Whether you’re serving a city, a county, a coalition, or a state-level tourism board, you’re more than likely strapped for ways to engage with your tourism stakeholders. It’s no wonder; most destination marketing organizations (DMOs) are not for profit and largely funded by hotel occupancy taxes and membership dues. Budgets are tight and staffing is limited.
So when you partner with Destination Travel Network, a managed destination website digital advertising program, you’ve not only found a provider to generate revenue for your DMO by offering more exposure to your local businesses via your destination website, but industry experts to help you better engage with your community, partners and stakeholders and convey the value of your DMO and website.
Simply, DTN is an extension of you! We currently serve more than 155 DMOs. Every DTN associate is working on your behalf to grow your destination through education, engagement, and industry-specific expertise.
Education: Helping Stakeholders Understand Your Value
Many local businesses don’t know they have a listing on their tourism website, or just how much their DMO does to bring visitors (potential customers!) to their destination. When DTN reaches out to a market, the skilled representatives are educating the business about the DMO by:
- Explaining who the DMO is and what they do for the destination.
- Sharing how well the DMO website performs through studies and analytics.
- Showing them where their listing is, and how they can get more exposure through targeted digital native advertisements.
Vimal Vyas, Director of Information, Security and Digital Innovation for Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau joined Paul Franke Jr., Simpleview’s Senior Director of Revenue Generation, and four other peers for DMO Website Digital Advertising & Sponsored Content Programs: A Panel Discussion at the annual Simpleview Summit in May 2018.
Vimal’s team actively engages with their partners through communications including a dedicated partner blog, Tourism Talk blog, and email communications, as well as twice-yearly luncheons attended by 500 to 600 people and regularly planned partner events. Even with active participation, local businesses don’t fully grasp the power of their DMO.
“Our partners don’t understand what we do in the background to make the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau run,” said Vimal. “DTN really helps explain what the engine is behind visitRaleigh.com, and what we do from a marketing standpoint to elevate the visibility to our listings to make sure they’re getting the visits they paid for.”
Engagement: Touch Points to Keep You Top of Mind
When a DMO partners with Destination Travel Network, they also gain an active partner engaging with their tourism stakeholders. Some of these are paid members or partners who are looking for more opportunities to leverage programs and services the DMO can provide. And the DMO is helping to attract visitors to the destination, and drive them to local businesses once they are there. DMOs do this by:
- Developing and hosting a DMO website
- Generating press for the destination
- Developing and distributing printed travel guides
- Creating marketing campaigns (can include television, digital, print)
- Hosting FAM trips to expose travel agents and industry professionals to the area
- Attracting businesses to host conferences and meetings in the area
With all of this activity, keeping in contact with tourism stakeholders can be a challenge for the smallest to the largest DMO.
Tony Cameron, Director of Marketing & Communications, Maine Tourism Association, is responsible for an entire state. When DTN entered the market, the DTN sales team connected with businesses across the state by initiating phone conversations.
“Having a whole state makes it virtually impossible to have constant engagement with all of our members. As much as we try to have meetings daily and weekly, it’s difficult to have individual touch points,” explained Tony. “When Lia Wik, DTN Senior Director of Advertising, and her team started initial outreach, they received all kinds of feedback they gave to us which gave us the chance to get back with those members. DTN has been a really welcome addition to our partnership.”
Expertise: Advertising & Marketing Assistance
Destinations are made up of a collection of businesses that create the landscape for a vacation experience. For many, the business owners are focused on running their business, not advertising principals or graphic design and copywriting techniques.
DTN is able to help create campaigns and develop native advertising to satisfy the tourism stakeholder while keeping the DMO’s website experience and brand intact. This also means providing a much less disruptive experience for website visitors. Advertising is relevant to their interests and blends with the web content rather than interrupting it.
From start to finish, DTN advises businesses on best practices to deliver the referrals the businesses need to succeed. We do this by:
- Consulting with the business to discover goals to choose the right placements.
- Collecting the right photos and copy points to craft attractive ads to fit the website’s design.
- Offering advice on how to make their listing better through updated photos and targeted copy points.
“Many of our partners don’t have a media or a marketing manager so they’re looking for advice. DTN explains what they have available through Greater Raleigh CVB on our behalf,” said Vimal. “The DTN associates are able to talk about the Extranet and how to update listings on the website which is a huge resource for me. I don’t have people on staff to do that.”
How can we help you?
DTN is a free, fully managed and proven service which enables DMOs to generate revenue through their destination websites by providing more value and enhanced exposure opportunities while driving more visitor referrals to their local tourism-related businesses.
To learn more about how DTN can help augment your DMO’s community engagement while providing a powerful new co-op for local businesses and generating incremental revenue for your DMO, contact Paul Franke at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 412-254-9002, and visit the DTN website at www.destinationtravelnetwork.com.