areas 10 best restaurants then it doesn’t look self-serving.
If you’re not on the list but merely trying to be helpful then you’re safe.
It’s always nice to give some credit to other local businesses too. Let the business you included in your list know and they’ll be happy and may share it with their audience also. Free promotion for them and for you.
Good ratings for your business on review sites can get you on top lists but it also has a more general effect.
If a traveling customer is looking on a directory site you’re more likely to come up in their hunt if you have good ratings and many of them.
Google Business will prioritize your business if you have lots of high ratings. 5 or more could boost you to the top depending on your market.
Your business could potentially show up first when someone does a local search for your type of business even above regular Google search results.
It’s not horrible to ask pleased customers to tell others about their experience.
Download the Yelp email template to ask customers to leave you a review for your business. You can use the template for any directory website.
Those three ways are your best options to reach traveling customers who maybe are searching for dinner or a fun activity.
There are easy ways you can (almost eerily) reach traveling customers with paid methods to make them an offer they can’t refuse.
Pay To Reach Traveling Customers
There’s always the options of forking out some of your money to reach traveling customers.
Advertising on Facebook, Google, and Bing can allow you to reach traveling customers at the right time.
Think about the constant flow of people traveling into and out of the area your small business is located.
There’s a never-ending flow of potential customers who are always traveling near you and don’t know their plans yet. They’re looking for you and you want them to find you.
The most powerful options for targeting to find the right person for your business lies with Facebook.
Facebook Ad Targeting
Facebook ads have the most powerful options for targeting the right person for your small business.
Here’s a scenario of a simple targeted ad that can constantly run and reach the right person:
You run a local restaurant that’s near many business offices. You want to target business people traveling into your area.
Facebook ad targeting allows you to target geographically by people traveling in your location to reach the business people traveling in your area.
To be more specific you can even target down to people who work at certain companies or who have a general interest in business.You can target exactly who you need when you need to with Facebook ads. Click To Tweet
Getting Specific With Targeting
Let’s add an even more specific twist into this scenario.
If you have a Japanese restaurant you can target those traveling in your area who also have an interest or have expressed that they like Japanese food.
If you have a never-ending advertisement that offers these customers a discount if they mention the ad then you could have an endless stream of customers coming in from out of town.
Just Passing Through
You can target ads on Facebook based on people who recently traveled in your location but are no longer there also.
Can you think of any good scenarios for that type of ad?
I recently traveled through downtown Sacramento and when I got home I was seeing ads in my Facebook feed for window installation.
The company targeted their ad based on me traveling near their business and being a homeowner (yes, Facebook knows all this). That’s a good way to reach your target audience even if they’re just traveling through.
Google & Bing Advertising
Google and Bing ads have more limited options for targeting customers traveling in or through your location.
It comes down to using the right keywords in Google search and including Google and Bing business pages in your advertising.
Google has helpful instructions on how to use Adwords to show local search ads on Google Maps.
To recap some of the important parts here, think of this as a sort of executive summary.
There are two ways you can reach traveling customers:
With each method there are different groups of traveling customers who you will probably want to reach:
- Recently traveled near you.
- Currently traveling near you.
Paid Facebook ads make it easy to reach these two groups of people with the right targeting.
Organic results in directory websites will also help you reach those customers who are currently traveling near you but that requires many 5-star reviews to achieve a high ranking.
Reach New Customers
There are a lot of ways you can reach new customers who are traveling in your location and looking for things to do.
Successfully capturing these new customers takes a comprehensive online presence for your small business.
That means you need to have many arms for reaching customers; from your website to paid advertising.
A comprehensive online presence for your small business is vital to expanding your business online.
¹ Google/Ipsos MediaCT, “The 2015 Traveler’s Road to Decision,” base: U.S. leisure travelers, n=3,500, Aug. 2015.