10 questions to ask before advertising in tourism publications

Are you overwhelmed with requests to be in every tourism website and print publication going? Can’t afford to be in everything, but scared to say no for Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO)?

It’s a common problem.

There will never be a shortage of places to spend your marketing dollar. Your decision on where to invest has to be a rational ‘business decision’. One that you make that is in the best interests of your business.

It is unrealistic, not to mention unaffordable, to advertise in everything. With a little pre-planning, you can make your decision with a clear head, confident in your rationale before you hear the sales pitch.

That way you won’t get caught out by saying “YES” in the heat of the moment, just to shut the salesperson up and get on with your day!

So, next time you have to take a leap into the unknown and risk your marketing $, apply these simple guidelines to each ‘too good to be true’ advertising opportunity.

Suite of Eyre Peninsula town visitor guides

For advertising in web & digital publications…

Ask the sales rep, or find out the following before you sign up:

Who is the audience of this website or publication?

This is directly related to the marketing plan around the website or publication – who are they targeting in their marketing and who is their consumer?

You want to know if this matches your ‘ideal customer’ profile (if you aren’t clear about who your ‘ideal customer’ is, contact us, stat. This is ESSENTIAL for any business!)

How is the website or publication going to be marketed?

What offline and online marketing activities support the website or publication?

Websites without traffic are just empty outposts on the internet.

Will the design quality of the publication or website do justice to your brand?

Design DOES matter.

Good design is a science – it is meant to engage, evoke emotion, be memorable, build trust, lead the eye and prompt action.

A poorly designed and unappealing website or publication will be a waste of your hard-earned $.

Who is behind the publication?

Do they understand your business, marketplace and industry?

Will they be able to keep the publication content current, interesting and entertaining.

Can they provide evidence or testimonials from happy advertisers or readers supporting their claims?

Do they have credibility in the industry they are marketing?

Is the publication formally supported by relevant peak bodies?

Official publications and sites tend to be more favourably viewed and trusted by customers (and industry) who are reassured by a formal endorsement from a reputable or official body.

This is especially true of tourism marketing.

Nullarbor Map print and digital editions

For advertising in print publications…

Ask the sales rep, or find out the following before you sign up:

What is the size of the print run and how is it going to be distributed?

Distribution matters.

Where is it going to be distributed or sold?

Are these locations where your ideal customers are?

How long is the print run expected to last?

Is the magazine free, subscription or fee based?

You can print 100,000 magazines but if they are not consumed or distributed, they are not being read.

When it comes to fee based publications, the number of magazines sold and/or subscribed is more important than the number printed.

Ask the question.

Is there an online marketing plan for the publication?

Take a few minutes and pick up your favourite newspaper or magazine.

I guarantee that they have social media, a website and some level of digital marketing that complements their print publication.

We live in a connected world, where print and digital go hand in hand.

Print drives digital, and digital drives print.

How long before the next print run?

Does your advert run for a year, 6 months, a quarter?

Remember, the content of your print ads should reflect the timeframes of the publication.

For longer term publications, think about using your ad to drive visitors back to your website or social media where you can update your offers whenever you like.

The final, 64 million dollar question…

…or as my accountant would say, “most important question”:

Do you have budget for it?!

Each year you are setting a marketing budget aren’t you?

Does this shiny, new never-to-be-repeated marketing opportunity fit in there?

If it is too good to pass up, can you pinch some dollars from somewhere else?

Hope this helps you make the right marketing decisions for your business. It’s a jungle out there … and getting more crowded every day, so making smart, informed decisions is essential.

How do YOU choose where to invest your marketing budget?

2 thoughts on “10 questions to ask before advertising in tourism publications

  1. When working in Accommodation, I was inundated with requests to advertise or list in publications both in print and online. It was overwhelming when you wanted to reach as much of the diversified client base as possible. Now that I am the owner of a micro tour business, I am the accountant with VERY tight purse strings. The guidelines provided in this article reassure me that I am doing the right thing for my business when I’m saying no, and I am doing so based on sound judgement. Thanks!

    1. Thanks for your comment Nerida. Good to know you found this useful. I know many of our clients in tourism are also inundated and don’t want to miss out on opportunities, but you can’t be in everything, so some guidelines are required. Which is what prompted me to write this article. Naomi

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *