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• BACKGROUND
• NEEDS ANALYSIS
• OUR RESPONSE
• BUILDING THE STORYDOER MINDSET
2
BACKGROUND
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Tourism is among the key drivers for socio-economic
progress and contributes to employment and
economic growth, as well as to empower rural,
peripheral or less developed areas. In 2019, more than
one in ten enterprises in the European non-financial
business economy belonged to the tourism industries.
These 2.3 million enterprises employed 12.3 million
persons. Tourism plays a significant role in the
development of European regions.
Nevertheless, the outbreak of COVID-19 has
significantly affected all aspects of life across Europe.
Indeed, the pandemic has generated challenges to our
socio-economic systems. According to UNWTO, due to
the COVID-19 crisis Europe had experienced a 70%
decrease in international tourists’ arrivals. In rural and
low populated areas local tourism businesses are
particularly affected.
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NEEDS ANALYSIS
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Due to the digitization requirements of the Great
Lockdown era, driven by the demand, many businesses
are now transitioning online, in order to facilitate this
change. Additionally, numerous restrictions caused by
the COVID-19 crisis led to forced digitalization, making
it vital for the tourism business. However, local tourism
SMEs are lagging behind in the digital transition, and
many are struggling to understand the opportunities
and reap the benefits (OECD, report 2019).
Local tourism businesses of rural areas are facing a
“double digital divide”. On the supply side, they are still
lagging behind in terms of the provision of NGA
infrastructure, on the demand side, many rural areas
lack the basic skills and knowledge of the potential of
digital technology so that even if the ‘digital highways’
are in place, they may remain underexploited in terms
of service provision, business use, or customer take up.
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Rural areas and local tourism businesses shouldn’t be
left behind. We need to work on both the supply and
demand side of digitization to ensure rural business
prosperity, future livelihoods, public services and the
community life of many of our rural areas .
The power and importance of the online media and
communication is already recognized by the United
Nations specialized agency for tourism, which has
been supporting its Member States on a series of
initiatives relating to market intelligence and digital
marketing (https://www.unwto.org).
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OUR RESPONSE
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“STORYDOERS. Digital story doing for local tourism” is
an Erasmus+ project to reinforce rural business
competitiveness by digital Storydoing in Local Tourism.
Storydoing is an innovative technique aiming at
creating compelling actions and experiences that put
the corporate narrative to the test in everything they do.
Unfortunately, nowadays there is a lack of proper tools
to support storydoing for the local tourism sector.
The project is designed to enable “Storydoers” to
develop:
• Storydoing skills: digital narrative skills for digital and
social media platforms;
• Digital competences: to reduce the digital dividing of
local tourism businesses of rural areas;
• Social competences: for community engagement
and sustainable development of rural areas.
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The project will produce the following results:
• Digital Story Doing for Local Tourism Framework to
gather knowledge on the fields of digital storydoing
and local tourism, highlight good practices, and
assess the needs of aspiring storydoers in rural-
specific knowledge.
• Storydoers Training Combo with a collection of
practices for digital storydoing in local tourism.
• Storydoers Handbook opensource transmedia
manual of concrete applications of practices to put
into action the knowledge, skills and competences
produced by the project.
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When completed, the project will have produced a
proven model for improving the competitiveness of
rural businesses that operate in tourism producing
local alliances and innovative sustainable projects.
This model will offer methods and tools for Developing
the capacities of rural businesses to design and
promote sustainable local tourism experiences based
on Storydoing.
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BUILDING THE STORYDOER MINDSET
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WHO ARE THE STORYDOERS?
Storydoers are local entrepreneurs who are the
main drivers of the tourism economy in rural
places…
• TA & TO, Small Hotel Accommodation & Guest
Houses, Restaurants, Tour & Mountain Guides,
Transport companies, Museums, Other local
tourist services like farms, bakeries, breweries,
etc.
…that offer their customers meaningful
experiences around their business philosophy,
values and local tourism.
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WHAT IS DIGITAL STORYDOING?
Storydoing is an innovative technique aiming at
creating compelling actions and experiences that
put the corporate narrative to the test in everything
they do.
While storytelling is just telling a story, Storydoing
focuses on making sure that the story is lived by
turning the businesses’ philosophy and their values
into action.
Storydoing humanises the relationship between the
brand and its consumers; it turns them into
ambassadors and protagonists of a real experience
with which they connect emotionally.
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STORYDOING STRATEGY
A Storydoing action needs a good story that will
end up becoming a better experience.
In order to build a successful strategy it is needed
to define:
• An objective: what it is that you want to convey
about a certain product and the brand.
• Expected reaction to provoke in the audience:
degree of connection that will turn users into
brand ambassadors.
• Technical issues: those that identify the brand,
such as colours and logos, but also to style
lines. However, the experience remains the
priority.
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STORYDOING SKILLS
As a Storydoer you will need skills and
competences related to:
• Videoshooting, Podcasting, Photoshooting
• Online community management
• Cooperative and mutualist attitude
• Implementation of online activities
• Branding, digital marketing and entrepreneurship
• Website, social media profiles and online
platforms
• All pictures off Extremadura’s natural and
cultural heritage are by Andrea Vincenti, José
Luis Díaz and Marta Lozano Molano
Digital Story Doing in Local Tourism is a transnational project that
brings together 6 partners from 5 European countries (Bulgaria,
Spain, Italy, Belgium and Austria) with different specializations.
Website:
www.storydoers.eu
• Introduction
• Communication and marketing
• Storydoing tips
• Element of sustainability
• Additional reading of the topic
2
Tourism businesses in rural areas face many constraints, in many circumstances worsened by their reduced size and
their location. A recent debate on “rural entrepreneurship” suggests than one of the best opportunities to develop rural
areas is linked with rural tourism, since its principles are related to the creation of jobs and income in the rural space and
can also help to increase the perception of value of endogenous resources and products. For such advocated
sustainability to be achieved, on the one hand, it is essential that the communication by the rural tourism venture is able
to transmit its essence and its respective values, as well as the product and experiences made available to tourists. On
the other hand, through efficient communication, these enterprises could attract the tourists that bring more benefits to
the region.
The idea of sustainable tourism is often incorrectly considered a “type” of tourism, but from the responsible tourism
point of view sustainability applies to every type of tourism and to every sector within this broad field: transportation,
accommodation, catering, interactions, and other travel-related activities that have an effect on the environment, society,
or economy.
As proven by many national surveys, contemporary tourists are interested in the impact generated by their holidays and
care for more sustainable choices in terms of tourist products and destinations they want to experience. In addition, they
are more and more inclined towards experiencing, learning and participating, they are not exclusively interested in buying
the tourist product, but also in buying the stories behind the product. In this sense, storytelling can be a tool for
sustainable tourism promotion.
Creative storytelling can therefore help to develop unique narratives that engage the customers
creating a sense of community and belonging, transforming followers in promoters and
inspiring them to be part in this creative process.
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The evaluation of the quality level of hospitality and services in
the hotel and catering sector is normally based on aspects
concerning comfort, cleanliness, the relationship between
quality and price. In an approach based on the principles and
good practices of sustainability and responsible tourism, the
indicators and criteria change completely. Certainly the aspects
already mentioned above remain important, however many
others are added. Customers appreciate this information and in
this way a twofold result is obtained: the quality of the service
is raised and the service is linked to the principles and good
practices of sustainability, the enhancement of traditions,
typicality and authenticity; the benefit for local producers;
customer involvement in correct and positive choices.
Consequently, tourism and its integration into the rural product
can be very much part of developing employment opportunities,
increasing local prosperity, conservation, and maintenance of
the environment, celebrating cultural assets and generally
ensuring a greater spread in terms of who can benefit
(economically, socially, and culturally).
The adoption of good sustainability, environmental, social,
cultural, economic practices must be adequately
communicated. Customers, guests must be made aware of the
choices made by their hosts; they will certainly appreciate them
and often feel involved in these choices, knowing that they have
somehow influenced them with their orientations and, now, that
they have accepted them. Marketing messages can focus on
empowering consumers’ own capacities for change in order to
be more effective! To understand the market needs and to
customize sustainability messages you should remember that
even if customers care for sustainability, it does not mean they
will act differently; that sustainability values and actions
differentiate a product; that knowing the attitudes of your
market segments allows to tailor sustainability messages
accordingly. Some of the main purposes of sustainability
communication are to make consumers aware of the
availability of sustainable travel products, to inform consumers
of how these offerings meet their needs and comply with
sustainability criteria, and, ultimately, to stimulate pro-
sustainable purchases.
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When choosing which narratives to develop, you should
keep in mind that the content that you produce should:
1. generate interest -> A positive and motivating choice of
language has the effect that readers also feel encouraged
to contribute to more sustainable action. It is important
not to make customers feel guilty, but to encourage and
empower them to do their part.
2. be distinctive as to differentiate your content from
others -> many tourism operators stress their efforts in
terms of sustainability, be specific and unique!
3. be authentic and related to what visitors will actually
find -> frequently used terms such as "exotic" or even
"authentic" should be used in a way that is true to the
content. The same applies to pictures, especially because
pictorial representations emphasize a message. Avoid
stereotypes that negatively impact the local communities.
Timing is also crucial. Choose the right time to
communicate your messages!
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• There are several topics that you can stress in your communication. A first group includes good practices and
actions concerning environmental sustainability:
• use of renewable energy sources (wind, solar etc)
• actions for reducing the consumption of energy (management of air conditioned and heating, led, photocells,
sensors)
• actions for reducing the consumption of water (flow reducers in taps, water recycling and reusing, towels
management)
• actions for reducing food waste (smart management of the buffet, doggy bag..)
• use of biodegradable products for cleaning, hygiene and courtesy service
• progressive elimination of plastic
• separate waste collection
• organic food products
• dispenser and no single dose
Another group is based on social and cultural sustainability principles:
• local suppliers for food products (mainly typical products, PDO, PGI, Slow Food presidia); origin of products and
ingredients indicated food product from fair trade
• local cuisine indicated in the menu, recipes available for customers
• Maria Lúcia Pato and Ana Sofia Duque, Sustainability Communication in Rural Tourism:
Website Content Analysis, in Viseu Dão Lafões Region (Portugal)
• Futouris and Global Communication Experts, Guidelines for sustainable tourism
communication
• Marketing sustainable tourism: the role of value orientation, well-being and credibility
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Digital Story Doing in Local Tourism is a transnational project that
brings together 6 partners from 5 European countries (Bulgaria,
Spain, Italy, Belgium and Austria) with different specializations.
Website:
www.storydoers.eu
• Introduction to the module
• Basic knowledge of the topic
• Top 8 tips for writing a successful story
online
• Useful online sources
• Good examples
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INTRODUCTION TO THE MODULE
In this module, you will learn important tips
and insights about good story writing and
find out what makes successful an online
presentation of your business.
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Creating a compelling story is the cornerstone of
successfully promoting your business online
and attracting potential customers.
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BASIC KNOWLEDGE OF THE TOPIC
1. Start with an attractive heading
The heading is the first thing that people read. Often people do
not bother reading the full story, if the heading is not interesting.
A good heading usually consists of a full sentence containing all
main components (subject, verb and object). This also increases
the possibility of more people finding the story through search
engines.
2. Continue with an eye-catching introduction
The introduction supports the heading. It is recommended that
an introductory paragraph should contain no more than 25
words. This means that the introduction should have one or two
sentences, which complement the title.
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3. Develop concise main part
The body is the heart of the story. For an online
story to really stand out, it has to be concise
and informative. To make sure that the reader
will bother to read it, the main part should be
around 300 words or between 2500-3000
characters. The body should cover the most
important points and it is recommended to be
structured in short paragraphs. If possible,
bullet points can be used to outline the main
points.
4. Answer the Six “W”s
In order for the story to be informative and to grab the
attention of the reader, it should aim to provide answers to
the following questions:
• “WHO” (who is the team behind your company?);
• “WHAT” (what products/services do you offer?);
• “WHEN” (when did you start your business?);
• “WHY” (why customers should choose you?);
• “WHERE” (where can customers find you?);
• “HOW” (how are you different from your competitors?).
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5. Add stunning images
To better illustrate the product or service your business offers, it is essential to use nice photography. In most
cases, a good photo tells the story better than the text. It is advisable that you take your own photos (either do
it personally or pay a professional). With today’s rapid technological development, most smartphones can
take photos of decent quality. In case you do not have a good camera at hand or do not want to hire a
photographer, then you can browse some of the online databases with stock photos, available on the web.
The most popular are Shutterstock, Pixabay, Unsplash, to name just a few. In any case, make sure to credit
the photographer and the copyright holder. You can find more useful tips in the module dedicated to photos.
6. Impress with numbers and data
Numbers attract the attention of readers. You can include them in the story to highlight important
achievements of your company – such as number of years your business is in existence, number of
products/services offered, customer satisfaction rate, etc. A neat way for presenting this data is through the
use of an infographic or fact box. It saves space and focuses the attention of the reader on the most
important points.
7. Write with your target audience in mind
When writing the story, you should keep in mind who you would
like to be its primary readers. If your messages are custom-
tailored to your main target audience, then you will be more
successful in attracting their attention. If you are targeting an
international audience, you should think about writing in a more
widely used language, such as English.
8. Finish with a memorable ending
In order to make sure that readers will come back to your story,
and eventually become your customers, it is important to leave in
their minds some lasting memories. The end of the story should
include some “call to action” phrases for further engaging the
reader, such as “try it for yourself”, “get a first hand experience”,
“join us on our journey”, etc.
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USEFUL ONLINE SOURCES
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• “How to write a good online news story”, University of Bergen,
available at: https://www.uib.no/en/foremployees/109365/how-write-
good-online-news-story
• “How to write a success story in 5 steps plus free template”, Living
World Mission, available at: https://livingwordmission.org.ng/how-to-
write-success-story/
Website of Ethnographic Open Air Museum
“Etar”, available at: https://en.etar.bg/
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GOOD EXAMPLE
Digital Story Doing in Local Tourism is a transnational project that
brings together 6 partners from 5 European countries (Bulgaria,
Spain, Italy, Belgium and Austria) with different specializations.
Website:
www.storydoers.eu
Photo credits:
• Slides 1, 2, 5, 8, 10 & 11 – Ethnographic Open
Air Museum “Etar”, FB page -
https://www.facebook.com/etar.gabrovo
• Slides 3 & 9 – Dryanovo monastery, Personal
archive
• Slide 4 – Veliko Tarnovo, Personal archive
• Introduction
• Experiences
• Market needs
• Targeting
• Storytelling techniques and tips
• Suggestion for a richer communication
• Available online tools
• Facebook and Instagram
• Graphic tools and scheduling tools
2
The description of tourist products and services must highlight
all aspects of innovation, attention to the diversity of personal
situations, needs and tastes, richness and originality of the
offer. A good combination of products (accommodation,
attractions, transport, catering, shopping, recreation..) creates
a visitor “experience”.
The richness and variety of the service offer favors
personalization and allows to expand the target area, to better
satisfy guests and customers as well as obviously often
corresponding to social and human sensitivities. In many
cases it is a matter of adopting small precautions or offering
personal availability, which have no or very modest cost but
which produce a significant increase in the quality of
hospitality and service.
One important part of the aim of every tourism product is to
strengthen and involve local communities and, possibly,
involve them in the storytelling of the area involved. Thanks to
this, your guests may discover the true essence of that area
and its cultural, social and traditional heritage. We may create
with the local community a shared storytelling with legends,
stories, fun facts, and typical dishes.
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When you want to market experiential tourism
products, you should think of the territories’
resources in terms of experiences.
For example gastronomy, being linked to the
land, the history, the people, is a great resource
for experiential tourism. It is typical and unique,
affordable and tasty!
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In addition, to ensure the viability
of your touristic products, you
should make sure you’re trying to
meet market needs: knowing the
characteristics, motivations and
expectations for a trip will help
with the product development and
communication.
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Targeting a type of client is essential. If you target
everyone, you won’t interest anyone. If the proposal is
too basic, no one feels concerned.
A good way to target your audience is the “Persona"
method: a persona is an imaginary character
representing a target group or segment. The persona
usually has a name and social and psychological
characteristics. Several personas can be used for the
same development project. The persona can
sometimes even be represented in the form of a story
board when using the product or service.
The objective of this method is to fictitiously build a
typical profile of our audience in the form of an
identity card. Thus, thanks to brainstorming, various
questions are defined and then asked to a group. Due
to an interview with the target public, it’s possible to
draw the fictive persona as precisely as possible: first
name, last name, age, characteristics, preferences,
activities and passions. This information is based on
their answers. Follow few rules to build the interview:
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Which techniques can be used to storytell a place?
Storytelling means creating canvas with important reference points for the success of the experience
without forgetting the basic info about the story (the six W: What and Why and When and How and Where
and Who).
You can also simply focus on the following elements to write a story about your product:
- The audience we are writing for, how to connect with them and what we want to achieve;
- The distribution, how will we distribute our story so that the audience can find and share it better: which
design? On what channels?
- The situation before and after the story: has the product changed the audience? How was the audience
before they heard it?
The story itself:
- Set the Scene: create a context that helps the audience getting in the mood.
- Make your point clear: the main message
- Conclusion: what is the end? Is there a call to action, the audience becomes interested in doing
something about your walking tour, asking information, buying the product, telling friends?
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In your online communication initiatives, remember:
● to stress the uniqueness of your selling points: be distinctive!
● to focus on impacts: i.e. say “we reduced food waste by 10% over the last year” rather than “we are
committed to adopting sustainable practices in our restaurant”
● to be humble and honest: what you learn or have to change is just as important to talk about as what
you get right
● to make it fun and participatory: turn messages into interesting facts and make it as interactive as
possible
● to respect the user privacy
Storydoing is a great way to integrate clients’ feedback in your own communication. For this reason it is
important to collect visitors’ feedback through surveys, focus groups, feedback forms, on spot observation,
social media.
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When choosing what to communicate to your clients, keep in mind that several good practices
concern a particular attention and sensitivity towards the problems and conditions of the guests:
• Accessibility also beyond the law, beyond the regulations
• Food for people with intolerances or allergies, with specific food choices (vegetarianism, veganism)
• Menu for children
• Hospitality for pets
• Collection and management of complaints and suggestions
• Bikes and e - bikes, walking sticks, torches available for free
• Areas for smokers (if smoking is normally forbidden)
In addition, other actions make the stay richer in content and opportunities:
• Availability of the manager, or touristic guides or his/her employees to narration and storytelling
• Ability to facilitate the meeting between guests and local personalities: intellectuals, historians, artists,
religious authorities
• Visits to cultural centers, clubs, private collections, ateliers
This is obviously an indicative list, certainly not exhaustive, and which needs to be better detailed.
