Arival 360: TikTok, Content Creation and Tracking Conversions

At the first day of Arival 360 San Diego and Online, we dug into some of the most pressing topics in digital marketing

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Arival 360 San Diego and Online kicked off last week with a series of sessions on digital marketing and roundtables covering issues for owner operators, looking at how the post-pandemic visitor experience will change, and examining diversity, equity and inclusion.

Arival CEO, Douglas Quinby, presented key findings from the latest Industry Pulse Series: The State of Tours, Activities & Attractions report, available for free. It shows operators are feeling more positive about 2022 and that online sales are surging. Read more here.

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Following that, the virtual stage was handed over to digital marketers focused on the experiences sector. Here’s what we learnt about analytics, content marketing and TikTok.

Every Operator can be a TikTok Creator

You — an experience operator — are a digital creator, Stephen Joyce, industry veteran, said while explaining that short-form travel video content is one of the most popular niches on social media. Video is better for SEO than blogs, is the most shared online, and it’s all about storytelling. 

The best way to work out how to do it is to begin to dip your toes into the waters of TikTok and watch what others are creating, he said. Videos hashtagged travel and bucket list travel have millions of views already, and once you like them, TikTok will show you more.

“If you’re an activity operator,” Joyce said. “Videos about your activity are a great way to showcase the experience that your guests will have. [Point-of-view] videos are super popular. If you’re a destination-based operator, showcasing a landmark or secret location is a great way to make your audience feel like an insider.

“Don’t worry too much about likes and views at the start. Your audience will be small. That’s natural — it’s going to take time for you to build your audience and your communities, so don’t worry about that.”

Joyce went on to give tips about how to create short-form video. Write a script and learn it well so that you can ad-lib around it. This sounds like a huge task, but the videos are short. “A handy reference when you’re writing your script is that 150 words is equal to about one minute,” he said. However, most videos should only be 15 to 30 seconds when you start — and that means you only need to use two or three video clips. 

How to Build Pillars for your Content Marketing

Arival 360: TikTok, Content Creation and Tracking Conversions Ben Finch
If you’re starting out at content marketing, make sure you have pillars to build your work on top of — Patrick / Unsplash

Content marketing is the most powerful type of marketing, and one of the best at converting lookers into bookers. Marica Brewster from the Von Mack Agency took Arival 360 through one the basics of making sure you have content pillars. 

These are three to five topics related to your business that you write about and that are differentiated from your competitors and broad, but not boring. The pillars will form the basis of all your communications, and your online targeting.

“You want to have a point of difference. You want to talk about that point of difference, you want to go off on that. Use this in your digital ad creative, social, in your terminology in Google ads, and then choose as targeting as well.

“You’re going to [choose the targeting] with affinity groups, you’re going to do it with the things that they love and behave and follow online. And then make sure that your ads have that verbiage in there. And also a sense of urgency.”

By doing this, operators can find those who are interested in their experience online, reach them, get them on their site — and retain them as customers.

Is Your Google Analytics Tracking Conversions Correctly?

Arival 360: TikTok, Content Creation and Tracking Conversions Ben Finch
Many operator websites will be tracking conversions incorrectly — Angel Silva / Unsplash

Operators — and any online business — should be making sure their conversions on Google Analytics are reporting correctly, Brian Nicholson from Blend Marketing said. Sessions — or website visits — can often be set up incorrectly so that a single visit can appear as two or three. This is because sets are often set up with their booking engine appearing as a separate website.

If Google Analytics isn’t explicitly told that the session can span sites,” Nicholson said. “It assumes that these sessions are completely different people. That means that two unrelated sessions were recorded and only one transaction was recorded. Instead of a 100% conversion rate, we have a 50% conversion rate. And this conversion rate error impacts multiple reports.”

This can impact everything from Google Ads to content marketing and landing page performance, so that it appears as if these pages aren’t performing. 

Fixing issues such as this can be a matter of contacting your restech to see if they can fix it, or it may require enabling cross-domain tracking to tell Analytics that there are two sites to track conversions across.

Tickets for Arival 360 San Diego start at $716 for small operators who are Insider Pro Access members. Become a Pro Access member and gain easy access to all of the Arival Accel series of virtual events and premium research for a full year, starting at just $179

Arival 360 San Diego tickets and Arival Insiders Pro membership provide complete access to Arival 360 Online. Tickets are $299 for non-members

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