Marketing Tactics for CVBs: How to Generate Tourism in the Digital Age
Convention and Visitors Bureaus (CVBs) are non-profit organizations that are responsible for promoting a particular city or region as a tourism destination. In today's digital age, CVBs need to use a variety of marketing tactics to reach their target audiences and generate tourism for their destination. In this blog post, we will discuss the target audiences for CVBs, the digital marketing tactics that work best for them, and provide some examples of successful CVB marketing campaigns.
What is a CVB?
- CVBs are designed to market a destination to the traveling public and provide area resources and advice to tourists, event and meeting planners, and the media. A CVB is a great resource offering local insights, brochures, and events calendars. When traveling, always seek the CVB for the best and unbiased information on the area you plan to visit. For the local community, a CVB can provide trend identification, tourism-related business contacts, industry education, and legislative awareness.
Travel Target Audiences to Consider
CVBs typically target several different audiences, each with their own unique interests and needs. The four main target audiences for CVBs are:
- Leisure travelers: People who are looking for a vacation or a weekend getaway and are interested in the attractions, culture, and experiences that a destination has to offer.
- Business travelers: Generally speaking, these are individuals traveling for work and are interested in the convention facilities, hotels, and other amenities that a destination can provide. Note: Sometimes business travelers tag on a few days for personal fun and exploration so feel free to add on a little message with a special offer for family fun!
- Meeting planners: Professionals who are responsible for organizing conferences, trade shows, and other events, and are looking for a destination that can meet their needs.
- Tour Operators and Travel Agents: Companies and individuals specializing in organizing tours and travel packages and are looking for destinations that offer unique experiences and attractions.
Tactics to Consider in Your CVB Marketing Plan
Digital marketing has become an essential tool for CVBs to reach their target audiences. Here are some digital marketing tactics that work best for CVBs:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO): CVBs should focus on optimizing their website for search engines so that potential tourists can easily find information about the destination. This includes using relevant keywords, creating quality content, and ensuring that the website is mobile-friendly.
- Content Marketing: CVBs should create valuable content that is relevant to their target audiences, such as blog posts, videos, and social media posts. For example, Visit California's "Dream365TV" YouTube channel features a variety of video content that highlights the state's natural beauty and cultural attractions.
- Social Media Marketing: Leveraging social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, to engage with potential tourists is a tried-and-true engagement tool for CVBs. Use this space to share photographs of restaurants and hotels and to provide info and special deals on excursions, spas and more.
- Email Marketing: CVBs can use email marketing to send targeted messages to their subscribers, such as newsletters, event announcements, and special offers. For example, Visit Seattle sends a monthly newsletter that includes updates on events, new attractions, and travel deals.
- Influencer Marketing: Some CVBs invest in influencer marketing, partnering with creators in their target audiences, such as travel bloggers or social media personalities, to promote their destination. For example, Visit California partnered with travel influencer, Kelley Ferro, to create a video series that displays the state's diverse regions and attractions.
- Data Visualization Platforms: CVBs can use data visualization platforms, such as Tableau or MNI’s Optics, to create engaging and informative visuals that highlight the features and attractions of their destination.
- Magazine Partnerships: Magazine ads, both print and digital, can be a great way to showcase a destination's attractions, culture, and events to potential tourists. By partnering with travel magazines, CVBs can reach a broader audience and attract visitors who may not have considered their destination otherwise. Cover Wraps, featuring a destination creative around a favorite magazine such as Travel & Leisure can be especially impactfully especially when QR codes and other call to actions are included to get more information.
Developing Your CVB Marketing Strategy
To drive awareness and booking, CVBs need to use a variety of digital marketing tactics to reach their target audiences and generate tourism for their destination. These tactics include search engine optimization, content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, influencer marketing, data visualization platforms, and magazine partnerships. By targeting different audiences and using these tactics, personalizing messaging and being creative CVBs can showcase the unique features and attractions of their destination and encourage visitors to come and explore. From road trips to air travel the itch to explore is real, it’s up to CVBs to use data to get guests to come their way.