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A focus can, for example, be dedicated to menus, which are an extraordinary means of communication, information, orientation and
promotion.
Normally, a restaurant menu is a list of dishes, divided into categories (appetizers, first courses, main courses, side dishes, desserts);
then followed by drinks, sometimes listed on the wine list. And, alongside, there are the prices.
But the menu can contain many other information: it can indicate which dishes are typical of the area; where the raw materials come
from, even with the name of the producer; if the dish has organic ingredients; whether it is suitable for celiacs; if the products used are
PDO, PGI or are recognized as a Slow Food presidia; if some products come from a farm confiscated to the mafia; in the wine list the
local wines can be distinguished, with the indication of the producer cellar; if the wines are organic, natural, without sulphites…etc.
In trips inspired by the principles of responsible tourism, many good practices are adopted; the choice of having families belonging to
the local community as suppliers for accommodation involves a more cordial and convivial human relationship, which allows mutual
knowledge, dialogue, sometimes the birth of friendships. More easily the local, traditional cuisine will be offered to guests.
During the trip there are always meetings with representatives of local communities: cultural and environmental associations, NGOs,
intellectuals, artists, farmers, fishermen, artisans, clergy. Very often visits to international development cooperation projects are
organized, such as schools, kindergartens, medical clinics, water systems. Tourists who participate in this type of travel can make
collective gifts to the population, especially to support development projects. The tour guides, who act as intercultural facilitators,
describe the reality of the visited country, not only its beauties but also its problems, so that tourists can gain a more complete and in-
depth knowledge of the country they are visiting.
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Today the communication and dissemination of tourism products have to deal with
social networks apps and, of course, digital tools like websites, newsletters. They
change the way we communicate, they represent our society today. According to
Booking.com, over 61% of travelers agree that digital technology will be increasingly
important in organizing their travels. But, of course, every tool, every social network has
to be used differently. Those are:
● Social Network
● Website and Seo techniques
● Graphic and social media scheduling tools
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FACEBOOK: In Facebook you can show and sell a tourism product in different ways. You can add videos, texts, web articles, graphics,
images, photos, collage of photos. You can share and post on Facebook groups which are created normally by Facebook users for a
particular subject. When you post a description of some products remember to use tags @ and hashtags #.
Paid tools: Facebook Ads: If you want to reach a specific target for your tourism products use Facebook ads. Facebook's paid campaign
tool allows you to interface with those who embody the characteristics of your market segment. It allows you to convey content by
targeting the audience you want to intercept.
You can connect your facebook and instagram account and post the same digital contest through META BUSINESS
INSTAGRAM: Now touristic operators have to use a Instagram business profile, it’s pretty much important for business growth and
brand awareness.This profile should feel like a curated gallery of the best images that represent your brand’s ideas or values.
● Using high-quality images is extremely important, as Instagram massively compresses your images before posting to optimize
delivery.
● Use the right hashtags.If you know what hashtags your target users follow actively, you may instantly reach a wide pool of target
users who may not necessarily be your followers.
● Ensuring that your posts are relevant and timely should be a box that you check before you post anything.. Relevant photos are
those that are in tune with the world around you and what’s happening in your niche.
.
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TIK TOK The hashtag #TikTokTravel is one of the most popular on the platform, with more than 20.8 billion views. Using
this hashtag is a fantastic opportunity for tourism and travel companies to get started on TikTok and promote their
destinations or products. Moreover, TikTok is low cost. With marketing budgets across the world
slashed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is a good option for those of us with limited social media budget,
considering that the possibilities to go viral are greater than on other platforms.
A WEBSITE AND BLOG and linked tools like SEO
A travel company need a Blog page and a website. A WordPress blog puts you in some excellent company, to say nothing
of the 42,000+ plugins that allow you to customise your blog to meet all of your specific needs. Descriptions of trips and
destinations found on the travel agency's website should be unique and valuable. Keep in mind the basic SEO rules.
SEO is the set of strategies and practices aimed at increasing the visibility of a website by improving its position in search
engine rankings, in unpaid results, called "pure" or "organic" results. These practices are many and concern different
aspects of a website: the optimization of the site structure, of the HTML code, of the textual contents, the management of
the inbound links (that is, that from other sites point to your site, called inbound links or, more commonly, backlinks) and
outbound (pointing from your site to others).
Since Google is by far the most used search engine in the world, most of the SEO activities concern the study of the
Google algorithm and its periodic updates, and the related actions to make sites more "welcome" to this algorithm.
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GRAPHIC TOOLS: One of the most effective ways to increase your fanbase both qualitatively and quantitatively is to
publish compelling, useful, curious, interesting content. Today the user wants to identify with what he/she reads: put
yourself in his/her shoes and encourage him/her to share. Spoiler: your content could go viral. If you are looking for
inspiration, take a cue from the greats. CANVA is a free-to-use online graphic design tool.
Additionally, there is also Adobe creative cloud. It’s more efficient, but its target is more graphic experts.
SOCIAL MEDIA SCHEDULING TOOLS: With a social media scheduler, you can align and schedule social media posts to
multiple platforms at different times to get the maximum reach. Here’s a well-researched list of social media scheduling
tools evaluated on their features, customer support, affordability, and verified customer reviews:
1. SocialBee.
2. Hootsuite.
3. Buffer.
4. Sendible.
5. Agorapulse.
6. SproutSocial.
7. CoSchedule.
8. Zoho Social.
Digital Story Doing in Local Tourism is a transnational project that
brings together 6 partners from 5 European countries (Bulgaria,
Spain, Italy, Belgium and Austria) with different specializations.
Website:
www.storydoers.eu
• What is a Communications Plan?
• Marketing Communications Audit
• Set Your Marketing Communications Objectives
• Define Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and Brand Statement
• Target Audience
• Key Messages
• Communication Channels
• Message Matrix
• Outline Your Communications Tactics and Campaigns
• Communications Plan Metrics
• Identify Key Dates, Seasons, Important events
• Communications Plan Templates
• Free online applications
2
A communications plan is a full-scope plan for delivering key messages to
your audience to drive positive business outcomes. This plan will frame your
communications with clear objectives and methods to keep them
consistent and results-oriented.
3
Before you start creating your communications plan in tourism, evaluate
your current communications with an audit. The audit itself incudes
reviewing all of the communications activities, material and strategies you
have implemented in the past to see what was effective and what was not:
• Measure the scope of your communications: identify the places in where
you communicated your business and services with your potential clients
such as text or design elements like a logo.
• Evaluate your past and current communications activities: when you
have summarised your activities you can easily analyze them and
evaluate their effectiveness. Which messages was most well-accepted
and achieved best results?
• Contact and take the opinion of people involved in your
communications: this people could be members of your team, partners,
suppliers, stakeholders on the one hand and, on the other hand your
clients on the other hand. Ask these groups how effective they think your
communication is and what they believe you can do better. You can get
this feedback through a short conversation or through a survey.
• Do a SWOT analysis: A SWOT analysis identifies the strengths,
weaknesses, opportunities and threats in your communications. When
you have identified the strengths and opportunities, threats and
weaknesses you can create your future communications based on these
results.
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The very first step in creating your communications plan is to establish your marketing communications objectives. This will lead
you to achieve the results you want from your communications activities.
When you define your communications objectives you should base your thinking on the following pillars:
• How to translate my business goals in marketing communications objectives (e.g. my business needs to increase its turnover by
10%, which could be translated in a communications goal to reach 20% more new followers of the Facebook page of my family
hotel)
• Build on strength or opportunity from your SWOT analysis – after the audit you can base your objectives based on it (e.g. your
business is located near an ancient Roman wall and you can involve this fact in your planned communication to raise the
awareness of this fact and attract new clients)
• Try to address weaknesses and threats identified in the SWOT analysis (e.g. if the location of your business was not well
communicated and created a lot of confusions with your clients, try to improve that and improve your address visibility in all your
communications)
Here are some examples of marketing objectives for this part of the template:
• Increase social media followers
• Increase web traffic
• Enhance brand reputation
• In setting your communications objectives try to be specific and set measurable goals. Otherwise it will not be possible to
evaluate the results of your efforts. Put numbers, percentages and indicators when possible. Of course you can have qualitative
objectives such as enhancing your brand reputation
• What are the tangible and intangible benefits that your brand offers which forms the USP?
6
Nibelungenhof is a family-owned luxurious 4-star-hotel in Tulln, Lower Austria, near the river Danube.
Nibelungenhof brand statement is around the three main pillars: charming, central, friendly.
The tangible benefits promised by the hotel are – central town location and being on the Danube’s banks. The Intangible benefits to
the guests are the charming and friendly service and experience that the clients get in this place.
Mission Statement is the promise that you give to your clients.
In our case: Nibelungenhof offers endless enthusiasm and love to hospitality as it is a family-run business since 2005; a friendly,
charming, urban and regional experience to its guests.
NIBELUNGENHOF www.nibelungenhof.info
7
The brand statement of the hotel is:
charming, central, friendly
8
The most important part of your communications plan is defining your target audience. What does it mean? To identify your target clients, your
target groups. They are gathered in groups because they share common values, common status, common interests, common hobbies,
common residence. Clear definition of your potential target groups will result in tailoring your messages and activities according to their
preferences and lifestyles and you will know where and how to reach them. The final goal is to attract as many people as possible to use your
local tourist service or product and this could be achieved by talking to people that have the highest chance to become your customers.
How to Identify Your Target Audience
One of the best ways is to analyze your current data base and define what is your target audience:
- Survey your customers: sse a tool like Google Forms to ask your current customers about their demographics and preferences, such as age,
gender and their favorite products.
- Check out your Google Analytics: hook up Google Analytics to your site to learn more about your visitors. It delivers data on demographics
like location, gender and interests.
- Examine your social media followers: if you have an active social media presence, look over your current followers and look for trends. You
can also view your competitors’ followers to see who they attract.
When you have this information just write several sentences about the characteristics of your different target groups: for example, the target
groups of the Hotel Nibelungenhof could be:
- People from the DACH area with medium to upper incomes from 45-75 y.o. interested in local urban tourism, combined with sport, such as
cycling and sightseeing in the region of Tulln;
- Young professionals 25-45 y.o., from Austria and Europe, middle to upper-middle income travelling for business to Vienna or visiting the
local trade fair in Tulln, who would like to escape from the big city and have time to work and have sports at the same time, as well as enjoy
the nice regional food and wines.
Your brand can talk not only to clients as physical persons. It can also have as a target audience companies, media, institutions, government
agencies, etc. This target audience has its specific characteristics.
As we already mentioned above, every target audience has its specificities
and it needs special messages which will answer their needs and meet their
preferences. On this regard, you need to develop key messages for each
target audience. When you develop your main messages to your target
audience you need to transfer with them your USP and your mission
statement. Here are some questions to help you develop your messages to
each of your audience:
• What are the most important things for this audience to know about my
product or service and which will appear to it?
• What language, tone of voice could I use so I am better understood by
this audience?
• What Common values does this audience have with my brand? What
hypothetical appealing benefits should I communicate with this target?
9
10
After defining your target audience and the messages you have to communicate to them you need to determine how to reach them
or which communication channels you will use:
Your organization’s blog: Blog posts offer the chance to share helpful information, announce company news and events.
Email marketing: Try using emails to send newsletters, service and product offers and marketing outreach to relevant lists.
Media relations: Media relations are an important tool when you want to reach your audience. Try to identify media read by your
target group and then send information to the media.
Print collateral: Printed marketing assets like flyers, brochures, signage and direct mail should be considered into your overall
communications strategy.
Traditional advertising: Traditional advertising on television and in print can also have its place in a communications plan,
depending on your resources and audience.
Digital marketing: Pay-per-click (PPC) ads deliver targeted links and messaging to people browsing the internet.
Social media: Social media is an effective tool for reaching the people most interested in your product — if you pick the right
channels. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn are different social media depending on your target audience that you could
use.
Sponsorship: it’s a wonderful way to spread your message to your audience. You can sponsor the football team and become
popular in your region.
When we talk about reaching companies and businesses, the right places to present your brand and talk to your target are
conferences, corporate events, trade fairs, etc.
You’ll get the most leverage out of social media marketing if you market on the channels your audience uses.
11
With your target audience, key messages and communication channels
you can bring them all together in your communications table called
message matrix.
This table shows you which target will be reached, by which message, via
which communication channel.
Let’s assume that your service in the field of local tourism, for example a
bicycle rental company situated in a small town near a popular mountains
location, have 2 main target audiences:
- Target Audience 1: Young people and university students – 19-30 y.o.
- Target Audience 2: Families with children 30-50 y.o.
Each of these groups has different goals and age groups, meaning they’ll
need unique messaging focused on them. Audience-tailored messaging
in this situation might look like this:
- Target Audience 1: You can rent a modern bike for a special price. Ride
more and save more with our company. Discover the beauties of our
region with safe and affordable bicycles. The communication channels
could be: Instagram, Twitter, Google adds, Outdoor banners in the region,
leaflets in local hotels
- Target Audience 2: The best and most enjoyable way to discover the
beauties of our mountains by your family. Rent more than 2 bikes and get
a special family discount for our modern and safe bicycles. The
communication channels could be: Facebook, radio advertising, print
advertising and sponsorship on different events.
12
What will your communications plan look like in action? You’ll start answering this question by defining your tactics and campaigns.
Communications tactics define the actions you’ll take to spread your key messages. Basically, they explain three things:
- What you’ll do to spread your message.
- How you’ll take that action.
- When/how often you’ll do that action
Your tactics will come from the objectives you established. Check out the example objectives we shared and possible tactics to achieve
them:
- Increase social media followers: Schedule daily posts on Twitter.
- Increase web traffic: Publish bi-monthly blog posts on thought leadership topics.
- Enhance brand reputation: Conduct customer surveys every month on product quality and customer experience.
Most objectives will need more than one tactic for you to reach them.
13
We’re getting to the home stretch of your communications plan, and to finish it, you’ll need to define when it’ll accomplish its job. The
objectives we established earlier, such as increasing social media followers, don’t give you a clear finish line. You’ll have to go deeper. This
step involves translating your objectives into SMART goals — specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely goals. In other words, make
sure that you can define when you achieve them and they stay within the scope of your resources.
Let’s see how the example objectives we created might look as SMART goals:
• Increase social media followers: Double your number of social media followers in the next two years.
• Increase website traffic: Increase website traffic by 50% in the next year.
• Enhance brand reputation: Reach a 90% positive review rate by July 2022.
Once you figure out your SMART marketing goals, put them in the top column of the table in the Goals and Metrics slide or section. Then, put
each goal’s trackable metrics in the rows below them. (For example, you might put Twitter, Facebook and Instagram followers as metrics for
the “double your social media followers” goal.)
Example of Goals and Metrics Table:
Every company in the sector of local tourism has times of year that
give them the best opportunities for marketing. You need to identify:
• The best season for marketing your product/services.
• The most important events during the year when you can provide
your guests with special experience and touristic offer – Christmas,
Holiday of the nearest town, Religion holidays interesting for
tourists, special trade fairs, etc.
• Sport events or cultural festivals in the region that could attract
interest of your audience.
• When you have identified this dates in the calendar you can plan
your communication activities accordingly. You can develop special
offers connected with these dates to attract more customers and
prepare designs corresponding the respective holiday.
14
15
You can develop now your communication plan step-by-step following the stages outlined in this module and also structure it
in a narrative document with a summary, which could be a table with all the most important parts of the plan with main
activities and campaign distributed during the year.
The links above are online resources for
creating a communications plan
16
https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/communications-plan
https://edit.org/blog/free-communication-plan-templates
https://visme.co/blog/communication-plan-templates/
Digital Story Doing in Local Tourism is a transnational project that
brings together 6 partners from 5 European countries (Bulgaria,
Spain, Italy, Belgium and Austria) with different specializations.
Website:
www.storydoers.eu
Photo Credits: The images in this document are pictures
made by Evgeni Tsvetichov and also free licensed images
from Google
• Basic knowledge
• Format of the photo
• Rules for arranging your photo
• Image file and resolution
• Light
• Available Online Tools
• Further Reading
• Best practices
2
• Photos are a great way to show your space, your
activities and products, set guests’ expectations
and increase your sells.
• But images are a different art form. They attract easy
attention and can be gazed at, enjoyed, and felt.
• After price, photos are the next things visitors look at.
• Photographs are crucial elements for all marketing
communication tools.
• Personal photos help your business to build
trust and relationship with customers.
3
• Photos in Facebook posts get more than 150%
of the likes on average than posts without
images. Images are memorable.
• People remember 80% of what they see, 20% of
what they read, and 10% of what they hear. So,
your readers are 4 times more likely to
remember your posts with images or
infographics.
• Although people remember only 10% of the
information they hear after three days, pairing
that information with images increases the
retention rate to 65%.
• Reading can be a big issue for certain people
who have to pick up reading glasses to go
through the text.
4
FORMAT OF THE PHOTO
• For accommodation places: take your photos in
landscape format, vertical photos don’t show your
space so well.
• When shooting position your camera between 1,2 to 1,4
meters in order not to change the perspective of the
room. Shoot from the corner of the room, this will make
the space looks larger. Experiment with making the
photo from as high as possible in the room.
• The photography rule of thirds tells us to align our
subject with one of the points where those lines cross.
• Use points of interest
RULES FOR ARRANGING
YOUR PHOTO
• Clean the room from items which can cause distraction
for the eye, in particular watch out for piles of stuff, like
too many magazines for example. Try not to have
anything at the photo foreground, especially partially cut
objects like chairs for example.
• Try to have more floor in the photo than ceiling.
• Try do show the special amenities or access for people
with disabilities.
• Highlight unique amenities – try to tell a story with your
photos.
5
IMAGE FILE & RESOLUTION
• Different online media requires different sizes of your
photo. The optimal file size for images on a website is
no more than 200 KB, and for full-screen background
images, between 1500 pixels to 2500 pixels wide, and
for most other images a max-width of 800 pixels.
