Help meet their needs while simultaneously increasing your farm revenue - with Agritourism
This online resource will teach you how.
Marketing Your Agritourism Enterprise
Marketing means “getting the word out”. It’s like personally inviting tourists and locals to visit your farm. You wouldn’t give a party without inviting the guests and having an agritourism business and not marketing would be doing exactly that.
When you are planning your enterprise, marketing needs to be a part of the equation from the get-go. You will want to decide on strategies as well on your target market. If you have hayrides, you’ll want to attract the younger generation, perhaps even school children who will come as a group. If you have a wine farm, adults will be the group you want to advertise to.
Niches are important when advertising. So you have a farm. If it’s a bed and breakfast, tourists will be a huge chunk of your business, more than likely. So, you may want to advertise on travel sites or with the Chamber of Commerce. Since most farms are rural, advertising out of the area, as well as inside the area, will probably be a must.
Go ahead and grab a table at the local market or the county fair. Although it may cost a buck, you’ll get the word out of who you are and where you are locate. If you have a fruit farm, bring along some baskets of apples or pears or some jars of jam. Not only will you be advertising your farm, you may make new friends and business owners to network with.
Talk to the businesses around you to network with them. Make an agreement where you promote them and they will promote you. Offer an incentive to do so. Let them know why your guests may be interested in their business. If you run and organic farm and they have a small animal farm, let them know that many who are in to nature and health will frequent both places because they have nature and health in common. If you both will be doing activities for Christmas, promote each other so tourists can visit both and justify driving to the area.
Make sure to notify your local newspaper that you are in business. Tell them all about what you do, what you offer and your days and hours of business. If they don’t take it upon themselves to interview you or feature your business in an article, write one yourself and submit it. If you don’t write, hire someone who does. You can also submit press release online in the same manner. Be sure to include links to your website and/or social media page.
Word of Mouth
The all-time best way to get business is by word of mouth. Ensuring your guests have an awesome time will get you the best advertising ever. Ask them to write reviews on your site even if you offer an incentive like a free pass in exchange for a review. Don’t be shy to ask if you can quote guests who rave about your place.
Contact the local television channel, the newspaper and the radio station too. Host a special event or grand opening so they will want to cover the event. Contact any and all media each time the season changes or you are doing something different. If you reach a milestone, like a record number of guests, contact the media. Even if they don’t respond, don’t quit. Eventually they will give you coverage. And for you...that’s free publicity!
Marketing Image and Presence
Have you ever been driving along the highway and notice the yellow roofed building signifying the tourist shop and eatery? Or, the golden arches? Or the big red barn? Making your brand stick out is important. You might be the one with the funky chicken on your sign or the red picket fence around your farm. Think of something that will stand out and go for it.
Be sure to visit local travel centers to let them know about your business. Sure, you can call or email them but putting a face on the name will be more effective. Offer them a tour of your facility or at least bring pictures, business cards and brochures. It’s also a good idea to travel to travel and information centers that are on down the highway in any direction tourists may be traveling to or from.
Social media is the best advertising method ever these days. Why? Because everyone is on social media! From Facebook to twitter and Instagram and all the other platforms, why not advertise to a ready-made audience? If you are not great on the computer, hire someone who is. It is that important.
Get noticed! Give your guests a reason to come. Half-price, two for one, and group or family rates will give your potential visitors incentives to come. Money is often tight and entertainment is not a necessity so give them a price break and watch them flock in.
Public Relations Manager
If you are wanting to make it big and be assured you will bring in visitors, hire a good and efficient public relations manager. A PR will tend to your marketing and social exposure in ways that you may not have the time or skills to take care of.
What hotel will leave the light on for you? Slogans stick in our minds, whether we want them to or not. Whether you use a rhyme or something funny, make sure to do something to market your brand that will stick in their minds.
You may be tempted to put marketing on the back burner until you feel you can better afford it. But that is like shooting yourself in the foot. To get the business which will make the money you need to advertise will come from none other than marketing. It’s a win-win that will pay for itself.