Digital Campaign Process for DMOs Beyond the Sign Up (VIDEO)

By Brian V. Matson, TwoSix Digital Senior Director of Strategy and Education

I recently returned from the Texas Association of CVB conference in Beaumont, Texas where I presented a keynote on digital campaigns. The session was well-received. One of the talking points that seemed to have stuck with attendees was my analogy of digital campaign development compared to the layers of an onion. My point was that when conducting a digital campaign much of the effort should come after the public campaign comes to an end.

Peel back the layers in your digital campaign

Digital Campaign layers

There are many stages in conducting successful online digital campaigns.

The layers of the “campaign onion” are:

Entry Point: The entry point is simply how users are getting to your offer. It could be through paid ads, organic posts or through blogs, etc. Even if a user doesn’t interact with the offer you still have a major opportunity to cookie the user for later communications and content offerings.

Acquisition: The acquisition stage is when a user enters their email, submits information, likes a page or opts in for future communications. These users will be added to a database that you can use to target future messaging to whether through promoted content, e-newsletters, etc.

Retargeting: This stage is after the public campaign has ended and it’s time to put the data to work. By using retargeting tools you can reach a wide range of users who interacted with your initial offer. It’s key that the retargeted messaging match the theme of the campaigns niche for maximum resonance.

Cross-Promotion: During retargeting you can cross-promote your other social media accounts. Building additional touch points with consumers can help you reach them in a more regular manner. If a user follows you on Facebook you should try to entice them to connect on Instagram, Pinterest, etc. by sharing content from those channels in retargeted messages.

Nurturing: This is all about engagement and interaction. This stage is key to showing users relevant content and putting your human side forward for increased authenticity and consideration.

Conversion: This stage may take a bit of time but eventually, if you provide quality content pieces that resonate with user interests, you will enjoy the benefits of a well-educated visitor who is more prone to share their experiences and increase word-of-mouth awareness for your destination.

While many DMOs do a great job of presenting offers to their audiences there are a lot of missed opportunities to get more out of the results of a campaign’s core mechanics. Once a user has clicked on an ad or social media post they’ve indicated interest. It’s our job as marketers to develop and deliver content well after the campaign ends to continue the educational and inspirational process whether they signed up or not. If your digital campaign is focused on a particular niche (as it should be) you now have a prequalified audience to develop content for. That’s huge.

Before you launch your next digital campaign

Check to make sure that you’ve done the following:

  • Installed a Facebook website pixel on the campaign’s landing page to retarget users with relevant content relating to the campaign’s theme in the future.
  • Ensured (and tested) that the campaign is mobile friendly and features an easy to use sign up process from mobile devices. Don’t forget the opt in!
  • Developed a plan for using existing databases to help drive your online advertising for the campaign. These high value targets can really enhance your final results. Facebook’s Custom Audiences and Lookalike Audiences should be created in the ads manager prior to the launch of the campaign.
  • You’ve created a content calendar including a handful of posts (or evergreen content) that can be used to re-market to users after the campaign ends. Stretch it out. Think long term communication and provide valuable bite-sized pieces of content to keep consumers aware of your destination in relation to their expressed niche.

Want to learn more? Check out the entire keynote below which includes several case studies, additional tips and even more info on making your next digital campaign one that produces results well into the future and help to better convert your next wave of visitors.

Twitter & Periscope Strategies for Content Marketing Success (VIDEO)


Brian Matson presenting at E-Tourism Summit

By Brian V. Matson, TwoSix Digital Senior Director of Strategy and Education

I recently had the opportunity to make my first trip to San Francisco, CA to attend and be a presenter at E-Tourism Summit. It was a fast paced few days with a talented group of destination marketers.

I’ve heard about this event for several years but have never had the chance to attend. My luck changed when I was asked to present at the Summit. Event organizers asked me to present my thoughts on Twitter and Periscope…in 15 minutes. 15 minutes!? I’m used to doing half day workshops! Needless to say the short timeframe provided the perfect opportunity to deliver a quick, informative (and somewhat brutally honest) take on the two social channels.

When it came to Twitter I stressed how important it is to get back to basics and to use the network to give content more opportunities to succeed.

  • Listening VS Engagement – Of course a huge part of Twitter is listening but when’s the last time you went and started a conversation? Get off your heels and be more proactive. Too much waiting around happening.
  • Be Human – We’ve been chanting this “be human” thing for years but it’s still something that users need to be reminded of. Put the robot voice down and be an approachable human being.
  • Recycle – DMOs have boat loads of content that is far too often  seen as a one hit wonder. Develop sharing schedules to get content pieces out into the world again.

