Your tourism blog is one of the best ways to tell your story to consumers. Not only should you consistently update your blog to inform users about your destination and maintain sustainable SEO, but you should also be strategic about where you are distributing your blog once it’s live on your website.
We recommend living by the “5 Rule” which means that every piece of content on your website or blog has the potential to be shared at least five different ways after it is published on your site. Read on to learn how to generate more traffic to your tourism blog in no time!
First and foremost, every blog deserves a Facebook post! Not only this, but every blog deserves to be activated with Paid Promotion on Facebook as well. When youre putting together your blog post for Facebook, carefully consider how your blog content is related to specific niche markets that you can target. For example, if your blog is about wine tasting in the area, consider targeting your post to reach wine enthusiasts in feeder markets. When crafting your post, make sure to think about the small details, too, especially your link header text* and the image accompany the link. Finally, include language that will encourage users to act!
*You can no longer edit the link header text when you are uploading your link to your post, you will likely have to think of this when you are crafting your post on the website side.
A great next step in your blog distribution is to support it by tweeting about it! We recommend thinking of three different ways to compose tweets on the subject. Since the Twitter algorithm seems to constantly be changing, it’s important that you trickle the distribution of your blog on Twitter throughout the week with different days and times to achieve best performance on the platform.
Whether you're sharing your cool photography or fun times with friends, Burnsville has some awesome Instagram Hotspots for you! 📷
Check out our latest blog for the best photo ops and share your pics with us using #MyBurnsville
— Experience Burnsville (@burnsvillemncvb) July 12, 2019
Next up you’ll want to generate awareness of your blog on Instagram both in the feed and on your stories. Start by replacing the link in your bio with your new shortened link. This is especially important because links are not clickable in the captions of an Instagram photo! When you’re crafting your post, be sure that youre posting it in a way that will resonate on Instagram. This means, use your best photo to make sure the post stops scrolling thumbs! You can also post about the blog on your story and give readers a snippet of what the blog contains to help encourage them to swipe up or click the link in your bio.
Read this blog for tips on putting together a noteworthy Instagram story.
Pinterest is a highly effective tool for supporting blog content for tourism as it can combine your images and links in a very appealing way. We recommend pinning every photo from your blog to Pinterest to ensure full coverage! Make sure youre including the direct URL to your website to ensure highest possible performance and pull in traffic to your website.
Lastly, it’s vital to include your content in your tourism e-newsletter, as it’s a key tool in driving traffic to your website as well as keeping users informed on a regular basis. If youre on a weekly blog distribution schedule (as opposed to monthly), you don’t have to include every piece of content that you write in your newsletter, as this could potentially be overwhelming for readers. But, if youre having trouble deciding which blogs to include in your newsletter, consider taking a look at your most popular posts on your Google Analytics and go from there! For more tips on putting together a tourism e-newsletter, check out this blog.
It is critical to distribute your tourism blog across all digital platforms of your organization. This strategy will allow you to reach a wider variety of you audience as you aren’t focusing on just one platform. By following these distribution tips, your tourism blog will gain more traffic in no time! If you are looking for new ways to stay updated on your destination marketing, be sure to subscribe to our e-newsletter or follow us across social media at the links below!
The second of our quarterly state tourism website traffic analysis for the 50 official state tourism offices was published today. The analysis was conducted by the TwoSix Digital team to benchmark and rank traffic to each tourism organization’s website. The analysis graded each state by total traffic, average monthly visits, share of mobile vs. desktop and engagement factors like pages per visit, average visit duration and bounce rate. This month we also tracked inbound and outbound links, which gives us some perspective where the visitors are coming from and where they are going after interacting with state tourism websites.
The indicator that the tourism promotion season is in high gear was very clear with 72% of the states increasing their overall traffic in Q2 over Q1. Oklahoma took over the number spot with 2.8 million total website visits. The top five stayed consistent, with one change – Oklahoma replaced Hawaii among the leaders. Florida held the second spot for the second consecutive quarter, followed by California, Michigan and Colorado.
