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How to Compete & Win with Smaller Budgets

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How to Compete & Win with Smaller Budgets

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This presentation from Dave Looby, Joe Henry, and Steve Markuson provides tips on how to compete and win in the Tourism industry, even if you have a small budget.

This presentation from Dave Looby, Joe Henry, and Steve Markuson provides tips on how to compete and win in the Tourism industry, even if you have a small budget.

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How to Compete & Win with Smaller Budgets

  1. 1. How to Compete & Win with Smaller Budgets Strategy + Focus = Success Dave Looby / Minneapolis NW Joe Henry / Lake of the Woods Tourism Steve Markuson / Twin Cities Gateway Sponsored by MediaOne North America Atlanta, Georgia
  2. 2. MACVB SUMMIT / ALEXANDRIAMACVB SUMMIT / ALEXANDRIA
  3. 3. Prospects Visit Multiple Sites in their Travel Decision Path
  4. 4. Holistic Approach – it all Works Together
  5. 5. MACVB SUMMIT / ALEXANDRIA
  6. 6. Managing Stakeholder Expectations • Lodging properties want room nights • Public officials want economic development • Businesses expect marketing & promotion • Community desires more amenities • Your agency thinks the money is theirs • Local groups seek donations The money grab…
  7. 7. CVBs Need to Change the Perceptions of Tourism • Get all stakeholders on the same page • Everyone must know / support the CVB’s role • This may require changing perceptions • Longwoods International “Halo Effect’
  8. 8. What Happens When More Visitors Come to Town? Magic Happens!
  9. 9. 21% 24% 17% 16% 16% 6% Lodging Food / Bev Retail Recreation Transport Other Lodging F & B Retail Recreation Transport Other What Happens When More Visitors Come to Town? 21% of visitor spending is on lodging and 79% is spent on “main street” & in the community (Many visitors come back year-after-year, so their lifetime value increases exponentially)
  10. 10. What Happens When More Visitors Come to Town? The perception of the community is enhanced
  11. 11. What Happens When More Visitors Come to Town? The community attracts a stronger workforce
  12. 12. What Happens When More Visitors Come to Town? New businesses are attracted to the community
  13. 13. What Happens When More Visitors Come to Town? The community attracts retirees
  14. 14. MACVB SUMMIT / ALEXANDRIA
  15. 15. Earned Media – Be in the Game • Put yourself out there, be in the game -NPAA -AGLOW -OWAA -Fishing Tournaments -ICAST
  16. 16. Earned Media – Create Win-Wins • Can this individual benefit LOW? • What media will be created? • Where will media be seen? • What else may they offer? • Images, Videos, Social Media • Based on what value they bring, how can we reciprocate? • Long term relationships • Negotiate
  17. 17. Earned Media – Create Your Own, Leverage Local Expertise • Where? Newspapers, magazines, TV, Radio • Who? • You, staff, local expertise • Hotel Staff • Resort Owner • Bar and Restaurant expertise • Fishing/Hunting Guide • Local Attractions • Retailer with New Store or Products • Write Articles and Blogs • Create Videos • Guest on TV shows • Radio interviews
  18. 18. MACVB SUMMIT / ALEXANDRIA
  19. 19. A CVB Can’t Be All Things to All People Focus on the market segments that represent the greatest opportunities to generate incremental visitation to your destination area, as well as those that will stimulate tourism-related economic impacts. ( To compete effectively, your CVB may need to do things differently than the way others do )
  20. 20. How Do You Eat an Elephant? (aka: How to Compete w a Smaller Budget) One bite at a time… • Adhere to your strategic objectives • Focus on the segments w highest ROI • Differentiate yourself from others • Align strategies with your budget
  21. 21. It All Starts with the Foundation If you don’t have a strong foundation, everything you do gets much harder each step of the way
  22. 22. The Foundation • Competitive landscape + • Product assessment + • Your differentiators + • Seasonality / lodging availability + • Your visitor profile + • Your community assets + • Your partnership opportunities + • Key performance indicators = Realistic strategic objectives
  23. 23. It All Ends with Strategic Objectives (If you don’t have strategic objectives, it’ll kill you…) • Increase tourism awareness • Reach micro-targeted prospects • Increase non-peak period business • Generate incremental overnight stays • Leverage resources via partnerships • Maximize prospect engagement
  24. 24. It All Ends with Strategic Objectives (If you don’t have strategic objectives, it’ll kill you…) • Increase tourism awareness • Reach micro-targeted prospects • Increase non-peak period business • Generate incremental overnight stays • Leverage resources via partnerships • Maximize prospect engagement MACVB SUMMIT / ALEXANDRIA
  25. 25. A CVB’s Best Prospects • VFR / previous visitors to the area • Your website visitors • Your local partner(s) website visitors • EMT website visitors • Geo-targeted origin markets • Special / vertical / niche markets Do you know your visitor profile? ( If you know who your best prospects are, you don’t have to hunt for them )
