What are the key facts and figures for tourism economy in the UK?

The UK summer seems to have at a last arrived. But how successful will the tourism industry be judged in the UK? It’s predicted tourism visits in the UK will reach 36.7 million for 2016. And since 2010, tourism has been the fastest growing sector in the UK in terms of creating and retaining jobs. And as a country, the UK enjoys excellent global connectivity, with well over 100 countries having direct air connections.

It’s worth unpacking some of the headline tourism facts and figures.

uk tourism

uk tourism

Top tourism facts and figures in the UK

1. Total value – tourism is predicted to continue grow, Britain is forecast to have a tourism industry worth over £257 billion by 2025 and visitors who travel by air tend to spend more per visit than those using other means of transport.

2. Total jobs – by 2015 Deloitte research predicted tourism will be supporting 3.8 million jobs which will be concentrated where there are more visits, so for example, in 2015 there were 18.6 million visits to London, spending £11.9 billion; this represents 54% of all inbound visitor spending, with 40% of visitor nights spent in the capital.

3. Inbound tourism – is considered to continue to be the fastest growing tourism sector, in 2015 36.1 million overseas visitors who came to the UK spent £22.1 billion; in England alone.

4. Total GDP – it’s thought that by 2025 the tourism industry will contribute just fewer than 10% of UK GDP; the top visitor attractions tend to be visitor/heritage centres, farms and wildlife attractions/zoos.

5. Visits to the UK – a survey run by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in the last recorded 12 months, April 2015 to March 2016 found visits to the UK was 4% higher than the previous 12 months at 36.51 million visits.

6. Average spend per visit – May 2016 had seen the highest value of spending so far in 2016; however, we are still down on May last year – 8% lower at £1.86 billion (ONS); international visitors spend their money on activities such as visiting castles, museums or to explore the countryside or coast.

7. Visits by journey – in the last rolling year (June 2015 to May 2016) visits by journey are broadly split by holiday visits (37%); visits to friends and family (30%); business visits (25%) and miscellaneous visits which can include short term study, shopping, sports events and more (8%) – (ONS).

8. Visits by region – EU15 (member countries by European Union) in the last rolling year was (56%); Other EU (12%); Rest of Europe (6%), North America (11%) and the Rest of the World (15%); the largest uplift in visits by region was from Other EU.

9. Visitor nights – Visit Britain reported the number of visitor nights spent in the UK increased by 3% in 2015 to 273 million nights, with the average number of nights per visit being 7.6.

10. Average spend – in 2015 the average spend per visit in total was £611 and the top three visitor markets are France, USA (the fastest growing market too) and Germany; all valuable sources of income for the UK.

alexandrapatrick provides original, cost-effective strategic marketing services in Kent, UK. alexandrapatrick has particular experience and expertise in digital marketing, copywriting, marketing consultancy and location/destination marketing.

If you’d like to find out more about how we could support your local business needs, email info@alexandrapatrick.co.uk or contact via Twitter.

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What are the top tourism trends for the next decade in the UK?

Tourism visits in the UK are forecast to reach 36.7 million for 2016 and it will have had a welcome boost from Andy Murray’s recent Wimbledon champion win for the second time.

2016 has already been significant for arts with a number of Britain’s literary legends celebrating anniversaries and milestones, including the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death and the 100th anniversary of Roald Dahl’s birth.

The range of tourism trends in the UK include increased importance of mobile technology, empowering consumers and allowing them to make last minute decisions on a wide range of leisure activities. More recent developments are FOMO, the ‘fear of missing out’ and the rise of the ‘individualocracy’ the demand for control and simplicity are important too.

tourism trends

tourism trends

Top tourism trends in the UK

1. VFR (visiting friends or relatives) – constrained budgets and more life events and greater perception of time pressure will see people maximising their leisure time on VFR trips, aiming to gain a richer experience with their family, creating a new type of holiday in the UK.

2. Active tourism – the desire to be active and healthy is driving an increase in active leisure trips. People do seem to have more active lives in both leisure and holidays; there’s an assumption that we should be active and generation of health conscious older people. People also feel they can ‘de-stress’ through adventure experiences.

