Questions & Answers

Posted by Anna Butler on 2016-02-06 20:58:00
Title: What is the best way to market my guest book
Category: Marketing

I have published a guest book with pictures of my northern lights pictures. I have a web site and I sell the books in a variety of gift shops in northern Alberta, and are purchase by some agencies as gifts for speakers at even.. I am looking for ideas to market it nationally and internationally and also to market it to governments and agencies to use as a unique Canadian gift for visitors and speakers at events.


2016-02-20 12:04:00

Hi Anna,

Thanks for your question. 

Keep in mind that winning government contracts when they aren’t actively accepting requests for proposals can be challenging.  That said, we recommend you provide them to government tourism agencies like Travel Alberta. You might also consider sending copies to Albertan politicians with international responsibilities.  Examples of this would be an MP that sits on a government committee for foreign affairs, or an MLA that works on international trade. This is because comparatively, they have the most exposure to international markets and counterparts, so they would have the most need to bear gifts that uniquely represent their region.  This would be the fastest and most likely route for sales from a government perspective. Destination Canada (formerly the Canadian Tourism Commission) may also be interested in learning more about your book. In addition to these options, regional development agencies like Calgary Economic Development sometimes send delegates overseas and might be interested in sharing your books with their hosts.

Moreover, staff within the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) are tasked with determining which gifts will be presented to foreign dignitaries and officials on behalf of Canada. Reaching out to DFAIT directly in order to identify which division or individual is responsible for making such decisions may be worthwhile. This process is more complicated than one might think due to the rules concerning the value of gifts, political considerations, and government guidelines on procedure and protocol, so reaching out to the appropriate person at the Department should further clarify this for you.

Investing in search engine marketing and optimization will certainly help in marketing your book to an international audience. Digital marketing tools will enable you to target a highly specific audience based on their online activity and demographic makeup. Identifying where international demand for your product is highest and targeting your messaging appropriately will go a long way towards at the very least increasing its international exposure. You might consider reaching out to Travel Alberta to understand which markets they are targeting, and piggy back on those efforts. 

Finally, social media is always a terrific way to directly engage potential buyers and markets.  Tag people on twitter and instagram to draw their attention to your product, and  use hashtags to expose yourself to certain groups who might be interested in your product.