• Heavy images (original image sizes at 5000px width,
unoptimized pictures) will not only degrade the user
experience on your site but will also have a negative
impact on your SEO strategy (loading speed, bounce
rate, ranking, etc.).
• The most frequently used image file is jpg.
LIGHT
• Proper lighting makes your photo looks more
professional, brings out natural depth, color and
contrast in a setting.
• Try to use as much natural light as possible, if possible,
use a tripod. Most cameras will adjust for bright spots
by darkening the rest, so if possible, focus the camera
away from the window.
• Take photos outside and inside – the best time to shoot
outdoors are the first and the last hour of the day,
known as “Golden hour”. During that time the light is
softer and will bring more color into your photo.
6
Free Online Photo Editor Websites
o https://www.fotor.com
o https://www.canva.com
o https://www. irfanview.com
Stock photos
Using stock photos is quite controversial, and some
businesses refuse to use them.
Stock photos are cheaper than hiring a professional
photographer or taking them yourself.
Stock photos are taken by professional
photographers and reviewed by experts.
o https://stock.adobe.com/ - paid per photo
o https://www.shutterstock.com/ - paid per photo
o https://unsplash.com/ - free images
o https://pixabay.com/ - free images
7
There are an unlimited supply of apps for creating
artistic interpretations of your phone pictures. Some
do basic adjustments; others create special textures
and “grungy” looks; still others convert your images
to black and white, stitch pictures into panoramas,
and much more.
The list of all the creative apps would be quite long
to include here, but for basic processing,
two apps stand out:
o Snapseed: this app allows you to make overall
adjustments as well as selectively adjust areas
of the image. It also includes special effects and
creative borders.
o Filterstorm: this app allows for overall
adjustments, layer blending, masking, creative
effects, borders, and more.
8
o Extraordinary Everyday Photography: Awaken
Your Vision to Create Stunning Images Wherever
You Are, by Brenda Tharp & Jed Manwaring
o National Geographic Photo Basics: The Ultimate
Beginner's Guide to Great Photography, by Joel
Sartore
9
#Travel2020 contest, organized by Agora -
a free photography app 10
Digital Story Doing in Local Tourism is a transnational project that
brings together 6 partners from 5 European countries (Bulgaria,
Spain, Italy, Belgium and Austria) with different specializations.
Website:
www.storydoers.eu
• DOING THE STORY
• GETTING EQUIPPED
• SHOOTING
• POST-PRODUCTION
• SHARING
2
DOING THE STORY
Build your own digital story.
3
THE 5 W + 1 H
All video stories on an experience, a place, an event, a
person… even in a short format is already sharing a story. To
be completed your story needs to be exhaustive and answer
5 questions:
• WHO: Who are the characters I want to follow and meet
and why?
• WHAT: What is it about? What makes this event/place
unique, original?
• WHERE: Where does my story take place? Indoor or
outdoor?
• WHEN: When does my story take place?
• WHY: Why is this event/activity being held? What makes
this interesting?
• HOW: How does the event at the heart of my story unfold?
4
THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE STORY
There are three main parts that your video needs when sharing your
story:
THE INTRODUCTION
An introduction should contextualize the subject, the person, the event,
etc. The introduction should at least capture attention and at best
surprise or intrigue. The goal is to make the audience want to continue
discovering your story.
THE DEVELOPMENT
This is when your story unfolds, which can happen in one or more
sequences: develop a point, get to know the character(s) better,
describe the activities happening, etc.
THE CONCLUSION
This is the last sequence of your video and it is a conclusion. Its
impact on the viewer is real. The final point can be verbal, visual or
both: written reflection, voicer-over, an image of a monument…
5
GETTING EQUIPPED
Ready-made shooting kits are available on
the market. 6
VIDEO CAMERA
• A video camera is a recording device able to
capture videos.
• The kind of content you will be creating will
define the type of camera to acquire.
• Nowadays smartphone cameras provide very
high-quality videos.
7
STABILIZER OR GIMBAL
• It is a device to hold a video camera that
prevents unwanted camera movements.
DRONE
• It is a device to capture cinematic aereal footage.
8
* Not compulsory. Extra devices to improve the quality of your videos.
MICROPHONE
• Microphones are used to record sounds (i.e.
voices) and they are usually delivered with their
cables, clamps or mounting system, and
windscreens.
• Smartphones often have a good camera but a
microphone with limited quality. Consequently, it
is essential to add a microphone to your phone to
improve your sound recording, outdoors or
indoors, in a quiet environment or in a noisy
environment.
9
AUDIO INTERFACE
• It is a device that convert microphone signals
into a format that computers and software
recognize.
• It is needed for dynamic and condenser
microphones.
• It is not needed for smartphones and USB
microphones.
10
COMPUTER
• It will be used to edit your videos.
SMARTPHONE
• Can be used to edit videos, specially those filmed
with the smarthphone.
11
* Not compulsory. Extra devices to improve the quality of your videos.
SHOOTING
Capturing the images and sounds of your
video 12
13
ASPECT RATIO
• 16:9 or 9:16: This is the most popular video
standard used for high-definition television. It is
also known as “widescreen”. The vast majority
of digital cameras and smartphones record
video in this ratio.
• To shoot in horizontal use the 16:9 aspect ratio.
• To shoot in vertical use the 9:16 aspect ratio.
14
SHOT SIZE
• A shot size indicates the scale of an object or a
person.
• The human body is generally used as a point of
reference.
• There are many options: wide shot, full shot,
cowboy shot, waist shot, medium close-up,
close-up, extreme close-up…
15
LIGHTING
• It allow to film independently of natural lighting.
• It provides a more professional, polished and
consistent result for your videos.
• If you film on the go, then a small, packable,
lightweight option will likely suit you best.
POST-PRODUCTION
Building the story and giving it substance
16
THE SOFTWARES
• There are free (or freemium) and professional
software in the market: Final cut, Adobe
Premiere, Sony Vegas, Filmora, DaVinci Resolve,
Youtube video editor…
• There are many video apps for your smartphone
in the market. Some good options are:
Kinemaster and Filmora Go.
17
18
ASSEMBLING AND EDITING
• Rushes are all the images and remarks shot.
• Video editing consists in selecting the rushes
that you want to use and combining them into
coherent sequences that meet your production
objectives. The choice has to be done directly in
the editing software.
• It can be simplified (using just a few treatments)
or elaborated (including openingand closing
credits, captions…).
• Points to cover: music, graphic design, effects,
transitions, voice-over, color grading…
19
EXPORTING
• Several export formats are available: .MOV .AVI
.MP4 .FLV .WMV
• MP4 has become a universal standard for video
sharing, thanks to its good file quality and high
compression rate. It is used and accepted by
most computers, tablets and smartphones.
• 4K is an enhancement of the picture resolution
of today's televisions, capable of quadrupling the
resolution offered by HD or High-Definition. This
technology is capable of 3840 × 2160 pixels and
is also known as Ultra HD.
SHARING
Share your story with the world
20
21
ONLINE PLATFORMS
• Share your video in the social media profiles of
your local tourism business.
• Check modules related to social media, website,
online presence and community.
• Technology and persons – Envato
• Extremadura natural and cultural heritage: Andrea
Vincenti, José Luis Díaz and Marta Lozano Molano
Digital Story Doing in Local Tourism is a transnational project that
brings together 6 partners from 5 European countries (Bulgaria,
Spain, Italy, Belgium and Austria) with different specializations.
Website:
www.storydoers.eu
• DOING THE STORY
• GETTING EQUIPPED
• RECORDING
• POST-PRODUCTION
• SHARING
2
DOING THE STORY
Build your own digital story
3
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF
A podcast is a collection of audio files in MP3 format that
are periodically and automatically delivered to subscribers
via applications such as iTunes or Spotify. When preparing
your story think about:
• WHO: Who are the characters I want to follow and meet
and why?
• WHAT: What is it about? What makes this event/place
unique, original?
• WHERE: Where does my story take place? Indoor or
outdoor?
• WHEN: When does my story take place?
• WHY: Why is this evento/activity being held? What make
this interesting?
• HOW: How does the event at the heart of my story unfold?
4
INTERVIEW
• Many podcasts nowadays are based on
interviews with one or more participants.
• A good interview is carefully prepared so you
should make a previous research of the person
that you are going to interview and have
stablished the link with the topic.
• Prepare a set of relevant questions organized by
topics and according to the duration of the
podcast.
5
THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE STORY
There are three main parts that your podcast needs when sharing your
story:
THE INTRODUCTION
An introduction should contextualize the subject, the person, the event,
etc. The introduction should at least capture attention and at best
surprise or intrigue. The goal is to make the audience want to continue
discovering your story.
THE DEVELOPMENT
This is when your story unfolds, which can happen in one or more
sections: develop a point, get to know the character(s) better, describe
the activities happening, etc.
THE CONCLUSION
This is the last part of your podcast and it is a conclusion. Its impact
on the listener is real. Share a reflection, a song, a poem…
6
GETTING EQUIPPED
Ready-made shooting kits are available on
the market.
7
MICROPHONE
• Microphones are used to record sound (i.e.
voices) and they are usually delivered with their
cables, clamps or mounting system, and
windscreens.
• Smartphones often have a good camera but a
microphone with limited quality. Consequently, it
is essential to add a microphone to your phone to
improve your sound recording, outdoors or
indoors, in a quiet environment or in a noisy
environment.
8
HEADPHONES AND
LOUDSPEAKERS
• When recording the audio of your podcast will be
very useful to wear headphones so you can have
a clear sound image of what you are recording.
• Headphones and loudspeakers are an essential
for the post-production phase of the podcasting.
9
AUDIO INTERFACE
• It is a device that convert microphone signals
into a format that computers and software
recognize.
• It is needed for dynamic and condenser
microphones.
• It is not needed for smartphones and USB
microphones.
10
COMPUTER
• It will be used to edit your sound files
SMARTPHONE
• Can be used to edit sounds, specially those
filmed with the smarthphone.
11
RECORDING
Capturing the images and sounds of your
video
12
13
YOUR VOICE
• Pay special attention to the voice, it is the main
resource of a podcaster.
• Remember to warm up your voice before you
start to avoid damaging your voice and keep a
constant rhythm in your podcast.
14
RECORDING SESSION
• If you use a computer, you can use the same
software to record and edit.
• You can also record with your smartphone or an
external recorder and then edit it.
• Pay attention to the length of your podcast. The
optimal duration is from 20 to 40 minutes.
15
ENHANCE THE AUDIO
• Take 5 cm of distance to the microphone to
sound optimal.
• Maintain a constant distance to the microphone
the have the same audio level.
• Keep your hands off the microphone to avoid
undesirable noises.
POST-PRODUCTION
Building the story and giving it substance
16
THE SOFTWARE
• There are free (or freemium) and professional
software in the market: Adobe audition, Pro-
Tools, Cubase, Audacity, Wavosaur, Oceanaudio…
• There are many audio apps for your smartphone
in the market and online free tools.
17
18
ASSEMBLING AND EDITING
• Rushes are all the sounds and remarks recorded.
• Audio editing consists in selecting the rushes
that you want to use and combining them into
coherent clips that meet your production
objectives. The choice has to be done directly in
the editing software.
• It can be simplified (using just a few of
treatments) or elaborated (panning, openings,
audio ducking…).
• Points to cover: music, sound effects,
transitions…
19
EXPORTING
• Several export formats are available: .WAV .MP3
.FLAC, .AIFF, .AAC
• The format WAV. doesn’t apply any compression
to the bitstream and stores the audio recordings
with different sampling rates and bitrates, very
useful for multiple purposes.
• MP3 has become a universal standard for sound
sharing, thanks to its good file quality and high
compression rate. It is used and accepted by
most computers, tablets and smartphones.
SHARING
Share your story with the world
20
SHARING
• Share your podcast in the social media profiles
of your local tourism business.
• Check modules related to social media, website,
online presence and community.
• You can use also other social media platforms
for audio sharing like Soundcloud, Spotify,
Buzzsprout, Podimo…
21
• Technology and persons – Envato
• Extremadura natural and cultural heritage: Andrea
Vincenti, José Luis Díaz and Marta Lozano Molano
Digital Story Doing in Local Tourism is a transnational project that
brings together 6 partners from 5 European countries (Bulgaria,
Spain, Italy, Belgium and Austria) with different specializations.
Website:
www.storydoers.eu
• WHAT IS AN ONLINE COMMUNITY
• WHY BUILDING AN ONLINE COMMUNITY
• DIFFERENT TYPES OF ONLINE COMMUNITIES
• HOW TO BUILD AN ONLINE COMMUNITY
• HOW TO GROW AN ONLINE COMMUNITY
• EXAMPLES OF COMMUNITY PLATFORMS
2
• An online community can be defined as a group
of individuals unified by common interests,
opinions, and goals who meet in a virtual space.
The people who create online communities care
about bringing people together and forging
meaningful relationships.
• Depending on your business goals, this may look
like a private group to share learnings and
inspiring stories from, for example, tourism
activities happening in your region. Or, it may
look like an open forum where thousands gather
to share resources and feedback on the pictures
they have taken in your region.
3
4
• Whatever your platform of choice, online communities are a great way to
facilitate meaningful connections between your followers. They empower
your audience to:
• discuss topics that interest them
• engage with a brand, online course instructor, or other community figure
• learn together
• collaborate on projects
• share advice and related news
• Unlike social media, online communities go deep, not wide, as a group of
people embark on a journey to master something interesting together. The
community Hosts work to grow the community, but eventually, the members
do too, as they get invested and meet people!
5
Is an online community useful for you?
• Online communities might be trending, but that’s
not a good enough reason to create your online
community, without thinking of WHY an online
community can help your (tourism) business.
• Before proceeding, you need to figure out your
company and community’s objectives, so you can
create a community that will truly be of use to your
brand.
• If you don’t have a solid reason for building an
online community, people won’t see the need to
join it either. The reason needs to be clearly
identified, for yourself, and for other people, so
they will see the benefits for them to engage in
your community.
Benefits of online communities
Regardless of your sector of activity and company’s size, there are many common
benefits to creating an online community:
• Expand your sphere of influence and visibility by growing your network and audience
• Create brand ambassadors that will disseminate what you’re doing, and will keep the
community engaged
• Receive feedback from your audience. Having regular dialogue with your community
helps you improve your products and services to serve them better.
• Increase revenue. A community will help foster more engaged followers, and
increase retention, which can ultimately increase sales/revenues.
6
Ask yourself…
• Are you looking to improve customer
relations through a highly interactive
platform?
• Will your community provide support, tips,
and hard-to-get information to members?
• Is it a place that will help members support
a cause?
• Whatever the case, it is a good idea to start
with a suitable reason as motivation for
building a community. To help you sort out
your ‘why,’ try to envision your goals from
the consumer’s perspective.
7
8
There are many types of online communities. The main ones are
differentiated by the purpose that brings their audience together:
Interest. A group brought together by a common interest or passion.
Like a group for passionate about nature, hiking, mountains, etc.
Action. Communities that come together to bring about change. For
example, activists that want to keep their beaches, mountains,
countryside clean, with a sustainable approach.
Place. Communities within geographic boundaries. For example, your
local neighborhood Facebook group that shares about the best
restaurants in the region.
Practice or Profession (aka community of practice). Members of a
particular profession come together to share professional
development tips and learn how to excel at their jobs. For example,
mountain guides to further their professional knowledge, or craftsman
where members join to master their craft.
Determine the community platform you want to use
• Starting a Facebook group is one of the main and
easiest ways people start online communities
nowadays, as many people are already (more or
less) active on it or know how to use it. But it is
not always the best option.
• Your community platform should depend on the
amount and profile of people you want to engage,
the type of discussions you want to incorporate,
how easy it will be for people to join, and whether
it will be a free community or require a fee to join.
• If you are expecting only a few dozen people to
make up your community, a group chat on
Telegram, WhatsApp, or other messaging app will
probably be more appropriate. For a much larger
community with hundreds or thousands of people,
other more appropriate channels and tools exist.
9
• If you want to have more control and options on
how to run your community, creating your own
website or dedicated forum might be more
suitable.
Go with a free or owned community platform?
• While social networks can seem to work as a community platform, there actually is a
clear distinction.
• Social media, in general, is composed of users who have nothing in common (only using
the platform because their friends are on it).
• Communities, however, revolve around a specific issue, and it's up to you to take the
social network and engage certain users on that platform to form a community that's
focused on your sector of activity.
• Keeping this in mind, there are two types of communities you can launch: free or owned.
10
11
Free Community Platforms:
• Advantage: it’s free to create and for users, and generally
comes with an already existing audience.
• Limitation: you don't truly "own" your community and are
therefore beholden to the decisions these companies
make for how the platform serves your content to others.
Right when you've mastered the platform your community
lives on, the content algorithm changes, and you're forced
to pivot your content strategy to retain your users'
attention.
• Some examples of free platforms:
• Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, G2 Crowd,
GetApp, Quora, Discourse, Glassdoor, Slack
12
Owned Community Platforms:
• Advantage: tighter controls over your branding and
messaging - without having to compete with the noise of
other communities on the same platform.
• More features such as deeper analytics, gamification,
custom design also allow you to create the
experience you want for your users.
• Limitation: you’re starting from zero and have way more
promoting to do to attract your users and grow your
community. If they’re not familiar with it, new users may
also have to learn how your owned platform is working.
13
As mentioned in previous slides, you can get started using a Facebook group, launching a
group on a messaging app, or even by building a simple, interactive support website. Once
the platform is chosen, here are some tips to start your community:
1. SET GOALS AND INDICATORS
You may have multiple goals in mind for your community, but it is best to focus on a
small number of goals that represent value created for you and your community and
can be tied to specific behaviors and outcomes.
Community Key Performance Indicators (KPI) are used to measure your progress
against a goal. It is best to compare them against the previous time period (e.g. month
vs previous month). They should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Realistic, and Time-
bound:
• User Growth: total number of users, new users and lost users in the past month.
• User Engagement : total engagements (likes, comments), percentage of total users
liked or commented in a month, percentage of total users were inactive.
14
2. DEFINE YOUR IDEAL MEMBER
• As with your goals, it is best to narrow your ideal member to one or
two kinds, to have a better impact.
• To refine your ideal member, you can start by doing interviews of
people you want to serve in your community: ask about their goals
and motivations around your topic, and their concerns.
