Digital marketing is the most powerful advertising tool Virgin Islands businesses have. That’s because the tourism audience is a global one. If you are NOT among the 86% of American businesses with an internet presence, you are probably feeling the pressure to get online.
Visitors to the Virgin Islands take two vacations. Tourists bookmark websites, download apps, and pin photos on Pinterest long before they set foot on an airplane. They decide what restaurants they are going to try, they read reviews, they search for authentic cultural experiences; in short, they know what they’re going to do and where they’re going to go before they arrive. The second vacation only happens when they get here.
Getting Your Business Online
You realize that you are giving away customers to your competitors by being invisible to tourists when they are planning their vacations or when they are sharing recommendations with friends. The problem, it takes time to build a website and learn the intricacies of advertising on Facebook and Google. If you’re a restaurateur, a retailer, or charter boat captain, you probably don’t have the skills of a computer programmer or the time to learn the complex ins and outs of digital marketing.
Good news, you don’t even need a computer to take part in the digital revolution. Online marketing services allow you to focus on your products and sales while experts focus on delivering slick, exciting, and accurate information about your business to potential customers across the world.
4 Simple Ways to Market Your Business Online
Tip 1: Directory Services
Many small businesses don’t need to spend thousands on a website that is e-commerce enabled. Most simply need one webpage that ranks high on Google and has current information and photos. That’s where directory sites come in. Yelp, TripAdvisor and local directories like What to Do VI offer free or very affordable webpage setup. Call in, email, or fill out an online form and your business is listed on the internet in minutes.
Tip 2: Social Media Aggregate Pages
Setting up a business page on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest is simple. However, effectively managing social media and advertising takes a huge amount of time and skill. You need to post content daily, or at a minimum, weekly; you need to actively encourage people to follow your business pages; and you need to be credible and engaging.
Medium to large companies have employees or agencies dedicated to leveraging social media to market their products. You can do the same by using an aggregate social media service. These services promote businesses and events across multiple social media platforms using targeted advertising, group shares, and interest groups.
Tip 3: SEO
It’s easy to forget how important SEO ranking is. Simply put, SEO is the list of websites a customers sees when they type in a keyword or phrase into Google, Bing or Yahoo. For example, “best restaurant on St. Thomas”. Truth is, if you don’t show up in the search results, it’s like not having a website at all.
To get to the top of the list you can:
- Spend a lot of money on placement through sponsorship programs like Ad Words
- Spend a lot of time adding regular content to your website that is filled with the search terms your customers are looking for
- Join an existing website that already has high ranking
The power of a business directory site is they take care of SEO for you. If you join one, you leverage the power of a company whose #1 priority is being at the top of the search pile.
Tip 4: Business Blogging
With over 3,000,000 blog posts and online articles published daily, how do you stand out from the crowd? To effectively target customers by writing your own content, your blogs must be well written, easy to read, informative, and actionable. They must also be frequent and written for SEO. Does this sound like a full-time job? It is.
Again, the easy solution for busy Virgin Island businesses is to join a site that publishes quality content relevant to your business.
The Time Saving Solution
If you have the know-how to market your Virgin Island business online and can design a website, maintain social media, and write quality content that is tagged for SEO, then expect a big chunk of your own time put towards your business’s marketing. The alternative is to subscribe to a clever online package.
What to Do VI is dedicated to marketing your business for a reasonable price. We’re building the most comprehensive, inclusive, people-powered directory and travel guide for the Virgin Islands. We take things like SEO, content marketing, and social media seriously. More good news, a complete Digital Marketing Plan through What to Do VI is easy and takes very little money and time on your part.
Click here for What We Offer