Video… If you missed the fact two years ago, YouTube is the number two search engine. And it hasn’t dropped last year or this. Average time on a website is 48 seconds. Average person spends 5 minutes and 50 seconds on the web. What are they doing the other 5 minutes and 2 seconds? Watching Video. Video must be on everything and on every main section of your website.
And I know you’re gonna ask, does it have to be all Steven Spielburg, beautiful, HD? I heard a few times “content over quality”. And keep ’em short! 30 seconds. No one is going to watch your 8 minute mini movie about your destination.
Research… Everything we do starts and ends with Research. Literally!
A Visitor Profile Study and Potential Customer Study are the minimum two that should be done before you begin any promotions. After everything, do a Conversion Study to see if the leads generated even came. There’s countless others but those are the minimum three. (I’m going to attempt to get samples of each and post them on the site.)
Partnerships… This isn’t about the trend of DMOs moving from memberships to partnerships, it’s the reminder that without the hotels, restaurants, attractions, retail outlets, cab companies, sport facilities, conference center(s), etc., we have no destination to market! Include your partners on the Mobile strategies. Work with them on production of Videos. Something they really want to know? Add a question to your research. And it’s okay to ask for financial assistance. They are a partner! Keep them as a partner or develop them as a Partner!
Services… You know it’s important when Convention Services had it’s own session! The Certified Tourism Ambassador program or your own, local hospitality training program. They’re all important! We can do all the research, optimize our site for search, place all the pretty ads but if the traveler comes to our destination and is not met with outstanding service, they’re going to leave having not had a nice experience and they’ll probably Tweet about it or post it on Facebook. (I did Monday night! See more below.)
Good thing is only the first two are really expenses. If you absolutely have to, you can do the research your self. Partnerships and simple (and if done right, revenue) and Service development costs little to nothing.
Talk to you next month. I need to get some Nirvana downloaded to my iPod. Been craving some grunge since I landed.