• Listen to what they have to say, the language they use and the
things they care about: it will ease the creation of your community
around what’s important for them.
• It surely is difficult to chose only one kind of ideal member, but once
your community is developing, you can always add more kinds of
people. Stabilise at first, then extend.
15
3. IDENTIFY KEY COMMUNITY STAKEHOLDERS
Two categories of stakeholders inside your company can be considered:
• Those who will be managing the community: it can include the
community manager, marketing department, and/or customer support.
• Upper management: this is the person responsible for the community.
It can be a marketing officer who oversees all digital experiences. The
community manager can be merged with the social media or marketing
manager.
Whether your company’s stakeholders are from marketing, sales, or
support departments, they can all contribute to your community. They can
have a strategic value by using newsletters subscribers, sales promotions,
or support questions.
In other words, your whole team should have a presence and an action
towards your community. Everyone can have an impact.
16
4. DEVELOP RELEVANT RULES
• Every community has its rules and guidelines to ensure members use it in the right
way. Focus on the reason you are creating the community, and the kinds of people
who will be in it, in order to create rules that will be relevant.
• More than that, rules and a moderation strategy are important to keep your
community free from trolls, spam, and abuse.
• Community guidelines will typically cover the following areas:
• Member behavior: what is expected of members, and what line is drawn
between passionate debate and simply being a jerk
• Moderator behavior: what moderators can and can’t do
• Topical focus: what topics are in scope for the community? What topics are
irrelevant? This can o evolve following your own activities and calendar.
• Complaint and resolution process: how can people flag complaints, and how do
you handle them?
• Zero tolerance for discrimination and harassment: everyone should feel
welcome and not alienated by your community.
Tips to get more followers
Once you have followed all previous tips, you will want as many
people as possible to learn about your community so that it can
grow.
This can only happen if the word is being spread about the
existence of your community and reasons why it is worth joining.
These tips are not listed in any particular order. They’re all
important, but you may find that certain methods make more sense
for your brand and business model.
17
18
1. Build a strong brand identity
Your brand identity goes far beyond your logo that you show on your
website or social media. It is about having a cohesive and global
identity that is reflected through every post, every content, every activity
you share and promote to your audience.
Decide on your predominant color scheme, filters, graphic designs, tone,
etc. Everything you post and comment on should reflect your brand’s
voice. People are drawn to brands that have an identity.
19
2. Follow or/and partner with relevant accounts
Think of what account is posting great content that you can
be inspired for your own community. See what your
“competitors” are doing, what content they share, how often,
for what reason, the reactions they receive in the comments,
likes, shares, etc.
To help you find relevant accounts you can:
• Join groups and communities on social media and
other networks: use this to be inspired by the
discussions and content shared, and also to promote
your community and company.
• See who influencers are following: accounts that
have more followers than following are usually
selective on who they follow back, also meaning
many people are following them. The people they
follow are likely to be high quality.
You can also partner with influencers your followers care
about. Partnering with influencers lends credibility to your
brand. If followers trust or admire an influencer, and that
influencer endorses your brand, their followers are more likely
to associate those positive feelings with your brand. This can
not only increase your number of followers, but also their
engagement rate towards your content.
3. Content is key
Content is key when growing a following. What you post is as important as
when and how often you post. Be sure to optimize your content to
maximize engagement whether it be by adding subtitles to your videos to
increase accessibility or creating a diverse content library on your social
media profiles. Then adapt your social media strategy to accommodate the
post types that drive the most engagement. Some post types that followers
reshare:
- Trends: try to follow and to be updated on all that is happening in your
sector, so that you can be a reliable source for your followers. They will
eventually come to your page to see what’s new on the topic they like
(and that you’re active on).
- Moreover, the general content that is shared a lot on social media are
memes, quotes, animals etc. You can try to use them, be make sure it is
aligned with what you want to show about your activities.
20
4. Explore the specific features
Each platform has its own features for you to expand your brand.
• Instagram - reels and stories are a great way to interact and
temperature check with your audience thanks to the built-in poll and
AMA (ask me anything) features.
• Twitter - multi-level reply chains and retweets allow you to
temperature check your audience and interact directly with them.
• Facebook - Facebook Marketplace makes it easy to sell directly to
your followers.
• TikTok - only on mobile devices opening you up to a younger, tech-
savvy audience who make many purchases from social media.
If you’re using an external platform for your community, make sure to
always redirect your audience to it. Or at least to inform them about it.
It's all about finding what works for you without spreading yourself
too thinly across the platforms.
21
5. Data
Data can be used for two main objectives: to engage and to monitor.
Data can be a very effective way of engaging your followers, as
creating quotable data based on your activity (e.g. “We offer 18
different activities with over 35 collaborators…”), or data to share that
you found externally and related to your sector of activity. People will
appreciate some concrete information to understand better what
exactly you offer.
On the other hand, data is also extremely important for you to monitor
all your social media and community activities, and to see if you’re
doing well. Make sure to be aware of Search Engine Optimisation, and
the overall features of each social media, also using hashtags etc.
22
A few examples among many, many others.
• Peerboard is a plug and play software that allows you to build a branded and feature-
rich community forum on your website, without requiring coding.
• Higher Logic is one of the most well-known community engagement platforms for
associations.
• Ning is currently the largest Software as a service platform that aims to help business-
or brand-minded users develop a website that operates as a social network.
• Discourse is the 100% open-source discussion platform built for the next decade of
the Internet.
23
Digital Story Doing in Local Tourism is a transnational project that
brings together 6 partners from 5 European countries (Bulgaria,
Spain, Italy, Belgium and Austria) with different specializations.
Website:
www.storydoers.eu
• Canva and Figma in a Nutshell
• Free plan and pricing plans
• Steps required to use Canva and Figma
• Interface - similarities and differences
• Canva & Figma - Fonts & Image Editing
• Canva & Figma - Plugins & Apps
• Canva & Figma - Tutorials
2
•
Canva is a graphic design tool intended both for
beginners and professional users.
Website: https://www.canva.com/
3
•
Figma is a web-based graphics editing and user
interface design application.
Website: https://www.figma.com
FREE PLAN
• 250,000 free templates
• 100 + design types
• Hundreds of thousands of free photos and graphics
• Invite members for co-working
• Comment and collaborate in real time
• 5GB – access to cloud storage
PRO AND ENTERPRISE PLAN
• Pro Plan – Everything “Free Plan” has plus other options, such as
more stock photos, videos, audios, graphics, templates, 100 gb of
cloud storage and many others.
• Enterprise Plan – Everything Pro Plan has plus many options for
enterprises purposes.
4
FREE PLAN PRO AND ENTERPRISE PLAN
• 3 Figma and 3 FigJam files
• Unlimited personal files and collaborators
• Plugins, widgets, and templates
• Mobile app
• Everything in Professional and more…….
• Unlimited Figma files
• Unlimited version history
• Sharing permissions
• Shared & private projects
• Team libraries
• Audio conversations
5
Registration in both platforms
6
Choose the design
Videos
Instagram
post
Poster
Brochu
re
Flyer
Post
Presentation
and others
Logo Canva is
more user
friendly
Figma is
intended for
professional
users
UX Tool
UI Tool
7
Canva interface
It’s easy to find your way around Canva. Everything is
labeled, and the tools are self-explanatory. Canva isn’t
difficult for those not from a design or technological
background. Canva also offers plenty of tutorials under
its Learn tab on the website.
You can use keywords as search terms in Canva’s
search bar when looking for images, graphics, or
specific font types. This is a helpful and time-saving
feature.
8
Figma interface
Figma is much more complex and takes some time to
get used to it. Its interface is unlike most other design
tools, and it's not always obvious where to find things.
It isn’t too difficult to learn, but you’ll probably need
help from external tutorials if you want to design
anything complex.
9
When talking about image editing, Canva is more user friendly and more
amateur oriented, while Figma is more professionally oriented.
Canva has a large font selection and format options for adding a heading, a
subheading, or body text which are presented in appropriate sizes.
Figma uses standard fonts that can be found on your computer system and
includes downloaded fonts like Google Fonts.
10
Canva
Canva can use external elements through the Elements
panel or through the Canva’s App. You can also
directly connect social apps for both importing media
to Canva or for directly uploading your Canva project
to your social pages.
11
Figma
Figma has a large plugin library. Anyone can create a
plugin, and anyone with a Figma account can use a
plugin.
12
Canva Tutorials - https://www.canva.com/designschool/tutorials/
Figma Lessons - https://www.figma.com/resources/learn-design/lessons/
13
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1kZpRYnzscKN81NsYvy6h-
27nJzVNyFFz
Digital Story Doing in Local Tourism is a transnational project that
brings together 6 partners from 5 European countries (Bulgaria,
Spain, Italy, Belgium and Austria) with different specializations.
Website:
www.storydoers.eu
Photo credits:
The photos on the slides are
creative commons (google
pictures library).
• BEFORE WE START
• STORY IS KEY
• OPTIMISE YOUR WEBSITE
• MAKE DECISIONS BASED ON YOUR ONLINE DATA
• OPTIMISE YOUR SEO
• BE ACTIVE ON SOCIAL MEDIA
• APPEAR ON TRAVEL MARKETPLACES
2
• Studies have shown that most people use the internet
to research their upcoming travel destinations. Flyers
and leaflets can be useful, but only as a complement.
Travelers go online to find inspiration on social media,
look at vlogs, read travel guides, and use online
booking tools. It is then vital for a tourism business to
have a strong and developed online presence, across
different online channels.
• Moreover, it is important to keep in mind that
increasing your online visibility does not happen
overnight. Don’t worry if you can’t implement all the
advice in this training module at once. It will take time
to optimise your online presence and potentially some
experimenting too. You will also need to adapt your
actions in line with your business activities and
allocated resources (human and/or capital).
3
When you are developing your online marketing,
remember that digital storytelling goes hand in
hand with social media campaigns. While you
want to share your activities and what you can
offer, it is often more efficient and engaging to use
pictures, videos, and real-life stories of your
products or services. This will catch the reader’s
attention.
4
You need to know your audience’s interest and be creative about
it. The stories should inspire and evoke emotions they can refer
to. This will help attract new bookers.
The first important point to recognize when thinking about the role
of storytelling in destination marketing is that your destination
does already have great stories, or elements of great stories. The
things that make your destination attractive - the people,
communities, food, nature - are the sources of your story ideas,
and you just need a few key ingredients to turn those ideas into
engaging, memorable stories.
5
In the video on the right, Rob Holms (Founder & Chief
Strategist, GLP Films) discusses Destination Marketing and
Sustainable Tourism Development, focused on case studies
of destinations from around the world, showcasing how
storytelling can be used as a force for good in sustainable
tourism development.
Some of the key lessons include:
• Use storytelling to connect travelers with experiences.
• Use storytelling strategically, with a long-term approach, to
reach the audience you want to attract.
• Use storytelling as part of destinations' sustainable tourism
management strategies.
6
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIfa_sAo99U&ab_channel=T
rainingAid
As your website represents your business, it
needs to be aligned with the products or
services you propose to your customers.
More than what you offer to your customers,
it also shows how you present your activities:
inspired, relaxed, modern, …
The experience and feeling your customers
have when they enjoy your products and
services should also be expressed when
visiting your website.
7
The visual is of course very important, but a user-friendly website is even more crucial. Try
to answer the following questions (next page), and to correct what is needed:
• Is your site mobile-friendly – that means is it optimised for mobile visitors? Check here.
• Is the text easy to read in terms of text size, font and colour contrast?
• Do images and video elements load quickly, or do they slow everything down?
• Is it easy to make an online booking or enquiry?
• Do you use clear calls-to-actions that make it easy to interact with your business?
• Are your contact info and social media accounts easy to find?
• Can a first-time visitor intuitively navigate to find what they are looking for?
8
• You have probably already heard the terms of data,
and data mining. While it was a tool only used by
big companies, it is now available and easy to use
for anyone. And most of all, it is crucial to use.
• Data mining is the process of finding patterns and
relationships in large amounts of data. It’s an
advanced data analysis technique, combining
machine learning and AI to extract useful
information, which helps businesses learn more
about customers’ needs, increase revenues, reduce
costs, improve customer relationships, and more.
9
• Having a useful reporting system is your best friend when it comes to
monitoring your business results. Your online data have to be
monitored and evaluated through all your channels: website, social
media, newsletters, etc.
• Tracking your data helps you better identify who your visitors,
customers and potential customers are.
• It helps you take decisions based on concrete information, it will
increase your customer base, and personalize experiences that modern
travelers are asking for.
• You can add plug-ins to your website, for example if it is developed
with WordPress, such as Google Analytics.
• Another example of tool to manage your data is Orioly, specifically
developed for booking and management of tour operators.
10
What is Search Engine Optimisation?
Once you create a website, search engine bots (from Google,
Bing, etc.) crawl your website to understand the information
it contains and index it accordingly, so that it appears in
related search results. This is where search engine
optimization comes into play. SEO refers to the process of
making your site better for search engines. It’s about
optimizing websites so that search engines understand
relevance value and rank it accordingly on search.
Moreover, keep in mind that Search Engines index pages (!),
not your website as a whole. This means that your SEO work
should be done page by page.
Your goal is to be on the first page (even better: within the
first few listings) of the search your customers are making
so that you see increased traffic to your site.
11
Now that you have a well functioning and user-friendly website, you want people to visit it, obviously. While only 10% of organic
traffic comes from social media, around 64% comes from search. This means that to successfully build a digital marketing
strategy, you have to master search engines.
How to do SEO for a website?
1. Do keyword research and use relevant terms
2. Place keywords throughout your page
3. Include SEO in Permalinks
4. Write high-quality content. No keyword stuffing!
5. Optimize your images
6. Don’t forget your mobile version!
7. Technical SEO
8. 10. Update your pages and content
More details on these tips here.
More information on Google SEO here.
12
What is Search Engine Optimisation?
Once you create a website, search engine bots (from
Google, Bing, etc.) crawl your website to understand the
information it contains and index it accordingly, so that it
appears in related search results. This is where search
engine optimization comes into play. SEO refers to the
process of making your site better for search engines.
It’s about optimizing websites so that search engines
understand relevance value and rank it accordingly on
search.
Moreover, keep in mind that Search Engines index pages
(!), not your website as a whole. This means that your
SEO work should be done page by page.
Your goal is to be on the first page (even better: within
the first few listings) of the search your customers are
making so that you see increased traffic to your site.
• Social media nowadays play a huge role when
people plan their trip. It is where they find
inspiration based on their entourage vacation
pictures, or from the profiles/influencers they
follow.
• This kind of aspirational marketing opens
fantastic opportunities for small tourism
businesses.
• If you think about your website like your shop,
social media is your shop window. It is what
entices people inside to take a closer look, learn
more and ideally to make a booking or purchase.
13
14
“Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the whirlwind of
social media has changed the game for business
owners. Travel agents can, and should, use these
platforms to their advantage! But how do you
accomplish that?“
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-
tUFZGvbA6c&ab_channel=KHMTravelGroup
• Posting high-quality social media content, creating engaging posts and stories,
and utilising popular and relevant hashtags can multiply your online reach,
introduce your business to many new potential customers and increase your
brand recognition.
• While the social media landscape changes every day, most experts still
recommend Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn for tour and
travel businesses. You’d want to have a profile on all of them but adapt the usage
intensity according to their special features.
• Share and post daily. To become likable, don’t go all promotional, rather have fun.
Publish beautiful pictures, create conversations, answer questions. Join the
industry groups on LinkedIn and Facebook to find partnerships and share
experiences. Once people notice your useful, beautiful and fun content on social
media, they will go to Google and look you up for more memorable experiences
you got to offer.
• Also make sure to add your website visible and easy to access for the users from
all your social media accounts.
15
• An online travel marketplace can be described as a
medium or a connecting link between providers and
consumers. It connects businesses (local and
international) to travelers by allowing the former to sign
up and display their offerings. Consumers/travelers
then check the products out and choose them.
• Some companies benefit the most out of marketplaces:
inbound tour operators, local sightseeing and activities
providers, B&B owners, independent hotels, local
transportation providers etc.
• An online marketplace can provide such businesses the
exposure and distribution opportunities that are
otherwise difficult or costly for them to get. They can’t
spend hundreds and thousands of dollars on
advertising, so marketplaces can be a cost-effective
marketing channel for them.
• A marketplace is a great platform for travelers too,
as they can buy directly from the
sellers and compare services and deals offered by
various suppliers under one roof rather than contacting
them individually.
• Travel marketplaces such as Tripadvisor, Booking,
Trustpilot, and Touristlink, promote great tours through
customer reviews and reach out to everyone. Others
reach out to national users, like Le Routard for France.
There’s no better promotion than the good old word-of-
mouth. And this is what reviews are in the online world.
• People turn to other traveler experiences before booking
their next travel. The number of likes and shares on
social media falls into the same bucket. People trust
them. And when people find you liked by others, they’re
going to like you, too. The number of your online
bookings will grow along the increase of your positive
reviews.
16
Digital Story Doing in Local Tourism is a transnational project that
brings together 6 partners from 5 European countries (Bulgaria,
Spain, Italy, Belgium and Austria) with different specializations.
Website:
www.storydoers.eu
• BEFORE WE START
• GET A GOOD DOMAIN NAME
• HOST YOUR WEBSITE
• DESIGN YOUR WEBSITE
• BUILD YOUR WEBSITE
• CREATE AND MANAGE APPEALING CONTENT
• FINAL CHECK
• ONLINE TOOLS
2
• Having a business website is an essential part of
your online presence. Your website:
• is part of your business identity and
branding
• allows you to communicate with your
customers and enables them to get in
touch with you
• can enable you to sell products and deliver
services online
• allows you to manage and adapt how you
present your products/services, following
your needs and resources
• allows you to monitor your online presence
with precise data
3
It's important to choose a good domain name
and URL. It affects:
• how easily customers can find your site
• how much customers will trust your
website and brand
• your intellectual property and trademark
protection
• the user’s impression when visiting your
website
• the Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
4
5
Here are some tips for coming up with an
optimal domain name:
• Make sure it is available
• Short and easy to spell: it will be easier to
remember and to type correctly – avoid
numbers.
• Use the proper domain extension: the
classic business domain is .com. You can
also use your national domain name (.it, .fr,
.es, etc), or any other that match your
activities (.eu, .org, .edu, etc.).
