So here's the first of my series of blog posts about DMO marketing (aka tourist board marketing).
Given that I specialise in content creation and content strategy, I'm starting with this as my first topic.
No one would argue that content is crucial. Inevitably there's a limited resource for creating it, so getting a few things sorted from the start is very important.
In my introductory post I talked a little about the consumer journey. I asked where a DMO website fits into the path a user makes from initially considering a destination for their holiday to actually buying product and visiting.
There's a range of options, but for me a DMO website should be the portal into the destination. It's up at the top of the user journey, helping someone start to think seriously about visiting your destination rather than choosing somewhere else.
It's there to inspire and excite people, plugging into their emotions.
Here are three things that your content needs to be:
Most places have a heap of things they could be talking about. And often the website that results is a mass of information that is just a little bit confusing for new readers.
> So how do you sum up what your destination has to offer?
Start by coming up with a list of hero products and experiences. This will give you a real focus for your marketing and content production efforts. It will also force you to think long and hard about what's unique about your destination and what it does really well.
Making the call and distilling your great destination down to say 7 to 10 key things is not easy. Inevitably, people that don't make the list won't be happy. It’s political. But persevere. A good tip here is don't be restricted to single sites - go for themes like say mountain biking, or beaches as well as one-off attractions.
You will find that if you focus in on these key experiences you'll immediately find it easier to create compelling content. You'll start to see the wood for the trees.
Once you've worked out what your destination can really shout about, you need to think about who it will appeal to.
If you have a coastline with great sandy beaches then you're definitely needing to think about families. But maybe surfers and paddlers too? So younger singles and couples maybe? Perhaps you have several cities that are full of historic attractions? Then maybe older empty-nester couples should be a target.
For your different audiences you will need different approaches to the detail within your content. Families will want to know about picnic spots at castles, couples might be more interested in great gastro-pubs nearby.
Spend some time working out who your key audiences are. And then map your hero products/experiences to them. Then branch out from this work thinking about how you make your content really specific for each audience.
You know what you want to talk about. You know who you want to talk to about it. What to create then?
There needs to be some base level content about your key experiences that is fairly audience neutral, most DMO sites do this stuff fairly well. But how do you then take what you're doing up a level and keep people on your page?
It's not new at all, but I'm increasingly into the idea of telling stories. Find ways to create emotional connections with the places and activities you are promoting.
For me that's often about other people.
I think that a DMO's role is almost like a matchmaker. (Tinder for holidays anyone?) It’s about matching an experience offerer with an experience seeker. So let the people do the talking!
Find that castle guide who has been bringing it alive to school kids for years and get them sharing their passion and excitement. Think about the best ways to do that too. Maybe it’s video? Or perhaps it's a series of compelling images.
Your ambassadors are out there, they aren't sat in your office in your content team.
Any examples of great DMO websites you've seen with content that's Focussed, Personalised and Compelling?