3. Skills tourism – this is driven by both cultural capital and desire to acquire new skills. More than half of consumers in England (56%) say that ‘trying new things’ is important to them, and two-thirds (67%) say that art or culture is important to them.

4. Health tourism – health consciousness is driven by increased pressures at work and home, as well as sustained societal focus on wellbeing; the countryside will benefit from health and active tourism; a further point of difference is the perception that modern lifestyles are ‘too easy’ or sedentary so there’s a drive for consumers to push themselves.

5. Rural tourism – the rural destinations is quintessentially English –it’s a unique offer for UK tourism. However, there’s also an apparent divergence in age structures of different regions and geographies, a key trend here is the rapid ageing of rural areas, whereas cities remain relatively youthful.

6. Seaside tourism – some resorts have been unable to compete with a pure beach offer and the more reliable summer weather that some overseas locations can offer has been a threat; yet many resorts have been able to successfully adapt and to re-invent to attract new audiences.

7. Urban tourism – regeneration in many cities and an increase in the number of attractions has propelled the growth of urban tourism; this is crucial for the younger market; time poor and cash strapped younger consumers will look to maximise their leisure spend.

8. Leisure tourism – this has been impacted on the changing shape of the family, the rising number of older people and grandparents’ increasing involvement in childcare, and also in the diverse structures and types of family; the older generation will be generally more affluent and far more leisure focused than previous generations of older people

9. Consumer tourism – England is developing an incredible diversity of product – food, wine, different activities – it will continue to be attractive, and people are taking pride in this – but consumers expect discounts despite the recent economic recovery.

10. Green tourism – is a driver but you have to be selling the experience and the attraction, this is also affected by wider trends such as ever changing work-life balance or time pressure.

In summary, a social trend to watch is that, in three decades time, there will be more than 9 million over 75s in England (twice as many as there are in 2016). Accommodation and travel options that can cater for people with reduced mobility will be in great demand; they’re still keen to go on holiday but potentially reluctant (or unable) to travel far.

alexandrapatrick provides original, cost-effective strategic marketing services in Kent, UK. alexandrapatrick has particular experience and expertise in digital marketing, copywriting, public relations, location/destination marketing, healthcare marketing and marketing consultancy.

If you’d like to find out more about how we could support creating brand marketing for your business, email info@alexandrapatrick.co.uk or contact via Twitter.

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What is a place brand strategy and how can it help communicate the brand identity of a place?

A place brand strategy is about the promotion of what the area wants to be well known for in terms of its offer, experience and reputation. Each city or place needs to plan for its growth so a consistent, coherent message will help encourage people to live, work and visit to secure its future prosperity.

A place brand strategy helps shape a location’s future positive image increasing visibility and recognition. The strategy is not just about the logo and a catchy strapline, it’s about what the brand is focused on achieving; clear goals to attract visitors, residents, companies whatever the object may be.

place brand strategy

place brand strategy

Place brand strategy top ten tips

1. Positioning – the place needs to be promoted with distinct messages and images to segmented targeted audiences, you’ll require an adapted message to domestic and international audiences, media and investors.

2. Differentiation – means the place needs to have distinct characteristics that set it apart from competitor locations or places, it needs to have genuinely interesting things to see and do.

3. Building relationships – with designated stakeholders such as local governments, business support agencies, property investors and developers will help strengthen the place proposition.

4. Place personality – captures what are the strong emotional connections of the place; so is enterprise limping or thriving, is lifestyle calm or chaotic, is heritage ancient or contemporary, is infrastructure outdated or innovative?

5. Support business growth – a successful place brand will aim to help grow existing businesses in the area and retain and attract new businesses and jobs developing long term engagement through a connected business community.

6. Attract talent – a targeted place brand strategy will appeal and attract talented, skilled people especially from the Millennials age group; they in turn will want to live, work and contribute to economic prosperity.

7. Storytelling – social media can facilitate a real-time engagement sharing local stories about the place in a natural emotive way, this can be the best form of positive word of mouth referrals and testimonials.

