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Building Audiences for Destination Marketing

Sure, you may be a little biased, but you know your destination is worth a visit. But how do you convince would-be visitors to give your location a chance? With a staggering 5 trillion dollars spent worldwide on travel in 2022, there are plenty of travel options out there. How do you make your location stand apart from the rest? The answer is destination marketing.

Destination marketing lets travelers know what they can expect when they visit your location, but for it to work, you need an audience. So, how do you build an audience for your destination that will translate to an increase in visitors? Here are a few ways that you can attract new audiences and generate a genuine interest in your location.

Define Your Target Audience

The first step to building an audience for your destination is to understand who your ideal visitor is. Whether it’s a specific age group like Gen Z, people with a specific income level, or even a specific type of sports enthusiast like surfers or hikers, you need to clearly define who your target audience is before you can attract them.

Create Compelling Content

Once you have defined your target audience, it’s time to woo them with high-quality content that showcases your location’s unique attributes. Do you have ski resorts? Museums? Historic landmarks? Be sure to feature these locations in your content.

Content can include everything from videos, photos, articles, and user-generated content (UGC).

ELMNTL client The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT)  has something for everyone. With historic temples, stunning beaches, and lush rainforests, Thailand has no shortage of material for compelling content. Our strategy for TAT includes a mix of stunning photos, informative captions, blogs, influencer content, and even executing an epic annual festival!

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ELMNTL client The Tourism Authority of Thailand(@thailandinsider) showcases vibrant photos of Thailand along with fun facts, tips, and recommendations for travelers planning to visit their destination.

Optimize For Search Engines (SEO)

You want people to find your website, so be sure that both your website and its content are optimized for relevant keywords related to your destination. This will help you rank higher in search engine results and boost your visibility.

Utilize Social Media

With an estimated 4.9 billion people worldwide using social media in 2023, social media itself has become a keen marketing tool that every destination should have in their marketing toolbox.

Social media can be used to engage with travelers on sites like TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. You can share photos, UGC, and useful captions that talk about the unique attributes of your location and educate would-be visitors about your location.

ELMNTL client the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) uses social media to showcase highlights of their ten member nations. Their strategy includes sharing UGC, social media posts, and interacting with followers through post comments and direct messages. They even host weekly “Trivia Tuesday”  and “Would You Rather?” posts to have a little fun and interact with their Instagram followers.

ELMNTL Client
ELMNTL client the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (@visitsoutheastasiaofficial) regularly posts polls and interactive content to help keep their audience engaged.

Collaborate With Influencers

Partnering up with influencers or travel bloggers in the demographic of your target audience is another way to attract new followers. Invite influencers to experience your destination and share their experiences with their followers, and then share their content with yours!

Leverage Email Marketing

Develop a list of email subscribers interested in your destination. Send regular newsletters with updates, special offers, and insider tips to help encourage your readers to stay engaged and make return visits to your destination.

Host Events and Promotions

Organize special events, promotions, and contests to create a buzz and attract more visitors to your destination. These can include everything from festivals to giveaways to photo contests to exclusive discounts.  

Each year, ELMNTL client TAT hosts the Amazing Thailand Festival, a weekend-long celebration of all things Thai Culture in the heart of NYC. In 2023, the Amazing Thai Festival was held at The Oculus in Manhattan. The festival featured Thai restaurants, traditional dance demonstrations, Muay Thai demonstrations, and a variety of vendors selling authentic Thai goods. The event was open to the public and shared a bit of Thai culture with patrons looking to learn more about the Land of Smiles.

Encourage User-Generated Content (UGC)

ELMNTL client the The Tourism Authority of Thailand (@thailandinsider) regularly reposts user-generated content (UGC) that shows off beautiful destinations.
ELMNTL client the The Tourism Authority of Thailand (@thailandinsider) regularly reposts user-generated content (UGC) that shows off beautiful destinations. 

Encourage people who visit your destination to share their experiences on social media with branded hashtags. Repost their content on your own channels, and engage with the author and your followers to help foster a sense of community and authenticity surrounding your destination.

Run Targeted Advertising Campaigns

Paid advertising is an absolute must, but be sure to utilize advertising on a variety of platforms like Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and Instagram Ads. You can set targeting parameters like demographics, interests, and even online behaviors.

Partner With Local Businesses and Organizations

Collaborate with local hotels, restaurants, tour operators, and attractions to help cross-promote each other and entice would-be visitors to your destination. This will help expand your reach and provide added value to your visitors.

Engage With Travel Communities

To get some word-of-mouth exposure, participate in online travel forums, groups, or communities where travelers discuss destinations. Provide helpful information, answer user questions, and showcase what makes your destination special and unique.

Monitor and Analyze Your Performance

To be sure your destination marketing is effective, you’ll need to track the performance of your marketing. This includes monitoring your website traffic, your social media engagement, and other key metrics to better understand what strategies are working best for your marketing campaign. Then you can adjust your approach if and when needed so you’re always getting the most out of your campaign.

But don’t let the analysis of your campaign overwhelm you. At ELMNTL, our team of marketing experts can help you by not just running your destination marketing campaigns, but also by monitoring and analyzing the results of those campaigns and making necessary adjustments. 

Remember, by implementing these strategies consistently and making adjustments as the market -and your audience- changes, you can effectively grow and engage a loyal audience for your destination marketing campaigns.

Ready to propel your destination forward? Contact us today! Let’s show travelers what they’re missing. 

 

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Romey Louangvilay

Romey Louangvilay

Head of Communications

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