As a destination marketer, one of your main challenges is turning your website visitors into destination visitors. Before a visitor comes to your destination they compare you their other options. During this research phase, you tailor your ads to match their interests, you utilize search engine marketing tools to make sure your advertising and social… Read More
As a destination marketer, one of your main challenges is turning your website visitors into destination visitors. Before a visitor comes to your destination they compare you their other options. During this research phase, you tailor your ads to match their interests, you utilize search engine marketing tools to make sure your advertising and social content is targeted to their search results, and you hope these visitors click through to your site to consume and engage with the top content you’ve created.
But what are the best practices in turning these online visitors into destination visitors?
Leading destination marketers from Explore Branson, Elkhart County, Indiana, and Visit Williamsburg believe website personalization is a cost effective way to turn their website visitors into destination visitors. In Time to Get Personal, these three destinations highlight some of the ways Bound’s personalization solution has helped them stand out amongst their peers and convert their online visitors into destination visitors. Some of their results include the following:
Explore Branson has seen a 560% increase in e-newsletter sign-ups by using a personalized pop-up targeted to different website audiences.
Elkhart County, Indiana used Bound’s A/B testing capabilities to increase travel guide conversions by 253%.
Visit Williamsburg used Bound to maximize the value of their paid media campaigns. ince targeting paid media visitors to the website with personalized landing pages, they have seen a 41% increase in time on site.
Read more in this report to learn how these destinations got these results and to see if now is the right time for you to explore personalization for your destination’s website.
It’s the night before Thanksgiving, and you’re still trying to plan the menu. While you are thrilled that some rarely-seen relatives have decided to journey to your home for the holiday, they’ve also presented you with a culinary challenge. You realize that with only one turkey, and room on the table for only a few… Read More
It’s the night before Thanksgiving, and you’re still trying to plan the menu. While you are thrilled that some rarely-seen relatives have decided to journey to your home for the holiday, they’ve also presented you with a culinary challenge. You realize that with only one turkey, and room on the table for only a few side dishes, you won’t be able to give everyone the perfect Thanksgiving feast.
You decide to try and tackle the turkey first since it’s the centerpiece of Thanksgiving. Uncle Bob has requested a fried turkey this year, but cousin Alice from Austin thinks a smoked turkey would be better. You’ve never smoked nor fried a turkey before so it seems like an easy decision to stick to the traditional, which should be good for most of the group.
However you feel bad that Bob and Alice won’t get the turkey they want, so you decide to prioritize them for the sides. They’re both on board for your garlic mashed potatoes. This means though that the mashed sweet potatoes won’t fit on the main table, and will need to stay in the kitchen. Your mother will only eat the sweet potatoes and has a bad ankle. Is it fair to make her walk to the kitchen every time she wants more?
You could move the green bean casserole to the kitchen and leave all the potatoes on the table. Meanwhile your brother-in-law, Caleb, asked if the green bean casserole could use gluten free fried onions, and you’re still trying to decide if that would work for everyone or if it would taste noticeably different.
You’re completely lost when it comes to desserts. Your family will only eat pecan pie but your mother-in-law is severely allergic. It seems logical to make pumpkin, but how can you not have the pie that half your guests want?
Luckily you’re only faced with this conundrum once a year. Destination marketers, however, face this challenge daily. Instead of a turkey, they need a homepage hero that still appeals to in-state, out-of-state, and special interest visitors. They might not need to worry about someone walking the extra steps to the kitchen, but they struggle with keeping content easy to find so that brides looking at wedding venues or business travelers coming for a conference don’t need to dig through page after page of general vacation trip ideas.
Reimagine this Thanksgiving feast/website with personalization. Most guests would see the traditional turkey hero, but Uncle Bob and cousin Alice see the turkeys they want. Your mother doesn’t need to “walk” to the kitchen, because you’ve set a fly-in on the sides content that takes her right to the sweet potatoes. That pecan pie that can’t get near your mother-in-law? You’ve set rules to exclude her from ever seeing it.
We hope YOUR Thanksgiving is delightful and there are no challenges with planning. If you’re interested in learning how to take your website to the next level with personalization request a consultation to see how we fit in with your current marketing strategy.
Business management consultant Peter Drucker is often attributed with the saying “you can’t manage what you can’t measure.” By this he meant that you don’t know whether you’re succeeding unless your goal is defined and tracked. When it comes to DMO websites there are six goals we see tracked more often than others. They are:… Read More
Business management consultant Peter Drucker is often attributed with the saying “you can’t manage what you can’t measure.” By this he meant that you don’t know whether you’re succeeding unless your goal is defined and tracked.
When it comes to DMO websites there are six goals we see tracked more often than others. They are:
In the below charts, the Non-Targeted numbers represent website visitors who were not served personalized content. If you are not serving personalized content, you should compare your own performance against this group.
If you are serving personalized content, you will be in the higher performing group and should compare your performance to that of the website visitors tracked under Targeted.
How does your website compare to your peers on these key metrics? Does this bring up questions about what you’re measuring and managing? A simple but well organized measurement strategy is critical to managing a successful website. If you have any questions about best practices, please feel free to contact the Bound team here, and we’ll be happy to chat.