  26. 26. Pick the Low Hanging Fruit
  27. 27. Social Media - Facebook • Facebook • Build Audience • Facebook Like Campaign • Gain Followers Organically… good content • Talk about page • Increase Exposure • Good Content • Understand Algorithm (Haha) • Boost Posts • Facebook Ad Campaign
  28. 28. Social Media – Other Platforms • YouTube • Twitter • Instagram
  29. 29. Lake of the Woods Tourism Newsletter • Newsletter • Fishing Report, 3 blogs, Outdoor Recipe • Weekly Distribution • Build Audience • Sportshows • Key Stakeholders, ask • Work with vendor lists • Promote on social media • Quality Content • Better open rate • More credibility • Useful for social media • Drives guests to Website
  30. 30. Newsletter • All on WordPress website • Drives more traffic and awareness • Increases SEO • Work within blog to better SEO • Focus Keyword • SEO Title • Meta Description • Label Images, Alt Text Organize Blogs with Jace
  31. 31. MACVB SUMMIT / ALEXANDRIA
  32. 32. How does a CVB Break through the Clutter? 5.2 billion Google web searches are done each day
  33. 33. Planning Overview Set realistic, measurable goals Match tactics to hit strategic objectives Recognize saturation points – avoid waste Develop / test creative – at least 3 versions Re-purpose content for multi-channel use (Content is good. More content is better)
  34. 34. Digital Marketing Levels the Playing Field • Determine your digital marketing budget • Utilize available analytics • Add tracking pixels to your website • Solutions based on strategic objectives • Reach micro-targeted prospects • Drive referrals / traffic to stakeholders • Maximize prospect engagement • Test / measure / optimize
  35. 35. Targeting by Keywords Your destination Competitive destinations Idea searches in state
  36. 36. Add tracking to determine/measure: • Clickable areas of your website • What are your key pages? • Where do you want to drive traffic? (lodging / events / visitors guide) Conversions – Set Clear Goals Based on your Strategic Objectives
  37. 37. MACVB SUMMIT / ALEXANDRIA
  38. 38. The Power of Video • Video will be 70% of web content by 2020 • Video can boost click-thru by 200% - 300% • Video embedded in landing pages can increase conversion 80% • Video assists 90% of prospects in making purchasing decisions • Video content promotes brand recall / increases organic search (Source: Forbes Business 2017)
  39. 39. Videos • Things to Remember • Keep them short, around 1 minute or less is best • Don’t need perfection • Content, content, content • Get creative • There are video possibilities everywhere • Do you have a YouTube Channel? • Upload file to Facebook separate than YouTube
  40. 40. Videos – Have Fun!
  41. 41. Videos – It’s About Your Audience • Activities • Food • Events • New hotels or businesses • Interesting People • Off the radar stories
  42. 42. Videos – No Edit or Simple Editing • In a hurry, do one take • Upload from phone • Smart phone editing • Video Editing Programs for PC • Variety of inexpensive programs • We use PowerDirector
  43. 43. MACVB SUMMIT / ALEXANDRIA
  44. 44. Smaller Budgets + Strategy + Focus = Efficiencies • Re-purpose content for multi-channel • Landing page development • Paid search • Social media posts / Facebook “boosts” • Re-targeting (website / display) • Sequential re-targeting to conversion goals • Segmented re-targeting • Content Activation (Native ads) • YouTube channel • Contextual re-targeting • Geo-fencing / location targeting • Connected TV Utilize available budget for these solutions until reaching the saturation point Add solutions as budget permits
  45. 45. Test: image / copy / header for digital display ads & optimize for re-targeting based on performanceTest / Measure / Optimize
  46. 46. Retargeting & Creative Testing • Most efficient form of frequency • Test creative to see what resonates best Creative Key Sled Indoor Family Fun Stay in Gate Zero Gravity Creative Imps. Clicks CTR Indoor Fam Fun 162,101 639 0.39% Sled 204,031 1,054 0.52% Stay In Gate 341,535 755 0.22% Zero G 163,150 565 0.35% TOTAL 870,817 3,013 0.35%
  47. 47. Prospecting campaign drives initial traffic to content pages Retarget with sequential ads Drive traffic back to goal pages like Hotels or partner links Create ads to drive traffic to specific goals, e.g. hotels / events / visitors guide Sequential Ad(s) Retargeting = Conversions
  48. 48. Segmented Website Retargeting Events Create buckets of audiences to retarget based on… • Content visited • Page volume in Google Analytics • Retarget with specific messaging based bucket Hotels Sequentially retarget people with specific messaging to bucket Things To Do
  49. 49. The Content
  50. 50. Native Ads Drive Traffic to Content Targeted native ads drive guaranteed number of readers to the pages Content written and placed on your website. Optimized for SEO and linked to partners.
  51. 51. Advice • Develop / use a content calendar • Don’t try too many things at once • Match your strategies to objectives • Don’t chase the next shiny object • Manage digital to conversion goals • Test / measure / optimize