8. Support stakeholders – a grounded identity will resonate with the stakeholders so encourage them to support and adopt the identity and engender collaborative thinking and become place brand advocates.

9. Digital marketing – an important channel of the brand strategy delivery will be its web and social media presence, however this must be carefully controlled and
nurtured.

10. Connected research – ensure the place brand is has well researched evidence about the physical infrastructure, quality of life, economic regeneration and its visitor attractions and links to the surrounding areas, this will help shape the overall story.

A place can have complex attributes. Adopting an experience led place band strategy will help define your offer and deliver an integrated brand and marketing strategy.

alexandrapatrick provides original, cost-effective strategic marketing services in Kent, UK. alexandrapatrick has particular experience and expertise in digital marketing, copywriting, public relations, location/destination marketing, healthcare marketing and marketing consultancy.

If you’d like to find out more about how we could support creating a place brand strategy for your business, email info@alexandrapatrick.co.uk or contact via Twitter.

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Brand ambassadors – what are they and how can they benefit your business?

Brand ambassadors can be invaluable for your business. A brand ambassador is a person who talks about your business in a positive way, they don’t have to be a celebrity or YouTuber . They will be selected by a business or organisation to embody the brand, to provide a credible, trustworthy visibility to help increase brand awareness and achieve a return a return on investement.

If you’re a start-up, brand ambassadors can help your business grow by building recognition to a much broader reach. Brand ambassadors represent an ideal opportunity for businesses to leverage an existing online following. However, they must be a natural affinity in the brand relationship with transparent like-minded values and interests.

brand ambassadors

brand ambassadors

Top ten ways brand ambassadors can benefit your business

1. Right skill-set – create a wish list of the audiences you want to reach, then choose the right ambassador with the right skills to reach them; often they will be good-will ambassadors so respect their commitments and understand their motivations too.

2. Research a best-fit – the perfect brand ambassador will be a ‘thought leader’ or ‘community or social  influencer’ who is consistently well informed about your brand to build growing positive engagement.

3. Humanise your brand – the ambassador will humanise your product, they should embody an authentic brand identity in appearance, demeanour, values and ethics, ideally your business brand values should be an intuitive part of their character.

4. Knowledgeable – whoever you choose, they must have a genuine interest in the brand, it’s critical that they understand the role they are playing and that they know the brand offer and have the credibility to influence large audiences.

5. Passion – the brand ambassador must have an instinctive passion for the brand and an engaging personality to be able to genuinely connect with customers and develop relationships on a personal level over time.

6. Connected – a brand ambassador should be someone who lives and experiences your brand, someone your customers can connect and engage with and who has a well-connected network, YouTube is preferred platform for influencer- lead initatives.

7. Millennials – ideally find a brand ambassador who appeals to millennials, this segment is more likely to show their purchases to their friends and write online reviews, so select an ambassador that will stir up a conversation.

8. Social media – if you choose the correct brand ambassador you can capitalise on their well-known social presence and gain wider exposure to their loyal fan base, they can ripple a positive word-of-mouth through their social networks; their circles already trust the messenger.

9. Stay on message – brand ambassadors can orchestrate key messages to showcase what the brand stands for and what its design and innovations are about, if well informed brand ambassadors will stimulate more positive comments, reviews and referrals that are on message.

10. Listen – to the feedback you gain from your customers and followers, endeavour to create meaningful engagement through brand ambassadors who customers can truly identify with; this will engender stronger customer loyalty.

Brand ambassadors can become part of the business to encourage more long-term customers and increased lifetime revenue and improve your online and offline reputation. If you’d like to find out more about how we could support creating brand ambassadors for your business, email info@alexandrapatrick.co.uk or contact via Twitter.

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What is a brand style guide and what goes in it – top 10 tips

Your brand needs protecting and so a Brand Style Guide sets out the fundamental rules of the use of the brand and its business principles.

A Brand Style Guide keeps everything about your brand identity consistent and is something tangible to refer back to. Broadly, there are two types of information that make up a Brands Style Guide – Brand Identity and Corporate Guidelines.

