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Top Tips For Successful Destination Marketing Online


Top Tips For Successful Destination Marketing Online

We used to arrive at a destination and visit the local tourist office to find out where to stay in the area, learn about local history, interesting attractions and gather other inspiring ideas about things to do while in the vicinity.

Although it's still something of a tradition of mine, most of the information (and much more) is now available online; thousands of times over. The trouble is sifting through it all.

Destination Management Organizations (DMOs) - Advertising, Promotion or Marketing?

American marketing professor, Edmund Jerome McCarthy proposed the concept of the 4 Ps Marketing Mix - 'Pricing, Place, Product and Promotion' in his book 'Basic Marketing: A Managerial Approach' - first published back in the 1960s.

Modern Destination Marketing Organizations (also known as tourist boards, tourism authorities or Convention and Visitor Bureaus) have developed tourism websites to promote certain travel destinations and help develop the local economy through tourism; be it a town, city, region, or country as a whole.

1 

The first goal of a DMO Website is to get people interested in visiting the destination; hence the website is often re-branded as 'Visit Destination'.

Once a visitor is on the website, DMOs need to show them what makes their destination unique and interesting.

2 

DMOs use rich visual content to highlight and promote the unique local landmarks and other interesting sights.

We all like a good story too.

3 

Other DMO branding words like Destination, Discover, Experience, Go, Meet .... followed by a city, state, province, region or country can persuade the potential traveller to read more about what is on offer.

Quality content creation is the hook that plants the seeds of desire; selling the potential experience and benefits of visiting a location, by helping customers visualise what their travel experience could be like if they follow up on the written word.

4 

With faster Internet connections now available on mobile devices, DMOs can pitch more of what a destination has to offer through captivating Video Content too.

By producing marketing material that is not specifically selling holidays as such, the potential customer is now on a personal voyage of discovery; finding the things that interest them the most and already thinking about enjoying and sharing the experience with others.

5

 The growing trend of sharing content on Social Media can make something unique and special go viral in no time at all.

Travel companies have known this for a while and even pay some 'celebrity' travel influencers quite handsomely to use and review their products, or employ them as brand ambassadors.

6 

With the right 'target audience' following, Travel Influencers can help DMOs promote their unique selling points (USPs). Often the most bizarre quality about a location can become its key attraction for visitors.

Nothing works better than putting a real person in a real situation and letting them show off and share the real experience an activity in the destination provides. Do it right and more people will want some of the action.

7 

Just let them know where to sign up.

Destination marketing is not just for large tourism companies. Small travel brands can get in on the act too.

8 

By focusing on the benefits a location has to offer, rather than the travel deal or holiday package itself, small travel businesses can build up a level of authority and customer trust through their expert local knowledge.

Like countless products advertised before them, DMOs have had to bring creative talent on board to design a look and feel that is unique to their destination.

9 

Standing out from the crowd with appropriate colour schemes, logos and catchy slogans has become as important for destination marketing as it has been for promoting product recognition in household brand names.

And finally, everyone is in it together.

10 

Destination Management means looking after the interests of all the related travel services and suppliers involved in - and getting to - the destination.

Accommodations, attractions, restaurants, shopping venues, tour operators and travel agents can also play their part to maximise visitor interest in the destination.

Done right, it's a win-win situation for everyone involved; and more importantly, for the visitor.

Word of mouth from a satisfied customer is the best free advertising that money can't buy.


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