You should set up an email address to match
your domain name:
• You can use free email services for your
business, but using one that matches your
domain (and business) name, creates a
more professional impression.
• For example, your domain-name email will
display as info@mybusiness.com, instead
of mybusiness@gmail.com.
• The service provider who registers your
domain name, or your web hosting
company, may provide an email service or
include it as a paid add-on.
• For your website to be published and
accessible on the internet, it has to be
hosted by a web hosting company. These
companies provide you with a secure space
on their server to store all your website
content.
• You can host your website with the same
company you register your domain name
with, or you can choose a different host if
this meets your business needs better.
• Monthly fees for web hosting can vary
depending on how big your website is and
how many visits you get.
6
The design is an important step that you
should not underestimate. You need to think
about:
• the information you want to give your
customers.
• what you want them to do on your site
• the questions they'll have.
• the order they'll be doing things in.
• the resources and technical aspects (to
check with the web developer).
7
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  • 1.
  • 2. • BACKGROUND • NEEDS ANALYSIS • OUR RESPONSE • BUILDING THE STORYDOER MINDSET 2
  • 4. Tourism is among the key drivers for socio-economic progress and contributes to employment and economic growth, as well as to empower rural, peripheral or less developed areas. In 2019, more than one in ten enterprises in the European non-financial business economy belonged to the tourism industries. These 2.3 million enterprises employed 12.3 million persons. Tourism plays a significant role in the development of European regions. Nevertheless, the outbreak of COVID-19 has significantly affected all aspects of life across Europe. Indeed, the pandemic has generated challenges to our socio-economic systems. According to UNWTO, due to the COVID-19 crisis Europe had experienced a 70% decrease in international tourists’ arrivals. In rural and low populated areas local tourism businesses are particularly affected. 4
  • 6. Due to the digitization requirements of the Great Lockdown era, driven by the demand, many businesses are now transitioning online, in order to facilitate this change. Additionally, numerous restrictions caused by the COVID-19 crisis led to forced digitalization, making it vital for the tourism business. However, local tourism SMEs are lagging behind in the digital transition, and many are struggling to understand the opportunities and reap the benefits (OECD, report 2019). Local tourism businesses of rural areas are facing a “double digital divide”. On the supply side, they are still lagging behind in terms of the provision of NGA infrastructure, on the demand side, many rural areas lack the basic skills and knowledge of the potential of digital technology so that even if the ‘digital highways’ are in place, they may remain underexploited in terms of service provision, business use, or customer take up. 6
  • 7. Rural areas and local tourism businesses shouldn’t be left behind. We need to work on both the supply and demand side of digitization to ensure rural business prosperity, future livelihoods, public services and the community life of many of our rural areas . The power and importance of the online media and communication is already recognized by the United Nations specialized agency for tourism, which has been supporting its Member States on a series of initiatives relating to market intelligence and digital marketing (https://www.unwto.org). 7
  • 9. “STORYDOERS. Digital story doing for local tourism” is an Erasmus+ project to reinforce rural business competitiveness by digital Storydoing in Local Tourism. Storydoing is an innovative technique aiming at creating compelling actions and experiences that put the corporate narrative to the test in everything they do. Unfortunately, nowadays there is a lack of proper tools to support storydoing for the local tourism sector. The project is designed to enable “Storydoers” to develop: • Storydoing skills: digital narrative skills for digital and social media platforms; • Digital competences: to reduce the digital dividing of local tourism businesses of rural areas; • Social competences: for community engagement and sustainable development of rural areas. 9
  • 10. The project will produce the following results: • Digital Story Doing for Local Tourism Framework to gather knowledge on the fields of digital storydoing and local tourism, highlight good practices, and assess the needs of aspiring storydoers in rural- specific knowledge. • Storydoers Training Combo with a collection of practices for digital storydoing in local tourism. • Storydoers Handbook opensource transmedia manual of concrete applications of practices to put into action the knowledge, skills and competences produced by the project. 10
  • 11. When completed, the project will have produced a proven model for improving the competitiveness of rural businesses that operate in tourism producing local alliances and innovative sustainable projects. This model will offer methods and tools for Developing the capacities of rural businesses to design and promote sustainable local tourism experiences based on Storydoing. 11
  • 12. BUILDING THE STORYDOER MINDSET - 12
  • 13. 13 WHO ARE THE STORYDOERS? Storydoers are local entrepreneurs who are the main drivers of the tourism economy in rural places… • TA & TO, Small Hotel Accommodation & Guest Houses, Restaurants, Tour & Mountain Guides, Transport companies, Museums, Other local tourist services like farms, bakeries, breweries, etc. …that offer their customers meaningful experiences around their business philosophy, values and local tourism.
  • 14. 14 WHAT IS DIGITAL STORYDOING? Storydoing is an innovative technique aiming at creating compelling actions and experiences that put the corporate narrative to the test in everything they do. While storytelling is just telling a story, Storydoing focuses on making sure that the story is lived by turning the businesses’ philosophy and their values into action. Storydoing humanises the relationship between the brand and its consumers; it turns them into ambassadors and protagonists of a real experience with which they connect emotionally.
  • 15. 15 STORYDOING STRATEGY A Storydoing action needs a good story that will end up becoming a better experience. In order to build a successful strategy it is needed to define: • An objective: what it is that you want to convey about a certain product and the brand. • Expected reaction to provoke in the audience: degree of connection that will turn users into brand ambassadors. • Technical issues: those that identify the brand, such as colours and logos, but also to style lines. However, the experience remains the priority.
  • 16. 16 STORYDOING SKILLS As a Storydoer you will need skills and competences related to: • Videoshooting, Podcasting, Photoshooting • Online community management • Cooperative and mutualist attitude • Implementation of online activities • Branding, digital marketing and entrepreneurship • Website, social media profiles and online platforms
  • 17. • All pictures off Extremadura’s natural and cultural heritage are by Andrea Vincenti, José Luis Díaz and Marta Lozano Molano
  • 18. Digital Story Doing in Local Tourism is a transnational project that brings together 6 partners from 5 European countries (Bulgaria, Spain, Italy, Belgium and Austria) with different specializations. Website: www.storydoers.eu
  • 19.
  • 20. • Introduction • Communication and marketing • Storydoing tips • Element of sustainability • Additional reading of the topic 2
  • 21. Tourism businesses in rural areas face many constraints, in many circumstances worsened by their reduced size and their location. A recent debate on “rural entrepreneurship” suggests than one of the best opportunities to develop rural areas is linked with rural tourism, since its principles are related to the creation of jobs and income in the rural space and can also help to increase the perception of value of endogenous resources and products. For such advocated sustainability to be achieved, on the one hand, it is essential that the communication by the rural tourism venture is able to transmit its essence and its respective values, as well as the product and experiences made available to tourists. On the other hand, through efficient communication, these enterprises could attract the tourists that bring more benefits to the region. The idea of sustainable tourism is often incorrectly considered a “type” of tourism, but from the responsible tourism point of view sustainability applies to every type of tourism and to every sector within this broad field: transportation, accommodation, catering, interactions, and other travel-related activities that have an effect on the environment, society, or economy. As proven by many national surveys, contemporary tourists are interested in the impact generated by their holidays and care for more sustainable choices in terms of tourist products and destinations they want to experience. In addition, they are more and more inclined towards experiencing, learning and participating, they are not exclusively interested in buying the tourist product, but also in buying the stories behind the product. In this sense, storytelling can be a tool for sustainable tourism promotion. Creative storytelling can therefore help to develop unique narratives that engage the customers creating a sense of community and belonging, transforming followers in promoters and inspiring them to be part in this creative process. 3
  • 22. The evaluation of the quality level of hospitality and services in the hotel and catering sector is normally based on aspects concerning comfort, cleanliness, the relationship between quality and price. In an approach based on the principles and good practices of sustainability and responsible tourism, the indicators and criteria change completely. Certainly the aspects already mentioned above remain important, however many others are added. Customers appreciate this information and in this way a twofold result is obtained: the quality of the service is raised and the service is linked to the principles and good practices of sustainability, the enhancement of traditions, typicality and authenticity; the benefit for local producers; customer involvement in correct and positive choices. Consequently, tourism and its integration into the rural product can be very much part of developing employment opportunities, increasing local prosperity, conservation, and maintenance of the environment, celebrating cultural assets and generally ensuring a greater spread in terms of who can benefit (economically, socially, and culturally). The adoption of good sustainability, environmental, social, cultural, economic practices must be adequately communicated. Customers, guests must be made aware of the choices made by their hosts; they will certainly appreciate them and often feel involved in these choices, knowing that they have somehow influenced them with their orientations and, now, that they have accepted them. Marketing messages can focus on empowering consumers’ own capacities for change in order to be more effective! To understand the market needs and to customize sustainability messages you should remember that even if customers care for sustainability, it does not mean they will act differently; that sustainability values and actions differentiate a product; that knowing the attitudes of your market segments allows to tailor sustainability messages accordingly. Some of the main purposes of sustainability communication are to make consumers aware of the availability of sustainable travel products, to inform consumers of how these offerings meet their needs and comply with sustainability criteria, and, ultimately, to stimulate pro- sustainable purchases. 4
  • 23. 5 When choosing which narratives to develop, you should keep in mind that the content that you produce should: 1. generate interest -> A positive and motivating choice of language has the effect that readers also feel encouraged to contribute to more sustainable action. It is important not to make customers feel guilty, but to encourage and empower them to do their part. 2. be distinctive as to differentiate your content from others -> many tourism operators stress their efforts in terms of sustainability, be specific and unique! 3. be authentic and related to what visitors will actually find -> frequently used terms such as "exotic" or even "authentic" should be used in a way that is true to the content. The same applies to pictures, especially because pictorial representations emphasize a message. Avoid stereotypes that negatively impact the local communities. Timing is also crucial. Choose the right time to communicate your messages!
  • 24. 6 • There are several topics that you can stress in your communication. A first group includes good practices and actions concerning environmental sustainability: • use of renewable energy sources (wind, solar etc) • actions for reducing the consumption of energy (management of air conditioned and heating, led, photocells, sensors) • actions for reducing the consumption of water (flow reducers in taps, water recycling and reusing, towels management) • actions for reducing food waste (smart management of the buffet, doggy bag..) • use of biodegradable products for cleaning, hygiene and courtesy service • progressive elimination of plastic • separate waste collection • organic food products • dispenser and no single dose Another group is based on social and cultural sustainability principles: • local suppliers for food products (mainly typical products, PDO, PGI, Slow Food presidia); origin of products and ingredients indicated food product from fair trade • local cuisine indicated in the menu, recipes available for customers
  • 25. • Maria Lúcia Pato and Ana Sofia Duque, Sustainability Communication in Rural Tourism: Website Content Analysis, in Viseu Dão Lafões Region (Portugal) • Futouris and Global Communication Experts, Guidelines for sustainable tourism communication • Marketing sustainable tourism: the role of value orientation, well-being and credibility 7
  • 26. Digital Story Doing in Local Tourism is a transnational project that brings together 6 partners from 5 European countries (Bulgaria, Spain, Italy, Belgium and Austria) with different specializations. Website: www.storydoers.eu
  • 27.
  • 28. • Introduction to the module • Basic knowledge of the topic • Top 8 tips for writing a successful story online • Useful online sources • Good examples 2
  • 29. INTRODUCTION TO THE MODULE In this module, you will learn important tips and insights about good story writing and find out what makes successful an online presentation of your business. 3
  • 30. Creating a compelling story is the cornerstone of successfully promoting your business online and attracting potential customers. 4 BASIC KNOWLEDGE OF THE TOPIC
  • 31. 1. Start with an attractive heading The heading is the first thing that people read. Often people do not bother reading the full story, if the heading is not interesting. A good heading usually consists of a full sentence containing all main components (subject, verb and object). This also increases the possibility of more people finding the story through search engines. 2. Continue with an eye-catching introduction The introduction supports the heading. It is recommended that an introductory paragraph should contain no more than 25 words. This means that the introduction should have one or two sentences, which complement the title. 5
  • 32. 3. Develop concise main part The body is the heart of the story. For an online story to really stand out, it has to be concise and informative. To make sure that the reader will bother to read it, the main part should be around 300 words or between 2500-3000 characters. The body should cover the most important points and it is recommended to be structured in short paragraphs. If possible, bullet points can be used to outline the main points. 4. Answer the Six “W”s In order for the story to be informative and to grab the attention of the reader, it should aim to provide answers to the following questions: • “WHO” (who is the team behind your company?); • “WHAT” (what products/services do you offer?); • “WHEN” (when did you start your business?); • “WHY” (why customers should choose you?); • “WHERE” (where can customers find you?); • “HOW” (how are you different from your competitors?). 6
  • 33. 7 5. Add stunning images To better illustrate the product or service your business offers, it is essential to use nice photography. In most cases, a good photo tells the story better than the text. It is advisable that you take your own photos (either do it personally or pay a professional). With today’s rapid technological development, most smartphones can take photos of decent quality. In case you do not have a good camera at hand or do not want to hire a photographer, then you can browse some of the online databases with stock photos, available on the web. The most popular are Shutterstock, Pixabay, Unsplash, to name just a few. In any case, make sure to credit the photographer and the copyright holder. You can find more useful tips in the module dedicated to photos. 6. Impress with numbers and data Numbers attract the attention of readers. You can include them in the story to highlight important achievements of your company – such as number of years your business is in existence, number of products/services offered, customer satisfaction rate, etc. A neat way for presenting this data is through the use of an infographic or fact box. It saves space and focuses the attention of the reader on the most important points.
  • 34. 7. Write with your target audience in mind When writing the story, you should keep in mind who you would like to be its primary readers. If your messages are custom- tailored to your main target audience, then you will be more successful in attracting their attention. If you are targeting an international audience, you should think about writing in a more widely used language, such as English. 8. Finish with a memorable ending In order to make sure that readers will come back to your story, and eventually become your customers, it is important to leave in their minds some lasting memories. The end of the story should include some “call to action” phrases for further engaging the reader, such as “try it for yourself”, “get a first hand experience”, “join us on our journey”, etc. 8
  • 35. USEFUL ONLINE SOURCES 9 • “How to write a good online news story”, University of Bergen, available at: https://www.uib.no/en/foremployees/109365/how-write- good-online-news-story • “How to write a success story in 5 steps plus free template”, Living World Mission, available at: https://livingwordmission.org.ng/how-to- write-success-story/
  • 36. Website of Ethnographic Open Air Museum “Etar”, available at: https://en.etar.bg/ 10 GOOD EXAMPLE
  • 37. Digital Story Doing in Local Tourism is a transnational project that brings together 6 partners from 5 European countries (Bulgaria, Spain, Italy, Belgium and Austria) with different specializations. Website: www.storydoers.eu
  • 38. Photo credits: • Slides 1, 2, 5, 8, 10 & 11 – Ethnographic Open Air Museum “Etar”, FB page - https://www.facebook.com/etar.gabrovo • Slides 3 & 9 – Dryanovo monastery, Personal archive • Slide 4 – Veliko Tarnovo, Personal archive
  • 39.
  • 40. • Introduction • Experiences • Market needs • Targeting • Storytelling techniques and tips • Suggestion for a richer communication • Available online tools • Facebook and Instagram • Graphic tools and scheduling tools 2
  • 41. The description of tourist products and services must highlight all aspects of innovation, attention to the diversity of personal situations, needs and tastes, richness and originality of the offer. A good combination of products (accommodation, attractions, transport, catering, shopping, recreation..) creates a visitor “experience”. The richness and variety of the service offer favors personalization and allows to expand the target area, to better satisfy guests and customers as well as obviously often corresponding to social and human sensitivities. In many cases it is a matter of adopting small precautions or offering personal availability, which have no or very modest cost but which produce a significant increase in the quality of hospitality and service. One important part of the aim of every tourism product is to strengthen and involve local communities and, possibly, involve them in the storytelling of the area involved. Thanks to this, your guests may discover the true essence of that area and its cultural, social and traditional heritage. We may create with the local community a shared storytelling with legends, stories, fun facts, and typical dishes. 3
  • 42. When you want to market experiential tourism products, you should think of the territories’ resources in terms of experiences. For example gastronomy, being linked to the land, the history, the people, is a great resource for experiential tourism. It is typical and unique, affordable and tasty! 4
  • 43. In addition, to ensure the viability of your touristic products, you should make sure you’re trying to meet market needs: knowing the characteristics, motivations and expectations for a trip will help with the product development and communication. 5
  • 44. 6 Targeting a type of client is essential. If you target everyone, you won’t interest anyone. If the proposal is too basic, no one feels concerned. A good way to target your audience is the “Persona" method: a persona is an imaginary character representing a target group or segment. The persona usually has a name and social and psychological characteristics. Several personas can be used for the same development project. The persona can sometimes even be represented in the form of a story board when using the product or service. The objective of this method is to fictitiously build a typical profile of our audience in the form of an identity card. Thus, thanks to brainstorming, various questions are defined and then asked to a group. Due to an interview with the target public, it’s possible to draw the fictive persona as precisely as possible: first name, last name, age, characteristics, preferences, activities and passions. This information is based on their answers. Follow few rules to build the interview:
  • 45. 7 Which techniques can be used to storytell a place? Storytelling means creating canvas with important reference points for the success of the experience without forgetting the basic info about the story (the six W: What and Why and When and How and Where and Who). You can also simply focus on the following elements to write a story about your product: - The audience we are writing for, how to connect with them and what we want to achieve; - The distribution, how will we distribute our story so that the audience can find and share it better: which design? On what channels? - The situation before and after the story: has the product changed the audience? How was the audience before they heard it? The story itself: - Set the Scene: create a context that helps the audience getting in the mood. - Make your point clear: the main message - Conclusion: what is the end? Is there a call to action, the audience becomes interested in doing something about your walking tour, asking information, buying the product, telling friends?
  • 46. 8 In your online communication initiatives, remember: ● to stress the uniqueness of your selling points: be distinctive! ● to focus on impacts: i.e. say “we reduced food waste by 10% over the last year” rather than “we are committed to adopting sustainable practices in our restaurant” ● to be humble and honest: what you learn or have to change is just as important to talk about as what you get right ● to make it fun and participatory: turn messages into interesting facts and make it as interactive as possible ● to respect the user privacy Storydoing is a great way to integrate clients’ feedback in your own communication. For this reason it is important to collect visitors’ feedback through surveys, focus groups, feedback forms, on spot observation, social media.