Depending on the size of your business, you may have some or all of these elements documented in different formats. If you are a start-up, this type of information may only live in the brains of the founder and the person who does your design work – as the business grows this becomes increasingly unwise.

The more people your company employs and the more you want people to ‘live’ the brand, the more formally this information needs to be held and distributed. So before you start creating a Brand Style Guide, consider who will be using it, what they will gain from using them, where and how it will be accessed and why they being produced?

brand style guide

brand style guide

Key elements of a Brand Style Guide

Brand Identity

1. Logo – guidance for size, use of colour, incorrect use and proper placement; the brand logo must be visually consistent.

2. Colour – specific primary and secondary colours and combinations of the colour palette; consider the emotional connection that will communicate a distinct personality; break this down for online and digital.

3. Font / typography and imagery – what typestyles to use, and detail the font family and when they’re appropriate and differ for both online and offline communications;
show image style and photographs that work with the brand..

4. Template toolkit – positioning of logo, address information on letterhead, business cards, press release, e-signature, PowerPoint presentations, signage and if applicable livery.

5. Digital – positioning, use of logo and its assets in style sheets, banner advertising collateral and social media tools and usage.

6. Tone of voice / editorial style – the tone/personality of your brand, if formal, friendly, casual, approachable, technical? How you may capitalise (or not) product names and think about the attributes and themes you wish to convey – include examples.

Corporate Guidelines

7. Core purpose – the brands history, mission statement and key values need to be communicated clearly, understood and adhered to.

8. Brand messaging – its positioning in the market, key characteristics / iconic imagery, its essence or promise, differentiators from competitor brands, and expression to target audiences.

9. Brand filters – this may outline the types of businesses with whom you do and do not business; your pricing policy, if you discount? Describe ‘Who We Are / Who We’re Not’.

10. Target audience – unpack the key components of customer information so you may develop fictional personas to personalise product/service offers appropriately.

If you’d like to find out more about how we could support creating a Brand Style Guide for you, email info@alexandrapatrick.co.uk or contact via Twitter.

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Planning a charity marketing campaign – 10 tips for fundraising

It’s that time of year when charity marketing seems to pick up a momentum whether it’s a national campaign such as the ‘Race for Life’ or a humble local community fayre, so many charities are competing for their share of audience and donations.

All are worthy and need support to raise much needed funds for their good causes. However, for organisers there is the temptation to jump in first without considering a carefully thought through charity marketing campaign. They should consider how they can increase their brand presence to reach wider audiences, to generate maximum funds.

charity marketing campaign

charity marketing campaign

Here’s our 10 top tips for a charity marketing campaign

1. Background – set the scene with your current position, consider what you have achieved to date in relation to what you want to achieve.

2. Overall aim – summarise ‘the ask’ succinctly, what you need to do by when, stating your ultimate charity goal.

3. Key objectives – whether it’s to raise funds, attract new donors or launch an appeal; make sure objectives are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely (SMART).

4. Set a marketing strategy – outline why you need the funds, who will benefit and what difference it will make to them and anchor this to content marketing, this could include videos, images, blogs, and stories.

5. Target audience – be clear about the audiences you’re trying to reach and what you expect them to do, this needs to be supported by the right content and tailoring messaging to get these audiences to believe in your cause.

6. Agree a budget – how much do you plan to spend in line with how much you want to raise in total, you need to determine a projected break-even point; no matter how limited your budget may be don’t let this hinder your unlimited creativity to raise funds.

7. Project plan – set out your actions and timetables, this will be critical to stay on track and on budget outlining your marketing channels, such as social media alongside mobile technology, SEO or email marketing.

8. Who does what – be clear about roles and responsibilities, who does what throughout the campaign, this may not always be easy if co-ordinating non-paid volunteers.

9. Shopping list – state how specific amounts will make a difference to your goal, e.g. £5 will pay for 50 test tubes, £500 us to etc. this all helps raise your charity’s brand awareness.

10. Outcome – monitor and evaluate your progress and share this with your donors and fundraising team, this strengthens engagement and brand loyalty.

