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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.