Free Tools to Help Manage and Deliver Your Digital Strategy
We understand that not all DMOs have the luxury of working with a professional marketing firm. But that doesn’t mean that their digital strategies need to suffer! To remain relevant to your target markets, we recommend two free, easy-to-use online tools that will help you manage and deliver an effective digital marketing strategy. Read time: under 4 minutes
If your budget does not allow your DMO to work with a marketing firm, consider these tools to take your digital communications to the next level.
At its core, Drive is a great way to digitally store and share nearly anything. It presents content in a user-friendly folder structure that lends itself easily to organizing your work into campaigns, themes, etc. And with Google logins (required for each team member to independently access Drive), your team will have access to your content from anywhere they can access a web browser. Within each of your folders (examples: Food Festival, Shoulder Season Messages, Restaurant Partner Features, etc.), Drive allows you to organize and store everything from Word documents to Powerpoint files and more. You can also create Google Docs (a free alternative for MS Word), Google Sheets (a free alternative to MS Excel) or Google Slides (a free alternative to MS Powerpoint) from right inside Drive. It can take a lot of patience to get proficient with these Google alternatives to MS Office products but they are free and, once you get the hang of them, they have POWERFUL group editing, collaboration, sharing, versioning, tracking, and reporting features.
Some features of Google Drive
- 15GB of free storage when you sign up
- Accessible from your phone, tablet and desktop (with an available offline mode too!)
- Invite others to view, download and collaborate on only the files you want them to access
Once you are employing Google Drive and have your content and delivery plan in one central location where you can invite others to access it, check out Canva to turn your content into great-looking designs.
With channels like Facebook placing more focus on posts containing images (and Instagram natively requiring them), it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re creating visually appealing content for your social channels. Since launching in 2012, Canva has been winning millions of fans with its ease-of-use and quality output. And in that same time, Canva has evolved to cater to the needs of small communications teams, like the ones found at some smaller Destination Marketing Organizations. To get started, upload any pictures of your location or attractions that are high quality, interesting and representative of what people can expect to find in your destination. Take some time to establish a brand kit (a repository of your assets to help set your brand colors and fonts as a default) and some branded templates that your team can quickly edit and download. Now, set your team loose and they can create “on-brand” designs that will inspire your target audiences to visit your destination. Of course, Drive and Canva have image storage capabilities, but we always recommend storing "digital-only" files in multiple places to avoid the possibility of losing access to something for any reason. And while Google has encrypted Drive using SSL (the same security protocol used on Gmail and other Google services), for peace of mind in today’s “hacked” and “leaked” digital world, be sure to consider the sensitivity of the content you decide to store in "the cloud". As we’ve mentioned before in our previous digital tools article, it’s always helpful to appoint a champion to lead the effort of getting everyone on board. Adopting new tools can be a hassle at first, but the powerful benefits will have your team (eventually) singing their praises.