5 things to consider for destination marketing

What is Destination Marketing?

Destination marketing is all about promoting a visitor, tourist or leisure attraction. It can raise awareness, generate revenue, increase footfall, spark the interest of potential new visitors and create a social ‘buzz’ about your destination.

Here at r//evolution, we are experts in destination marketing. We have worked with a number of tourism and leisure clients across the UK and Europe, including RSPB Salthome, Roker Pier & Lighthouse, Hexham Abbey and Visit Orkney - just to name a few.

We know that destination marketing can sometimes be tricky to get right, so we're giving you five starting points to consider when building and delivering a destination marketing strategy for your brand.

Know your target market

There should be specific marketing messages tailored to engage certain market segments. The potential customers within each stakeholder group will share similar traits such as interests, needs or locations. For example, they may all have children and live in the North East. It is vital that your business understands these characteristics in order to ensure their wants and needs can be satisfied by the messages you communicate about your brand and destination.

Successful destination marketing also requires your marketing key messages to be communicated through an appropriate channel depending on the target market. For example, if your company wishes to promote loyalties to existing customers, particularly younger demographics, social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter may be more relevant to build personal relationships.

Ensure your social media platforms are engaging

Over recent years, social media has become one of the most popular and effective marketing tools. Facebook is a prime example of how people are using social media to find and share events with family and friends. This can be a huge advantage to destination brands, as a key element of destination marketing is to create a buzz and expose your tourist attraction to a wider audience.

It's important your social media is fresh and interesting in order to compete in the competitive market. Post visually stimulating, media-rich content, offering a positive visitor experience through digital communication – consider if video, competitions or other content will engage your target audience.

Understand the influence of word-of-mouth

Aren’t we all guilty of purchasing something because someone we trust told us it was fantastic? Word-of-mouth marketing is very effective in advertising, particularly in the tourism and leisure industry. Most word-of-mouth communications are personal and come from an unbiased source, meaning customers tend to trust and rely upon these recommendations.

Word-of-mouth can be difficult to control. However, we work hard to create talkability for our clients by using traditional marketing and media relations, such as blogger outreach, outdoor marketing and events pages in local, regional and national newspapers. By understanding and encouraging word-of-mouth reviews, new customers are more likely to be persuaded to visit increasing overall visitor numbers. 

Find your competitive advantage

It's a competitive world out there. In order to promote your visitor attraction effectively, it is beneficial to undertake an audit before you start any activitiy. Conduct market research, reviewing your brand’s and your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses in order to find what makes your destination unique - identify your ‘competitive advantage’ or USP (unique selling point). Use these as part of your key messages in your marketing strategy and delivery activity to help your brand stand out from the crowd.

Creating your online presence

Creating a strong online presence is essential for marketing success in today’s digital-focused world. The vast majority of potential customers can be accessed online and so your online presence - your website, blogs, emails and social media profiles - should reflect your brand well and help communicate your USPs.

Before making a decision, customers tend to use the internet to research. To take advantage of this, you need to ensure your website can be found by search engines so ensure SEO (search engine optimisation) is part of your marketing strategy. Social media should also help reinforce your online presence so customers can be made aware of your key messages, events and other relevant information.

Here at r//evolution, we have an impressive track history of successful destination marketing projects. To read about the success of our latest projects, visit our website. Alternatively, if you feel we may be able to support your brand or business with our expertise, get in touch with our expert team who are always willing to help.

Tags: Marketing

Posted by Anna Graham
on September 20, 2017