The success of your campaign is very much dependent on creative content to inspire, educate and convince your audiences of the donations you require; more so than ever social media has enabled new simple ways to directly engage.

Remember, once the event or campaign is completed, continue to track and share your achievements to thank donors and encourage momentum for the next campaign!

If you’d like to find out more about how we could support your charity marketing campaign, email info@alexandrapatrick.co.uk.

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How to create a successful digital marketing campaign

Have you ever admired a digital marketing campaign that just seemed to ‘get it’, -connects, engages, and entertains? To make a successful digital marketing campaign happen, it requires diligent effort, dedicated time and specialist resourcing.

You really can’t underestimate the amount of pre-planning involved before you go-live with a campaign. Following these useful tips should help shape your thoughts.

digital marketing campaign

digital marketing campaign

Top 10 tips for a digital marketing campaign

1. Personas – build detailed profiles of your target market, understand their background goals and challenges; it will take time but it’s worth it, find out more about developing personas.

2. Competitive analysis – it’s critical that you do your homework on your competitors; research how successfully they’re targeting new customers, and identify the digital marketing channels they use, review their social media presence and how they generate new business in this way.

3. Messaging – unravel the content that will resonate with your personas and differentiate you from the competition, what is your offer and how will it benefit your personas?

4. SEO keywords – identify the search keywords your personas are using online, which are the most relevant to optimise your content; utilise search tools to help your research and monitor the results of these keywords carefully to help improve your website’s search engine rankings.

5. Content strategy – review every page of content on your website and blog and consider how these can be refreshed to nurture new leads; prioritise those pages that require rework and rewrite to satisfy your persona’s buying needs.

6. Sales lead strategy – track and qualify leads from your various digital marketing channels, consider how new leads can be generated and track with an internal CRM; engage with your sales team and reinforce the importance of capturing insights to help improve sales conversion.

7. Email strategy – consider which personas will respond well to an email strategy, analyse your contact database and review who successfully responded in the past, what they shared with others and ensure the email marketing is integrated with your other digital channels.

8. Social media strategy – is about publishing content, monitoring interactions and developing engagement tactics; competitor analysis will help establish which platforms to consider, how often to post and which content builds strong connected communities.

9. Blog strategy – blogs help establish thought leadership and help convert visitors into leads but to make it work you need a strategy that captures popular content topics and keywords that help optimise these topics; engage experts to contribute to your posts to provide unique, fresh content.

10. SMART goals – goal setting will ensure your digital marketing campaign generates a return on investment; a SMART goal is (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound); everyone needs to sign up to these agreed goals and use them as a guide to continually monitor the campaign performance.

A successful digital marketing campaign needs thorough research and analysis to transform and take your business to the next profitable level.

We’re interested in your thoughts on digital marketing campaigns, have your say on Twitter or comment below.

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Snapchat for business – is it right for your brand?

How important do you think Snapchat is as a marketing tool? Maybe you need some facts and figures before you decide if it is right for your business.

Snapchat is relatively young, yet its revenue is growing rapidly with a reported $3 million in 2014 and predicted $50 in 2015. Snapchat is a mobile social media network that has gone mainstream. It’s primarily a video messaging app that allows you to snap images, chat by adding a sketch overlay and record videos.

You have the ability to share Snapchat stories of which there are more than 400 million created per day and users can contribute by sharing the same moment from different perspectives. It’s possible to watch live events as if you were there too.

A recent development in response to feedback is that  Snapchat users can now add new friends by location, username or Snapcode.

Snapchat

Top 10 reasons to consider Snapchat for your brand

1. Active users – Snapchat launched in September 2011 and have 100 million daily active users (200 monthly active users), representing 18% of all US social media users.

2. Sharing content – 65% of Snapchat’s users actively share content every day, so they are highly engaged; indeed Snapchat represents 5% of all selfies shared on social media.

3. Images shared – there are 8,796 photos are shared on Snapchat every second and  there more photos are shared on Snapchat than any other social network.

4. UK smartphone users – more than 25% of UK smartphone users use Snapchat and in Norway it increases to 50%; interestingly Ireland represents the top country for Snapchat usage.

