The Biggest Visitor Attraction Marketing Opportunities in 2023

The Biggest Visitor Attraction Marketing Opportunties In 2023 3

The past couple of years have been nothing short of extraordinary. We spent 2020 and 2021 talking about how we were living through unprecedented times. But 2022 has proved to be almost as unprecedented – albeit it for different reasons. So, what do we think are the key marketing opportunities in 2023? Having just completed marketing plans for all our visitor attraction clients, here are our top marketing opportunities

Fish where the fish are

The biggest opportunity is ensuring your marketing is reaching those who have the biggest chance to convert. With virtually all customers booking online, geographical catchments can be easily tracked and any changes in shoulder, peak season or specific events identified.  

Overlaying your catchment with population data, also enables you to identify gaps and opportunities for growth. 2023 is a time when marketing budgets need to fire on all cylinders; data analysis of your catchment area will set solid foundations. 

Influencer marketing comes of age

With the challenging economy influencer marketing is even more important in 2023. Families will be looking for more endorsements on which day out to choose. Influencers can really help accelerate your brand presence and provide this social proof.

Many visitor attractions have dabbled with influencer marketing, but in 2023 there are huge opportunities to make it a core part of the marketing strategy. Going beyond visit reviews, you can offer behind the scenes footage, free ticket giveaways to their follower base and even allow them to do social media takeovers of your Instagram feed for a day.

The big question is whether you target free micro-influencers or spend budget on macro-influencers? We have a view and essentially it depends on what you are trying to achieve.

Micro-influencers (who have 3,000-100,000 followers usually regionally) often provide attractions with free reach and engagement through their channels, if they feel the brand fit is right. Choosing those who you want to work with from your local area, also means they are more likely to have followers in your catchment area. Some may already be coming to you; you just need to engage with them and build a relationship. We know some micro-influencers will request a fee; Agility’s opinion is that you shouldn’t need to do this and they should want to engage with your brand.

Macro-influencers (with 100,000 to 1 million followers) on the other hand will expect a fee. As their followers are national, any engagement you get will have a lot of wastage, but they do have a role. The endorsement you get is huge which you can add to your socials and website and we know that visitor attraction video ads using a familiar name/face will outperform other videos by 50%. Macro-influencers have a role but in a different capacity.

Digital expectations will increase in customer service

The Millennials (the generation of technology born 1981 to 1996) are now parents themselves. Growing up in a digital age, they expect brands to act and think digitally. Whilst attractions now offer online ticketing, we need to look beyond this.

In the annual ACA customer service survey, expectations in digital customer service areas all increased. In the next 3-5 years, consumers expectations will grow for completing all customer support on a mobile, intuitive self-serve options to find information online, alongside 24/7 online chat.

Yes, some automation takes away the personal touch but may stop someone going to your competitor who can answer the questions on demand. 

A lot of the available technology has different entry levels; starting small now will help your attraction in the long term.

Making the most of email

Every marketer knows websites must be mobile friendly and be designed mobil-first. This is now the same for emails and with most attractions wanting repeat business, improving your email marketing is a quick win. Before you send your next email, check how it looks on a mobile device and ensure you are using a mobile-friendly template with plenty of call to actions. Over the last year, promotional emails have also become more graphic heavy. Including more images, however, this makes the email more likely to get stuck in a spam folder. This year we are going to be testing the impact on open rates and click through rates of heavy graphic v lighter graphics for our visitor attraction clients. We are hoping by the Summer we should have some solid

TikTok will bring new ad opportunities

We are beyond excited but 2023 will be the year that the Tik Tok Advertising Platform makes their geo targeting more localised for the UK.  We have contingency budgets all set ready to go for our clients and can’t wait!  You can advertise currently but the geo targeting options are too widely spread for most attractions.

Using more ad channels is going to become the norm in future years, as the audience continues to fragment as the choice of social channels increase. 

Engagement will remain key KPI socially

Generally, high engagement means high reach across your social channels. Measuring engagement across your social media posts is still the most effective way of identifying what type of content your followers want. A key opportunity is to monitor monthly your most effective and least effective posts, as well as monitor average engagement per post for your competitors.    

In addition, now is the time to add TikTok to your social programme if you haven’t already. At the very least, for family attractions, you should be adding content every school holiday and repost influencer’s posts on your page. If your attraction targets teens and young adults, it would be worth increasing the frequency to weekly.

Innovative pricing & product strategies

As we’ve found in the last quarter of 2022, the economy will continue to impact on 2023 visitor attraction footfall and income.

The good news is that in previous recessions people never stopped having days out but they did switch to a lower cost alternative, choose to do them less frequently and looked for offers. On the flip side, the Visitor Attraction Convention also reminded us that 20% of the population will not be impacted by the recession and this group will be willing to pay more for unusual experiences. Either way, pricing and product strategies will form an important factor this year.

From offering early bird offers and online discounts to those willing to commit early to more premium products for the group that can upgrade, innovation is needed. A great opportunity for those that can be agile.

This blog was written by Anita Waddell, Managing Director of Agility Marketing, a boutique marketing agency specialising in Digital Marketing for Visitor Attractions.