Travel marketers: We've got your New Year's resolutions right here, based on our digital marketing successes in 2019.
Collectively, we've learned a lot in 2019 — how to quickly change the topic from politics at family dinners, who ended up on the Iron Throne, what 30-50 feral hogs are capable of, etc. Here at C/A, we've also learned some easy and efficient ways to increase visitation for our DMO clients. And because a new year means a new opportunity to boost your DMO's revenue by rethinking your marketing strategy, we're sharing them here with you.
1. Focus on attracting meeting planners.
How our clients benefited in 2019: Hosting meetings and conventions in your destination is a huge source of revenue, but meeting planners can be hard to pin down from a marketing perspective — unless they're all in one place at one time. For Destination Niagara USA, we created a campaign touting Niagara Falls USA's "big 5" attributes relevant to meeting planners, and geo-fenced digital ads around well-attended meetings-related conventions. For Minneapolis Northwest, we took a similar tack, but focused on one attribute that's increasingly important: environmentally friendly meetings.
2. Increase conversions by driving to content-rich landing pages.
How our clients benefited in 2019: Visit Tucson's website has a wealth of information, which is great — but that can often overwhelm visitors. To create conversion-focused digital experiences, we helped create targeted landing pages curated with relevant content for specific audiences, such as outdoor adventurers, wellness-seekers and foodies. These landing pages not only offer a tailored environment that nudges visitors down a path to visitation, but also feature cleverly woven in calls-to-action that entice them to take action.
3. Leverage trending events to entice visitors to visit.
How our clients benefited in 2019: The fact that WorldPride was set for New York City this year — promising to draw an international audience of some 5 million revelers — was a feather in the cap for many U.S. DMOs, including Brand USA, the organization that markets America abroad. Brand USA tasked us with producing a quintet of content pieces targeted at Pride travelers from sea to shining sea (see examples below) to run on its main site, visittheusa.com, as well as a handful of its international sites. Destination Niagara USA took advantage of Niagara Falls' proximity to the Big Apple, shifting some of its media budget to target users planning trips to New York City on Expedia, where visitors were able to access Pride-specific information on Niagara Falls' own events and celebration.
4. Use your destination's seasonality to your advantage.
How our clients benefited in 2019: Visitors may tend to think of the Land of 10,000 Lakes as a summer destination — but it only takes a few pieces of compelling content and engaging imagery and video to open their minds. That's why, for MSP Vacations, we change up the homepage each season to highlight what's best about Minneapolis-St. Paul at that particular time. When visitors land on the page, they're immediately able to access compelling content relevant to the current season — for winter, it might be outdoor activities to try with the family, or ideas for cozy date nights.
5. Attract daytrippers and staycationers from local drive geos during off and shoulder seasons.
How our clients benefited in 2019: Here in the desert, we know that our 120-degree summers are a tough sell for most travelers. Locals, however, are very much in need of diversion — and the DMO for Phoenix-metro town Gilbert wanted to capitalize on this. To that end, we devised a content-focused "Summer Nights, Neon Lights" digital campaign for Discover Gilbert targeting local couples and families, encouraging them to take advantage of after-dark activities in Gilbert's downtown entertainment district. Audience-specific itineraries were the backbone of this campaign, and were delivered care of targeted Facebook, Instagram, display and paid search ads.