Don’t jump to conclusions with your digital strategy
At Tourism Tribe we regularly receive requests to develop and review digital strategies for destination marketing organisations (DMOs) and tourism operators alike and we’re thrilled with that. As digital marketing experts in the tourism industry, we get a real buzz hearing from people who want to keep improving their digital footprint.
However, sometimes, we say “no thank you, we’d rather first do your digital benchmarking because it’s more important”.
Why digital benchmarking?
The often held belief by business owners and marketers that a digital strategy is going to take you from A to Z is flawed. It is true that you can bring in a digital marketing expert to review your website structure, content, SEO, online marketing; have a look at your social media platforms and make recommendations to build into a 12 month plan. However, the plan may not yield the results you’re seeking unless you look at the whole picture that your digital strategy operates in and understand the capabilities in that digital landscape.
Don’t jump to solutions
- you are now; before
- identifying where you want to get to; followed by developing the plan on
- how you’re going to get there
There is more than one dimension to evaluating a destination’s digital footprint. We look at their footprint through three lenses from which we then synthesise the data and insights to form a total impression to be able to say here are the strengths and weaknesses and how they relate to their online customers’ requirements and technology trends.
#1 Measure your destination footprint
#2 Measure your online presence
Secondly you need an objective review of your organisation’s online presence. This is where the performance of your website and social media platforms is undertaken, but it is done relative to your role in the distribution system. Considerations include what are your core roles in distribution, where do you add the most value and therefore, where should you be placing most of your effort in the different stages of the travel purchase cycle?
#3 Measure your people capability
Thirdly and arguably the most important component of being able to implement your vision for the future is to measure the digital capability of key players and staff. This is done through an online survey, the Digital Check-up (Copyright Digital Coaching International). Whilst it’s not 100% objective because the user is measuring their own knowledge and online activities, when married with the other data sources the results provide to form a validated picture of the digital capability of the destination online. It also provides a tangible mechanism to engage key players in the project of renewing your digital strategy and to get them excited and on board early.
Bringing it all together
- the RTO invests in a new website and an active content plan, but doesn’t have their website optimised for search and is wondering why traffic to the new website has remained low since launch…get your digital co-ordinator trained in SEO for your content management system or bring in the SEO guru
- the local council invests in an online booking facility for their website, but doesn’t appreciate the relevant distribution partners they need to be working with a distribution strategy needs to be
- the business operator is spending time posting on Facebook and Instagram, but not aware of the RTO’s social media campaigns or the array of local, State and national hashtags they could be applying to increase their return on investment something that a local education program could have addressed
If you’d like to know more about how we help others to take the first step in developing a stronger, more impactful and measurable digital footprint, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or find me on Tourism Tribe.