Ep. 44 — Digital Marketing Tips For Tour Operators with Jaden Cymbaluk

In this episode, we talk all about digital marketing tips for tour operators. At Arival Orlando. Digital Marketing expert Jaden Cymaluk of IWerx Connect sat down with Tourpreneur Host Shane Whaley

Jaden generously shares digital marketing tips for tour operators including how tourpreneurs should vet a digital marketing agency, why it is always important to work with a marketing company that understands the tour industry and why a one-off Facebook post is not going to be effective. And Much More!

This episode and interview of Tourpreneur@Arival is presented by Checkfront. The booking platform trusted by over 5,000 tour and activity operators around the world. You can start your own free 21-day trial over at Checkfront.com.

Join the Tourpreneur Insiders Facebook Group and grow your business by learning from other tour operators.

Links and Resources Mentioned on This Episode of Tourpreneur – the podcast for tour operators.

We talk Digital Marketing Tips For Tour Operators

Interview with Jaden Cymbaluk, of Digital Marketing Agency IWerx Connect. Full transcript.

Shane Whaley:                   Welcome to Tourpreneur at Arival, presented by Checkfront. Today we’re joined on the show by Jaden Cymbaluk of iWerx Connect. How are you?

Jaden Cymbaluk:               Hey, good Shane. Thanks for having me on man.

Shane Whaley:                   Absolute pleasure. So for people who are listening to the show who are not familiar with you, what do you do?

Jaden Cymbaluk:               Cool. Yeah. Kind of my 30-second elevator pitch is we do digital marketing, websites, content creation, social media, video production, all for tours, attractions and destinations. So we handle a lot of the digital side of things for your business, whether you’re trying to get more bookings on line, figure out where your customers are coming from, or branding and digital marketing strategies.

Shane Whaley:                   Excellent. When did you guys start?

Jaden Cymbaluk:               We’ve been around as a media agency for about five or six years. The last three years is kind of when we’ve really took off in the destination and attraction space, so we’ve kind of been doing it, working with great partners. A lot of them are here at Arival now. It’s been fun, and that’s the cool thing about it. We get to work with clients where they have fun doing what they’re doing, and so we have fun promoting and marketing that for them.

Shane Whaley:                   Brilliant.

Jaden Cymbaluk:               I think that’s where it comes hand-in-hand.

Shane Whaley:                   Yeah. So we have a lot of listeners who want to work with a media agency, a digital marketing agency. What would your advice be… So starting on the other side of this, what would your advice be to tourpreneurs out there that want to hire a digital marketing agency?

Jaden Cymbaluk:               I think the best example or the best way to look at it is we’re like a professional contractor. A lot of people can remodel their own bathrooms an do their own kitchens, and it’s kind of in that DIY world, but now it’s almost better to hire a professional contractor to take care of that service for you, which I think is something that we do well.

Jaden Cymbaluk:               We have all the tools. We have all the right people. I think it makes sense for even tour operators and attractions in the budget sense instead of hiring somebody to physically take care of you marketing, you know what I mean, all the time, I have a whole team of people that do that.

Jaden Cymbaluk:               So I think for budget it makes a lot of sense as well. The do it yourself world is really awesome today, especially with like social media, content creation podcasts, things to do, but sometimes you just almost need a little bit of some guidance or somebody that can kind of help with that to really take you to the next level, and especially when you are trying to expand or grow your business.

Jaden Cymbaluk:               It think that’s what we help do, is kind of help scale your business, like maybe you’re stuck in a plateau and you really feel that you are running a good operation, your reviews are showing that, I think we can maybe help you take that to the next level.

Shane Whaley:                   Absolutely. I’m pretty sure if I was to search on Google right now digital marketing agencies I’m going to get hundreds of thousands of results, so the challenge for tour operators is to hire or to work with a digital marketing agency that can deliver, right? Because there are a lot of people out there… What I call empty suits that have done a short course in digital marketing and think they’re experts.