  • 47. 9 When choosing what to communicate to your clients, keep in mind that several good practices concern a particular attention and sensitivity towards the problems and conditions of the guests: • Accessibility also beyond the law, beyond the regulations • Food for people with intolerances or allergies, with specific food choices (vegetarianism, veganism) • Menu for children • Hospitality for pets • Collection and management of complaints and suggestions • Bikes and e - bikes, walking sticks, torches available for free • Areas for smokers (if smoking is normally forbidden) In addition, other actions make the stay richer in content and opportunities: • Availability of the manager, or touristic guides or his/her employees to narration and storytelling • Ability to facilitate the meeting between guests and local personalities: intellectuals, historians, artists, religious authorities • Visits to cultural centers, clubs, private collections, ateliers This is obviously an indicative list, certainly not exhaustive, and which needs to be better detailed.
  • 48. 10 A focus can, for example, be dedicated to menus, which are an extraordinary means of communication, information, orientation and promotion. Normally, a restaurant menu is a list of dishes, divided into categories (appetizers, first courses, main courses, side dishes, desserts); then followed by drinks, sometimes listed on the wine list. And, alongside, there are the prices. But the menu can contain many other information: it can indicate which dishes are typical of the area; where the raw materials come from, even with the name of the producer; if the dish has organic ingredients; whether it is suitable for celiacs; if the products used are PDO, PGI or are recognized as a Slow Food presidia; if some products come from a farm confiscated to the mafia; in the wine list the local wines can be distinguished, with the indication of the producer cellar; if the wines are organic, natural, without sulphites…etc. In trips inspired by the principles of responsible tourism, many good practices are adopted; the choice of having families belonging to the local community as suppliers for accommodation involves a more cordial and convivial human relationship, which allows mutual knowledge, dialogue, sometimes the birth of friendships. More easily the local, traditional cuisine will be offered to guests. During the trip there are always meetings with representatives of local communities: cultural and environmental associations, NGOs, intellectuals, artists, farmers, fishermen, artisans, clergy. Very often visits to international development cooperation projects are organized, such as schools, kindergartens, medical clinics, water systems. Tourists who participate in this type of travel can make collective gifts to the population, especially to support development projects. The tour guides, who act as intercultural facilitators, describe the reality of the visited country, not only its beauties but also its problems, so that tourists can gain a more complete and in- depth knowledge of the country they are visiting.
  • 49. 11 Today the communication and dissemination of tourism products have to deal with social networks apps and, of course, digital tools like websites, newsletters. They change the way we communicate, they represent our society today. According to Booking.com, over 61% of travelers agree that digital technology will be increasingly important in organizing their travels. But, of course, every tool, every social network has to be used differently. Those are: ● Social Network ● Website and Seo techniques ● Graphic and social media scheduling tools
  • 50. 12 FACEBOOK: In Facebook you can show and sell a tourism product in different ways. You can add videos, texts, web articles, graphics, images, photos, collage of photos. You can share and post on Facebook groups which are created normally by Facebook users for a particular subject. When you post a description of some products remember to use tags @ and hashtags #. Paid tools: Facebook Ads: If you want to reach a specific target for your tourism products use Facebook ads. Facebook's paid campaign tool allows you to interface with those who embody the characteristics of your market segment. It allows you to convey content by targeting the audience you want to intercept. You can connect your facebook and instagram account and post the same digital contest through META BUSINESS INSTAGRAM: Now touristic operators have to use a Instagram business profile, it’s pretty much important for business growth and brand awareness.This profile should feel like a curated gallery of the best images that represent your brand’s ideas or values. ● Using high-quality images is extremely important, as Instagram massively compresses your images before posting to optimize delivery. ● Use the right hashtags.If you know what hashtags your target users follow actively, you may instantly reach a wide pool of target users who may not necessarily be your followers. ● Ensuring that your posts are relevant and timely should be a box that you check before you post anything.. Relevant photos are those that are in tune with the world around you and what’s happening in your niche. .
  • 51. 13 TIK TOK The hashtag #TikTokTravel is one of the most popular on the platform, with more than 20.8 billion views. Using this hashtag is a fantastic opportunity for tourism and travel companies to get started on TikTok and promote their destinations or products. Moreover, TikTok is low cost. With marketing budgets across the world slashed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is a good option for those of us with limited social media budget, considering that the possibilities to go viral are greater than on other platforms. A WEBSITE AND BLOG and linked tools like SEO A travel company need a Blog page and a website. A WordPress blog puts you in some excellent company, to say nothing of the 42,000+ plugins that allow you to customise your blog to meet all of your specific needs. Descriptions of trips and destinations found on the travel agency's website should be unique and valuable. Keep in mind the basic SEO rules. SEO is the set of strategies and practices aimed at increasing the visibility of a website by improving its position in search engine rankings, in unpaid results, called "pure" or "organic" results. These practices are many and concern different aspects of a website: the optimization of the site structure, of the HTML code, of the textual contents, the management of the inbound links (that is, that from other sites point to your site, called inbound links or, more commonly, backlinks) and outbound (pointing from your site to others). Since Google is by far the most used search engine in the world, most of the SEO activities concern the study of the Google algorithm and its periodic updates, and the related actions to make sites more "welcome" to this algorithm.
  • 52. 14 GRAPHIC TOOLS: One of the most effective ways to increase your fanbase both qualitatively and quantitatively is to publish compelling, useful, curious, interesting content. Today the user wants to identify with what he/she reads: put yourself in his/her shoes and encourage him/her to share. Spoiler: your content could go viral. If you are looking for inspiration, take a cue from the greats. CANVA is a free-to-use online graphic design tool. Additionally, there is also Adobe creative cloud. It’s more efficient, but its target is more graphic experts. SOCIAL MEDIA SCHEDULING TOOLS: With a social media scheduler, you can align and schedule social media posts to multiple platforms at different times to get the maximum reach. Here’s a well-researched list of social media scheduling tools evaluated on their features, customer support, affordability, and verified customer reviews: 1. SocialBee. 2. Hootsuite. 3. Buffer. 4. Sendible. 5. Agorapulse. 6. SproutSocial. 7. CoSchedule. 8. Zoho Social.
  • 53. Digital Story Doing in Local Tourism is a transnational project that brings together 6 partners from 5 European countries (Bulgaria, Spain, Italy, Belgium and Austria) with different specializations. Website: www.storydoers.eu
  • 54.
  • 55. • What is a Communications Plan? • Marketing Communications Audit • Set Your Marketing Communications Objectives • Define Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and Brand Statement • Target Audience • Key Messages • Communication Channels • Message Matrix • Outline Your Communications Tactics and Campaigns • Communications Plan Metrics • Identify Key Dates, Seasons, Important events • Communications Plan Templates • Free online applications 2
  • 56. A communications plan is a full-scope plan for delivering key messages to your audience to drive positive business outcomes. This plan will frame your communications with clear objectives and methods to keep them consistent and results-oriented. 3
  • 57. Before you start creating your communications plan in tourism, evaluate your current communications with an audit. The audit itself incudes reviewing all of the communications activities, material and strategies you have implemented in the past to see what was effective and what was not: • Measure the scope of your communications: identify the places in where you communicated your business and services with your potential clients such as text or design elements like a logo. • Evaluate your past and current communications activities: when you have summarised your activities you can easily analyze them and evaluate their effectiveness. Which messages was most well-accepted and achieved best results? • Contact and take the opinion of people involved in your communications: this people could be members of your team, partners, suppliers, stakeholders on the one hand and, on the other hand your clients on the other hand. Ask these groups how effective they think your communication is and what they believe you can do better. You can get this feedback through a short conversation or through a survey. • Do a SWOT analysis: A SWOT analysis identifies the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in your communications. When you have identified the strengths and opportunities, threats and weaknesses you can create your future communications based on these results. 4
  • 58. 5 The very first step in creating your communications plan is to establish your marketing communications objectives. This will lead you to achieve the results you want from your communications activities. When you define your communications objectives you should base your thinking on the following pillars: • How to translate my business goals in marketing communications objectives (e.g. my business needs to increase its turnover by 10%, which could be translated in a communications goal to reach 20% more new followers of the Facebook page of my family hotel) • Build on strength or opportunity from your SWOT analysis – after the audit you can base your objectives based on it (e.g. your business is located near an ancient Roman wall and you can involve this fact in your planned communication to raise the awareness of this fact and attract new clients) • Try to address weaknesses and threats identified in the SWOT analysis (e.g. if the location of your business was not well communicated and created a lot of confusions with your clients, try to improve that and improve your address visibility in all your communications) Here are some examples of marketing objectives for this part of the template: • Increase social media followers • Increase web traffic • Enhance brand reputation • In setting your communications objectives try to be specific and set measurable goals. Otherwise it will not be possible to evaluate the results of your efforts. Put numbers, percentages and indicators when possible. Of course you can have qualitative objectives such as enhancing your brand reputation • What are the tangible and intangible benefits that your brand offers which forms the USP?
  • 59. 6 Nibelungenhof is a family-owned luxurious 4-star-hotel in Tulln, Lower Austria, near the river Danube. Nibelungenhof brand statement is around the three main pillars: charming, central, friendly. The tangible benefits promised by the hotel are – central town location and being on the Danube’s banks. The Intangible benefits to the guests are the charming and friendly service and experience that the clients get in this place. Mission Statement is the promise that you give to your clients. In our case: Nibelungenhof offers endless enthusiasm and love to hospitality as it is a family-run business since 2005; a friendly, charming, urban and regional experience to its guests.
  • 60. NIBELUNGENHOF www.nibelungenhof.info 7 The brand statement of the hotel is: charming, central, friendly
  • 61. 8 The most important part of your communications plan is defining your target audience. What does it mean? To identify your target clients, your target groups. They are gathered in groups because they share common values, common status, common interests, common hobbies, common residence. Clear definition of your potential target groups will result in tailoring your messages and activities according to their preferences and lifestyles and you will know where and how to reach them. The final goal is to attract as many people as possible to use your local tourist service or product and this could be achieved by talking to people that have the highest chance to become your customers. How to Identify Your Target Audience One of the best ways is to analyze your current data base and define what is your target audience: - Survey your customers: sse a tool like Google Forms to ask your current customers about their demographics and preferences, such as age, gender and their favorite products. - Check out your Google Analytics: hook up Google Analytics to your site to learn more about your visitors. It delivers data on demographics like location, gender and interests. - Examine your social media followers: if you have an active social media presence, look over your current followers and look for trends. You can also view your competitors’ followers to see who they attract. When you have this information just write several sentences about the characteristics of your different target groups: for example, the target groups of the Hotel Nibelungenhof could be: - People from the DACH area with medium to upper incomes from 45-75 y.o. interested in local urban tourism, combined with sport, such as cycling and sightseeing in the region of Tulln; - Young professionals 25-45 y.o., from Austria and Europe, middle to upper-middle income travelling for business to Vienna or visiting the local trade fair in Tulln, who would like to escape from the big city and have time to work and have sports at the same time, as well as enjoy the nice regional food and wines. Your brand can talk not only to clients as physical persons. It can also have as a target audience companies, media, institutions, government agencies, etc. This target audience has its specific characteristics.
  • 62. As we already mentioned above, every target audience has its specificities and it needs special messages which will answer their needs and meet their preferences. On this regard, you need to develop key messages for each target audience. When you develop your main messages to your target audience you need to transfer with them your USP and your mission statement. Here are some questions to help you develop your messages to each of your audience: • What are the most important things for this audience to know about my product or service and which will appear to it? • What language, tone of voice could I use so I am better understood by this audience? • What Common values does this audience have with my brand? What hypothetical appealing benefits should I communicate with this target? 9
  • 63. 10 After defining your target audience and the messages you have to communicate to them you need to determine how to reach them or which communication channels you will use: Your organization’s blog: Blog posts offer the chance to share helpful information, announce company news and events. Email marketing: Try using emails to send newsletters, service and product offers and marketing outreach to relevant lists. Media relations: Media relations are an important tool when you want to reach your audience. Try to identify media read by your target group and then send information to the media. Print collateral: Printed marketing assets like flyers, brochures, signage and direct mail should be considered into your overall communications strategy. Traditional advertising: Traditional advertising on television and in print can also have its place in a communications plan, depending on your resources and audience. Digital marketing: Pay-per-click (PPC) ads deliver targeted links and messaging to people browsing the internet. Social media: Social media is an effective tool for reaching the people most interested in your product — if you pick the right channels. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn are different social media depending on your target audience that you could use. Sponsorship: it’s a wonderful way to spread your message to your audience. You can sponsor the football team and become popular in your region. When we talk about reaching companies and businesses, the right places to present your brand and talk to your target are conferences, corporate events, trade fairs, etc. You’ll get the most leverage out of social media marketing if you market on the channels your audience uses.
  • 64. 11 With your target audience, key messages and communication channels you can bring them all together in your communications table called message matrix. This table shows you which target will be reached, by which message, via which communication channel. Let’s assume that your service in the field of local tourism, for example a bicycle rental company situated in a small town near a popular mountains location, have 2 main target audiences: - Target Audience 1: Young people and university students – 19-30 y.o. - Target Audience 2: Families with children 30-50 y.o. Each of these groups has different goals and age groups, meaning they’ll need unique messaging focused on them. Audience-tailored messaging in this situation might look like this: - Target Audience 1: You can rent a modern bike for a special price. Ride more and save more with our company. Discover the beauties of our region with safe and affordable bicycles. The communication channels could be: Instagram, Twitter, Google adds, Outdoor banners in the region, leaflets in local hotels - Target Audience 2: The best and most enjoyable way to discover the beauties of our mountains by your family. Rent more than 2 bikes and get a special family discount for our modern and safe bicycles. The communication channels could be: Facebook, radio advertising, print advertising and sponsorship on different events.
  • 65. 12 What will your communications plan look like in action? You’ll start answering this question by defining your tactics and campaigns. Communications tactics define the actions you’ll take to spread your key messages. Basically, they explain three things: - What you’ll do to spread your message. - How you’ll take that action. - When/how often you’ll do that action Your tactics will come from the objectives you established. Check out the example objectives we shared and possible tactics to achieve them: - Increase social media followers: Schedule daily posts on Twitter. - Increase web traffic: Publish bi-monthly blog posts on thought leadership topics. - Enhance brand reputation: Conduct customer surveys every month on product quality and customer experience. Most objectives will need more than one tactic for you to reach them.
  • 66. 13 We’re getting to the home stretch of your communications plan, and to finish it, you’ll need to define when it’ll accomplish its job. The objectives we established earlier, such as increasing social media followers, don’t give you a clear finish line. You’ll have to go deeper. This step involves translating your objectives into SMART goals — specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely goals. In other words, make sure that you can define when you achieve them and they stay within the scope of your resources. Let’s see how the example objectives we created might look as SMART goals: • Increase social media followers: Double your number of social media followers in the next two years. • Increase website traffic: Increase website traffic by 50% in the next year. • Enhance brand reputation: Reach a 90% positive review rate by July 2022. Once you figure out your SMART marketing goals, put them in the top column of the table in the Goals and Metrics slide or section. Then, put each goal’s trackable metrics in the rows below them. (For example, you might put Twitter, Facebook and Instagram followers as metrics for the “double your social media followers” goal.) Example of Goals and Metrics Table:
  • 67. Every company in the sector of local tourism has times of year that give them the best opportunities for marketing. You need to identify: • The best season for marketing your product/services. • The most important events during the year when you can provide your guests with special experience and touristic offer – Christmas, Holiday of the nearest town, Religion holidays interesting for tourists, special trade fairs, etc. • Sport events or cultural festivals in the region that could attract interest of your audience. • When you have identified this dates in the calendar you can plan your communication activities accordingly. You can develop special offers connected with these dates to attract more customers and prepare designs corresponding the respective holiday. 14
  • 68. 15 You can develop now your communication plan step-by-step following the stages outlined in this module and also structure it in a narrative document with a summary, which could be a table with all the most important parts of the plan with main activities and campaign distributed during the year.
  • 69. The links above are online resources for creating a communications plan 16 https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/communications-plan https://edit.org/blog/free-communication-plan-templates https://visme.co/blog/communication-plan-templates/
  • 70. Digital Story Doing in Local Tourism is a transnational project that brings together 6 partners from 5 European countries (Bulgaria, Spain, Italy, Belgium and Austria) with different specializations. Website: www.storydoers.eu Photo Credits: The images in this document are pictures made by Evgeni Tsvetichov and also free licensed images from Google
  • 71.
