Cradle Coast Authority
Marketing Mentoring Program for the Cradle Coast Region in Tasmania
In 2018, the Cradle Coast Authority (CCA) (the then Regional Tourism Organisation for Tasmania's North West, and West Coast) contacted Tourism eSchool to develop a tailored training program to build digital marketing capability for the industry, with the aim of increased brand visibility for the region and operators online.
This program supported the CCA’s Tourism Marketing Plan, and the Region’s DAPs through educating, inspiring and empowering participants to take positive action to develop and market their experiences to drive demand and desirability as a tourism destination. The Program also sought to create a network of tourism advocates in the region, for whom can support one another with digital literacy, and for which CCA can call on to support the region’s Marketing Action Plan.
In addition to aligning with CCA strategic priorities, this Program was designed and developed to take into consideration:
- The gaps in digital and experience literacy across the region
- The day-to-day commitments of tourism operators in regional Australia
We worked with CCA to develop a process for operators to apply to participate in the fully subsidised Program, which was partly funded by CCA and a successful application to Building Better Regions Fund (Round 2).
The Program enrolled 96 participants, from tourism operators/businesses, local government employees, LTO and RTO employees and event managers, and was facilitated from May-September 2019.
As an experienced & successful secondary educator, I highly recommend this course and these facilitators.
Paige & Rebecca provided a positive and constructive learning experience. Highly informative and very engaging content and tasks. They provided genuine support and personalised the experience where required. Professional and efficient delivery of meaningful content. As an experienced & successful secondary educator, I highly recommend this course and these facilitators.
Marketing + Enrolments
We developed the Program graphics, and CCA promoted the Program via their industry communication channels and managed the applications/enrolments for the Program and RSVPs for the live Workshops.
The Program consisted of 6 Marketing Modules to be delivered over a 4 month period.
We worked closely with the team at CCA to refine the training topics covered in the 6 Modules to ensure key skill gaps were addressed.
The six learning Modules covered in the Program were
- Tourism Marketing Trends and Marketing Strategy
- Content Marketing
- Website Marketing
- Search Engine Optimisation
- Social Media
- Online Reputation Management, Customer Advocacy + Location Based Marketing
- Module 1 and 6 were facilitated in person as 5 hour workshops in two locations in Region (Burnie + Devonport)
- This promoted great collaboration and discussion between the operators, and provided a sense of accountability for the participants too.
- We noticed this time was used really effectively for networking
- All of the modules were delivered via an interactive 1.5 hour live online webinar, which were facilitated fortnightly.
- All webinars were recorded, so those participants who couldn’t attend the workshop or webinars live could watch the replays.
Mentoring + Learning Materials
- Bespoke learning materials (workbooks, templates and Content Marketing toolkit) were created and supplied to support the key learnings in the webinars. Each Module consisted of a set of Tasks, which combined together, assisted the participants to create a flexible content marketing strategy for their business.
- All learning materials (including recorded live webinar + replay of the live workshops) were made available to participants within 24 hours after each module.
- Local tourism business case studies were used throughout the webinars, making the learning materials as relevant as possible for the participants
- A private Facebook Group was used to further engage participants and enable them to ask and receive support during the Program, and then a further 6 weeks after the final webinar/workshop.
- The Facebook Group will then be handed over to CCA to use as a base to build their industry communications in the region.
The face to face sessions were great and ability to access training online when unable to attend sessions really good. Great to have so many examples of what works and getting us to follow FB pages that have good engagement is great for ongoing inspiration. Great program, well run with presenters who were engaging and knowledgeable. The program covered everything I could think of needing to know and much more, and has left us with inspiration to move forward with our marketing.
^Presenting Module 1 as an in-destination workshop at the Paranapple Centre, Devonport, May 2019.
Rebecca + Paige created a warm and welcoming environment for us to learn in, share ideas and provided plenty of opportunity for networking
Rebecca and Paige created a warm and welcoming environment for us to learn in, share ideas and provided plenty of opportunity for networking with our industry colleagues. The face to face workshop sessions were very useful, friendly networking environments. I also loved the webinars and being able to catchup if I missed a session. Paige and Rebecca were open and approachable, encouraged us to actually do the activities they recommended in the workshop (keeping us accountable) and providing information in a fast paced but manageable way.
At the completion of the program, feedback from the participants was collected, with an overview of some of their key feedback below.
Participant feedback included:
- After implementing some of the tasks I have set up a Mailchimp database and have optimised my website, which has already led to lots more traffic to my site.
- I will be reviewing our Ideal Customer Personas; I will be setting up and optimising our user generated content strategy and will be learning how to track conversions on our website better using Google Tag Manager.
- I'm in the planning stages of a 'talk trigger' for my business, I'm going through my website to optimise it for visitors and search engines, and I'm more consciously looking at the performance of my social media posts.
- I've started implementation, including updating my Google My Business listing, started using Canva.com for graphic design, looking into search optimisation, launched an Instagram page and improved my social media in general!
- I’m seeing great organic reach with my social posts from Facebook by being selective and tagging correctly other local businesses, increased blogs and added links to Facebook posts to direct traffic back to our website
- Once we find the time to complete the updates to our channels (i.e Google My Business, set up analytics properly etc) I think the learning will see more conversion on the website, increased social engagement, increased brand/region awareness and confidence that the West Coast is a great place to visit.
- Since completing the course, I have profiled our ideal customers and I'm currently looking at developing a clear brand voice. I have also changed the focus for my SEO efforts.
- We are getting our website updated and feel we at least know what to ask for.
- We have been changing the nature of our Facebook and Instagram posts
- What I learnt in the program will help me to strategise social media posts pre-event (thank you for the great templates!), optimise my website for search and keep it clear and updated, and improve my overall quality of my social media and website posts and content.
- We have created blogs on our website that we have shared to social media platforms to increase traffic to our website and assist with google ranking. Readjusted our ideal customer as we now feel there has been a change in what we thought was our 'ideal customer'.
100% of people in the program indicated they would recommend Program to others in their Region.
It was professionally run, very informative, easy to understand format, and Paige and Rebecca were friendly and engaging.
The program was exceptionally well presented. It was professionally run, very informative, easy to understand format, and Paige and Rebecca were friendly and engaging. There was up to date information, provided in a supportive environment, great resources and an endless amount of suggestions on how I can improve what I do. Thanks to Paige, Rebecca and the funding partners - highly recommended!
^Module 1 Workshop at Paranapple Centre, Devonport
Are you ready to invest in a training program for your industry?
If you would like to learn if we could help you with a similar training program for Tourism Operators in your Region, then we would be delighted to hear from you, so please contact us and we will be in touch as soon as possible!