Shane Whaley:                   My question for you then is when a tourpreneur is approaching a digital marketing agency what questions should they be asking of the digital marketing agency when they’re doing their due diligence?

Jaden Cymbaluk:               I think it all starts with the relationship. There’s a lot of people that can provide services and exactly what we do. A lot of people can do your Google AdWords. A lot of people can do your graphics, your display marketing, SEO. It starts with the relationship. That’s why we kind of niched down our digital marketing agency in this specific industry, so it’s almost like a rinse and repeat strategy for a lot of tour operators.

Jaden Cymbaluk:               We’re doing this for a lot of people that are overcoming the same, you know what I mean, problems. It’s not like some digital marketing agencies focus on a lot of different niches, and so that’s why you can be all over the place, and some things might not work in one vertical than it does with another.

Jaden Cymbaluk:               I think niching down or finding an agency that is doing exactly what your business needs to be done is a good thing to do. I mean you run into people all the time… Like my biggest thing that I hear is, “Oh, I have a website and it’s in progress.” That’s usually one of the funniest things I hear, because it’s usually you’re hiring your brother or your cousin or somebody like that that’s doing you’re website, and like I said, it’s always in progress.

Jaden Cymbaluk:               I don’t think your website should ever be in progress. I always think it should always be added to and it’s never finished, and that’s also what we kind of preach as well. Just because we built your website and it’s live, it’s also never done. There’s always going to be content that’s going to be needed to be added to it.

Jaden Cymbaluk:               The content creation is huge in today’s world. Letting people know about your tour or your attraction or your business or your space is something huge, and it starts with your website. So I think that’s kind of a good question to ask people, is kind of what verticals do you specialize in, and also the type of services too.

Jaden Cymbaluk:               I mean you can get referrals, I mean just like everybody else is in reviews, checking out other agency reviews as well, and then seeing other work that they do. That’s a real easy way to do it. We look at that too. I’m not saying that you want to model somebody else’s business, but maybe model the way that somebody else is doing business, and it can be in a different vertical, not necessarily yourself.

Jaden Cymbaluk:               We ask people all the time who do you think has a great business online or who do you want to look like, and then I can help make that a reality.

Shane Whaley:                   Yeah, I like that. Something that I would urge all of us to do, all of our listeners, that if you work with a digital marketing agency that’s done a really good job for you come on our insider Facebook group. We have a Facebook group for listeners, and share it, because it’s really hard to find in my experience really good digital marketing people in the tours and activities sector.

Shane Whaley:                   So when our listeners are working with someone who is really good, is to give them a shout out, because I think it gives us all confidence that, oh yeah, they know my language, they know the landscape for tours and activities.

Speaker 2:                              Take a day off from answering emails, telling your team what to get ready, or manually entering info across sales channels. Actually take many, because Checkfront will help manage your bookings. Guests book and pay however they want. Your team has the tools they need to operate smoothly and your calendar always stays up-to-date.

Speaker 2:                              Now what will you do with all that extra time? Checkfront, one booking platform, limitless possibilities. Find out more at checkfront.com.

Shane Whaley:                   A question for you then, and yeah, I’m curious to know for you and your company what’s been one of the biggest success stories in tours and activities in terms of your clients that you’ve worked with.

Jaden Cymbaluk:               Okay. So we are in Vegas, so even though we have clients everywhere across the country, but just being in Vegas, I mean that’s where you find a lot of relationships. I think a couple of our biggest successes is we have a lot of people that have expanded their business from not only having one tour or attraction, but to multiple, so we’re really good on that growth side of hey, we’ve had successful businesses to the point where one tour operator has now opened multiple tours and attractions. What’s great about that is is we’re still working with one client, but it’s almost on five different brands.

Jaden Cymbaluk:               I think relationship is key in what we do, and so I think that’s another good review that we’ve heard before, like somebody said that they might have bet on the wrong horse and now they feel like they’re on the right horse.