The average number of visits to all state tourism website was 834,906 in the Q2, a 7% increase over Q1. Mobile traffic stayed consistent at 75%, just two percentage points down from 77% in Q1. The state of Alaska moved up to the number one spot in website engagement, from number three in Q1. They also lead all fifty state tourism offices in pages per visit at 3.17 and time on-site with a duration of 2:49.
The other states in the top five of overall website engagement were Delaware at number two, followed by Vermont, West Virginia and Connecticut rounded out the fifth spot. This ranking was calculated by using a weighted scale based on the number of page visits, time on site and bounce rate. We then calculated the overall engagement rate on a scale from 1-10 and ranked the states from 1 to 50.
One addition to the Q2 rankings includes the top incoming and outgoing websites, which gives us some perspective on the overall traveler’s content interests and website usage. The top incoming site was Google. Of the 50 states, 74% of them had incoming traffic from Google. It also looks like many state tourism offices are conducting connected TV promotions, as Hulu was second in referral traffic – sending 22% of the total inbound traffic to state tourism sites. TripAdvisor rounded out the top three with an 8% share of incoming clicks.
The top outgoing sites were much more balanced with Facebook leading the downstream traffic at 32% followed by the National Park Service at 30%. Google also acquired 26% of the outgoing traffic – which tells us more than a quarter of the visitors to state tourism websites did not find what they were looking for or needed more specific information following their initial query. TripAdvisor closed out the top four with an 8% share of outgoing traffic.
One very interesting note, Alaska was the only state with all of their top 10 outgoing traffic links reaching local tour groups and tourism industry partner websites. A great achievement for the marketers of the 49thstate!
All of the data was gathered via SimilarWeb, a third-party traffic and website analysis application. SimilarWeb’s innovative marketing intelligence allows users to gain insight into any website’s statistics through a global panel of consumers that work across a range of devices and websites.
We would like to emphasize that we do realize these numbers will not be “apples to apples” in terms of overall website visits recorded through Google Analytics or other tracking software installed on an individual website. But, by collectively recording the aggregate data for all 50 states from an identical source utilizing the same methodologies, we will be able to draw a very accurate analysis of the traffic positioning.
(And what to do when you find it!)
User-Generated Content (UGC) is a huge part of tourism marketing. People are constantly posting images during their travels, which provides great opportunities for DMOs to repost this content on their own channels to promote and inspire tourism. In this blog, you’ll learn the best ways to find great UGC on Instagram and what to do when you find it.
Some users make it super simple by tagging you in their photos, so the first place to start is looking at the images you’re tagged in! Navigate to the “tagged photos” portion in your Instagram profile to see what you’ve been tagged in. A best practice is to check-in on this a few times a week (at least) to make sure that you’re not missing out on any impressive content.
Check Your Hashtag For User-Generated Content
Did you know that you can search your hashtag on Instagram to see all of the posts that have used it? You can do this by either navigating to the search bar and typing it in or by clicking your hashtag that’s in your bio. This will take you to a screen displaying both popular and recent posts using your hashtag!
Using a location tag is a method for users to post about the places they visit during their trip and a great way to know for certain that an image was taken at a specific destination. To find a specific location tag, simply navigate to the search bar and start typing in the location. You should see the location pop up in the search results. If you see a location tagged that you want to look at in your feed, you can also click on the tag above the image and it will navigate you to a page displaying both popular and recent posts at that location. Remember, don’t just check city tags, but also local attractions, restaurants, and more!
What to Do When You Find User-Generated Content
Now that you’ve found the perfect image for your feed, it’s time to save the user-generated content to your collection and get approval from the user to actually use the photo in your feed. Follow these steps to make sure that you’re asking for permission in the right way:
- Save the image to your collection so you can easily refer back to it when necessary. See below how to add it to your collection:
2. Like the Image!
3. Comment on the image using verbiage something like this:
“Great photo! With your permission, we’d love to use this in our blog. Let us know if you have any concerns.”
