While tour and activity providers are working hard to sell more bookings, whether it's scuba diving, escape rooms, ziplining or city tours, these businesses must understand there’s more to what they’re offering than just the activity.
At Fotaflo, we strongly believe that activity and tour providers have one primary product that they are selling - exceptional customer experiences.
Customers don’t necessarily pay tour and activity providers for just the activity. They pay to have an amazing experience that they can share with friends and family and remember for the rest of their life.
Since tour and activity customers buy into your brand with the idea that they want to participate in an amazing experience, which they can share with family and friends across social media, this arguably makes them your strongest marketing asset.
It’s very possible that tout and activity customers can become powerful advocates for your brand, and with the right strategy in place, you can utilize them to build an advocate marketing program that generates more bookings for your business.
So how can tour marketers turn customers into product advocates?
In this blog, we take a look at what advocate marketing is, and provide some tips on how your business can turn past customers into your most powerful product advocates.
What is advocate marketing?
Advocate marketing is a strategy in which brands harness the voice of their customers to enhance the effectiveness of their marketing and engagement strategies.
By delivering incredible customer experiences, advocate marketing allows brands to turn their most satisfied customers into brand advocates that share their positive experiences with large numbers of people.
The goal of advocate marketing is to amplify the voices of customers that love your brand in order to attract more business. In essence, it’s word-of-mouth-marketing that takes place on popular online channels.
The advocate marketing definition from Gartner is:
“Advocacy marketing is a discipline for activating a brand’s advocates with unprecedented scale over the social Web. When advocacy marketing is enabled with digital techniques and advocate stories, then endorsements and recommendations are amplified to potentially millions of people, given the exponential nature of social networks. Advocacy marketing has been used effectively to acquire new customers but is now actively being used in loyalty and retention initiatives.”
5 ways tour marketers can turn customers into product advocates
#1 - Provide a memorable experience
To turn customers into brand advocates that share your business with their friends, family and social media peers, you need to go the extra mile to provide a memorable experience. The key is to create a memorable experience that they are excited to share with the world.
When it comes to tour and activity operators, this is made easy by the fact that your customers already want to share their experience with others. By making sure that the experience you're offering is both seamless and enjoyable, you’ll ensure that your customers want to share it with their peers.
#2 Give your advocates a means of sharing their experience
To turn guests into brand advocates, tour and activity operators should make it easy for them to share their experience across social media. The easier their experience is to share, the more likely they’ll do it.
You can do this by using a photo marketing solution, such as Fotaflo, to share photo and video memories with your customers on a company-branded web page. Your customers should be encouraged to share this page with their peers, so you can begin generating referral bookings for your business.
#3 - Deliver a superior customer service
Customers want to be treated well by your business, throughout all stages of their buyers’ journey. When your business delivers incredible customer service, your customers will be more motivated to give something back to your business.
Tour and activity providers that deliver a fantastic customer service experience will increase customer engagement and satisfaction, and strengthen customer commitment and loyalty. All these things improve the chance that customers will become influential brand advocates - helping you to build a successful advocate marketing strategy.
#4 - Use data to identify your brand advocates
Identifying your top-performing brand advocates can be difficult, but it’s a critical step in maximizing your advocate marketing strategy. When you are able to identify advocates that bring the most referral traffic to your website, you can begin to optimize their loyalty through personalized email campaigns that inspire them to reshare their memories on social media.
With Fotaflo’s photo marketing platform, we make identifying brand advocates easy. By using our platform, tour and activity operators can see all past customers who have shared their photos and videos, and how many referrals they’ve generated from sharing them.
#5 - Reward your advocates
Last but not least, it’s important to reward your advocates. Rewarding your brand advocates will motivate them to continue to promote your brand, ensuring your business generates new bookings long after an advocate has visited your business.
Rewarding your advocate could include anything from providing them with exclusive offers they can share with their peers, holding special advocate-only events, or even simply asking them for their feedback on new services and additions to your tour or activity experience.
Interested in learning more about advocate marketing, and how Fotaflo’s photo marketing solution can help you identify and influence your most satisfied customers to grow your business?