Successful destination marketing has two key objectives:
- create awareness around your destination
- establish a connection with your potential visitors
You can do that with proper planning and execution of your marketing plan.
Successfully executing a marketing plan requires a budget, expertise and time. Most marketers try to keep up with too many marketing activities.
The key to success is allocating time, resources and money only to what matters most. Improving your results means spending your time on the right activities. This might help you achieve your goals.
Follow these tips for success:
1. Make a list of your priorities and goals
Market and visitor research should be the foundation for all destination marketing planning. This will give you insights into what your primary focus should be:
- Create awareness around your destination
- Grow interest around certain activities or promote unknown attractions
- Request feedback from local partners, stakeholders as well as locals.
For starters, try to focus only on the top one to three priorities for your destination.
2. Match your goals to the right marketing tactics and activities
Not all marketing activities and tactics are equal. It’s important to pick the right ones to ensure your marketing efforts are successful.
If you want to increase awareness around your destination you should focus on reaching as many potential visitors. You could do this by:
- have a stellar social media presence on the platforms your travellers are present on
- share interesting content about the beauty and unicity of your destination
- tell inspirational stories
If you want to promote certain activities, focus on people who are most likely going to enjoy them. How?
- create events, share testimonials, videos or user generated content
- create digital experiences for your potential travellers on your website and apps
- get them excited about trying them out in real life at your destination
If your goal is to promote hidden gems you could write about authentic experiences in your destination. This way you’ll help potential tourists get a sense of the local hood, local food or authentic places before they even reach your shores.
You could also engage and collaborate with bloggers and influencers. They could share their travel experiences with the right audience and get them excited about your destination.
3. Invest in your brand image and owned marketing assets
You platform should create an expectation of what kind of experiences the visitor will get once they arrive.
How can a destination do that?
- your apps should inspire confidence in travellers’ decisions to visit your destination
- use high quality videos and photos as well as user generated content
- provide a seamless user experience for visitors
Your social media channels, website and mobile apps should be integrated. This will help deliver a consistent brand message.
Look for a solution to allow integration, management and sharing of content across all platforms. This will save you time and money in the long run.
4. Plan your content
On a tight budget and a small team, planning is essential. It will save you time and keep you on the right track.
Use a monthly content calendar to keep you organized. It will also help you map out the available content and maximize its reach. You can generate content about a topic in different formats for different channels. You can start with:
- creating a landing page on your website and apps
- writing a blog, sharing videos and photos on social media
- creating an event on social media
- sharing an offer or sending newsletters
All at the same time.
5. Automate and delegate
Try to always automate processes to avoid duplicating work and save time. Look for a platform that allows quick and seamless sharing of content.
When you upload a blog article, event or activity on your website, it will be automatically published on your mobile app.
A collaborative platform such as Eventya helps you gain more free time by delegating. Give access to local partners and businesses to manage their own pages on your website and apps. They can create their own offers and add events, while you keep full control over what’s being published.
Here are some tools to help you better plan and automate your marketing activities:
- PromoRepublic.com is the multitasker you need if you have more than one social media account to manage. It helps with creating and scheduling social media content as well as analysing results.
- MailChimp helps you automate email marketing campaigns.
- Google Analytics provides you with a comprehensive understanding of digital marketing campaign success.
- HubSpot allows you to measure campaign outcomes and how they influence your interactions with the audience or website traffic.
Here are some tips to help you better market your destination:
- Use high quality photos and videos to capture the unicity of your destination
- Collaborate with local partners to create content, photography, videos, blogs
- Write blogs and posts that inspire and tell inspirational stories
- Encourage share of user-generated content
- Use newsletters that help you cultivate a long-term relationship with your audience
- Avoid writing generic content as this will dilute your message. Write content from the perspective of someone who’s already visited your destination.
- Use descriptive terms, focusing on experiences rather than tourist attractions. Use guest bloggers for a fresher perspective
- Your content shouldn’t focus on selling. It should offer an authentic view of your destination.
- Write about what makes your destination unforgettable: unique experiences, recommendations
- Advertise on the right channels to help more potential visitors see your messages
Managing everything at once is easier said than done and with a myriad of opportunities across so many marketing channels, it gets even more difficult. However, with the right planning and tools, your marketing campaigns will have the desired outcomes. Good luck and please let us know if we can be of further assistance!
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