We’ve all seen the commercials of happy families running along a pristine beach or hiking up a shaded trail, superimposed with the same call to action – Visit Our State. […]
We’ve all seen the commercials of happy families running along a pristine beach or hiking up a shaded trail, superimposed with the same call to action – Visit Our State. But these picture-perfect advertisements are only one way that Convention and Visitor Bureaus (CVB) compete for our attention.
Omnichannel marketing is an essential tool for travel marketers to reach a wide range of audiences. At MNI, we aim to help businesses incorporate a range of full-funnel marketing tactics that bring even greater returns in the long run. For example, audio tactics can increase awareness with as much as a 97% listen-through rate (LTR). Whether a potential consumer is a
leisure traveler hoping to find their next weekend getaway, or a business traveler hoping to find activities outside of the conference hall, a wealth of tactics can optimize a CVB’s outreach and drive increased tourism.
Refining a Target Audience
For CVB marketers looking to get started, the first step is to determine their target audience. Leisure travelers are likely first in mind, but a state’s unique attractions should be considered in specifying the specific audiences they want to reach— hikers, beach-goers, et cetera. For example, an ideal target audience in the Florida Keys would likely be an upscale tourist who is able to afford the higher daily rates of those destinations.
Another major audience are business travelers, doubtlessly hopeful to explore their next destination’s offerings, outside of a hotel conference room. This also can provide a unique cross-audience, as some may bring their families along, and choose to tack on a few days at the end of their trip to explore the sights.
Outside of business and leisure travelers, CVB marketers should consider tailoring their messaging to the audiences who help plan travel – meeting planners and travel agents. Optimizing their marketing strategies to reach meeting planners or travel agents, gets more destination advocates onboard to promote your location. Attractive deals can be a popular hook for these audiences, who are actively looking to share them with vacationers looking to keep their next trip budget-friendly. Particularly in the current economic climate, these efforts can be exceedingly valuable and can expand a destination’s reach, overall.
Crafting an Effective Marketing Approach
One of the primary ways to increase interest in any destination is through a solid search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, using relevant keywords to drive traffic to the CVB website, and ensuring that said site will work across multiple devices, including mobile. Travelers who are in the search phase are more likely to be actively researching and planning a trip rather than just passively enjoying eye-catching travel content.
But of course, unique content across mediums – including email, video and social platforms – is the name of the game. CVB marketers should gather information on their target audience and use these insights to formulate their state’s identity across their marketing efforts. There are a number of marketing tactics that can be employed. For example, travel magazines
are an often-overlooked, yet highly effective means to attract tourists who are already in vacation-planning mode. Additionally, cover-wraps can provide a unique destination creative around popular titles, such as Travel & Leisure. In addition, marketers can employ a QR code to drive further engagement with the destination.
There are multitudes of tactics that savvy CVB marketers use – both offline and online – to attract their ideal travel audience to their special destination. With a bit of research to inform their tactical decisions, they will be able to optimize their strategies and effectively drive interest in their unique destinations, as one of the year’s prime tourist seasons ramps up.
Janine Pollack is the Executive Director, Growth & Content, and self-appointed Storyteller in Chief at MNI Targeted Media. She leads the brand’s commitment to generating content that informs and inspires. Her scope of work includes strategy and development for Fortune Knowledge Group’s thought leadership programs and launching Fortune’s The Most Powerful Woman podcast. She is proud to have partnered with The Hebrew University on the inaugural Nexus: Israel program, featuring worldwide luminaries. Janine has also written lifetime achievements for Sports Business Journal. She earned her masters from the Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism and B.A. from The American University in Washington D.C.