The DMO Download
A weekly digest on economic development and cultural, heritage tourism news.
Micro-influencers Are a Powerful Marketing Tool
Don’t Miss This Week’s DMO Download
There’s a lot happening in the heritage tourism world this week! Read up on Hawaii’s new approach to tourism marketing, how destinations can use LinkedIn, the benefits of including a micro-influencer in your marketing strategy, more resources about GA4 and so much more.
Hawaii Chooses a Community-centered Nonprofit to Help Lead Their Tourism Marketing
Hawaii’s tourism authority severed a century-old relationship with the state’s convention and visitors bureau by engaging a community-centered nonprofit organization, the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, to help them market the island to outsiders.
The new contract comes after a 2020 survey revealed that Hawaii residents were reluctant to welcome back visitors due to over-tourism concerns and the gulf they felt between their interests and the tourism industry. The Council, combined with a group of marketing organizations, will implement a locals-first approach to tourism despite some resistance from the bureau and local legislature.
“What I’m cognizant of now is that communities are intently watching the visitor industry. About 10 years ago my predecessor could enter into a room of industry colleagues and everyone patted each other on the back. Now when I walk into a space, I’m aware the community is there,” Hawaii Tourism Authority CEO John DeFries said.
As more destinations begin region-minded marketing efforts, they are building trust with their people and consequently creating a stronger community. DMOs need to take note of this emerging, local-first trend, not only because it’s the way of the future, but also because it improves the lives of residents and visitors alike.
How Destinations Can Use LinkedIn to Promote Their Region
This article from Tourism Currents highlights important tips for DMOs who are using or thinking about using LinkedIn in their social media strategy. DMOs should stray away from typical B2B posts, instead remembering that LinkedIn’s audience is full of real people, too. Here is a list of ideas for your destination’s LinkedIn feed:
- New hotels, attractions, parks and restaurants opening up
- Job openings at the DMO or other economic development/tourism partners
- Economic development news
- Media mentions about your destination, local celebrities, tourism partners or other recognizable members and organizations making a difference
- Transportation improvements
These are just some of the great ideas highlighted in this article. LinkedIn holds a lot of potential for DMOs, but it’s often underutilized. Be sure to investigate more to make sure this platform will help you further your unique marketing goals.
This Destination Added $15 Million to Their Local Economy Through Tourism
The Scotts Bluff National Monument in Nebraska drew in 194,000 visitors who pumped $12.6 million into the local economy. This had a cumulative impact of $15 million on the region’s economy and supported over 160 jobs, the National Park Service reports.
The monument is a big tourist attraction in the area and the report from the NPS proves how important it is to the surrounding communities, especially closer ones such as Gering and Scottsbluff.
“We know that [tourists] are not just stopping at the monument, but they’re taking some additional time, whether it’s to purchase a service or a meal, or hopefully staying overnight. We know that these monies are certainly coming into Gering,” Karla Niedan-Streeks, executive director of the Gering Convention and Visitors Bureau, said.
For DMOs, this is an example of how a regionally, nationally or globally famous attraction can benefit local communities. DMOs and CVBs can utilize their proximity to major locations like this to promote their own offerings such as lodging, activities, shopping, restaurants and so much more. With a comprehensive marketing strategy, you can promote your whole area, not just one amenity, as a desirable destination for any visitor. And, as Scotts Bluff National Monument has proven, this can have a massive, positive impact on your whole region.
Here Is Real Proof That Micro-influencers Can Boost Your Marketing Strategy
Visit Crawford, the tourism authority for a rural county in western Pennsylvania, had several marketing goals they needed to achieve. But, after developing a well-planned influencer strategy, Visit Crawford engaged with a micro-influencer whose interests aligned not only with the county’s offerings, but also with the key personas that Visit Crawford was targeting. Here are some other major goals the campaign accomplished:
- Secured over 90 original Crawford County photography assets
- Published four blogs targeting niche audiences
- 100+ unique engagements per influencer post
- Over 5,000 lifetime blog views
This engagement allowed Visit Crawford to test the water with new niche audiences as well as securing more owned assets and increasing engagement. For DMOs in rural regions like Crawford County, engaging with a micro-influencer might be the answer you’re looking for. If you’re interested in diving into this topic and exploring what it could offer your destination, check out this webinar or this blog to learn more about influencer marketing tactics and trends.
Everything You Need to Know About GA4
If you’ve been following the DMO Download for awhile, then you know that Google Analytics will cease to function by July 2023, which is really big news in the marketing world. Whether you do all your marketing in-house or if you’re a DMO who works with a marketing agency, this is important to know because it will affect how you interpret your analytics and campaign results. We highlighted some changes in a past DMO Download, so take a look and get caught up before diving in here!
We’ve been doing some more research on this change and have found some more resources that we think you’ll find helpful. We’ve listed some additional articles and videos below:
- A Guide to Google Analytics for Marketing Agencies – This downloadable guide outlines everything you need to know for your destination. From marketing data to how to prepare for the shift, this is a must for DMOs.
- Everything You Need to Know About Google Analytics 4: The Future of Data Analysis – This article from Better Marketing helps gives you the Reader’s Digest version of the changes, making this a great resource to get your feet wet in the world of GA4.
- Google Analytics 4 Tutorial for Beginners – Once you’re ready to start adopting GA4, starting with this online tutorial will give you a great first experience with navigating the software, understanding the set-up and experiecing the changes firsthand.
- Google Analytics 4 vs. Universal Analytics: 6 Key Differences Explained – If you’re used to Universal Analytics (UA), this video explains the differences between the older version of Google Analytics and Google Analytics 4. This is a must-watch for those who are familiar with UA.
There’s a lot more to learn about GA4, so make sure you’re up-to-date on the latest news so you’re prepared for July 2023.