Notes from Paige’s Presentation at ARTN 2014

Welcome to Tourism eSchool, it was great to join you at the ARTN Convention in Port Stephens!

We hope you got some great takeaways and you are inspired to get started (or ramp up!) your destination blogging strategy.

If you still need convincing that you should invest in blogging to drive more visitors to your region, then head over to our blog, and read our post on Why All Destinations Should Be Blogging & How to Get Started.

 

The Hot Stats

In our presentation, we featured some stats on how people purchase travel, so if you are keen to learn more about your customers, and how they make travel purchasing decisions, then pop on over to the below links to take a look at all of the research:

 

Your Action Items

The number 1 rule when attending conferences is to TAKE ACTION on what you have learnt! So, we’ve put together a list of action items for you to implement to get started with your blogging strategy!

 

#1 Identify your Ideal Customer

When it comes to content creation, you must first identify your Ideal Customer, as their pre-dispositions will dictate the platforms you need to engage with, and the messages you create. To help you learn more about this concept and to create your own Ideal Customer’s Profile for your destination, read of our blog post on How to Create Your Ideal Customer Profile, and start brainstorming and collaborating ideas!idealcustomer

 

#2 Identify your Goals and Objectives

In the Presentation, we outlined that Blogging can help achieve Brand Awareness and also increase visitation. Some of the objectives you could be potentially measure include:

Brand Awareness

  • Landing Pages from Google
  • Landing Pages from Social Networks
  • Social Shares on Blog Post

Increase Visitation

  • Engagement metrics on Social Networks and individual Blog Posts
  • # Repeat vistation to website
  • # of Sales or Enquiries from visitors who found the website via blog post

 

#3 Set up your blog on a Sub-Folder

subdomain

Publishing your destination blog on a sub-folder of your main domain name instead of a subdomain is the preferred way to set up your blog because:

  • All new blog posts will automatically gain authority in search engines from the main domain, which means the posts will be crawled and indexed faster and ranked more positively
  • All social and backlink authority that is gained through syndicating blog posts will benefit the whole website, not just the blog section. This means, that the whole website benefits of improved authority, giving it an improved chance of being ranked highly in search engine results for relevant search queries.
  • Visitors to the website will be able to navigate between regular site content and blog posts with ease, making it a user friendly experience. This will also help with the reduction in exit and bounce rates from the website, and overall time on site.
  • Sales and Enquiry conversions can be attributed to those Visitors who find the website via a blog post.

To learn more about the pros and cons of Sub-Folder vs Sub-Domain, please pop over to Smart Insights Blog > Which is best for blog SEO: separate domain, subdomain or subfolder?

 

#4 Plan & Create Epic Content for Your Ideal Customers

editorialideas

As explained in the presentation, your content needs to inspire, help and convince your Ideal Customers to visit your region.

So, your second action item is to develop a content calendar, which indicates what type of blog post types you will create (inspiring, helpful, stories), and then start brainstorming topics for each post (what you will actually write about).

To learn more about ‘how’ to use images and video to create your content, pop over to our blog to read our posts on content creation:

 

#5 Curate Content from your Advocates

As a Destination, curating content has to be one of the most strategic ways of creating an ongoing stream of fantastic content for your blog, as the content is not created by you, it’s created by the people who love your destination – your Ideal Customers!

To learn a little more about how to encourage customer advocacy on social media, why not take a read of our blog post > 3 steps to encourage customer advocacy of your tourism experience on social media.

Also, you may like to take a look at Tourism Australia’s Social Media Strategy, as it relates to content curation, and see if you can mimic this on a smaller scale for your destination!

 

#5 Measure the success of your Blog Strategy

As promised, we’ve put together a short video on where to find the metrics to measure the success of your blog strategy. So, once you have watched the video, create an excel document to track the data over time, to identify achievements of your blogging goals & objectives.

 

 

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Did you know we work with Destinations?

That’s right, we work directly with Destinations to develop Destintation Marketing Strategies, and also roll out Custom Marketing Mentoring Programs for Operators. To find out more, we’d love you to pop over to our Destintations Page >