The biggest challenge faced by tourism bureaus is not necessarily putting a town on the map
Prince Albert has long been revered as a charming Karoo village with beautiful scenery and plenty to offer. But a good reputation is not always enough to bolster the tourism on which the economy of a small village so highly relies on.
The advent of social media and online publications mean that traditional print marketing is, in many ways, already something of the past. In order to survive, the tourism industry has no choice but to get involved on popular social media platforms and create an online identity for themselves. This doesn’t happen overnight; rather, it is a process of trial and error, persistence and dedication.
Since launching a concerted effort to get our digital marketing on track, we recently reviewed our social media and online marketing statistics for the period of March to July.
The goal of our campaign was simple. First and foremost, we wanted to market the town of Prince Albert by marketing our members.
These range from accommodation owners to photographers who conduct courses. Basically, anyone who plays a part in keeping the town alive through their business is welcome to join.
Our aim was to showcase what’s on offer, while at the same time communicating the message in a way that promotes the overall uniqueness of Prince Albert.
The results speak for themselves. On Facebook, our audience has grown by 89%, and we have the highest engagement rate per page follower of any of our competitors. Our Twitter audience has grown by 37%. Instagram is the real champion here – our follower base has grown by 183%!
Furthermore, we have launched a solid PR and newsletter campaign that sees bi-monthly newsletters and press releases being sent out to a large online database. Since March, we have sent out eight press releases and secured more than 40 placements. Our newsletter also gets shared on social media, which generates even more traction.
We also believe in creating fresh, real-time content. For this reason we have professional photographers and videographers shooting footage for us on a regular basis.
Lastly, we recently ran a photo competition to encourage both local and visiting photographers to tag us in a beautiful Instagram picture they had recently taken of Prince Albert. The prize? R1000 of data. James Hibbs took both the winning photos, with The Windmill Sunset being the favorite.
Members recently had to renew their membership with Prince Albert Tourism.
Understandably, the question is always, which benefits will I get for my membership fee?
Now that our marketing machine is producing powerful results, members get more than they could have possibly imagined. Through Prince Albert Tourism’s marketing strategies, every member gets featured regularly not only only social media, but also in newsletters and online publications. This is the kind of marketing few small businesses can afford to secure for themselves, but collectively, members help one another to get this benefit.
Those who slot in with the marketing efforts of Prince Albert Tourism will reap the fruits of our posts tenfold.