Successful destination marketing must accomplish two key objectives: create awareness around your destination and establish a connection with your potential visitors. These can be achieved with proper planning and execution of your marketing plan.
As you may already know, successfully executing a marketing plan requires a budget, expertise and time. However, most marketers find themselves juggling between these while trying 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 that help you achieve your overall 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. Another great way to discover what those priorities are is by requesting feedback from local partners, stakeholders as well as locals.
For starters, especially if your budget is tight, 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 created equal. It’s important to pick the right ones to ensure your marketing efforts are successful.
If your goal is to increase awareness around your destination you should focus on reaching as many potential visitors as possible at the right time and at the right place. You could do this by having a stellar social media presence on the platforms your potential travellers are present on, focus on sharing high quality and interesting content highlighting the beauty and unicity of your destination, tell inspirational stories, etc.
If your goal is to grow interest around certain activities you should focus on promoting those activities to people who are most likely going to enjoy. How? By creating events, sharing testimonials, videos or user generated content. You could even create digital experiences for your potential travellers on your website and apps to get them excited about trying them out in real life at your destination.
If your goal is to promote hidden, unique gems and attractions around your destination, you could write blogs, articles about them as well as about different and authentic experiences at your destination. This way you’ll help potential tourists get a sense of 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
To inspire confidence in travellers’ holiday decisions, consider allocating a part of your marketing budget in creating a stunning visual identity for your destination. Start with a logo, brand book, website, mobile apps and blog. If your marketing team is too small or inexperienced, it’s best to hire an agency that can provide you with an integrated platform including branding such as this one: https://www.eventya.net/portfolio/visit-harghita-mobile-app/
You platforms (website and apps) should create an expectation of what kind of experiences the visitor will get once it arrives at your destination and inspire confidence in travellers’ decisions to visit your destination. High quality videos and photos of top attractions and experiences within your destination as well as user generated content are of utmost importance. Also, for your website and apps to be successful, they should not only look good but also provide a seamless user experience for visitors.
Your digital marketing assets and platforms should not exist in a silo, they should all be integrated and to help deliver a consistent brand message.
To build your website, blog and mobile apps you should always look for a solution to allow integration, management and sharing of content across all platforms. This will ultimately 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, help you plan your content and share it at the right moment.
Working with a content calendar will also help you map out the available content and maximize its reach on various platforms. For example, you could generate content around an important topic in different formats and for different channels starting 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. When creating your own desktop and mobile platforms such as websites and apps, always look for a solution that allows for quick and seamless integration, management and sharing of content across all platforms. For example, what you want is that when you upload a new blog article, event or activity on your website, this piece of content to be automatically published on your mobile app as well and vice-versa.
A collaborative platform such as the one provided by Eventya also helps you to free up more of your time by allowing you to delegate the creation of content, for example. You can give access to local partners and businesses to manage their own pages on your website and apps, to create their own offers and add events, while you keep full control over what’s being published.
Here are some other tools to help you better plan and automate your marketing activities and routine tasks so you can free up more time and focus on strategic 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 analyzing 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 more tips for you and your team to help you better market your destination and get results faster with less effort:
- Take high quality photos and videos, plan a photoshoot and try to capture the unicity of your destination
- Design creative graphics
- 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
- Share newsletters that help you cultivate a long-term relationship with your audience
- Avoid writing generic content as this will dilute your message. And most importantly, write content from the perspective of someone who’s already visited your destination, using highly descriptive terms, focusing on experiences rather than tourist attractions, details that motivates people to take action. Use guest bloggers for a fresher perspective.
- Your content should not focus on selling, it should offer an authentic view of your destination. Write about what makes your destination unforgettable, write about the unique experiences people can have, give recommendations and focus on current events and activities.
- 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!