The DMO Download
A weekly digest for those who market and manage destinations.
This DMO Used a Viral Trend to Reach Their Audience
by Paige Schamberg
DMO Resources to Build Your Destination Knowledge
There’s a lot to unpack in this week’s download. Learn about Brand USA’s new funding and what it means for tourism, check out a DMO’s clever marketing tactic, read about building trust with visitors and more. Check it out!
Brand USA Receives $250M to Attract International Visitors
The Restoring Brand USA Act approved $250 million in funding for the United States’ chief marketing organization in efforts to attract international visitors. With international travel spending far below pre-pandemic levels, the funding will fuel the organization’s efforts and get the United States back on the map. The funds, approved for the 2022 fiscal year, will also keep the U.S. competitive as nations around the world are vying to attract international travel attention post-pandemic.
This new funding bodes well for many DMOs and CVBs, especially in regions close to attractions that have historically attracted international visitors such as the Grand Canyon, New York City, the national parks and other major destinations. Other countries have already been implementing major benefit programs and advantageous booking opportunities in an attempt to attract more visitors. Ahead of the projected busy summer season, it’s important to begin laying the groundwork for international visitors to get the United States back on the tourism map.
Discover Long Island… Wordle Style
Discover Long Island, the official destination marketing organization for the region, announced the launch of “LongIslandle,” a spinoff of the viral word guessing game called Wordle. Each weekday, the DMO will add a Long Island-themed word every day for users to discover. The game is free to play and is hosted on the destination’s website. Players can also submit relevant words through the site or by messaging the destination’s account on Instagram.
“Our team keeps a keen eye on the latest trends to keep Long Island top of mind for local, national and global visitors and “LongIslandle” is the latest example of that out-of-the-box thinking,” Discover Long Island’s President and CEO Kristen Jarnagin Reynolds said. “It’s no accident that Discover Long Island has been lauded as an industry leader for our innovative use of social and digital channels and this new ‘LongIslandle’ is a unique and subtle marketing opportunity for the region delivered to puzzle fans in a fun format.”
This is an excellent example of how DMOs can utilize major trends to increase visitor engagement, spread brand awareness and create unique relationships with their audience. Discover Long Island’s quirky game spinoff shows DMOs that no ideas are too “outside the box” to be successful in helping destinations reach their goals.
These Are the Top Methods for Building Trust With Visitors
More U.S. consumers still trust word-of-mouth more than any other advertising channel. The data also shows that GenXers are the most trusting of what they hear through word-of-mouth, whereas only 28.5% of Boomers say they trust this method of sharing information. In this data released by MarketingCharts and Nielsen, branded websites are the second most-trusted marketing method, followed by consumer opinion as the third-most trusted.
This data shows that it’s more important than ever for DMOs and CVBs to build reliable reputations when it comes to experiences with their destination throughout the entire visitor’s journey. Creating engaging, trustworthy websites is the key to creating positive experiences for visitors. With reliable and aesthetically pleasing websites attracting visitors to your destination, this lays the groundwork for amazing getaways that people want to share. Make sure you’re making efforts to give accurate and timely information in a way that is attractive and easily accessible to users. Not only will this build trust before visitors arrive, but also during their whole stay and beyond. Learn more about building trustworthy websites here.
How to Write Facebook Ads That Convert Your Audience
For many DMOs and CVBs, Facebook is a platform with major advertising opportunities for tourism. With the majority of users between 25-34 and over one-third at 45 years or older out of 2.89 billion active users, Facebook represents a huge number of potential travelers. Obviously, this number of users attracts hundreds of thousands of marketers every day, resulting in thousands of ads. In this cacophony of marketing noise, how do you write ads that get clicks? The Social Media Examiner gives some tips that will attract the audience you’re looking for. Here are a few:
- Imagery is everything. You need attractive quality images to get users to stop scrolling and look at your ad. This doesn’t mean you need to spend thousands of dollars on a professional photographer to take pictures of your destination. Facebook users are favoring authentic images from real people, making user-generated content a cost-effective and useful tool for destinations.
- Write compelling copy. Once you’ve captured your user’s attention, they’re going to read to find out why they’ve stopped scrolling. The copy needs to pique their interest and pre-sell what your destination has to offer.
- Create strong headlines. If possible, personalize them. Consider geo-targeting or using relevant emojis or even making it sound conversational.
Using Facebook ads can be super effective for promoting your destination on social media. It takes good design, quality research and creativity to pull together a set of ads that will build your audience and expand your reach.