Running a tour operator business is hard work. Everything from operations to digital marketing is time-consuming and it's easy to place your online efforts in the back seat when things get busy. The following free online resources for tour operators will aid your efforts in freeing up time so that you can get back to the fun parts of your tour business.
Tour Operators United Facebook Group
Tour Operators United is a private Facebook group comprised of industry professionals lending their advice to help tour operators grow their business, world-wide. The group hosts tour operator specific information such as digital marketing techniques, online reputation management, industry best practices and more. Industry experts regularly host ask me anything (AMA) sessions on a variety of topics.
Some of the key influencers include:
The group currently has over 8,500 members and counting. If you're involved in the tourism industry, joining this group is pretty much a no-brainer. And of course its 100% free.
Let's face it, we're not all born with the gift of graphic design. Some have it, some don't and too many of us have tried to fight it…until now. If you'd rather be adventuring and building your business than hurting your head over a single image, Canva is for you. Canva makes web graphics as easy as applying a Snapchat filter, and its free!
With Canva, you pick a template, tweak the text, adjust the clip art and voila. It's super fast and easy to use. Take a look at the sample image that I created with one of my favorite quotes. This literally took 2 minutes. Canva has templates for specific social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram as well as numerous other practical templates.
To make your life easier, we even made a quick video tutorial for you.
Getting started with email marketing can be a bit daunting but thanks to its intuitive design, MailChimp is pretty straightforward. So why is it important for tour businesses? Well, because direct communication is extremely important between tour operators and customers. Email marketing via MailChimp allows you to build stronger relationships with the agencies, clients, and businesses you are partnered with.
MailChimp takes out the pain of setting up an email marketing campaign. Their tools will help you create professional marketing emails in just minutes. You can even do it all from your smartphone. Furthermore, thanks to their extensive analytics the platform can help you gauge which strategies are really making an impact. MailChimp's Forever Free Plan costs nothing as long as you have fewer than 2000 subscribers and send up to 12,000 emails per month.
To make your life even easier, we made you a quick tutorial video for this platform, as well
You're probably already using Google Analytics to track your website traffic. If you're not, then you're missing out on an invaluable resource that's absolutely free. At first glance, the massive amount of data that Google Analytics provides can be a little overwhelming. But that's because there's a lot of it to go around.
For a tour operator, there's a handful of features that help you on a daily basis. The traffic demographics will give you a clear idea of where your customers are. You can see which countries people are visiting your site from, a user's age, gender and what mobile device they're using. If you're marketing towards 20-something backpacker adventure types and 40% of your traffic is going to old ladies in Finland you might want to make some changes to your SEO.
A tour operator’s website needs good search engine optimization (SEO) just like any other successful e-commerce website. In order to maximize traffic and realize growth in conversions, you need to optimize your SEO. Getting an outside perspective is helpful in gauging your SEO impact.
Seoptimer is a free and easy-to-use web app that gives you reporting on your SEO. Just pop in your URL and Seoptimer will spit out a report. You'll get a letter grade rating on your keywords, amount of content, usability, social presence and more. For a free tool this is hard to beat. You can even download a free PDF report that you can check off as you make improvements to your site.
Whether you're just dipping your feet into the digital marketing waters or you've been doing this for years, these 5 resources will aid in your journey. Be sure to give each platform and group a try before thinking it will not help your business. To learn more about tour operator resources, be sure to sign up for our newsletter on the right-hand column.