Our Encourage the Conversation video series was born out of numerous conversations we’ve had with clients about the importance of reputation management and encouraging positive influencer conversations about your destination. What people say about their experiences in your city matters — and we’re not just talking about leisure travelers. Meeting planners, meeting attendees, local stakeholders, community leaders, residents, etc. each have a role to play in building your destination’s brand.
When it comes to shaping the visitor experience and encouraging repeat visits, there are proven influencer marketing steps you can take to elevate awareness of your destination in the minds of travelers. We’ve covered several of them in the first 10 short videos of our Encourage The Conversation series. Here is a brief recap of these 10 ideas to help facilitate positive conversations about your destination:
- Stakeholder Partnerships: We all know community stakeholders — hotels, restaurants, attractions, and other organizations — are critical to shaping the experiences of visitors while they are in your destination. And these same stakeholders can have a major impact on the success of your DMO’s marketing efforts. Learn more in this 2 minute video.
- Social Media Curation: Travelers are increasingly wanting to hear from their peers on social media about the merits of a destination before planning their next trip. By promoting authentic visitor-generated content (UGC), you are leveraging the crowd (crowdsourcing) for marketing purposes. And you are demonstrating to these visitors that their feedback is important to you. Learn more in this 1 minute video.
- Social Media Editorial Calendar: Targeting potential travelers via social media is one of the best ways for your destination to remain at the forefront of their minds as they plan their next trip. But don’t just shoot in the dark! Put together a strategic social media editorial calendar to help your DMO: 1. Visualize your audiences. 2. Target them appropriately with content relevant to their interests. 3. Have a tool to evaluate the efforts of your social media curator. Learn more in less than 3 minutes.
- TripAdvisor Rankings: Tech-savvy travelers only have to conduct a quick TripAdvisor search to review crowdsourced information about your destination. Attractions, hotels, restaurants, tours, and other travel experiences are all sorted by TripAdvisor rankings in order of favorability based on real traveler experiences. And while much of TripAdvisor’s usefulness can be attributed to content generated for users by users, there are proven steps that your DMO can take to ensure travelers book a visit to your town or city. Learn more in less than 2 minutes.
- The Check-Out Program: One of the last opportunities you have to influence visitors’ impression of your destination is as they are checking out of their hotel. Encourage “bounce-back” visits by presenting a selection of activities they could take part in when they return to your destination. And hopefully they’ll bring family or friends on their next trip. Learn more in this 2:08 minute video.
- Curating Instagram Influencers: As more travelers look to their social media networks for travel inspiration, DMOs are discovering the value of influencer marketing as a central pillar to their social media strategy. Travelers want to hear from fellow travelers and from people they trust and admire. That’s why so many DMOs are enlisting influencers to post in their social media feeds about their destination. Learn more in this one minute video.
- Creating FOMO: As potential visitors formulate their travel plans, unique, one-of-a-kind experiences are often at the top of their travel wish list. Before stepping foot in your destination, they will often vet local restaurants, cultural experiences and upcoming events through TripAdvisor and social media to decide if they will visit your city. To encourage their visit, leverage your destination’s offerings by generating a Fear Of Missing Out. Learn more in this 1:39 video.
- Curating Social Influencers: Enlisting influencer help should be a central component of your social media marketing strategy. Travelers want to hear about the real experiences other visitors have had in your city. Curating content from social influencers is an effective strategy for reaching potential visitors who may be on the fence about visiting your city. Learn more in this :41 video.
- Managing Your Online Reputation: In addition to a great marketing strategy, visitor reviews and recommendations are critical to every destination. Obviously, every DMO is hoping for positive reviews of their destination, accommodations, restaurants, and attractions. But what do you do when the reviews are negative? How do you regain control of the narrative and rehabilitate your destination’s image? Learn more in this :49 video.
- Crowdsourcing Social Influencers: Even if your DMO doesn’t have the budget to partner with established social media influencers (let’s face it — it can be expensive!), influencer marketing is not out of reach. Researching the most Instagrammed places in your destination and encouraging travelers to share photos of these experiences in your town or city is a great way to crowdsource micro-influencers. Learn more in this :36 video.
While these are not the only ways to encourage positive conversations about your destination, we have experienced success implementing these strategies for our clients. Do you have another topic you’d like us to cover? We welcome your feedback! Please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org