Six Keys to Inspiring, Effective Destination Marketing Content

Amy Hubbell

Amy Hubbell

Director of Strategy, Research & Analytics

Our travel & tourism clients all have unique and enticing facets to market. But what helps their content marketing really stand out and gain a competitive edge? Here are six of our best approaches.

1. Mine your competitors’ content and discover where your audiences engage.

A great content marketing program applies competitive learning. Identify best practice peers and study what they do – and what their audiences connect with. What are the tips and tricks you can draw out from their successes; what themes, strategies and tactics underlie their most successful and their least successful posts?

Never before have our competitors’ marketing communications been so visible. At the same time, you can dig into what your prospective visitors are saying online.

  • What destinations are they talking about?
  • What are their impressions?
  • How are they talking about your destination?
  • How can you use that insight to better connect, to truly inspire travelers?

2. Identify a unifying theme that will inspire collaborators and prospective visitors.

Find an inspiration for content development – a story line that can support a season of engaging content. Recently, one of our clients was celebrating its 100th anniversary. We transformed the anniversary into “100 Days of Emerald Coasting,” a theme that led to a summer of content and a multifaceted conversation with our visitors, prospective visitors and locals. A strong theme like this can help build momentum for your content calendar.

destination marketing content


destination marketing content

3. Engage the local community in content creation.

Locals and repeat visitors can be part of your team – passionate collaborators who help you develop content and inspire travelers.

  • Local businesses can create or inspire content, and host events that drive content creation by visitors, locals and your team.
  • Your repeat visitors can be your most vocal advocates, and often need just the slightest nudge to share their stories, their photos, their love of the destination.
  • Tapping into the passions of vocal locals, including the lesser-known aspects of the destination – the insiders’ secrets – can inspire first-time visitors and drive more frequent repeat visitation by those who already know and love your locale.
destination marketing content

4. Develop content around all the experiences your destination delivers.

Examine your destination from all angles.

  • What are the different experiences it delivers?
  • Do you know which experiences your top potential segments are most likely to engage with?

If not, develop content that expresses the aspects of your destination that you believe are most appealing, and organize them into discrete thematic categories – then analyze who connects with the restaurant scene, the beaches, the shopping, the fishing….

Piece together a complete picture – a story of your destination – and as the results engage your key audiences, expand on the winning categories as you move your content calendar forward.

5. Laser focus on content areas your audience will connect with.

Once you’ve developed a broad view of your destination, go deep. Examine the commonalities that connect successful content and the themes that connect less successful posts. What imagery, what tone, what types of questions draw your audiences in? Drill into who connects with what, and expand upon those best practices. Not every post needs to be a blockbuster, but you do need to understand the types of content and imagery that inspire your audiences to return and to share. When you do have blockbusters, consider reposting them, proactively targeting audiences most likely to engage.

6. Leverage your internal team, agency colleagues and partners.

Ask your own locally based teams for their input, leveraging the skills of your internal and agency teams. All can be valuable sources of content ideas and actual content. Perhaps most important, your internal and other local teams can be your eyes and ears for authenticity – the content should feel and sound “of” the destination without feeling stereotypical or shallow. Your local collaborators can help ensure you deliver that nuance.

Ensure your content team is working closely with your PR team, with the content team leveraging content opportunities from PR activities, with your PR team leveraging great content and the learnings about content that inspires, and with content your visitors share. Ensure that your analytics and media teams are engaged in the content and its effectiveness, helping to optimize and leverage successful content with paid media.

Beautifully shot assets are a good start. But truly great destination marketing content is driven by:

  • Curiosity about what peers – especially best-in-class peers – are doing, and curiosity about why it’s working. What is it that’s driving travelers to engage with one piece of content and not another? What motivates one segment versus another?
  • Collaboration among content marketing practitioners and engaged locals, among internal and agency teams.
  • Strategic control in preparing, organizing, sourcing and testing content. Balancing inspiration and structure is key to best-in-class results.

For more Peter Mayer Insights on Travel & Tourism, visit: http://pmaw/topic/travel-tourism/



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