First Webinar of Three: May 16, 2023
Destination Automated Events Calendar

The first of a three-part webinar series on website content strategy solutions for DMOs. This session will focus on Events Marketing and discuss the impact of automated Events Calendar on the organization, the community, and ultimately, the destination visitors.

Expert Panelists: Aline Gill, Sr. Director, Tourism Strategy at ITI Digital; Kevin Costello, Director of Tourism of  Visit Prince Williams County, VA; and Kat Patterson, Marketing Engagement Lead, of Visit Bowling Green, OH.

Content Strategy Tools & Resources

Define Your Target Audience

Understanding your target audience is crucial for creating relevant and engaging content. Identify your ideal customers, their demographics, interests, and pain points. This will help you tailor your content to meet their specific needs. Resources to assist in defining your target audience include:

1) Google Analytics: Analyze website data to gain insights about your current audience. A complete FREE Google Analytics 4 (GA4) course is available here.

2) Social media analytics: Examine data from social media platforms to understand your followers. Platforms like SproutSocial, Hootsuite, Keyhole, and Meta’s Insights Tab on Meta Business Suite (free) are great tools to subscribe to and track your social audience. 

3) Customer surveys: Conduct surveys to gather information directly from your target audience. Create structured surveys for Visitor Center incoming traffic, website visitors with dedicated survey forms on your website, or even social media polls on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram Stories for quick audience sentiment analysis. 

4) Buyer personas: Develop detailed profiles that represent your ideal customers. Visitor segments allow the DMO to talk specifically and resonate with a particular audience across all marketing channels. Your content strategy should include dedicated messaging according to the personas you identify in your visitor profile. For example, groups vs. individual travelers, winter travelers vs. summer travelers, age group personas, and demographic personas such as a family with kids or not. Check out this Free “Buyer Persona” Template.

Set Clear Goals and Objectives 

Establishing goals and objectives is essential for guiding your content strategy. Determine what you want to achieve with your website’s content. Examples of goals include increasing website traffic, generating leads, improving brand awareness, or boosting sales. Resources to assist in setting goals and objectives include:

1) SMART goal framework: Use the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) criteria to set clear objectives.

2) Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): Identify the metrics you will use to measure the success of your content strategy. For example, a) track visitor guide downloads; b) increase page views on the “Parks” page by 15% during the Summer season, among other KPIs, you can tailor to your DMO’s goals. This U.S. Travel Association’s KPI For DMOs material is a good place to start and gives us industry-specific ideas. 

Conduct Content Audit and Gap Analysis 

Assess your existing content (if applicable) to identify gaps, redundancies, and areas for improvement. This analysis will help you understand your content, what is missing, and how to enhance it. Resources to assist in conducting a content audit and gap analysis include:

1) Content inventory spreadsheet: Create a detailed inventory of your existing content, including URLs, titles, and descriptions. Evaluate and identify content pieces that are missing or others that need up-to-date information.

2) SEO tools like SEMrush, Ahrefs, or Moz’s Free Domain Analyzer: Analyze your website’s SEO performance, identify top-performing pages, and discover content gaps.

Optimize for Search Engines 

Implementing search engine optimization (SEO) best practices will help your website rank higher in search engine results and attract organic traffic. Consider the following resources to assist in optimizing your website for search engines:

1) Moz’s Beginner’s Guide to SEO: Provides a comprehensive overview of SEO principles and practices.

2) Google Search Console: Monitor your website’s performance in Google search results and identify opportunities for improvement.

3) Yoast SEO (WordPress plugin): Helps optimize individual pages/posts on WordPress websites.

Develop a Content Calendar 

A content calendar provides structure and ensures consistency in publishing content. It helps you plan and organize your content creation and distribution efforts. Resources to assist in creating a content calendar include:

1) Editorial calendar templates: Use pre-designed templates to organize your content schedule. Here you can find: Content Calendar Template for Google Sheets; 19 Marketing Excel Templates; and a Customer Journey Marketing Calendar Template.

2) Content management tools: Explore tools like, Trello, Asana, or CoSchedule for content planning and collaboration within your team and partner agencies.

Destination Events Calendar Best Practices

Interest Segmentation is key!

Although users can already search their desired dates and keyword search, take the calendar to the next level with custom visitor categories. Organize your events calendar content into dedicated interest-based categories, e.g., Family-Friendly; Free Events; Live Music; seasonal categories such as “Christmas Events,” or geographical segmentation such as “Downtown Events,” as it suits your destination.

Integrate Your Calendar into high-traffic pages.

Maximize your potential and sprinkle the event content into multiple website high-traffic pages. Have a Fishing page on your website, and your destination hosts multiple fishing tournaments? Add the fishing-category events to the website page. Or highlight breweries and wineries events in your dedicated ‘Winery Trail’ page. Remember the homepage can also host your most upcoming events, or featured events, as a sneak peek to visitors of all your calendar offers.

Step into the future of travel.

Curious about ITI Digital’s products? Our team is available for a conversation and to consult on the next digital strategies for your destination, including our Automated Destination Events Calendar and Business Listings, Itineraries, and more! Select a date in our calendar that works best for you.

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