The DMO Download

A weekly digest on economic development and cultural, heritage tourism news.

Investment in Influencer Marketing Surpasses Traditional Ads

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This Week in DMO News

This week, learn about the challenges of rural housing and how it impacts tourism, influencer marketing trends, and how influencer marketing can boost a DMO’s marketing approach. Check it out.

Tackling the Affordable Housing Dilemma

The town of Cortez, located in Montezuma County, Colorado, is facing a dilemma. Despite being a rural area, affordable housing is difficult to find and the impact is far-reaching in these local communities.

A housing needs assessment was presented at a city council meeting and revealed that Montezuma County experienced a significant increase in housing costs, with a 16% annual rise between 2018 and 2022. For individuals like Kevin Connor, who needed affordable housing options, the situation was exacerbated by the limited availability of rentals that meet the criteria for “affordable housing,” defined as units available for less than 30% of the area’s median income.

In response to the affordable housing crisis, Colorado passed Proposition 123 in 2022, which established a State Affordable Housing Fund with several hundred million dollars allocated to support municipalities, counties, and tribes in implementing affordable housing initiatives. However, to qualify for this funding, these local entities must commit to raising their affordable housing stock by 9% within three years, based on the data provided by the Baseline Assistance Tool.

There are concerns that rural areas, like Montezuma County, may not receive their fair share of funding under Proposition 123. It suggests that more populated areas with grant writers will likely have an advantage in securing funding, leaving rural communities at a disadvantage.

Finally, the article emphasizes that the affordable housing issue is not unique to Montezuma County but is a widespread problem faced by rural areas across the country. The common challenges include a lack of affordable housing supply, aging housing stock, and difficulties in making construction projects profitable in rural settings.

This isn’t just important information for economic development authorities to know. Rural DMOs need to be aware about the housing situation in their region. Not only does this affect the workers who contribute to the tourism industry, but also all of the residents that live in that area. Without stable housing, it can present some serious challenges for local businesses. Having a collaborative relationship with your community and local decision-makers can be advantageous in seeking a solution.

Investment in Influencer Marketing Surpasses Traditional Ads

Insider Intelligence’s influencer industry report reveals that influencer marketing spending is growing significantly faster than traditional social ad spending. The report attributes this growth to the resilience of creators and changing consumer engagement patterns. It also highlights the potential impact of the Hollywood writers’ strike on influencer marketing opportunities and the diversification of income sources for influencers.

Additionally, and most notably for DMOs, the report notes that influencers are becoming the key entertainers of their generation, often surpassing traditional stars. Social platforms are evolving into entertainment platforms, reshaping media consumption habits. This shift emphasizes the importance of influencer marketing in modern digital marketing strategies. Engaging influencers to help promote a region is a vital opportunity that should not be overlooked by tourism authorities, even if budget is a concern. While many rural DMOs may be working with a limited budget, it’s not always necessary to seek out high-profile influencers with millions of followers. Instead, there is a lot of value in engaging with local or regional influencers who typically have followers who are more involved and loyal. Check out this case study to read one rural DMO’s success story working with a niche regional influencer.

Here’s How to Keep Up With Influencer Marketing Trends

Influencer marketing is vital for DMOs and, with proper strategizing, they can effectively leverage influencers to promote their destinations. Influencers can be found within an organization’s own ranks and recommends starting with smaller influencers. The article categorizes influencers by their follower count, from nano to mega/celebrity influencers, and highlights that influencers with smaller followings are often more trustworthy to consumers. In fact, social influencer marketing has been growing for over a decade and was worth $15 billion in 2022.

DMOs should consider partnering with influencers, even if they have limited budgets, as some influencers may not require monetary compensation. DMOs should focus on finding influencers who align with their target demographic and can deliver to the right audience. Take a listen to this webinar titled “Influencers Shouldn’t Be a Dirty Word to DMOs,” which offers insights into using influencers in heritage and cultural tourism marketing efforts.

Some key takeaways include:

  1. Authenticity and Trust: Authenticity remains crucial in reaching customers and gaining followers through influencer marketing. The article highlights the value of authentic content created by influencers, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, where smart marketers and influencers found creative ways to engage their followers without significant investments.
  2. Leveraging Various Influencers: DMOs should consider influencers with smaller followings (nano influencers) as they are often more trustworthy to consumers. The article categorizes influencers based on their follower count, from nano to mega/celebrity influencers, and emphasizes the importance of aligning with influencers who resonate with the target demographic.
  3. Cost-Effective Partnerships: Influencer marketing doesn’t always require large budgets. DMOs can explore partnerships with influencers who may not charge high fees but can deliver the right audience. The article suggests that DMOs should focus on their goals, study site and social media statistics, and select influencers accordingly, ensuring they reach the desired demographic. Additionally, it mentions a webinar that provides further insights into influencer marketing for DMOs.

Overall, DMOs should explore influencer marketing as an effective strategy for promoting their destinations.

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