Photo courtesy of Tupelo.net When you see an image of a beautiful location or hear a great story about a destination, your natural response is to want to experience it yourself. The first step in that experience is often looking at the pictures of other travelers and reading their thoughts, opinions and narratives of their… Read More
When you see an image of a beautiful location or hear a great story about a destination, your natural response is to want to experience it yourself. The first step in that experience is often looking at the pictures of other travelers and reading their thoughts, opinions and narratives of their experiences. We respond strongly to this user generated content because we can relate to the creators and we can relate their experience to what ours could be like.
In our 2018 State of Personalization Report, we identify user generated content as a major driver in online engagement. That’s the difference we see between user generated content and advertiser or marketer generated content. Travelers trust other travelers over advertisers. According to a study by Elon University, 65% of consumers trust word of mouth on the Internet more than content produced by advertisers. Incorporating user-generated content into your destination’s digital marketing campaigns is a great opportunity to include an undeniable level of authenticity. In the report, we look at how leveraging local audiences to create content creates three benefits:
Modern consumers are visual decision makers.
Real people don’t feel like an advertising campaign.
User generated content establishes credibility.
As part of a bigger initiative to turn all marketing directives from professional photos to user-generated images taken by real visitors, Bound customer, Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau, started their #MyTupelo campaign. While Elvis’ hometown draws crowds from far and wide, many visitors only come for one specific attraction — so the challenge for the marketing team at Tupelo CVB was to increase overnight/weekend stays. Tupelo realized that it could take its marketing goals and initiatives to another level with a strategy that involved leveraging their locals.
“With UGC it’s not just us telling you to use our hashtag; it’s us saying there’s another traveler who stood in the exact same spot you’re standing in right now, and telling their travel story with a level of authenticity we just can’t provide on our own,” said Will Crockett, Online Content Manager at Tupelo CVB.
San Francisco Travel Association launched their “I am San Francisco and You Are Always Welcome” campaign as part of an initiative to let international travelers know that all people are always welcome. The first phase addressed the visitor directly in a dedicated video and #AlwaysWelcome hashtag. Phase two involves a nine-feature campaign leveraging locals with the goal of showcasing San Francisco as a diverse and welcoming destination. Titled “I Am San Francisco,” it’s an online series sharing the stories of both natives of the city and those who came to visit and found a home.
“We wanted to tell stories that are real and authentically San Francisco,” President and CEO of SF Travel Association, Joe D’Alessandro said. “This is what San Francisco is all about–not just acknowledging diversity but celebrating and defending it around the world.”
Across our many Travel & Tourism customers, e-newsletter sign up is a key website metric because it builds a destination’s email list and creates a connection with potential visitors. It enables you to maintain an ongoing – albeit long-distance – relationship with a potential visitor to your destination. Think about it, when a website visitor… Read More
Across our many Travel & Tourism customers, e-newsletter sign up is a key website metric because it builds a destination’s email list and creates a connection with potential visitors. It enables you to maintain an ongoing – albeit long-distance – relationship with a potential visitor to your destination.
Think about it, when a website visitor submits the sign up form, they take a big step in their relationship with you — they move from an anonymous person learning more about your destination to a person who is sharing their information and asking to be updated when you have something of interest to share. Let’s take a look at:
Why people sign up for e-newsletters
What performance you should expect from your own e-newsletter sign up
How our experience and best practice strategies impact e-newsletter sign up
Why do people sign up for an e-newsletter? We see two main segments of website visitors signing up to receive an e-newsletter:
Want to be aware of upcoming events
Weekly digest and weekend highlights are important
Will impact the business of key attractions and local partners
Will likely not impact hotel occupancy
Are considering a visit but not immediately booking
Updates on key attractions and annual events are important
Will impact the business of key attractions and local partners
Will impact hotel occupancy
Smart destination marketers message these two groups differently. Consider offering them a call to action or reason for signing up that aligns with their interest. Think of this as their ‘why’. Why should they give you their contact information? What’s in it for them? If they are in-market, focus on upcoming events content that is shared in the e-newsletter. If they are out-of-market, focus on the long-term reasons to stay in touch with your destination.
What performance should you expect from your own e-newsletter sign up? If we look across our customers’ sites for visitors who do not receive personalized messages (non-targeted visitors), we see an average of .12% conversion rate on e-newsletter sign up. Conversion rate is calculated by dividing the total number of non-targeted visitors on site who sign up for an e-newsletter by the total number of non-targeted site visitors.
If we look across our customers’ visitors who see a personalized call to action related to their interests, we see an average of .42% conversion rate on e-newsletter sign up. Conversion rate is calculated by dividing the total number of targeted visitors on site who sign up for an e-newsletter by the total number targeted of site visitors.
How do we see e-newsletter sign up done really well?
Visit Sarasota uses simple, but powerful, personalization to drive engagement with this key goal. Sarasota County, Florida — an award winning Gulf Coast beach destination with a thriving arts and cultural scene — encourages website visitors to sign up for their e-newsletter during their initial visit to the destination’s website. If they don’t sign up today, Sarasota’s personalization waits two weeks and asks again when the visitor returns to the site.
