9 Tips on how to effectively promote a digital audio guide to visitors
You've created an innovative digital audio guide to bring new visitors to your destination. You expect to increase its attractiveness and give visitors a better experience that will make them spend more time there.
However, in order to make your digital guide a successful and popular service, it is important to inform visitors about it and generate their interest. Let's see how to do this.
Essential distribution channels, marketing materials and best practices for promoting your digital audio guide
You don't have to be a marketing expert to promote your digital guide effectively. We'll save you the time of coming up with a complicated marketing campaign.
To start promoting each new audio guide, SmartGuide provides content creators with a free welcome marketing package. This free package, otherwise worth €100, includes graphic designs of basic marketing materials tailored to your destination. With these marketing materials, you can inform your visitors about the digital guide today.
Here are some practical tips on how to use the marketing materials most effectively to get your digital guide in front of as many visitors as possible.
Offline marketing materials
There are countless marketing materials options to choose from. Start promoting your guide with basic physical (offline) materials - a poster or sticker.
(Example: Poster A3)
The poster is the basic marketing material that informs visitors about the new digital guide service you offer. The poster contains a QR code that visitors scan and simply install the SmartGuide digital guide app to their phones.
(Example: sticker A6)
Online marketing materials
Remember that the web and social networks like Facebook and Instagram are your shop window these days. Therefore, choose the appropriate digital materials for your website and social media - a web widget, a web banner or a post on Facebook or Instagram are a good starting point.
(Example: Web widget SmartGuide)
Using the web widget is very simple and costs you nothing. SmartGuide will generate the code for the web widget for you to place in your website's administration in the appropriate place on an existing page, or to insert into a newly created web page. You can also link to the web widget from other web pages or banners (1:1, 16:9 and 3:2).
(Example: Web banner 1:1 SmartGuide)
You can also link the banner to your destination's page on SmartGuide's website where the content is visible if the destination is set as public. To make your digital guide even more visible, you can link the destination's public page also via your website's footer, or other main navigation elements (the default URL format is https://www.smart-guide.org/destinations/en/YOUR_DESTINATION_NAME).
(Example: Different variants of adding the link to your SmartGuide content into your website's footer)
Another important channel in your arsenal is social media. Always keep your social media accounts up to date. Keep social media users informed with new posts about what news you have in store for your visitors.
(Example: Facebook post visual)
Adding information about the digital audio guide to existing printed materials
Do you already have your own printed materials? Enrich them with information about your digital audio guide.
(Example: A printed tourist map with SmartGuide)
To better promote your destination to visitors, consider adding SmartGuide QR codes and basic information about the digital audio guide to existing printed materials such as posters, flyers, or printed maps.
We'll provide you with all the resources and visuals you may need to update your existing print materials (vectorized SmartGuide logos can be found in our brand manual).
(Example: Custom posters and flyers informing about your digital audio guide)
Are you not planning to reprint existing materials in the near future? No problem! We can design special stickers with QR codes for you to place on your existing materials.
(Example: Ticket addition - sticker with QR code to get the audio guide)
9 proven tips and examples on how to successfully promote a digital audio guide
Take inspiration from examples of successful implementation of marketing materials by our partners and effectively inform visitors about the existence of your digital audio guide.
1# Place a poster or sticker on the front door
Inform visitors even if the Tourist Information Centre is not open, by placing a poster or sticker on the entrance door. Even when the TIC is closed, visitors can get all the information they need - they simply scan the QR code and go on a self-guided tour of your destination. This will give visitors a much better experience when staying at the destination.
(Implementation example: TIC Poděbrady)
(Implementation example: Huaca Hullamarca)
2# Add SmartGuide to the printed map
Add SmartGuide information to printed maps. Instead of just a map, you'll give visitors a map and a digital personal guide on their phone! Visitors will have a much better experience exploring your destination.
(Implementation example: Karlovy Vary)
(Implementation example: Barcelona)
#3 Visibly place instructions for visitorsEnsure that visitors always receive the correct instructions and content by prominently posting or handing out flyers with instructions for installing the SmartGuide app. Place a display of leaflets with detailed instructions for visitors on how to get and operate SmartGuide, for example near the cash desk. You'll help take the burden off the desk staff and ensure visitors have a seamless experience with SmartGuide.
(Implementation example: Pilsner Urquell)
#4 Make sure the staff offers SmartGuide correctly
Your staff is your secret superpower. Regularly inform and train all employees about your digital guide and how (and why) to offer it to visitors. Always include SmartGuide in the onboarding process when employees start, especially if your staff turnover quickly. You can also print and post instructions for staff on how to offer the SmartGuide app to make it as easy as possible for them.
(Implementation example: Pilsner Urquell)
#5 Add SmartGuide web widget to your website
Add attractive web content to your website containing direct links to get SmartGuide and a preview of your digital guide, just by adding one simple script.
(Implementation example: Město Mariánské Lázně)
#6 Use all relevant space on your website
Inform visitors about your digital audio guide through web banners and informative texts. Even if you don't have direct access to the site administration, you can usually update the news section or blog quickly and easily. A web article can contain either a direct link to SmartGuide or a link to a SmartGuide web widget on your website.
(Implementation example: UNIQA, Muzeum paměti XX. století)
(Implementation example: Uniqa)
#7 Leverage your social media presence
Promoting SmartGuide through your existing social networks, such as Facebook or Instagram, is an easy and quick way to spread the word about your digital guide. Keep your visitors interested by regularly posting information about tours or places they can explore with your digital guide.
We'll supply you with a visual of the post that you can share on Facebook - and then use it as a template for preparing your own interesting social content.
(Implementation example: Poděbrady)
(Implementation example: Karlovy Vary)
#8 Promote your digital guide at local events
Promote your digital audio guide through events taking place in and around your destination, such as festivals, international exhibitions and congresses, major cultural events, etc. The influx of (international) visitors to a destination is the perfect opportunity to guide visitors in their language with a SmartGuide.
You can also create new tours and customized content for relevant events and introduce visitors to your destination with an innovative digital audio guide.
(Implementation example: The city of Pilsen and the festival of light installations called "BLIK BLIK")
#9 Build your PR on digital innovation
Use SmartGuide as PR content to strengthen your brand image. SmartGuide can be presented as a novel digital innovation that your destination has embraced, and this content is also of interest to well-known regional media -- as in the case of the Terezín Memorial. It will help you to spread awareness of your destination.
(Implementation example: Terezín Memorial)
Be inspired by the case study of the successful promotion of a digital audio guide and read about Karlovy Vary's innovative approach to destination marketing.
Do you need help with printing materials or creating new custom marketing visuals? SmartGuide offers a wide range of paid marketing services. Contact us and we'll prepare a quote for you.