Australia is FINALLY opening up – so how do you get tourists back to your region with innovative marketing?

Australia is FINALLY opening up – so how do you get tourists back to your region with innovative marketing?

It’s been a long hibernation for tourism operators Australia wide, with several regions hit particularly hard (namely Victoria and NSW) and any region, who in usual circumstances welcomes swarms of tourists from these locations each year.

Whilst its optimistic to think that once the borders swing open your tourism region will return to its former glory days due to pent up demand and possible, getting into position now and considering innovative marketing campaigns that cut through the noise of everyone waving their little ‘come visit me’ flags are the way to go.

As an organisation we have worked with a wide range of destination marketing organisations and tourism operators over the years, including many flying the flag for the regional towns of Australia, so we feel qualified to make comment on the important matter of opening up post vaccine roll out. We’ve also supported many of them through what has been an atrocious couple of years with everything from supportive phone calls and messages, to Uber Eats deliveries and pamper packs when they were least expecting it, just to do our bit to keep their morale from hitting the floor.

Whilst some of our destination tourism clients are reporting that bookings are surprisingly strong as local markets open up, and the home bound venture out to the local restaurants and tourist attractions once more, the savvy amongst them have tapped into the generous Government funding buckets going around and are calling on us as a creative agency to come up with new and innovative ideas to go back to market, rather than the same old, same old.

So if you’re in a similar position, what should you do? Here’s some of our top ideas from working with many destination marketing organisations and tourism operators:

1/ Communicate, communicate, communicate (and potentially outsource your social media posting, boosting and email marketing if you won’t do it justice)

The destination tourism bodies who have an in-house resource for social media may well have worked out that posting consistently, on all channels, in all formats, then strategically boosting these posts and reporting on it all is quite a big job. For this reason we’ve seen an upswing in destination marketing organisations subcontracting this important outbound messaging to us so it definitely happens in a consistent and professional manner, so their teams can concentrate on everything else there is to do as things open up and not only their region but their jobs get busier again. It might seem impossible for us to get across the nuances of marketing your destination if we’re not on the ground but trust us, we have all the tricks! This includes running through a comprehensive briefing/strategy session as the first part of our engagement and obtaining everything from your objectives to your target market, brand voice, brand style guides, images, videos, competitors etc. We then prepare a batch of posts for your approval, so you have full visibility of what we are proposing to post before it goes out. With our packages starting at just $750+GST per month, this is a no brainer. See our social media posting & boosting packages here.

2/ Sharpen up and book in for some team social media training so your team are firing on all cylinders

It’s amazing how many people have wound up responsible for the organisation’s social channels but who are really not confident, have no real strategy, without any real tools and who would jump at the chance for a bit of an update on how to ‘do social’. For those clients who don’t want to outsource, booking in for some valuable social media strategy development or social media training can really help them to get focussed, organised and efficient, which again is necessary as things open up. When we talk social media training we’re not just talking about creating posts and popping them on your channels either. We’re talking about understanding how to thoroughly research and create audiences inside Facebook Business Manager. How to conduct outreach in relevant groups to share your message further without any marketing money down. How to create events, groups and a bunch of other strategies that are a little outside the norm.

3/ Getting Creative with AR (augmented reality) & VR (virtual reality)

If you are ready to step outside of your comfort zone and do something that will really gain the attention of jaded social media users and rise above the noise of other tourism destinations vying for business, let’s talk about interactive brand campaigns involving Video Production, Interactive Video, 2D & 3D Animation, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Creative Strategy, Interactive Experiences, Experiential Activations. In short there is a lot we can do here, and it may not be as expensive as you may think.

To give you some examples take Interactive video. This technology is taking your standard video experience up a notch by overlaying your video content with interactive/clickable hotspots or decision points, known as branching options. We can create shoppable, choose your own adventure, split screen and gamified videos. Imagine how cool it would be to turn your next video campaign into a trackable, data capturing, sales driving asset.

Or in another example, AR campaigns for instance can be executed across Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, app’s and web-based experiences. Extend a planned campaign with AR and watch the engagement soar!

Interested in how this could work for your destination? Talk to us.

4/ Create an informational chatbot so people sending messages on your page are guided through a conversation tree

Did you know 75% of people surveyed would rather message your Facebook or Instagram page than call, email or check out your website? That’s some secret sauce right there! What if you could capture those people and start engaging with them at the moment they messaged you? Do you think you would increase hours are required depend on how large the ‘conversation tree’ is. To give a guide, a basic one such as we implemented for our client https://www.facebook.com/yourplanmanager/ only took us 3 hours. But we could also go quite elaborate and guide people to multiple pages on your website and if we were to do this we would need to scope the job to see exactly what you wanted the chatbot to do. Here is a brief example of what could automatically come up when someone messages your Facebook page:

And from here we could program in the ability for them to download the visitor guide, and if they click on ‘Plan an Adventure’ for example they get to start to define their adventure.

And so it goes on. We are starting to talk to two other destination marketing organisations about programming in similar conversation trees for them as it means their audiences are instantly provided quality information and can ‘self serve’ which is what a lot of people want these days. They want instant – not to wait 24 hours until someone is next in line to respond to them. But equally we can offer for them to contact you and use traditional means also.

Anyway a lot to consider here. If you’d like to discuss this further, please feel free to let me know when it suits to chat.
Hear from you!