Editor's Notes

  • Expedia did a study that showed 35% of travelers started with multiple destinations being considered. They visit 140 sites over 7 weeks on average. This is your target – the 35% (give or take) that are in decision making mode. They give a lot of opportunity over 30-60 days to be reached and re-reached.

    This is a sample of many sites that traveler may go to. Think 140 sites is a high number when doing travel research? Here’s just a few popular sites people go to if they are part of the 35% that is considering multiple destinations.

    We have several tactics we’ll talk about later that address how to reach these people and stay top of mind throughout the process.
  • We have to consider that while people are researching where to go and stay, all the channels need to work together like a machine or the competition will win. Having a similar story across all channels with the website being the central hub should drive the best performance.

    Some examples of natural bedfellows:
    Display drives organic searches (some may be paid google searches as well)
    TV drives organic searches or direct traffic
    Retargeting makes PPC work better
  • Things to initially consider. Where do your visitors come from? Drive or fly? Do visitors travel back often or once and done? What are they searching online (things to do; events; hotels; restaurants; etc.)? What are the volumes of those searches?

    Research window? Are people researching and booking 30 days, 60 days, 90 days out or more?

    Do you have multiple niches? Are they seasonal? You’ll want to get in out in front of a fishing season or whatever that niche may be.
  • With smaller budgets you need to be more precise with ad dollars starting with who is in-market and hopefully already considering your destination vs targeting someone with a HHI of $75k plus but may not be researching.

    Taking as much share of people that know they are traveling seems like a no brainer but the tactics to reach these people aren’t being used to their potential.

    Would you rather reach a somewhat random woman aged 32 with 2 kids and $125k HHI or a person searching “best place for family vacation in western virginia”
  • Here’s a top level overview to think about. We’ll unpack each of these over the next few minutes.

    Reposition from general advice to here’s what a client of ours did and it worked great…

  • Harvest the people already looking for you since they could be considering other destinations

    Try to take share of people looking for competitive destinations

    Be strategic about people searching for ideas in the state or region
  • Think of key pages & clickable areas of site (accommodations, travel guides, etc.) – you want to setup tracking so that none of these are a mystery. There’s a few ways to setup this tracking so you can see it in Google Analytics and a 3rd party ad server.

    Once this is setup correctly and you know exactly what you want the advertising to accomplish, you then need to figure out what will drive the goals.
  • Saturation point is when you start wasting dollars. For instance you should run around 30k impressions for every 1,000 users to your site per month.

    Paid search typically provides the best results in most circumstances. It literally allows you to put ads in front of a person asking directly for a product you have available.

    Display: first figure out how many impressions with around a 3x/day frequency cap you can run in a month. If you have 10,000 users to your website

    Facebook important because it is deterministic not just probabilistic for retargeting. Also, if you get repeat travelers it’s good to target your email database.

    Retargeting because people that haven’t figured out destination do a lot of searching and reading
  • Native ads are a little different than banners because they look more like the content than a normal banner

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