  • 72. • Basic knowledge • Format of the photo • Rules for arranging your photo • Image file and resolution • Light • Available Online Tools • Further Reading • Best practices 2
  • 73. • Photos are a great way to show your space, your activities and products, set guests’ expectations and increase your sells. • But images are a different art form. They attract easy attention and can be gazed at, enjoyed, and felt. • After price, photos are the next things visitors look at. • Photographs are crucial elements for all marketing communication tools. • Personal photos help your business to build trust and relationship with customers. 3
  • 74. • Photos in Facebook posts get more than 150% of the likes on average than posts without images. Images are memorable. • People remember 80% of what they see, 20% of what they read, and 10% of what they hear. So, your readers are 4 times more likely to remember your posts with images or infographics. • Although people remember only 10% of the information they hear after three days, pairing that information with images increases the retention rate to 65%. • Reading can be a big issue for certain people who have to pick up reading glasses to go through the text. 4
  • 75. FORMAT OF THE PHOTO • For accommodation places: take your photos in landscape format, vertical photos don’t show your space so well. • When shooting position your camera between 1,2 to 1,4 meters in order not to change the perspective of the room. Shoot from the corner of the room, this will make the space looks larger. Experiment with making the photo from as high as possible in the room. • The photography rule of thirds tells us to align our subject with one of the points where those lines cross. • Use points of interest RULES FOR ARRANGING YOUR PHOTO • Clean the room from items which can cause distraction for the eye, in particular watch out for piles of stuff, like too many magazines for example. Try not to have anything at the photo foreground, especially partially cut objects like chairs for example. • Try to have more floor in the photo than ceiling. • Try do show the special amenities or access for people with disabilities. • Highlight unique amenities – try to tell a story with your photos. 5
  • 76. IMAGE FILE & RESOLUTION • Different online media requires different sizes of your photo. The optimal file size for images on a website is no more than 200 KB, and for full-screen background images, between 1500 pixels to 2500 pixels wide, and for most other images a max-width of 800 pixels. • Heavy images (original image sizes at 5000px width, unoptimized pictures) will not only degrade the user experience on your site but will also have a negative impact on your SEO strategy (loading speed, bounce rate, ranking, etc.). • The most frequently used image file is jpg. LIGHT • Proper lighting makes your photo looks more professional, brings out natural depth, color and contrast in a setting. • Try to use as much natural light as possible, if possible, use a tripod. Most cameras will adjust for bright spots by darkening the rest, so if possible, focus the camera away from the window. • Take photos outside and inside – the best time to shoot outdoors are the first and the last hour of the day, known as “Golden hour”. During that time the light is softer and will bring more color into your photo. 6
  • 77. Free Online Photo Editor Websites o https://www.fotor.com o https://www.canva.com o https://www. irfanview.com Stock photos Using stock photos is quite controversial, and some businesses refuse to use them. Stock photos are cheaper than hiring a professional photographer or taking them yourself. Stock photos are taken by professional photographers and reviewed by experts. o https://stock.adobe.com/ - paid per photo o https://www.shutterstock.com/ - paid per photo o https://unsplash.com/ - free images o https://pixabay.com/ - free images 7
  • 78. There are an unlimited supply of apps for creating artistic interpretations of your phone pictures. Some do basic adjustments; others create special textures and “grungy” looks; still others convert your images to black and white, stitch pictures into panoramas, and much more. The list of all the creative apps would be quite long to include here, but for basic processing, two apps stand out: o Snapseed: this app allows you to make overall adjustments as well as selectively adjust areas of the image. It also includes special effects and creative borders. o Filterstorm: this app allows for overall adjustments, layer blending, masking, creative effects, borders, and more. 8
  • 79. o Extraordinary Everyday Photography: Awaken Your Vision to Create Stunning Images Wherever You Are, by Brenda Tharp & Jed Manwaring o National Geographic Photo Basics: The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Great Photography, by Joel Sartore 9
  • 80. #Travel2020 contest, organized by Agora - a free photography app 10
  • 81. Digital Story Doing in Local Tourism is a transnational project that brings together 6 partners from 5 European countries (Bulgaria, Spain, Italy, Belgium and Austria) with different specializations. Website: www.storydoers.eu
  • 82.
  • 83. • DOING THE STORY • GETTING EQUIPPED • SHOOTING • POST-PRODUCTION • SHARING 2
  • 84. DOING THE STORY Build your own digital story. 3
  • 85. THE 5 W + 1 H All video stories on an experience, a place, an event, a person… even in a short format is already sharing a story. To be completed your story needs to be exhaustive and answer 5 questions: • WHO: Who are the characters I want to follow and meet and why? • WHAT: What is it about? What makes this event/place unique, original? • WHERE: Where does my story take place? Indoor or outdoor? • WHEN: When does my story take place? • WHY: Why is this event/activity being held? What makes this interesting? • HOW: How does the event at the heart of my story unfold? 4
  • 86. THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE STORY There are three main parts that your video needs when sharing your story: THE INTRODUCTION An introduction should contextualize the subject, the person, the event, etc. The introduction should at least capture attention and at best surprise or intrigue. The goal is to make the audience want to continue discovering your story. THE DEVELOPMENT This is when your story unfolds, which can happen in one or more sequences: develop a point, get to know the character(s) better, describe the activities happening, etc. THE CONCLUSION This is the last sequence of your video and it is a conclusion. Its impact on the viewer is real. The final point can be verbal, visual or both: written reflection, voicer-over, an image of a monument… 5
  • 87. GETTING EQUIPPED Ready-made shooting kits are available on the market. 6
  • 88. VIDEO CAMERA • A video camera is a recording device able to capture videos. • The kind of content you will be creating will define the type of camera to acquire. • Nowadays smartphone cameras provide very high-quality videos. 7
  • 89. STABILIZER OR GIMBAL • It is a device to hold a video camera that prevents unwanted camera movements. DRONE • It is a device to capture cinematic aereal footage. 8 * Not compulsory. Extra devices to improve the quality of your videos.
  • 90. MICROPHONE • Microphones are used to record sounds (i.e. voices) and they are usually delivered with their cables, clamps or mounting system, and windscreens. • Smartphones often have a good camera but a microphone with limited quality. Consequently, it is essential to add a microphone to your phone to improve your sound recording, outdoors or indoors, in a quiet environment or in a noisy environment. 9
  • 91. AUDIO INTERFACE • It is a device that convert microphone signals into a format that computers and software recognize. • It is needed for dynamic and condenser microphones. • It is not needed for smartphones and USB microphones. 10
  • 92. COMPUTER • It will be used to edit your videos. SMARTPHONE • Can be used to edit videos, specially those filmed with the smarthphone. 11 * Not compulsory. Extra devices to improve the quality of your videos.
  • 93. SHOOTING Capturing the images and sounds of your video 12
  • 94. 13 ASPECT RATIO • 16:9 or 9:16: This is the most popular video standard used for high-definition television. It is also known as “widescreen”. The vast majority of digital cameras and smartphones record video in this ratio. • To shoot in horizontal use the 16:9 aspect ratio. • To shoot in vertical use the 9:16 aspect ratio.
  • 95. 14 SHOT SIZE • A shot size indicates the scale of an object or a person. • The human body is generally used as a point of reference. • There are many options: wide shot, full shot, cowboy shot, waist shot, medium close-up, close-up, extreme close-up…
  • 96. 15 LIGHTING • It allow to film independently of natural lighting. • It provides a more professional, polished and consistent result for your videos. • If you film on the go, then a small, packable, lightweight option will likely suit you best.
  • 97. POST-PRODUCTION Building the story and giving it substance 16
  • 98. THE SOFTWARES • There are free (or freemium) and professional software in the market: Final cut, Adobe Premiere, Sony Vegas, Filmora, DaVinci Resolve, Youtube video editor… • There are many video apps for your smartphone in the market. Some good options are: Kinemaster and Filmora Go. 17
  • 99. 18 ASSEMBLING AND EDITING • Rushes are all the images and remarks shot. • Video editing consists in selecting the rushes that you want to use and combining them into coherent sequences that meet your production objectives. The choice has to be done directly in the editing software. • It can be simplified (using just a few treatments) or elaborated (including openingand closing credits, captions…). • Points to cover: music, graphic design, effects, transitions, voice-over, color grading…
  • 100. 19 EXPORTING • Several export formats are available: .MOV .AVI .MP4 .FLV .WMV • MP4 has become a universal standard for video sharing, thanks to its good file quality and high compression rate. It is used and accepted by most computers, tablets and smartphones. • 4K is an enhancement of the picture resolution of today's televisions, capable of quadrupling the resolution offered by HD or High-Definition. This technology is capable of 3840 × 2160 pixels and is also known as Ultra HD.
  • 101. SHARING Share your story with the world 20
  • 102. 21 ONLINE PLATFORMS • Share your video in the social media profiles of your local tourism business. • Check modules related to social media, website, online presence and community.
  • 103. • Technology and persons – Envato • Extremadura natural and cultural heritage: Andrea Vincenti, José Luis Díaz and Marta Lozano Molano
  • 104. Digital Story Doing in Local Tourism is a transnational project that brings together 6 partners from 5 European countries (Bulgaria, Spain, Italy, Belgium and Austria) with different specializations. Website: www.storydoers.eu
  • 105.
  • 106. • DOING THE STORY • GETTING EQUIPPED • RECORDING • POST-PRODUCTION • SHARING 2
  • 107. DOING THE STORY Build your own digital story 3
  • 108. QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF A podcast is a collection of audio files in MP3 format that are periodically and automatically delivered to subscribers via applications such as iTunes or Spotify. When preparing your story think about: • WHO: Who are the characters I want to follow and meet and why? • WHAT: What is it about? What makes this event/place unique, original? • WHERE: Where does my story take place? Indoor or outdoor? • WHEN: When does my story take place? • WHY: Why is this evento/activity being held? What make this interesting? • HOW: How does the event at the heart of my story unfold? 4
  • 109. INTERVIEW • Many podcasts nowadays are based on interviews with one or more participants. • A good interview is carefully prepared so you should make a previous research of the person that you are going to interview and have stablished the link with the topic. • Prepare a set of relevant questions organized by topics and according to the duration of the podcast. 5
  • 110. THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE STORY There are three main parts that your podcast needs when sharing your story: THE INTRODUCTION An introduction should contextualize the subject, the person, the event, etc. The introduction should at least capture attention and at best surprise or intrigue. The goal is to make the audience want to continue discovering your story. THE DEVELOPMENT This is when your story unfolds, which can happen in one or more sections: develop a point, get to know the character(s) better, describe the activities happening, etc. THE CONCLUSION This is the last part of your podcast and it is a conclusion. Its impact on the listener is real. Share a reflection, a song, a poem… 6
  • 111. GETTING EQUIPPED Ready-made shooting kits are available on the market. 7
  • 112. MICROPHONE • Microphones are used to record sound (i.e. voices) and they are usually delivered with their cables, clamps or mounting system, and windscreens. • Smartphones often have a good camera but a microphone with limited quality. Consequently, it is essential to add a microphone to your phone to improve your sound recording, outdoors or indoors, in a quiet environment or in a noisy environment. 8
  • 113. HEADPHONES AND LOUDSPEAKERS • When recording the audio of your podcast will be very useful to wear headphones so you can have a clear sound image of what you are recording. • Headphones and loudspeakers are an essential for the post-production phase of the podcasting. 9
  • 114. AUDIO INTERFACE • It is a device that convert microphone signals into a format that computers and software recognize. • It is needed for dynamic and condenser microphones. • It is not needed for smartphones and USB microphones. 10
  • 115. COMPUTER • It will be used to edit your sound files SMARTPHONE • Can be used to edit sounds, specially those filmed with the smarthphone. 11
  • 116. RECORDING Capturing the images and sounds of your video 12
  • 117. 13 YOUR VOICE • Pay special attention to the voice, it is the main resource of a podcaster. • Remember to warm up your voice before you start to avoid damaging your voice and keep a constant rhythm in your podcast.
  • 118. 14 RECORDING SESSION • If you use a computer, you can use the same software to record and edit. • You can also record with your smartphone or an external recorder and then edit it. • Pay attention to the length of your podcast. The optimal duration is from 20 to 40 minutes.
  • 119. 15 ENHANCE THE AUDIO • Take 5 cm of distance to the microphone to sound optimal. • Maintain a constant distance to the microphone the have the same audio level. • Keep your hands off the microphone to avoid undesirable noises.
  • 120. POST-PRODUCTION Building the story and giving it substance 16
  • 121. THE SOFTWARE • There are free (or freemium) and professional software in the market: Adobe audition, Pro- Tools, Cubase, Audacity, Wavosaur, Oceanaudio… • There are many audio apps for your smartphone in the market and online free tools. 17
  • 122. 18 ASSEMBLING AND EDITING • Rushes are all the sounds and remarks recorded. • Audio editing consists in selecting the rushes that you want to use and combining them into coherent clips that meet your production objectives. The choice has to be done directly in the editing software. • It can be simplified (using just a few of treatments) or elaborated (panning, openings, audio ducking…). • Points to cover: music, sound effects, transitions…
  • 123. 19 EXPORTING • Several export formats are available: .WAV .MP3 .FLAC, .AIFF, .AAC • The format WAV. doesn’t apply any compression to the bitstream and stores the audio recordings with different sampling rates and bitrates, very useful for multiple purposes. • MP3 has become a universal standard for sound sharing, thanks to its good file quality and high compression rate. It is used and accepted by most computers, tablets and smartphones.
  • 124. SHARING Share your story with the world 20
  • 125. SHARING • Share your podcast in the social media profiles of your local tourism business. • Check modules related to social media, website, online presence and community. • You can use also other social media platforms for audio sharing like Soundcloud, Spotify, Buzzsprout, Podimo… 21
  • 126. • Technology and persons – Envato • Extremadura natural and cultural heritage: Andrea Vincenti, José Luis Díaz and Marta Lozano Molano
  • 127. Digital Story Doing in Local Tourism is a transnational project that brings together 6 partners from 5 European countries (Bulgaria, Spain, Italy, Belgium and Austria) with different specializations. Website: www.storydoers.eu
  • 128.
  • 129. • WHAT IS AN ONLINE COMMUNITY • WHY BUILDING AN ONLINE COMMUNITY • DIFFERENT TYPES OF ONLINE COMMUNITIES • HOW TO BUILD AN ONLINE COMMUNITY • HOW TO GROW AN ONLINE COMMUNITY • EXAMPLES OF COMMUNITY PLATFORMS 2
  • 130. • An online community can be defined as a group of individuals unified by common interests, opinions, and goals who meet in a virtual space. The people who create online communities care about bringing people together and forging meaningful relationships. • Depending on your business goals, this may look like a private group to share learnings and inspiring stories from, for example, tourism activities happening in your region. Or, it may look like an open forum where thousands gather to share resources and feedback on the pictures they have taken in your region. 3
  • 131. 4 • Whatever your platform of choice, online communities are a great way to facilitate meaningful connections between your followers. They empower your audience to: • discuss topics that interest them • engage with a brand, online course instructor, or other community figure • learn together • collaborate on projects • share advice and related news • Unlike social media, online communities go deep, not wide, as a group of people embark on a journey to master something interesting together. The community Hosts work to grow the community, but eventually, the members do too, as they get invested and meet people!
  • 132. 5 Is an online community useful for you? • Online communities might be trending, but that’s not a good enough reason to create your online community, without thinking of WHY an online community can help your (tourism) business. • Before proceeding, you need to figure out your company and community’s objectives, so you can create a community that will truly be of use to your brand. • If you don’t have a solid reason for building an online community, people won’t see the need to join it either. The reason needs to be clearly identified, for yourself, and for other people, so they will see the benefits for them to engage in your community.
  • 133. Benefits of online communities Regardless of your sector of activity and company’s size, there are many common benefits to creating an online community: • Expand your sphere of influence and visibility by growing your network and audience • Create brand ambassadors that will disseminate what you’re doing, and will keep the community engaged • Receive feedback from your audience. Having regular dialogue with your community helps you improve your products and services to serve them better. • Increase revenue. A community will help foster more engaged followers, and increase retention, which can ultimately increase sales/revenues. 6
  • 134. Ask yourself… • Are you looking to improve customer relations through a highly interactive platform? • Will your community provide support, tips, and hard-to-get information to members? • Is it a place that will help members support a cause? • Whatever the case, it is a good idea to start with a suitable reason as motivation for building a community. To help you sort out your ‘why,’ try to envision your goals from the consumer’s perspective. 7
  • 135. 8 There are many types of online communities. The main ones are differentiated by the purpose that brings their audience together: Interest. A group brought together by a common interest or passion. Like a group for passionate about nature, hiking, mountains, etc. Action. Communities that come together to bring about change. For example, activists that want to keep their beaches, mountains, countryside clean, with a sustainable approach. Place. Communities within geographic boundaries. For example, your local neighborhood Facebook group that shares about the best restaurants in the region. Practice or Profession (aka community of practice). Members of a particular profession come together to share professional development tips and learn how to excel at their jobs. For example, mountain guides to further their professional knowledge, or craftsman where members join to master their craft.
  • 136. Determine the community platform you want to use • Starting a Facebook group is one of the main and easiest ways people start online communities nowadays, as many people are already (more or less) active on it or know how to use it. But it is not always the best option. • Your community platform should depend on the amount and profile of people you want to engage, the type of discussions you want to incorporate, how easy it will be for people to join, and whether it will be a free community or require a fee to join. • If you are expecting only a few dozen people to make up your community, a group chat on Telegram, WhatsApp, or other messaging app will probably be more appropriate. For a much larger community with hundreds or thousands of people, other more appropriate channels and tools exist. 9 • If you want to have more control and options on how to run your community, creating your own website or dedicated forum might be more suitable.
  • 137. Go with a free or owned community platform? • While social networks can seem to work as a community platform, there actually is a clear distinction. • Social media, in general, is composed of users who have nothing in common (only using the platform because their friends are on it). • Communities, however, revolve around a specific issue, and it's up to you to take the social network and engage certain users on that platform to form a community that's focused on your sector of activity. • Keeping this in mind, there are two types of communities you can launch: free or owned. 10
  • 138. 11 Free Community Platforms: • Advantage: it’s free to create and for users, and generally comes with an already existing audience. • Limitation: you don't truly "own" your community and are therefore beholden to the decisions these companies make for how the platform serves your content to others. Right when you've mastered the platform your community lives on, the content algorithm changes, and you're forced to pivot your content strategy to retain your users' attention. • Some examples of free platforms: • Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, G2 Crowd, GetApp, Quora, Discourse, Glassdoor, Slack
  • 139. 12 Owned Community Platforms: • Advantage: tighter controls over your branding and messaging - without having to compete with the noise of other communities on the same platform. • More features such as deeper analytics, gamification, custom design also allow you to create the experience you want for your users. • Limitation: you’re starting from zero and have way more promoting to do to attract your users and grow your community. If they’re not familiar with it, new users may also have to learn how your owned platform is working.
  • 140. 13 As mentioned in previous slides, you can get started using a Facebook group, launching a group on a messaging app, or even by building a simple, interactive support website. Once the platform is chosen, here are some tips to start your community: 1. SET GOALS AND INDICATORS You may have multiple goals in mind for your community, but it is best to focus on a small number of goals that represent value created for you and your community and can be tied to specific behaviors and outcomes. Community Key Performance Indicators (KPI) are used to measure your progress against a goal. It is best to compare them against the previous time period (e.g. month vs previous month). They should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Realistic, and Time- bound: • User Growth: total number of users, new users and lost users in the past month. • User Engagement : total engagements (likes, comments), percentage of total users liked or commented in a month, percentage of total users were inactive.
  • 141. 14 2. DEFINE YOUR IDEAL MEMBER • As with your goals, it is best to narrow your ideal member to one or two kinds, to have a better impact. • To refine your ideal member, you can start by doing interviews of people you want to serve in your community: ask about their goals and motivations around your topic, and their concerns. • Listen to what they have to say, the language they use and the things they care about: it will ease the creation of your community around what’s important for them. • It surely is difficult to chose only one kind of ideal member, but once your community is developing, you can always add more kinds of people. Stabilise at first, then extend.
