Things are changing – while the essentials of marketing remain the same, tactics have matured. Here’s a blueprint for a new PR approach to showcase a top tourist destination.
The new model is simple: Use a blog at the core of your marketing and let it drive the rest of the marketing effort.
VisitConcord-NH.com is a blog site created specifically to promote unique cultural assets to tourists.
Why a dedicated blog site? Blogs are owned media. When you own your digital space, versus rent-at-will, it eliminates surprise changes from platforms like Twitter and Facebook that impact your online visibility and overall marketing efforts. Blogs also reach customers who may not be influenced by traditional media.
A blog is at the heart of all SEO effort by any travel organization today - it is your best form of digital outreach. And it lets you connect with various key markets by anticipating the search string a potential customer would type into Google. Your blog holds the answers to that query and they will be directed there.
Yes, search string– this is the key. Think about how a prospective client might enter a search about a product – then write the response. It’s that simple. And the best blog posts are timeless, helpful to anyone searching for information for months or years.
According to HubSpot, a blog has 4 key benefits today:
It helps drive traffic to your website.
It helps convert that traffic into leads.
It helps establish authority.
It drives long-term results.
Blogging is all about creating content that Google will match to someone’s search – but it also allows you to boost the overall rating of the site and opens new markets. Many people do not read printed media today – instead, they react to ideas and stories they see on social media platforms. So, we need not only to provide (and keep up with) blog posts on events, and the experience, but also invite others to provide content, video and photos. Unique content is paramount, as is sharing of said content by others.
Simple facts as to why a blog is the perfect PR venue:
Blogs are a form of social media. Done correctly, they can lead to social sharing and be a tool for building a targeted community.
Blogs are all about search optimization. Because of their design, blogs are search-friendly. We can improve this by focusing each post on a specific keyword phrase.
Blogs drive sales. Blogs can answer questions, get travel opportunities in front of customers, and open new markets.
Using Squarespace’s powerful blog tool, it is easy to get in front of the right people and break posts down by categories: weddings, events, outdoors, family, etc.
Simple blog guides are a great way to highlight an experience or destination. Itinerary suggestions are an easy way to win share.
Blog posts boosted on social media present an even bigger win when they appear in users’ news feeds like a regular post vs. an ad, and attract new audiences, views, likes, shares and comments.
Blogs are a great opportunity to demonstrate that you’re the leaders in the field. That is where the “gravitas” glow comes in.
To maximize the blog’s online visibility, we plan to repurpose previously created content while adding new content and getting partners to contribute so we can have at least one blog per week.
Social Media –Before marketing tactics matured, marketers pushed people out to their social media channels – Like us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter, etc. – but why would anyone push someone from their website tosocial media, the land of the distraction? Instead, post blogs designed to push people from their social media feeds to the website.
Influencers – These are key players whose presence on social media can support our marketing. When influencers refer to your service, rate their first-hand experience or share live moments at your spaces on their social media/blog, thesepeople can influence their followers to get to know your offer and try it for themselves. Bloggers, journalists and/or Youtubers are key opinion makers to final consumers.
News releases– Through simple changes in tone, headline and closing language, blog posts can be easily modified to a press release – and sent to local, regional and national media. Doing so allows for a nice flow of news and ideas to the traditional media and allows content to be repurposed.
Video – Young people don’t watch traditional TV programming. They are all about YouTube and consuming media wherever they are, whenever they choose. Short, to-the-point videos with high-quality images and sound, appeal to younger generations and most of today’s audiences. Fast-paced, colorful footage and good storytelling showcasing someone having a great time often leads to the “I want to be that person, in that place, doing that!” effect and invites them to look for more information.