With support from their agency, Miles Partnership, Visit Sarasota introduced their e-newsletter pop up in January of this year. Within six months, this personalization campaign drove over 8,000 new subscribers — increasing the size of their email list by more than 250% as compared to the previous year.
With increased subscribers, Visit Sarasota shares upcoming events, sponsored places to stay, and unique local attractions on a monthly basis.
In our next post, we’ll take a look at how e-newsletter sign up compares with visitors guide download. We’ll discuss as a call to action and where each is used most effectively.
The fantastical travel marketing campaign by Travel Oregon is captivating viewers as it aims to drive tourism to the state. The cinematic, Miyakazi-inspired spot features real places you can visit in seven regions of Oregon. If you haven’t already experienced the ‘Only Slightly Exaggerated’ campaign, watch the video below and be sure to explore the […]
The fantastical travel marketing campaign by Travel Oregon is captivating viewers as it aims to drive tourism to the state. The cinematic, Miyakazi-inspired spot features real places you can visit in seven regions of Oregon. If you haven’t already experienced the ‘Only Slightly Exaggerated’ campaign, watch the video below and be sure to explore the website and the campaign’s corresponding landing pages. Intrigued by the magical campaign, we asked Bryan Mullaney, Global Marketing Insights and Planning Manager at Travel Oregon, about the travel marketing campaign’s goals and strategy, marketer-to-marketer.
1. What are the goals for the ‘Only Slightly Exaggerated’ campaign?
Our goal was to create a feeling of “I want to go there, I want to experience nature in Oregon.” In travel and tourism marketing, that’s usually done through stunning nature photography, but you run the risk of creative that doesn’t stand out. Mountains, rivers and lakes start looking very similar in today’s tourism marketing world. While our concept focuses on nature and outdoor recreation, our goal is to use the beautiful, enchanting, and inviting animation to inspire people to come find happiness off the beaten path, all over Oregon.
2. How do you define success? And, how are you measuring it?
Success can be defined in a multitude of ways for this campaign. From a media standpoint, it’s about video views, traffic to TravelOregon.com and engagement with our content. We measure engagement by time on site, pages viewed, and folks ordering visitor guides or subscribing to emails from us.
Ultimately we’re always trying to get people to book overnight stays aka “heads in beds” to help stimulate the local economies around the state. As of the May 2018 Dean Runyan Associates “Oregon Travel Impacts” research report, the travel and tourism industry generates $11.8 billion and directly employs 112,200 Oregonians.
3. What role does the website play in the campaign?
A key challenge for the team was figuring out how to pay off (and extend!) the magical experience for audiences who are inspired by the animated spot on TravelOregon.com. Working off a mere photograph cannot possibly relay the feeling of being here. Therefore, we leveraged the fantastical images and characters from the campaign video to immerse visitors in a compelling new world (before they have a chance to exercise their disbelief).
The landing page takes visitors on a journey through Oregon, complete with animations (a combination of gifs, parallax and html5 video) and calls-to-action (CTAs) sprinkled throughout. However our job would only be half complete if we didn’t create a bridge between the fantastical experiences of the animation and real Oregon locations travelers can visit.
We showcase the beauty of Oregon and connect and educate our audience to authentic experiences throughout the state. For example, folks who are inspired by kids riding a giant rabbit through a tulip field are connected to Oregon in Bloom, a collection of trip ideas about flower festivals, spring events and waterfall hikes. We also used this campaign to tell the backstory of one of the country’s most iconic sights—Crater Lake National Park—by highlighting the lake’s geological history and illuminating some of the more prominent tribal myths about its formation through its creation story.
4. Travel Oregon is known for its original and imaginative campaigns, like the recent Oregon Trail campaign and last year’s robot fish. What was the inspiration behind ‘Only Slightly Exaggerated’?
Have you ever tried to snap a picture of a beautiful landscape, only to look at your phone and think, “No, but it’s better than that. I swear!” Even with the most advanced cameras and editing software, it’s almost impossible to capture what you’re really seeing, feeling and experiencing in Oregon. That’s because Oregon is magical, and you really have to be here to get it. Oregon feels like it was plucked out of the greatest tales of fantasy and adventure, so we wanted to give it the treatment it deserves: animation. For an in-depth look at how we brought Oregon’s magic to life, you should read this behind the scenes story.
5. The Oregon Symphony created the original score for the campaign. What other authentically Oregon hidden gems are there throughout the campaign?
This fanciful, artful animation features Oregon’s majestic and diverse range of outdoor adventures in all the state’s seven tourism regions – from mountain biking the North Umpqua to fishing at Ramona Falls, to star gazing at Crater lake, and hot air ballooning over the Willamette Valley—there’s no shortage of magical adventures for everyone in Oregon.
Also, a major strategy for the second half of the campaign will be the use of local and regional influencers who travel across the state to highlight a key activity or destination mentioned in the 90-second spot.