  • 142. 15 3. IDENTIFY KEY COMMUNITY STAKEHOLDERS Two categories of stakeholders inside your company can be considered: • Those who will be managing the community: it can include the community manager, marketing department, and/or customer support. • Upper management: this is the person responsible for the community. It can be a marketing officer who oversees all digital experiences. The community manager can be merged with the social media or marketing manager. Whether your company’s stakeholders are from marketing, sales, or support departments, they can all contribute to your community. They can have a strategic value by using newsletters subscribers, sales promotions, or support questions. In other words, your whole team should have a presence and an action towards your community. Everyone can have an impact.
  • 143. 16 4. DEVELOP RELEVANT RULES • Every community has its rules and guidelines to ensure members use it in the right way. Focus on the reason you are creating the community, and the kinds of people who will be in it, in order to create rules that will be relevant. • More than that, rules and a moderation strategy are important to keep your community free from trolls, spam, and abuse. • Community guidelines will typically cover the following areas: • Member behavior: what is expected of members, and what line is drawn between passionate debate and simply being a jerk • Moderator behavior: what moderators can and can’t do • Topical focus: what topics are in scope for the community? What topics are irrelevant? This can o evolve following your own activities and calendar. • Complaint and resolution process: how can people flag complaints, and how do you handle them? • Zero tolerance for discrimination and harassment: everyone should feel welcome and not alienated by your community.
  • 144. Tips to get more followers Once you have followed all previous tips, you will want as many people as possible to learn about your community so that it can grow. This can only happen if the word is being spread about the existence of your community and reasons why it is worth joining. These tips are not listed in any particular order. They’re all important, but you may find that certain methods make more sense for your brand and business model. 17
  • 145. 18 1. Build a strong brand identity Your brand identity goes far beyond your logo that you show on your website or social media. It is about having a cohesive and global identity that is reflected through every post, every content, every activity you share and promote to your audience. Decide on your predominant color scheme, filters, graphic designs, tone, etc. Everything you post and comment on should reflect your brand’s voice. People are drawn to brands that have an identity.
  • 146. 19 2. Follow or/and partner with relevant accounts Think of what account is posting great content that you can be inspired for your own community. See what your “competitors” are doing, what content they share, how often, for what reason, the reactions they receive in the comments, likes, shares, etc. To help you find relevant accounts you can: • Join groups and communities on social media and other networks: use this to be inspired by the discussions and content shared, and also to promote your community and company. • See who influencers are following: accounts that have more followers than following are usually selective on who they follow back, also meaning many people are following them. The people they follow are likely to be high quality. You can also partner with influencers your followers care about. Partnering with influencers lends credibility to your brand. If followers trust or admire an influencer, and that influencer endorses your brand, their followers are more likely to associate those positive feelings with your brand. This can not only increase your number of followers, but also their engagement rate towards your content.
  • 147. 3. Content is key Content is key when growing a following. What you post is as important as when and how often you post. Be sure to optimize your content to maximize engagement whether it be by adding subtitles to your videos to increase accessibility or creating a diverse content library on your social media profiles. Then adapt your social media strategy to accommodate the post types that drive the most engagement. Some post types that followers reshare: - Trends: try to follow and to be updated on all that is happening in your sector, so that you can be a reliable source for your followers. They will eventually come to your page to see what’s new on the topic they like (and that you’re active on). - Moreover, the general content that is shared a lot on social media are memes, quotes, animals etc. You can try to use them, be make sure it is aligned with what you want to show about your activities. 20
  • 148. 4. Explore the specific features Each platform has its own features for you to expand your brand. • Instagram - reels and stories are a great way to interact and temperature check with your audience thanks to the built-in poll and AMA (ask me anything) features. • Twitter - multi-level reply chains and retweets allow you to temperature check your audience and interact directly with them. • Facebook - Facebook Marketplace makes it easy to sell directly to your followers. • TikTok - only on mobile devices opening you up to a younger, tech- savvy audience who make many purchases from social media. If you’re using an external platform for your community, make sure to always redirect your audience to it. Or at least to inform them about it. It's all about finding what works for you without spreading yourself too thinly across the platforms. 21
  • 149. 5. Data Data can be used for two main objectives: to engage and to monitor. Data can be a very effective way of engaging your followers, as creating quotable data based on your activity (e.g. “We offer 18 different activities with over 35 collaborators…”), or data to share that you found externally and related to your sector of activity. People will appreciate some concrete information to understand better what exactly you offer. On the other hand, data is also extremely important for you to monitor all your social media and community activities, and to see if you’re doing well. Make sure to be aware of Search Engine Optimisation, and the overall features of each social media, also using hashtags etc. 22
  • 150. A few examples among many, many others. • Peerboard is a plug and play software that allows you to build a branded and feature- rich community forum on your website, without requiring coding. • Higher Logic is one of the most well-known community engagement platforms for associations. • Ning is currently the largest Software as a service platform that aims to help business- or brand-minded users develop a website that operates as a social network. • Discourse is the 100% open-source discussion platform built for the next decade of the Internet. 23
  • 151. Digital Story Doing in Local Tourism is a transnational project that brings together 6 partners from 5 European countries (Bulgaria, Spain, Italy, Belgium and Austria) with different specializations. Website: www.storydoers.eu
  • 152.
  • 153. • Canva and Figma in a Nutshell • Free plan and pricing plans • Steps required to use Canva and Figma • Interface - similarities and differences • Canva & Figma - Fonts & Image Editing • Canva & Figma - Plugins & Apps • Canva & Figma - Tutorials 2
  • 154. • Canva is a graphic design tool intended both for beginners and professional users. Website: https://www.canva.com/ 3 • Figma is a web-based graphics editing and user interface design application. Website: https://www.figma.com
  • 155. FREE PLAN • 250,000 free templates • 100 + design types • Hundreds of thousands of free photos and graphics • Invite members for co-working • Comment and collaborate in real time • 5GB – access to cloud storage PRO AND ENTERPRISE PLAN • Pro Plan – Everything “Free Plan” has plus other options, such as more stock photos, videos, audios, graphics, templates, 100 gb of cloud storage and many others. • Enterprise Plan – Everything Pro Plan has plus many options for enterprises purposes. 4 FREE PLAN PRO AND ENTERPRISE PLAN • 3 Figma and 3 FigJam files • Unlimited personal files and collaborators • Plugins, widgets, and templates • Mobile app • Everything in Professional and more……. • Unlimited Figma files • Unlimited version history • Sharing permissions • Shared & private projects • Team libraries • Audio conversations
  • 157. 6 Choose the design Videos Instagram post Poster Brochu re Flyer Post Presentation and others Logo Canva is more user friendly Figma is intended for professional users UX Tool UI Tool
  • 158. 7 Canva interface It’s easy to find your way around Canva. Everything is labeled, and the tools are self-explanatory. Canva isn’t difficult for those not from a design or technological background. Canva also offers plenty of tutorials under its Learn tab on the website. You can use keywords as search terms in Canva’s search bar when looking for images, graphics, or specific font types. This is a helpful and time-saving feature.
  • 159. 8 Figma interface Figma is much more complex and takes some time to get used to it. Its interface is unlike most other design tools, and it's not always obvious where to find things. It isn’t too difficult to learn, but you’ll probably need help from external tutorials if you want to design anything complex.
  • 160. 9 When talking about image editing, Canva is more user friendly and more amateur oriented, while Figma is more professionally oriented. Canva has a large font selection and format options for adding a heading, a subheading, or body text which are presented in appropriate sizes. Figma uses standard fonts that can be found on your computer system and includes downloaded fonts like Google Fonts.
  • 161. 10 Canva Canva can use external elements through the Elements panel or through the Canva’s App. You can also directly connect social apps for both importing media to Canva or for directly uploading your Canva project to your social pages.
  • 162. 11 Figma Figma has a large plugin library. Anyone can create a plugin, and anyone with a Figma account can use a plugin.
  • 163. 12 Canva Tutorials - https://www.canva.com/designschool/tutorials/ Figma Lessons - https://www.figma.com/resources/learn-design/lessons/
  • 165. Digital Story Doing in Local Tourism is a transnational project that brings together 6 partners from 5 European countries (Bulgaria, Spain, Italy, Belgium and Austria) with different specializations. Website: www.storydoers.eu
  • 166. Photo credits: The photos on the slides are creative commons (google pictures library).
  • 167.
  • 168. • BEFORE WE START • STORY IS KEY • OPTIMISE YOUR WEBSITE • MAKE DECISIONS BASED ON YOUR ONLINE DATA • OPTIMISE YOUR SEO • BE ACTIVE ON SOCIAL MEDIA • APPEAR ON TRAVEL MARKETPLACES 2
  • 169. • Studies have shown that most people use the internet to research their upcoming travel destinations. Flyers and leaflets can be useful, but only as a complement. Travelers go online to find inspiration on social media, look at vlogs, read travel guides, and use online booking tools. It is then vital for a tourism business to have a strong and developed online presence, across different online channels. • Moreover, it is important to keep in mind that increasing your online visibility does not happen overnight. Don’t worry if you can’t implement all the advice in this training module at once. It will take time to optimise your online presence and potentially some experimenting too. You will also need to adapt your actions in line with your business activities and allocated resources (human and/or capital). 3
  • 170. When you are developing your online marketing, remember that digital storytelling goes hand in hand with social media campaigns. While you want to share your activities and what you can offer, it is often more efficient and engaging to use pictures, videos, and real-life stories of your products or services. This will catch the reader’s attention. 4
  • 171. You need to know your audience’s interest and be creative about it. The stories should inspire and evoke emotions they can refer to. This will help attract new bookers. The first important point to recognize when thinking about the role of storytelling in destination marketing is that your destination does already have great stories, or elements of great stories. The things that make your destination attractive - the people, communities, food, nature - are the sources of your story ideas, and you just need a few key ingredients to turn those ideas into engaging, memorable stories. 5
  • 172. In the video on the right, Rob Holms (Founder & Chief Strategist, GLP Films) discusses Destination Marketing and Sustainable Tourism Development, focused on case studies of destinations from around the world, showcasing how storytelling can be used as a force for good in sustainable tourism development. Some of the key lessons include: • Use storytelling to connect travelers with experiences. • Use storytelling strategically, with a long-term approach, to reach the audience you want to attract. • Use storytelling as part of destinations' sustainable tourism management strategies. 6 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIfa_sAo99U&ab_channel=T rainingAid
  • 173. As your website represents your business, it needs to be aligned with the products or services you propose to your customers. More than what you offer to your customers, it also shows how you present your activities: inspired, relaxed, modern, … The experience and feeling your customers have when they enjoy your products and services should also be expressed when visiting your website. 7
  • 174. The visual is of course very important, but a user-friendly website is even more crucial. Try to answer the following questions (next page), and to correct what is needed: • Is your site mobile-friendly – that means is it optimised for mobile visitors? Check here. • Is the text easy to read in terms of text size, font and colour contrast? • Do images and video elements load quickly, or do they slow everything down? • Is it easy to make an online booking or enquiry? • Do you use clear calls-to-actions that make it easy to interact with your business? • Are your contact info and social media accounts easy to find? • Can a first-time visitor intuitively navigate to find what they are looking for? 8
  • 175. • You have probably already heard the terms of data, and data mining. While it was a tool only used by big companies, it is now available and easy to use for anyone. And most of all, it is crucial to use. • Data mining is the process of finding patterns and relationships in large amounts of data. It’s an advanced data analysis technique, combining machine learning and AI to extract useful information, which helps businesses learn more about customers’ needs, increase revenues, reduce costs, improve customer relationships, and more. 9
  • 176. • Having a useful reporting system is your best friend when it comes to monitoring your business results. Your online data have to be monitored and evaluated through all your channels: website, social media, newsletters, etc. • Tracking your data helps you better identify who your visitors, customers and potential customers are. • It helps you take decisions based on concrete information, it will increase your customer base, and personalize experiences that modern travelers are asking for. • You can add plug-ins to your website, for example if it is developed with WordPress, such as Google Analytics. • Another example of tool to manage your data is Orioly, specifically developed for booking and management of tour operators. 10
  • 177. What is Search Engine Optimisation? Once you create a website, search engine bots (from Google, Bing, etc.) crawl your website to understand the information it contains and index it accordingly, so that it appears in related search results. This is where search engine optimization comes into play. SEO refers to the process of making your site better for search engines. It’s about optimizing websites so that search engines understand relevance value and rank it accordingly on search. Moreover, keep in mind that Search Engines index pages (!), not your website as a whole. This means that your SEO work should be done page by page. Your goal is to be on the first page (even better: within the first few listings) of the search your customers are making so that you see increased traffic to your site. 11 Now that you have a well functioning and user-friendly website, you want people to visit it, obviously. While only 10% of organic traffic comes from social media, around 64% comes from search. This means that to successfully build a digital marketing strategy, you have to master search engines.
  • 178. How to do SEO for a website? 1. Do keyword research and use relevant terms 2. Place keywords throughout your page 3. Include SEO in Permalinks 4. Write high-quality content. No keyword stuffing! 5. Optimize your images 6. Don’t forget your mobile version! 7. Technical SEO 8. 10. Update your pages and content More details on these tips here. More information on Google SEO here. 12 What is Search Engine Optimisation? Once you create a website, search engine bots (from Google, Bing, etc.) crawl your website to understand the information it contains and index it accordingly, so that it appears in related search results. This is where search engine optimization comes into play. SEO refers to the process of making your site better for search engines. It’s about optimizing websites so that search engines understand relevance value and rank it accordingly on search. Moreover, keep in mind that Search Engines index pages (!), not your website as a whole. This means that your SEO work should be done page by page. Your goal is to be on the first page (even better: within the first few listings) of the search your customers are making so that you see increased traffic to your site.
  • 179. • Social media nowadays play a huge role when people plan their trip. It is where they find inspiration based on their entourage vacation pictures, or from the profiles/influencers they follow. • This kind of aspirational marketing opens fantastic opportunities for small tourism businesses. • If you think about your website like your shop, social media is your shop window. It is what entices people inside to take a closer look, learn more and ideally to make a booking or purchase. 13
  • 180. 14 “Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the whirlwind of social media has changed the game for business owners. Travel agents can, and should, use these platforms to their advantage! But how do you accomplish that?“ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=- tUFZGvbA6c&ab_channel=KHMTravelGroup • Posting high-quality social media content, creating engaging posts and stories, and utilising popular and relevant hashtags can multiply your online reach, introduce your business to many new potential customers and increase your brand recognition. • While the social media landscape changes every day, most experts still recommend Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn for tour and travel businesses. You’d want to have a profile on all of them but adapt the usage intensity according to their special features. • Share and post daily. To become likable, don’t go all promotional, rather have fun. Publish beautiful pictures, create conversations, answer questions. Join the industry groups on LinkedIn and Facebook to find partnerships and share experiences. Once people notice your useful, beautiful and fun content on social media, they will go to Google and look you up for more memorable experiences you got to offer. • Also make sure to add your website visible and easy to access for the users from all your social media accounts.
  • 181. 15 • An online travel marketplace can be described as a medium or a connecting link between providers and consumers. It connects businesses (local and international) to travelers by allowing the former to sign up and display their offerings. Consumers/travelers then check the products out and choose them. • Some companies benefit the most out of marketplaces: inbound tour operators, local sightseeing and activities providers, B&B owners, independent hotels, local transportation providers etc. • An online marketplace can provide such businesses the exposure and distribution opportunities that are otherwise difficult or costly for them to get. They can’t spend hundreds and thousands of dollars on advertising, so marketplaces can be a cost-effective marketing channel for them.
  • 182. • A marketplace is a great platform for travelers too, as they can buy directly from the sellers and compare services and deals offered by various suppliers under one roof rather than contacting them individually. • Travel marketplaces such as Tripadvisor, Booking, Trustpilot, and Touristlink, promote great tours through customer reviews and reach out to everyone. Others reach out to national users, like Le Routard for France. There’s no better promotion than the good old word-of- mouth. And this is what reviews are in the online world. • People turn to other traveler experiences before booking their next travel. The number of likes and shares on social media falls into the same bucket. People trust them. And when people find you liked by others, they’re going to like you, too. The number of your online bookings will grow along the increase of your positive reviews. 16
  • 183. Digital Story Doing in Local Tourism is a transnational project that brings together 6 partners from 5 European countries (Bulgaria, Spain, Italy, Belgium and Austria) with different specializations. Website: www.storydoers.eu
  • 184.
  • 185. • BEFORE WE START • GET A GOOD DOMAIN NAME • HOST YOUR WEBSITE • DESIGN YOUR WEBSITE • BUILD YOUR WEBSITE • CREATE AND MANAGE APPEALING CONTENT • FINAL CHECK • ONLINE TOOLS 2
  • 186. • Having a business website is an essential part of your online presence. Your website: • is part of your business identity and branding • allows you to communicate with your customers and enables them to get in touch with you • can enable you to sell products and deliver services online • allows you to manage and adapt how you present your products/services, following your needs and resources • allows you to monitor your online presence with precise data 3
  • 187. It's important to choose a good domain name and URL. It affects: • how easily customers can find your site • how much customers will trust your website and brand • your intellectual property and trademark protection • the user’s impression when visiting your website • the Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) 4
  • 188. 5 Here are some tips for coming up with an optimal domain name: • Make sure it is available • Short and easy to spell: it will be easier to remember and to type correctly – avoid numbers. • Use the proper domain extension: the classic business domain is .com. You can also use your national domain name (.it, .fr, .es, etc), or any other that match your activities (.eu, .org, .edu, etc.). You should set up an email address to match your domain name: • You can use free email services for your business, but using one that matches your domain (and business) name, creates a more professional impression. • For example, your domain-name email will display as info@mybusiness.com, instead of mybusiness@gmail.com. • The service provider who registers your domain name, or your web hosting company, may provide an email service or include it as a paid add-on.
  • 189. • For your website to be published and accessible on the internet, it has to be hosted by a web hosting company. These companies provide you with a secure space on their server to store all your website content. • You can host your website with the same company you register your domain name with, or you can choose a different host if this meets your business needs better. • Monthly fees for web hosting can vary depending on how big your website is and how many visits you get. 6
  • 190. The design is an important step that you should not underestimate. You need to think about: • the information you want to give your customers. • what you want them to do on your site • the questions they'll have. • the order they'll be doing things in. • the resources and technical aspects (to check with the web developer). 7