Education | Insights | Instagram Live | Email Marketing | Pinterest | Landing Pages

The tourism industry is without a doubt severely affected by COVID-19. We’re here to keep you in the loop on what’s changing and what we think will be important to keep in mind in the coming months after the pandemic. Here’s what’s On Our Radar for April 2020.

Education through Webinars

Brian Matson

Convention and Visitor Bureaus should strive to support small businesses/organizations through education during a time of crisis.

CVBs can play a vital role in helping support local businesses and organizations during this challenging time by providing networking opportunities and strategic ideas to keep their partners’ messaging afloat and relevant. I recently shared a number of ideas with Visit Loudoun partners during a webinar that could prove to be useful for any CVB partner. Please check it out and share the knowledge with your partners. Being a helpful and guiding hand during times of crisis can go a long way in showcasing the value of DMOs and their role in destination development and support.

Start Tracking Insights

There has never been a better time to shore up all your tracking tools. Right now, the one we’re really stressing is Google Tag Manager, which can help you install other pixels and, vitally, track scroll depth. But did you know that there’s Pinterest Tag? How about a Twitter Tag? Yup, there’s even a LinkedIn Insight Tag. Start installing!

Instagram Live

Instagram live has been so used since the COVID-19 panic that is not functioning for some users because of high traffic. It gives people the chance to interact in a real time setting during isolation. This can be used by many different businesses and experts in industries during this time.

Pinterest’s New Feature Isn’t All That New

Scout Holaday

Quarantined users flock to Pinterest, sparking the launch of a new curated tab

One of the hardest decisions to make right now is what kind of content to promote. Towing the line between helpful and harmful is more difficult than it’s ever been. After seeing a massive uptick in users amid COVID-19, Pinterest launched a new feature for daily inspiration. A quick look at the new “Today” tab shows a link to Coronavirus information, followed by a list of categories to explore that seem hyper-relevant to the current situation but are actually not much different from the top Pinterest categories in 2019. They aren’t trying to reinvent the wheel, and instead are sticking with what they know works with their audience. I think the big takeaway from this is that continuing to communicate with people in familiar ways presented in more relevant terms will help keep users engaged and feeling connected to your brand.

Email Marketing

In terms of communication to consumers, I would say that email is going to be the first step of the recovery program by working with your past consumers.  They know your destination/product best and they will be the easiest to communicate with.   I feel that you can begin some messaging in the next week or so, as people are in need of some positive distractions.

That messaging needs to be very soft and reflective.  Such as, we appreciate you and we will be ready to host you when you feel comfortable in visiting in the future.  And, additionally, the messages should include images of outdoor activities and/or events that have happened in the past, etc.  that were successful and upbeat.

One quick tip! Alter your email trigger message, ASAP.  It is one item that I noticed this week that organizations are still using an old message after the consumer signs up.  Be sure to alter that message immediately and make sure the message falls into the “we are here, when you are ready” category.

Designated COVID-19 Landing Page

At this point in the game, most Convention & Visitor Bureaus and Destination Marketing Organizations should have a landing page directly related to COVID-19. Most consumers are probably sick of hearing about it since about 70% of travelers had to change their plans due to the outbreak. However, it’s essential that each CVB and DMO are talking about it. The page should highlight on what they are doing within their destination regarding the spread. Are they supporting local businesses? Are they reassuring travelers to visit post-coronavirus? Showcase this page on your homepage to ensure it is seen.

I suggest keeping the lines of communication open with travelers. Let them know you miss them and they will be able to visit soon. Keep the finish line in sight to keep a positive presence and voice. Also, share #ThrowBack photos consistently to keep readers engaged on all social channels.

To stay up-to-date on the latest tourism and digital marketing trends, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Be sure to check out our Response to COVID-19 page by clicking the button below.