When it comes to marketing your business, there's no better way than through word of mouth. Recommendations from friends and family are the most effective way to earn trust in your business, as, according to Nielsen, 84 percent of people find them to be most effective. But how can you ensure people are passing on the message? Here are three ways to get people talking about your outdoor activity business, both online and face-to-face.

1. Highlight Your Strengths

The number of people participating in outdoor activities continues to rise, with nearly 50 percent of Americans participating in more than 12 billion outdoor activities a year. So it's vital to highlight what makes you unique. What experience do you provide that people can't find anywhere else?What's something your business does that no one else has thought of?For instance, on the website for Dylan’s Tours, a San Francisco business that offers minibus and bicycle tours, the company clearly highlights what makes it stand out. On the site's home page, a video explains how all of Dylan’s tour guides grew up in San Francisco, providing an authentic local experience. Also highlighted on the site is the uniquely intimate size of the company’s small group minibus tours. Dylan’s Tours illustrates what differentiates it in its messaging, which you should also be doing.

2. Work With Your Visitors Bureau

When you search the website of the visitors bureau for Ashville, North Carolina, you'll find a whole page dedicated to No Taste Like Home. The page offers a detailed description of the company and what makes it unique (founded by internationally-known forager Alan Muskat; ranked one of five best travel experiences by Southern Living; founded the first "forage-to-table" program in the United States).It also features special offers, event listings, and photos. This makes it easy for travelers to discover and learn about No Taste Like Home when searching for local experiences. Says Alan Muskat, “chief edutainment officer" of the adventure tour company, “That's been our most consistent bread-and-butter." It pays to build a relationship with your local visitors bureau, and keep them updated on tours, special offers, and events you have planned.

It pays to build a relationship with your local visitors bureau, and keep them updated on tours, special offers, and events you have planned.

3. Solicit and Feature Testimonials

Visit the site of Global Rescue — a company that provides medical and security evacuations to adventure travelers around the world — and you'll read about John Searles. While on safari in Ethiopia, Searles suffered a stroke. With the help of Global Rescue, he was evacuated and underwent life-saving procedures under their doctors' care. Ann Shannon, manager of public relations at the company, says that sharing the stories of people the company has rescued helps spread the word. “It makes my job easy," she says. “The word-of-mouth effect from these members, their friends, family, and colleagues is far-reaching."Generating word of mouth is one of the best things your company can do.You have happy customers — you just need to give them the tools they need to share their experiences and accelerate your growth. How has your tour or activity company succeeded in getting the word out? Share in the comments below.

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