5. Videos online – Snapchat gains 6 billion video views a day and these are made up of entirely mobile views, in comparison Facebook archives 8 billion a day on desktop and mobile.

6. All mobile – the Snapchat audience is all mobile/smartphone users. so be mindful of the profile you might be targeting.

7. Snapchat demographics – 60% of the audience profile tends to be 13-24 year olds, 63% are aged between 18 – 34, 71% are under 34 and 70% active users are female.

8. Snapchat Discover – is the hub that collates content / stories from various sources and it receives a huge volume of traffic each month; Cosmopolitan the women’s magazine gets 3 million viewing a day.

9. Brand exposure – can be impressive, take the digital music brand iHeartRadio it generated more than 340 million impressions on Snapchat during its two-day music festival in September 2015.

10. Advertising advantage – only 1% of advertisers are using Snapchat, yet 30% of US millennial internet users access Snapchat regularly representing a huge opportunity to reach out to this demographic.

Some brands are taking Snapchat seriously. In December 2015, NFL became Snapchat’s first sports partner although it is reported that 87% of users never anything they see on Snapchat. However, it’s reported  Snapchat is working on a major redesign of the video messaging feature to make it easier to use which might help those sharing and commenting on impulse buy videos.

We’re interested in your thoughts on Snapchat and if you think it is right for your brand. Don’t forget to have your say on Twitter too.

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SEO B2B statistics – why your website should be optimised in 2016

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) might be something you know you should do but still can’t quite convince yourself of the benefits of integrating into your digital marketing activity.

Here are some SEO B2B facts to get you thinking. Google gets over 100 billion searches a month worldwide. And we all know when you type in a few words on Google to find what you want, there is far too much to choose from. So surely more and more it’s crucial your website is findable and visible.

But remember it’s not just Google where people search for content, YouTube is now the second most-used search engine on the internet. These SEO facts and figures might help you shape a SEO B2B strategy and help decide what success factors will keep you stay ahead online in 2016.

SEO B2B statistics 2016

Top 10 facts to improve SEO potential for B2Bs

1. Longer search queries – according to a recent study 50% of search queries are four words or longer, these are known as ‘long tail keywords’.

2. Lead generation for B2B – SEO is said to have the biggest impact on lead generation, so if you’re serious about increasing revenue and converting new customers, SEO should be part of your B2B digital offer.

3. Mobile search – Google searches performed on mobile devices outnumbered those on desktop – 88% on smartphones, 84% on computer/tablet – so ensure you have a mobile responsive website.

4. Social media – this is another tool to guide people your website, so encourage your followers to share and like your content to widen your reach and encourage effective distribution of content.

5. Be easy to find – 81% of major B2B purchases start with a website search, in fact B2B’s do 12 searches before visiting a specific brand’s site so it’s vital that your products and services are easy to find.

6. Local search works – 50% of those searching locally on their mobile will visit a local store within one day, research shows 18% of local smartphone searches led to a purchase within a day compared to 7% on non-local searches.

7. Wikipedia links – these links show up on the first page of Google on over 60% of search queries, so having a Wikipedia presence can deliver competitive value and give you an important share of space.

8. Update content – 60% of B2B companies say the biggest challenge is creating engaging content; yet eMarketer found of small businesses with websites only 10% updated their site at least once a week, 33% at least once a month, and 21% once per year or longer.

9. Images need optimising – images are part of your overall content delivery and so when you add images to your website, add a relevant ‘alt text’, use descriptions and compress the image size to help improve SEO.

10. Email outreach – use email that has key phrases in title headings and in the body of content; the average time an online viewer spends on a page is less than 60 seconds , so make the content pertinent to your audience.

If you are still unsure about the benefits of SEO potential to generate income for your business, pay attention to the latest updates about SEO. If you have just started a SEO B2B strategy, be patient and don’t try and to achieve a quick win by spamming potential buyers to gain exposure, it will compromise your credibility and authenticity.

Share your thoughts on SEO B2B facts and figures below or on Twitter.

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