Best Tourism Destination Marketing Strategies to Maximise ROI
One of the core roles of Destination Marketing Organisations is to marketing to tourists to drive more visitors to benefit the local economy. One challenge is choosing which campaigns to run, over which marketing channel and with what message. Read on for a comprehensive overview of considerations, tactics, opportunities and case studies for getting the best ROI for your Destination Marketing campaigns.
This guide is split into 5 sections:
- Do the Basics right - Optimise your Destination Marketing Website
- Tell the Story - Sell your Destination to Tourists
- Leverage the Best Channels for Destinations
- Turn your Destination Website into a Destination Marketplace
- 4 Examples of Best Marketing Strategies for Destinations
1. Do the Basics right - Optimise your Destination Marketing Website
Before investing time and effort into marketing campaigns, make sure your website is good enough to be marketed. The money and time and effort you're about to invest in marketing, may be better spent getting the basics right with a website upgrade. Here's some things to look into:
1. Website speed and performance: Over 50% of consumers won't wait for your website to load if it takes longer than two seconds. You can send all the visitors in the world to your website but if it doesn't load quick enough there won't be much point. Get started by putting in your website URL into here: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
2. Richer content expectations: With the popularity of instagram and 4k streaming becoming standard, the expectations for quality content are firmly set higher than just a couple of years ago. A picture paints a thousand words, but a video shows a thousand pictures. If you're not sharing engaging content, expect limited results.
3. Convenience and ease-of-use: Attention-spans are reducing, or rather consumers are valuing easier to digest information. Make sure the content being shared uses an information pyramid, with key pyramids and take-aways first, with content being developed throughout. It's estimated millennials have a 12 second attention span before they'll click off your site if they haven't found what they want. And GenZ attention span is deemed to be just that of 8 seconds. Spend time getting messaging right and consumable before pushing it out further.
4. Navigation: Simple and easy to navigate website structure is vital to help visitors explore your site. Limit menu options to layers of 6 which is the number a consumer can quickly browse and make a decision on. Have more than 6 menu items? Consider moving less popular categories into sub-categories.
5. Responsiveness across devices: constantly test your website across multiple devices to ensure it's easily accessible across platforms. Don't leave this to your web company to manage. You should constantly be testing and using the site to get a feel for any flaws and areas of opportunity for improvements
2. Tell the Story - Sell your Destination to Tourists
Whatever the marketing campaign you intend to run, there's one constant to always keep in mind. No it's not remember your google analytics tag. Or to ask your colleagues to share across their channels. It's much more than that...
The goal of your marketing campaign is to tell a story. Why? Well in short:
Story telling = emotional reaction = memory creation = more visitors
A true story creates an emotional reaction, which in turn generates memories, which means the next time someones thinking about where to visit, your marketing campaign, destination and website are remembered. If your marketing campaign doesn't spark an emotional connection with you, your friends and your colleagues, then switch it up.
3. Leverage the Best Channels for Destinations
How to chose the best channels for your destination marketing campaign? The channel you choose will depend on a combination of factors, timings, content and goals you want to achieve. Here are some factors to consider: ROI on different channels change year by year. Facebook and Instagram used to be a brilliant channels to drive organic followers to your website. They've since updated their algorithm to favour content without links to external websites. Facebook is now very much a 'pay to play' model and as large brands invest millions, the cost of customer acquisition has risen. This is typical for all channels. As they start out in the early days, they're more cost effective to advertise on, but as they become more established, naturally the price increases.
Most website get their traffic through search and direct As shown by SEMRush , most websites get their traffic either directly (i.e. through brand awareness, from offline campaigns, repeat visits or recommendations) or through search.
When thinking about where your marketing money is spent, remember you're largest reach is probably on your homepage, so hosting key campaigns on your homepage and other key pages can get a further reach than spending heavily on advertising alone.
Instagram and the use of the influencer Instagram can be a great channel to show off visual content. 75%of people say that they have based on something they’ve seen on Instagram.
Ultimately, your channel choice will be determined by the audience your targeting Make sure to monitor the changing demographics of each channels. It would be limited use promoting a rugby match on Pinterest when over 80% of its users are female.
4. Turn your Destination Website into a Destination Marketplace
With the surge of demand for local and authentic experiences, there's a clear opportunity to support business members through showing off their experiences online for website visitors to book with. Working with Beyonk.com, your ROI looks like this: Cost close to nothing Return
- Hundreds of rich-content experience listings, optimised for SEO and bringing thousands of more website visitors for terms you wouldn't have otherwise ranked for, expanding you reach and helping you attract more visitors
- Hundreds of new assets for marketing campaigns
- Better value for members, accessing free booking software, free marketing and sales support to package up experiences for maximum success online
- Reaching more members through Beyonk outreach
- Free website upgrades
- A new USP over all other websites and the opportunity to become the biggest marketplace in the region
- All-round value added for all
Interested? Read more here on our Destination Marketing Booking Software
4 Examples of The Best Marketing Strategies for Destinations
- Visit Jersey Partnering with Strava - The campaign promoted the island break as a mecca for sporting events and activities. And what better way to do that, than partnering with the leading social media fitness platform with over 4.8million UK athletes getting involved. This is a great example of finding an audience, establishing where they congregate and choosing innovative ways to interact with them.
2. Visit Cornwall - and their Experiences Booking Platform Ok, we may be a little biased here, as Visit Cornwall is using the Beyonk DMO Booking Software. But c'mon. You have to admit this is a pretty nice website with hundreds of experiences, many bookable at the click of a button. We're clearly not alone in thinking this - Visit Cornwall is a great example of leading with content, being forward thinking and is now one of the biggest tourism websites in the UK attracting millions of visitors looking for things to do.
3. Visit Ireland and Visit Scotland, using Instagram Influencers to Promote their destination to active adventurers through Challenge Sophie . Although this is getting more and more common, it's a great example of using Instagram to engage an audience and push out a message - in this case winning a trip to Ireland!
Faroe Island - and their 'Sheep View' Initiative
Ok, this one's a little old, from 2016, but without a doubt one of the most creative campaigns has to be how Faroe Island traded in Google Street View for 'Sheep View', by strapping 360° cameras to sheeps and uploading it to Google Street View. The terrain is more difficult and inaccessible so they took it upon themselves to share the content. A great example of using unique channels to promote the area. The video has also gone viral being viewed well over 700,000 times.
Want to take action on a marketing campaign to offer you maximum ROI? Get in touch with us and we'd love to help. Beyonk helps DMOs supercharge websites with experience booking and marketing technology.