All DMOs have a different brand, a different vantage point, and a different budget from every other DMO — but this article will give five reasons why all DMOs should consider using paid media.

It’s no secret that destinations across the globe are seeing shifts in travel trends. When the world started opening back up in 2021, the ‘revenge traveler’ emerged, consisting of those sitting on the edge of their seats, eager to go anywhere as soon as possible.

Fast forward to the summer of 2022, and the cost of travel has seen some drastic increases. From gas prices to airline tickets, lodging, and restaurants, it seems like the cost of everything continues to rise. While visitors still have the desire to travel, and with COVID-19 restrictions mostly being lifted, price points and accessibility have taken a front-row seat in terms of priority. While destination marketing organizations (DMOs) once had a marketing strategy that worked in reaching their visitors, ongoing pivots in their campaigns have become more essential than ever.

Once upon a time, it was enough to have a website, but that’s not the case anymore. Traveler trends, demographics, and interests have changed, and marketing strategies are following in their footsteps. Social media, Google Ads, YouTube, and Connected TV (CTV) paid media strategies have stepped up their game and are filling the gap destinations once struggled to pinpoint.

So, I’ve mentioned this ‘paid media’ thing a handful of times in this article, but for those of you who (like me) would rather just see the bullet points, here are some benefits of using it:

  1. Take the guessing game out of knowing how to reach your target audience. Utilize tracking methods that show you exactly what’s working and what you need to tweak.
  2. Only pay for what works (aka pay-per-click). Set your budget and pay for what people actually click on — it’s that simple. Say goodbye to blowing a budget on a campaign that doesn’t work.
  3. Keep your destination competitive by staying visible. Travelers make their plans based on what they see, what they hear, and how easily information can be found.
  4. Grow your partner relationships. Set up campaigns to promote your partners, events, or communities to assist in the relationship management aspect of your DMO.
  5. Use the data; the numbers don’t lie. Measure metrics and KPIs that matter most to your destination to see the return on investment.

There you have it, the long and short version of how paid media can benefit your destination. My favorite part? Understanding that all DMOs have a different brand, a different vantage point, and a different budget, which allows for customized experiences.

So, if you’re a destination eager to pivot (yes, once again) during this time of increasing price sensitivity, take this as your sign to consider paid media. It’s truly a one-size-fits-all approach to testing campaigns, reaching new audiences, and maintaining your ideal budget.