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Western Melbourne Tourism

Digital Marketing Mentoring Program - 'Digital Fest in the West'

The Opportunity

Western Melbourne Tourism (WMT) is the urban regional tourism board covering the local government areas of Brimbank, Hobsons Bay, Maribyrnong, Melton, Moonee Valley and Wyndham councils, and has the aim of building value and capacity of the local tourism industry.

WMT approached Tourism eSchool early 2017 to develop a Digital Training Program, with the aim to help Tourism Operators in the region achieve cut through in their tourism marketing efforts in a rapidly changing digital landscape, and also better tell and sell the story of the diverse experiences visitors can have in the region.

We designed a program called "Digital Fest in the West" that had a focus on learning in real time, with ‘hands on’ learning program customised to build the capacity of local tourism businesses in the region, enhance networks between local operators, and to foster collaboration online across Melbourne’s west.

Content Marketing was identified by the Organisation as a key tactic which required further development within the industry, in the spaces of Storytelling, Social Media and Website Marketing.

DigitalFestInWestGraphic

The Program

Working with WMT, we developed a tailored an 8 week Digital Marketing Mentoring Program that aligned with WMT's budget and timeframes.

The aim of the Mentoring Program was to build the capacity of the participants, so they could confidently develop and implement a content marketing strategy that would help grow brand awareness, consideration and sales, as well support the destination marketing efforts of WMT and Visit Victoria.

The Program consisted of 4 Training Modules to be delivered over a 4 week period, with the Modules being facilitated in person and online, which allowed the regionally dispersed operators to attend easily.

We worked closely with the team at WMT to refine the training topics covered in the 4 Modules to ensure key skill gaps were addressed.

WMT charged each participant a nominal amount to join the Program to encourage ownership and engagement.

Learning Modules

The four learning Modules covered in the Program were

  • Tourism Marketing Trends and Strategy, Customer Experience, Content Marketing + Visual Storytelling
  • Social Media Strategy + Optimisation
  • Strategic Storytelling (Blogging)
  • Online Reputation Management, Customer Advocacy, Location Based Marketing, Website Conversion Optimisation

Program Methodology

Western Melbourne Tourism developed the program graphics, promoted the program and managed the promotion and collection of RSVP’s.

25 businesses joined the program and were from all sectors of the industry, including accommodation, attractions, events, tour operators, local government, restaurants and hire.

Digital Fest In The West Website Strategy

^Presenting Module 4 as an in-destination workshop at the Deakin Learning Centre, Werribee.

Program Delivery

In-Destination Workshops

  • Module 1 and 4 were facilitated in person in the region allowing hands on and interactive learning from the participants.
  • Module 1 was held at Werribee Park Mansion Refectory. The 4 hr workshop which allowed Operators the opportunity to implement their learnings around visual storytelling.
  • Module 4 was delivered as a 3 hour workshop in the high-tech Deacon Learning Centre. The format again allowed Operators to bring together all they learnings, and also have some very engaging and productive group brainstorming around Customer Advocacy.

Online Webinars

  • Modules 2 and 3 were delivered via an interactive 1 hour live online webinars over the month between the live workshops.
  • The webinars were recorded, so those participants who couldn’t attend live could watch the replay.

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

Mentoring Support

  • A private Facebook Group was used to further engage participants and enable them to ask and receive support during the 8 weeks of the Program, and then a further 2 weeks after the final webinar.
  • The Facebook Group was then handed over to WMT to use as a base to build their industry communications in the region.
Digital Fest In The West Refectory Phone Fest

Results

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:

  • Focusing on online strategy via TripAdvisor and GMB. Using TA's Express Review to invite visitors to submit a review.
  • Keeping our sites fresh and up to date with new photos and posts, responding to reviews promptly, analysing GMB's Insights for market intelligence. 
  • I replied to a somewhat negative review and have several bookings since
  • Improved photography for use on social media
  • Developing our new website, I have been more aware of building SEO into the metadata.
  • Being more aware of Instagram posts, tagging and how to connect with more people.
  • All the social media marketing learnings can be implemented in our organisation.
  • Updated on-line content for the region with Visit Victoria, added more images. Included a 'local story' element in social media posts on Facebook
  • Claiming the Google My Business and TripAdvisor business listings.
  • Actively using the Google My Business posts.

100% of people in the program indicated they would recommend Digital Fest in the West program to others in their region.

Rebecca At Digital West In The Fest Online Reputation Management Module

^Presenting Module 4 as an in-destination workshop at the Deakin Learning Centre, Werribee.

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!

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