Why spend all of your budget paying for media exposure when you can now invest some of it to create your own channels and networks? Owned media – channels that you develop and manage yourself – allow you to engage the people you want as profitable repeat visitors for your destination. This is narrowcasting: creating a lot of content for a relatively small audience, one that’s much more receptive and therefore more likely to purchase.
Some examples of owned media: The destination itself.
Almost every aspect of your physical destination presents an opportunity to make favorable impressions. You have a captive audience and a controlled environment where you can communicate your marketing message any way you choose. What will you do with it?
- architecture & design
- signage & way-finding
- consumer facing staff training
- customer service
- mojo & ambiance
Resorts and attractions can have a great deal of control over physical issues such as appearance, ambiance, the experience, and even direct the way people move through and interact with the environment. CVBs and DMOs don’t have quite the same level of control. Their locations are influenced by many factors, including marketing partners, other local businesses and residents. They need to focus on the things they can control: the visibility and usage of brand identity and positioning, way finding and signage, experience-enhancing tools and materials, continuously communicating with and educating marketing partners so everyone is on the same page.
The Destination Website
Another media channel with seemingly unlimited potential. You can leverage SEO and keyword rankings to attract the right audience to your site. Develop a content strategy that provides key information, creates desire for your destination and converts prospects to customers. Serve up photos, videos, itineraries to fuel the imagination. And provide visitors the opportunity to share their experiences as testimonials and advocacy. You own the media – why wouldn’t you do all this and more?
Mobile Marketing To Travelers
More and more, your target audience relies on mobile devices for trip planning and day of travel navigation. Mobile marketing is another media you can own, by offering a mobile website interface to the right content and value-added applications that help travelers get the most out of their time and money.
Social Media in Travel
Blogging, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, the list goes on. All virtually free to set up, reasonably
inexpensive to populate, and practically priceless for engaging the people you want as repeat customers. These tools were designed to share content and marketing messages on a one-to-one or one-to-a-few basis. Relevant? Hell yeah. Appropriate? Go easy on the sales messages, and you’re in. When your audience signs up to receive and comment on your marketing communications, you’re in a relationship, my friend. Just be sure to treat them right.
By all means, be creative
The wrapper on the mint on the pillow in your luxury suite. The underside of the seats on your ferris wheel. The temples of the 3D glasses you give out in the theater. The mirror in the ladies’ room. Your ticket stub. Your email signature. Your staff uniform. You probably own media that you’ve never thought of – that NO ONE has ever thought of.