The 42nd largest city in the United States is an urban oasis on the plains. Over 900,000 people live, work and play here, and another 12.3 million visitors come to explore. Just what city is this? Why Omaha, Nebraska.
So how do millions of people find their way to this part of the Midwest? That’s thanks in large part to Visit Omaha, and their powerful destination marketing website, VisitOmaha.com.
VisitOmaha.com is the premier tool visitors use when they’re planning to explore the city. The website, designed and developed by Simpleview, offers fresh new content in an easy-to-navigate format that draws millions of visitors: last year alone more than 3.3 million pages of the site were viewed.
The destination marketing organization doesn’t wait for visitors to find them. They invest millions of dollars every year to attract out-of-town visitors.
“We spend about two million a year on television, radio, digital, social and print advertising,” explains Deborah Ward, Vice President of Marketing, Visit Omaha. “VisitOmaha.com is the main call to action on all of our advertising to both the leisure and the convention audience.”
The DMO also relies on the partnership of local businesses to help sell Omaha as a premier meeting and leisure destination. Thanks to Visit Omaha’s partner programs and services, these tourism stakeholders don’t have to go it alone.
From printed visitors guides and co-op public relations outreach to digital advertising on VisitOmaha.com, the professionals at Omaha’s official tourism bureau make it easy for local businesses to get more exposure. And that includes the paid digital content program powered by Destination Travel Network (DTN).
Simpleview introduced Visit Omaha to DTN back in 2008. The paid digital content program gave Visit Omaha the opportunity to offer premium paid digital placements to their stakeholders on VisitOmaha.com.
“We are not a membership bureau, so DTN provides an opportunity for additional partnership buy-in with our stakeholders,” says Ward. “We felt it was another way to help our partners increase the reach of their messaging by allowing them to harness the promotional power of VisitOmaha.com to promote their own individual brands.”
Currently 31 local businesses are taking advantage of the paid digital content program on VisitOmaha.com. And the program is performing. For the month of May 2019, the DTN ad placements averaged 999,136 impressions and 5,756 clicks for a 0.58% click-through rate (CTR) combined. Considering the average CTR for Google Display Ads is 0.46%, the program on VisitOmaha.com is performing well above the search engine giant’s average.
“The paid digital placements enhance the website experience, providing website visitors with additional information as they make their buying decisions,” says Ward.
The Omaha Children’s Museum takes advantage of the programs offered to them through Visit Omaha, partnering with the DMO on different print and digital campaigns. When the chance came to advertise on the website, Kim Reiner, Omaha Children’s Museum Director of Marketing and Public Relations, saw it as a smart addition to their campaign.
“Visit Omaha is a valuable partner. We have the same goals, so it makes sense to work together,” shares Kim. “We were already getting a high number of referrals to our website from VisitOmaha.com. I wanted to try the program to see just what kind of boost we’d get from additional visibility on the site.”
The Backline Comedy Theatre chose to participate, too. Founder and Co-Owner Dylan Rohde didn’t know much about digital advertising, yet the opportunity made sense to him to reach people who are visiting Omaha who don’t know about his improve theater.
“If you have events visitors want to see, this website and the additional exposure is very helpful to get people to the shows,” he says.
So what’s in it for Visit Omaha?
DTN develops and manages the paid digital content program so that the right sponsored digital content lands in front of the right audiences to create awareness for local businesses. These ads turn site visitors into customers who spend money in their destination while delivering non-dues revenue to the DMO, all at no cost to them.
While DTN handles every aspect of Visit Omaha’s paid, sponsored digital content program, they get 50% of the profit generated from the ad sales.
“We invest the funds generated by the DTN program right back into the promotion of Omaha to increase visitation,” says Ward.
The Visit Omaha marketing and communications team uses the funds to execute advertising programs to support the meetings, sports and events sales team, and for direct to consumer advertising and promotion efforts.
According to the Visit Omaha 2018 Annual Report, 2018 was another record setting year for tourism in Omaha. For the 7th year in a row, demand for Omaha hotel rooms increased with over two million hotel rooms occupied during 2018. Plus, the overnight visitation from cities strategically targeted by the Visit Omaha marketing team grew 13%. Looking towards 2019, Visit Omaha’s number one key objective is to increase visitor-related economic impact for the Omaha metropolitan area.
Visit Omaha, Simpleview, and DTN continue to partner together to empower each other to tell the destination’s unique story, and help the DMO reach their economic objectives today and beyond.
“Visit Omaha was one of Simpleview’s first clients, and we added DTN in 2009. DTN is always innovating and trying to make the experience for both the CVB and the partners better,” Ward says.
Learn more about becoming a DTN publisher and offering your local businesses enhanced exposure opportunities on your website. Contact Paul Franke to schedule a demo today at 412.254.9002 x 402.