Your Guide to Winter Digital Marketing During a Pandemic

We’ve previously discussed tourism marketing in the midst of a pandemic, but that was during the warmer months! With winter arriving, how do you continue to market when the cold front moves in? As the pandemic continues, this winter will look different than years prior. However, there are still ways to continue your marketing efforts without skipping a beat. Here is your guide to winter digital marketing during a pandemic.

Feature Pictures with People Wearing Masks

In your winter marketing campaigns and social media posts, we highly suggest using a promotion that features people wearing masks and following current safety protocols. These kinds of photos can reflect the current visitor experience and reassure potential travelers that conditions are safe. Utilizing pictures that have people wearing masks can ensure future travelers that your destination or attraction is safe to visit!

As mask mandates, social distancing protocols, and restrictions on open businesses differ between cities and states – it’s important to continually and honestly communicate safety information. The most efficient way to direct communication safety protocols is on your COVID-19 response page, highlighting how your destination or business is reopening safely. Even though many places have already reopened or are in the process, be sure to continue to update and distribute your COVID-19 response page with the most up-to-date information.

TIP: If you’re having a hard time snapping photos of visitors with their masks on, try to find user-generated content on Instagram! Be sure to credit the user and get permission before you use it!

Promote Outdoor Activities

There is no better way to unplug from the world than to enjoy the fresh air of the great outdoors. Without a doubt – outdoor recreational activities have increased in popularity as a result of the pandemic. Moreover, since most indoor activities may be closed in your area – there’s no better time to highlight things to do outside than now! Make sure to link your promotion posts back to your outdoor recreation page.

TIP: Target these potential outdoor enthusiast travelers by leveraging your website pixel data of those that have previously shown interest in your outdoor activity’s pages.

Target Nearby Areas – Drive Markets

While we’re in the midst of a pandemic, people are advised to stay close to home. This can be a challenge for travel marketers when used to target distant markets and surrounding states. Current conditions require us to market closer to home. Don’t be afraid to hone your targeting to nearby drive markets. Targeting an area 30-miles around your destination could provide consumers with a compelling mini-vacation that could convert consumers to day-trips or even overnight stays. Utilizing local targeting can not only help your budgets go farther but will also keep your organization top-of-mind in your region.

Encourage Planning a Future Trip

Although the future of traveling and the pandemic is unknown, many travelers are hopeful that we will travel within the near future. Use your winter marketing efforts to encourage visitors to start planning their next spring, summer, or fall trip. This is a perfect time to inspire what the future could hold once the crisis passes. Encourage users to sign up to receive visitor guides, e-newsletters, and any other resources your organization has to help make their trip planning a breeze.

Keep Users Up-to-Date on the Status of Upcoming Events

With the amount of uncertainty that we’ve had and are facing – events are changing rapidly. Be sure to keep up-to-date information on your website for upcoming seasonal and holiday events in your area. With the unknowns of what next year will bring, be sure to promote your events that are still planned in 2021. If things change, be sure to update information promptly.

TIP: If you’re in an area where indoor gatherings are restricted or outdoor activities are not possible due to inclement weather – try promoting virtual or drive-thru style events! This way, you will reach a wider audience since there is little to no travel involved.

Develop and Distribute Winter Discounts, Deals, and Packages

Everyone loves a deal – so why not promote your destination’s best winter deals through packages! This winter, develop family-friendly packages that showcase all your destination or attraction has to offer. An action-packed deal or discount could encourage travelers to pick your destination this holiday season. Not only does this benefit future travelers, but your partners as well! Make sure to update your partner listings with correct information and COVID-19 safety information when necessary.

Get on A Paid Plan to Support Your Social Media Efforts

It’s now more important than ever to make sure that your marketing messages hit the mark with your targeted audiences. Take the “hope” out of your strategy by leveraging digital marketing tools. That will allow you to hyper-target your content to the perfect consumers who have indicated that they are ready to travel. Use these intent signals to your advantage to ensure that you’re reaching a motivated audience segment.

As we continue to market in these difficult times, be sure to update your reemerging landing page continually. Although you’ve previously distributed your reemerging landing page, don’t forget to repost the page when there are new updates.

Be sure to check back here weekly to stay in the know about what we’re talking about regarding digital marketing trends, digital strategies, and more! Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter, where we highlight the month’s most popular blogs and where we’re going to be speaking!