The dog days of summer are upon us, which means fall is right around the corner. And while everyone loves the season of pumpkin spiced lattes and leef peeping, you’d be hard pressed to find a destination marketer who isn’t sorry to see summer go.
If your DMO wants to get the most bang for their buck out of these last few weeks of summer, here are a few ways to get those travelers booking trips ASAP:
Make Labor Day look awesome: Labor Day weekend is summer’s last hurrah, and if your destination has anything special going on, now’s the chance to tell the world. Talk to partners and create an all-inclusive list of Labor Day activities, events and specials, then revolve all your marketing efforts around it for the next couple weeks. Push Labor Day through every channel you’ve got (blog posts, Facebook posts, Pinterest board, Tweets, etc.), and remind visitors how epically awesome that last weekend of summer can be.
Run a fun giveaway: There are a million and one ways to run attention-getting promos. Try giving away summer swag to random fans via Twitter, or ask Facebook fans for their fave summer memory and offer up a weekend stay. Or, do an in-destination giveaway for anyone who comes to town through the month of August (an added incentive to book) – have a street team surprise a few random tourists with a Go Pro for recording summer memories.
Write an open love letter to summer: Open letters are all the rage (we’ve even written one ourselves), so pen a letter to the summer months. Make it clever, catchy and chock full of all the reasons why summer is unforgettable in your destination. Put some paid media behind it, and get it on every social channel you’ve got. Even push it via PR and see if you can get a spot on your local morning show heralding what’s awesome about the rest of summer, or a story in a national blog or pub about why summer in your destination is the best ever.
Crowdsource summer content: If you’re not already crowdsourcing content from across the interwebs, WHY NOT? Either way though, now’s the time to get to crowdsourcing all the summer stuff eager travelers (and locals) have been posting all over social media since Memorial Day. Search high and low and find the best content that’s out there about your destination (PICTURES PICTURES PICTURES) and do a massive push highlighting epic summer fun. Because seeing other people have the time of their lives is the ultimate travel incentive.
Place some highly targeted media: Sometimes, last minute media is most effective. Run some niche ads via Facebook and Google with a powerful CTA. Create a compelling summer landing page (using some of the above ideas, if you like) and offer up your best summer deals, packages and offers for last-minute travel. Everyone wants last-minute travel deals, after all (have you seen the search traffic that phrase gets? Woah.).
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