Jaden Cymbaluk:               I like working with clients that are really easy and enjoy with what they’re doing, and so usually that helps with the marketing. When you’re running a good business, I think your marketing comes natural with it, so that’s of the type of relationships or successes that we provide to clients.

Shane Whaley:                   What’s your favorite social media channel personally?

Jaden Cymbaluk:               Right now… So I’m a big foodie guy, so I like Instagram. I follow a lot of the foodie people. I like the food influencers, you know what I mean, that go to different places, because they’re promoting something that’s real and it’s something that I can even follow. Especially when I like to travel, I like to follow people on Instagram, different people there, and see exactly what they’re doing.

Jaden Cymbaluk:               I also like Snapchat as well. I do a lot of stuff on Snapchat, because I think it’s kind of more of a humorous platform, that people can be kind of… Do some funny inside jokes. So it’s like Facebook is kind of that professional thing you share content and stuff that your grandma sees. Instagram is always about the food or the visionary stuff, but Snapchat can sometimes be kind of real.

Jaden Cymbaluk:               I always tell people that if you’re trying to build a personal brand, especially I think in this industry, it is smart to build a personal brand around your business as well. People like to see kind of what you do and the ins and outs every day. So I think that using social media doesn’t always have to be pretty, you know what I mean? You can be raw and it can be uncut, and so that’s what I think that those platforms are able to do to get the word out.

Shane Whaley:                   There’s a lot of changes in social media. I’m always amazed by how guys like you know all the trends and the changes because then those algorithms are changing and new systems and whatever. So how do you personally keep up to date with all the new trends?

Jaden Cymbaluk:               I think being on it and not being afraid to try new things and seeing what sticks. One thing that I always tell, you know, even our clients, especially when they’re creating content, a lot of it’s got to be user generated. As much as I’m still helping with your business, I mean it makes sense for you to get on Instagram, get on your Facebook, post a video of yourself, and talking about things that maybe people might need help with.

Jaden Cymbaluk:               I think YouTube is also a good way. I mean there are some great tours and activities that do some great vlogging and it’s got a following. Also don’t be afraid to produce content, because I think if you’re afraid to produce content it’s just always going to get better over time, and reuse your content as well.

Jaden Cymbaluk:               Some people think that they can post one video of themselves talking about something and everybody in the world is going to see it. That’s not true. You got to reuse your content, repost it, repurpose it, and then especially too applying budget, you know what I mean, has a lot to do with digital marketing trends now.

Jaden Cymbaluk:               As much as they are free platforms, you still are trying to pay to get your word or your message across on these platform and there needs to be some real budget. Think about the cost too of things, for TV and radio and different print stuff like that. I mean you’re putting real dollars into those type of mediums. You need to be putting real dollars into the social media channels as well.

Jaden Cymbaluk:               It’s not just one of those things that you can boost a post for $20 or $30 and expect your message to get out. The numbers are real, but also I think the return on investment is real as well, because it’s all trackable.

Shane Whaley:                   Great. Where can people find you online?

Jaden Cymbaluk:               You can visit us online at iwerxconnect.com, I-W-E-R-X-connect. You can Google it and you can find our offices. We’re based in Las Vegas, so a lot of people… If you guys are traveling there feel free to reach out. I’ll pick you up from the airport and we can take you to wherever you’re going.

Shane Whaley:                   You’re a good man.

Jaden Cymbaluk:               That’s the nice thing about being in Las Vegas. It’s an easy destination for everybody to get to and also travel to, I mean travel to and from, so it’s great.

Shane Whaley:                   Wonderful. Thanks for joining us today.

Jaden Cymbaluk:               Hey, thanks Shane.

Speaker 2:                              Thanks for listening to the Tourpreneur podcast. Be sure to visit tourpreneur.com to join the conversation and access the show notes, including links to the resources mentioned on today’s episode. This is Tourpreneur.