Jn9mecpThe main takeaway that jumpstarted a bit of a larger conversation came in extending the stories being told on Twitter. Instead of telling the same stories or sharing the same pieces of content from network to network we talked a bit about how we could extend the story with different perspectives, additional content and more integrated layers to extend the discovery process.

Attendees were mostly interested in Periscope and my handful of tips seemed to be well-timed as attendees were starting to give the application a go.

  • Go horizontal – Periscope opened up horizontal video! This is actually huge as the broadcasts are actually usable in other channels now.
  • Engage with audiences – Get some help monitoring and recognizing commenters. A second pair of hands can go a long way.
  • Developing a regular schedule – By all means experiment with Periscope, but success comes when it finds a regular home in your content planning process.
  • Using WiFi Networks – Save your data plan and find strong WiFi networks. The app can eat a data plan like nobody’s business.

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 1.00.05 PMThe biggest point that really got people thinking in terms of broader content marketing opportunities was within the simple flip of a switch in the settings of the Periscope application. The saving of broadcasts lead to a great discussion about distributing Periscope content within your greater content strategy.

There currently aren’t a lot of DMOs that are leveraging this tool but those that are doing experimenting are doing some great things. St. Pete/Clearwater is broadcasting sunrises, seal rescues and other various events. Leroy Bridges presented an additional session with Periscope examples at the summit that is worth checking out. Periscope and live streaming applications in general certainly were getting a lot of notice at E-Tourism Summit.

I was happy to see that the session got a solid response from those in attendance. It was voted the best session of the summit which considering the massive amount of content and speakers at the event was a real surprise. I had a great time in San Francisco and look forward to another E-Tourism Summit in 2016.

In case you missed the session you can check it out below!

You can download a copy of the presentation slides here.

Facebook Advertising Doesn’t have to be Hard

Facebook AdvertisingBy Grant Kenney, TwoSix Digital Senior Digital Strategist

The time to advertise on Facebook is now. The social network has increasingly moved to stifle organic reach and made it difficult for brands and pages to reach fans without spending any money (they are a publicly traded company now, after all). That’s not to say that everyone needs to dump all of their marketing budgets into Facebook advertising (we are still big fans of a well-integrated campaign), but it’s becoming more and more important to use some of the money earmarked for marketing or advertising into the social network.

Despite what you may think, you don’t need to spend millions or even thousands to advertise on Facebook. In fact, it’s never been easier (or less expensive) to get your company, destination or brand message in front of more people than those who like your page. Simply put: Facebook advertising doesn’t have to be hard.

If you’re reading this post you may be wondering exactly how easy it is if you’ve never run an ad on Facebook before. The answer: very easy.

Do I have to spend a lot on Facebook ads to see any results?

No! If you have $5 in your pocket and want to advertise on Facebook you can do it. Granted, that’s just one ad but it’s a great way to get your feet wet and test out Facebook advertising.

If you’re feeling a bit behind or lost about advertising on Facebook the best thing you can do is experiment a little by boosting your posts with small amounts of money. Fortunately, Facebook has made it very easy to not blow a ton of money on an ad – making the entry into advertising on the platform very affordable.

Facebook advertising sounds really complicated…but it doesn’t have to be

Facebook advertising is as complicated as you want it to be. The caveat here is that you need to determine what your objective is and then select the ad type that  works for you. For this example we’re going to focus on boosted posts, the easiest kind of ad you can run on Facebook.

Read more

Michigan Bicycle Tourism Marketing Plan Unveiled

Michigan Bicycle Tourism Marketing PlanAs Michigan becomes more and more friendly to bicyclists, the opportunity to reach out to another kind of tourist presents itself. Seeing this opportunity, the Michigan Tourism Strategic Plan Promotion, Marketing and Communications Implementation Committee, coordinated by Dr. Sarah Nicholls of Michigan State University, created a report to identify and analyze the role bicycling tourists can play in Michigan’s economy. The initial report and data that was collected was developed into an actionable marketing plan that the Michigan bicycle community can utilize to target this tourism segment.

The marketing plan covers three main objectives that represent the following areas – Partnerships and Strategic Alliances, a Comprehensive Online Portal and Education Initiatives to help tell the stories of biking in Michigan.  The plan also includes tactical recommendations that the industry will be able to being implementing immediately.  The plan will also serve as a template for future initiatives with other tourism industry niches.

We’re proud to share the completed report with you below and to announce that it will be presented and handed out at the 2015 Pure Michigan’s Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Grand Rapids during a session on Monday, March 23rd.

Michigan Bicycle Tourism Marketing Plan