Historic Deerfield Village
Rebranding and strategic online marketing campaign drives 20% increase in ticket sales and memberships
Historic Deerfield Village isn’t a gift shop museum with faux architecture and replicated scenery. It is an authentic and well-preserved, 18th-century, ten-home village in the heart of central Massachusetts. Visitors stroll from one end of the street to the other, observing rolling farmland, beautiful New England foliage and historic homes unique to Revolution-Era America. 18th century decor and artifacts fill the homes representing period crafts such as woodworking, sewing and antique pottery, making the village an educational and hands-on attraction for families, collectors and history lovers.
The challenge with this hidden gem was just that: it was hidden. Although this little piece of history remains beautiful and preserved, it was lacking public awareness of its many events, activities and exhibits. Operations and navigability of the village also posed a challenge, as once people arrived, they were unaware of the many historical treasures within each of the ten buildings and within the Flint Museum, a more traditional style museum with cycling collections and exhibits. Historic Deerfield Village partnered with Wanderlust to help solve these problems through building awareness, streamlining attraction promotions, implementing tour packages and creating a sense of place for visitors.
Chart the Course
Wanderlust began rebranding Historic Deerfield Village by leveraging the recent movement toward a simpler, hand-crafted and back-to-the-earth lifestyle. A new look and feel, including typography, photo style and color palette play off the authenticity of the village with rich browns, earth tones and deep primary colors reminiscent of American heritage. Content including updated copy, videos and a blog helped tell the historic stories of Historic Deerfield Village and position it as not only a village, but an experience of “opening doors to the past.”
A responsive website redesign reflects the new look and feel of the brand and acts as a hub for visitors to learn about all that Historic Deerfield has to offer. A nine-pane window navigation, reminiscent of period architecture, visually inspires website visitors to the main attractions while a standard navigation creates calls to action such as plan a visit, view upcoming events and submit an online donation. Videos help visitors visualize the authenticity of the village, and what it’s like to be there while highlighting demonstrations and workshops. To drive traffic to the site, Wanderlust implemented SEO, search ads and banner ads on NPR and PBS stations to appeal to different interests, such as antique pottery, period clothing or open hearth cooking.
Wanderlust created custom tours of Historic Deerfield using color-coded keys to guide visitors through the village. Each of these nine tours offers a unique perspective of the historic homes and are tailored to historians, families and casual tourists alike to provide a sense of place.
After the proprietary branding process, Wanderlust continues to help Historic Deerfield implement new attendance-boosting promotions such as Thanksgiving, winter and children’s events to attract visitors year round and make them aware of activities, events and exhibitions. The campaigns are executed online through display, SEM, Facebook, video and retargeting ads. Year over year the campaign drives amazing results. In particular, video ads in 2014 drove click through rates of 7.13%, well above the national average of 4%.
Wanderlusts’ work with Historic Deerfield helped the organization reach their initial goal of increasing ticket sales and memberships by 20%. Rebranding efforts, content development, a new website and strategic online advertising campaigns have also positioned the organization as an easily navigable, authentic, “back-in-time” experience for people of all ages.