Disclaimer: The FMANSW does not receive any payment from any of the resources mentioned in this post. All advice and information is provided in good faith. We do not accept any liability should you experience any financial hardship after following any of our recommendations.
While farmers markets exist to support local farmers and local eaters, they also support local economy and a big contributor to most local economies, especially regional economies, is tourism.
In this post, we look at how review and directory websites can provide valuable exposure for farmers markets at no cost.
Market operators would mostly use these, but stall holders can also take advantage of this valuable free marketing opportunity.
Own your Tripadvisor page!! Chances are, if you haven’t set one up, other people have already left reviews and you currently have no control over how these reviews are being managed.
Someone might also have uploaded their own photos of your market and they might not be very good. You need to get on top of how your market or enterprise is being represented on this very popular directory and review website.
Search for your market or enterprise. If you find yourself on Tripadvisor, there should be an “unclaimed” link next to your name. Hover over it, then click the “Claim your free listing now” link (or if you’re on a smaller screen, scroll down to the bottom to find the link). The process to become the owner of the listing is too involved to go through here, but it is well worth the effort! Once again, reviews are a hugely important aspect of your marketing and you need to know what people are saying about you, so you can respond.
Whether it’s a “hey, thanks for your great review” or “I’m sorry you had that experience, how can we improve next time?” response, both are equally valuable. A negative review left unattended can be doing damage you are completely unaware of. Keep your finger on the pulse of what people are saying about your market or business.
There are other review websites out there, like Yelp, but Tripadvisor seems to be the one that is used the most.
If you want to also set yourself up on Yelp, go here:
A word of caution: The more directories and review websites you’re listed on, the more free promotion you get, but the number of websites where you can have your own profile these days is getting larger all the time, so if you’re going to do it, then you MUST keep a list of all the websites with which you register, along with your login information, so if you ever make a change, you know all the places where you need to go and update your details. And no frustrating “forgot password?” processes to go through, making everything take 5 times longer.
Destination NSW is really just another free online directory listing for farmers markets and stall holders who have a place of business that customers can visit, but it’s worth discussing separately, because it’s a pretty important free marketing tool.
visitnsw.com is a huge website, managed by Destination NSW. The database for the website is managed by the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse (ATDW). You can create a free listing for your farmers market by registering with ATDW. In some cases, you might fight that your local council’s tourism department has already listed you. In that case, you’ll need to negotiate taking control of the listing with ATDW. It’s not the most user-friendly system, but it is a must-do for promoting your market or food business.
For stall holders, you might need to check if you are eligible for a free listing. You can do that here:
If you want to create your listing on the visitnsw.com website, then go here:
Look for the Register Now button at the top-right of the page. The process used to be a lot more complicated. They’ve simplified things, but if you see a reference to GetConnected membership, don’t worry. Registering with the ATDW makes you a GetConnected member.
For markets, you will need to add the dates of your market to the listing. Be mindful that you will need to update this information every year. Listings that lie dormant are removed.
Don’t forget to add your ATDW account details to your list of websites and directories where you’re promoting your market or business. You can see how quickly the list grows and your life will be much easier if you keep this information together in one place.
For both Tripadvisor and Destination NSW, you will need some great photos. If you haven’t already created a library of photos of your market or enterprise that are specifically for marketing purposes, then get onto it. You will find you need these photos over and over again, so it’s worth making the effort to get some great shots that you can whip out any time you need them. If you’re going to spend money on anything, think about hiring a photographer to get some top class photos.
In our next post in our “How to market your market” series, we’ll talk about websites. If you’ve managed without a good photo library so far, building a website will make good photos absolutely essential.