4. Once you receive a response, you can reply and thank them for giving you permission!
Posting the User-Generated Content with Credit
Finally, make sure that when you post the image on your own social feeds, you tag the user in the image, or give them photo credit in the comments. If you’re putting it in your blog, be sure to give them image credit. If you are embedding the photo directly to your website, it’ll automatically give credit where credit is due.
Following this quick approach is an integral step in giving your brand a voice. You also show your visitors appreciation for posting their images of your location. Integrating user-generated content in your blogs and social media feeds will allow future visitors to see others experiencing your destination and can inspire them to do so as well. For more new and exciting ways to use digital marketing to enhance your destination marketing organization, be sure to subscribe to our e-newsletter and follow us across social media at the links below.
Your e-newsletter is a key component of travel planning for new or returning visitors. Whether it’s weekly, monthly, or quarterly, it is important to make sure that you are creating valuable content for your subscribers that they’ll want to open again. Check out these 10 essential components of a tourism e-newsletter to make your next newsletter a must-read!
1. Eye-Catching Subject Line & Preview Text
Subject lines are one of the most important aspects of any e-newsletter delivery. Recent studies conducted at TwoSix Digital have found that most users are motivated to open / not open a tourism e-newsletter based on the subject line. Utilize emojis, powerful words and calls to action to encourage your subscribers to open. Also be sure to include a short line of preview text to give readers a preview of what they can expect in your newsletter.
2. Seasonal Header with Logo
Help convey a sense of place and inspire users to visit throughout the entire year by adding a seasonal header to your newsletter. This will show your users a greater understanding of different activities and events that they can experience. Be sure to also include your logo, brand colors, and hashtag!
3. Social Media Icons (follow & share)
Include opportunities to gain following on your social profiles both at the top and the bottom of your newsletter for full coverage. Your newsletter is prime real estate to gain more following on your accounts. Be sure to also include share tools so users can share the information with their travel buddies!
4. Call to Action Buttons Throughout
Add key opportunities for your destination throughout the newsletter like your visitor’s guide, dining passports
Check out this blog if you’re having trouble coming up with CTAs:
No one wants to read an e-newsletter (especially from a destination) that is all text. Improve the overall appearance and readability of the newsletter by adding seasonal images. To go one step further, even add links to the images to gain more website traffic!
6. Short Pieces of Text
The key to this component is ‘short’ — no one wants to read a huge paragraph, and this gives you a great opportunity to drive traffic to other sources. Keep it short and sweet and get your users to finish reading by going to your blog. Be sure to include necessary links to direct your readers to the right spot to get more information.
7. Blogs & Trip Itineraries
Your newsletter is a key part of the trip planning process, so including blogs, top 10 lists, and trip itineraries as pieces of content is important. Don’t forget to include clickable buttons
Below is a great example of how to add an image and text that accompanies your blog or trip itinerary:
8. Upcoming Events
Especially if you are sending your newsletter on a quarterly basis, it is important to include upcoming major events that could potentially be destination drivers. Include an image of the upcoming event as well as clickable links for them to learn more about the events that your destination has to offer.
9. Social Media Feature
Social media integration is key to your newsletter as it is an easy way to gain awareness of your presence on social media and add another touchpoint with your customers. Include your most-liked photo on Instagram or a great user-generated travel photo and include your hashtag to encourage users to post their photos when they visit.
10. Unsubscribe Options
As much as we don’t want your subscribers to leave you, it is your responsibility to include an unsubscribe option at the bottom of your newsletter. Most email marketing platforms automatically include this option for you, but it is always good to make sure.
Including these 10 components in your newsletter will not only inspire your visitors to travel to your destination, but it will also keep visitors, potential visitors, and local customers informed of all of the latest and greatest things happening in your neck of the woods. For more ways to use digital marketing to inspire travel and grow your destination marketing organization, be sure to click below to subscribe to our e-newsletter and follow us across social media.
Continue your learning with these TwoSix Digital Resources: