We really like seeing fresh marketing initiatives inspired by authentic destination characteristics and products and powered by a collaborative spirit with a purpose.
The Alabama Tourism Department released a CD with the top 11 songs from the Year of Alabama Music Songwriters Contest, to be used in a new marketing campaign focusing on road trips; Jordan Tourism Board, developed an innovative marketing initiative, collaborating with travel bloggers in order to utilize their blog content on Jordan for a new marketing campaign; while the country also partnered with Google in order to advance its online search visibility. Presidents’ Passport is a joint marketing initiative designed to showcase the early American history and culture of Charlottesville region along with its close connections with important US Presidents.
Alabama Road Songs for Tourism
After a state songwriters’ contest linked to the Year of Alabama Music, the Alabama Tourism Department released a CD titled Alabama Road Songs, featuring eleven songs from top competitors. The disc was officially launched on December ’11, with an event where songwriters featured on the album presented their songs and shooting accompanying videos.
The Alabama Tourism Department sponsored the CD and the title and artwork was created to coincide with the 2012 tourism campaign “100 Alabama Road Trips”. The songs are about Alabama and were written by songwriters who live in or are from the state. All tracks on “Alabama Road Songs” deliver positive messages about the state and extol its virtues. What a great way to emphasize your tourism product!
The cover of the CD shows a 1953 baby blue Cadillac parked near a pier on Lake Guntersville. The photo represents the road trips campaign. The inside cover features a car tag and the Cadillac along an Alabama highway. An insert provides a photo montage of all the songwriters on the CD as well as the lyrics to the songs.
“We wanted to create a CD that people could listen to in their car while traveling in Alabama,” said tourism director Lee Sentell. “The songs are all original and provide a taste of the talent that our great state has to offer.”
Jordan Digital Marketing Initiatives
Jordan and Travel Bloggers
In the past couple of years, the travel industry has started to take more notice of the value of travel bloggers and the promotional support they can provide through their blogs and social media channels. Developments in 2011 have seen tourism boards and travel brands around the world organising blog-trips and innovative campaigns in collaboration with bloggers.
The Jordan Tourism Board (JTB) announced in December a unique marketing collaboration with travel bloggers. The concept, called iambassador, is the first of its kind involving the tourism board and eight travel bloggers who have visited Jordan, leveraging the bloggers’ published Jordan content and their social networks.
The bloggers were hosted by JTB on an individual basis, with customized itineraries created to accommodate the preferences of each blogger. Each blogger was invited to create his/her own experience and blog about it with full editorial control. For the two days, they shared their experiences of the country with their readers and followers.
The campaign made more than 40 million impressions on Twitter, with over 1 million people reached. Many of those tuned in to the #GoJordan hashtag shared their experiences in Jordan.
The campaign also marked the launch of a special microsite dedicated to all the writings that all the travel bloggers that have come to Jordan in 2011 have posted. The special Postcards from Jordan website features postcards from the bloggers, a special message from each of them, and all their posts, categorized by blog or by experience. The campaign is innovative in that it goes beyond the standard industry practice of hosting press trips and breathes new life into published writings about the destination.
Each of the 8 created a special Jordan page, highlighting the country as a Featured Destination. The pages will highlight their posts, the new Postcards website, and their reasons why they recommend Jordan as a travel destination to their readers. In 2012, JTB will go past awareness and focus on the special needs and experiences that travelers are looking for and will collaborate with different bloggers to highlight the many aspects of these available in Jordan with specific projects targeted at the different travel niches.
Jordan and Google
Another partnership to support tourism in Jordan was a Google deal also announced in December.
Ten government entities will use Google services to advertise and promote Jordan as a destination for tourists and investors over the next three years under the $10 million deal.
The local organisations will purchase keywords from the Internet search giant that will highlight their websites in search results, and Google will reinvest 25 per cent of the $10 million in the Kingdom’s IT sector, under the agreement.
The minister added that Google will provide intensive training to the Jordanian entities on the best methods of online marketing, underscoring the need for these organisations to improve their web content in order to provide user-friendly services.
“This is about finding people interested in what you have. If people can’t find you on the web they’ll go somewhere else. By purchasing keywords, you present yourself,” said Carlo d’Asaro Biondo, Google vice president for southern and eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Charlottesville Albemarle Convention and Visitors Bureau (CACVB), Monticello and Montpelier announce a cooperative marketing program designed to encourage tourism to the greater Charlottesville area starting in late January 2012.
The program, “Presidents Passport,” is supported by over $180,000 in marketing partnership spending from the CACVB, Monticello, and Montpelier including a substantial grant by the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) for $50,000.
The Presidents Passport campaign is designed to build on the excitement surrounding the opening of the new landmark Smithsonian/Monticello exhibition opening in D.C. and encourage visitors to explore the extensive history and “intersection of rural lifestyle and urban sophistication” in Charlottesville, Albemarle, and surrounding areas.
“The passport program brings together two historic sites—Monticello and Montpelier—as key destinations for visitors wanting to continue the conversation about early American history and slavery. Visitors will have the opportunity to see the landscape of the presidents and soak up the rich historical and cultural offerings of the surrounding area,” said CACVB Executive Director Kurt Burkhart.
“A partnership between Montpelier, Monticello and CACVB offers visitors the opportunity to learn more about the significant relationship between Jefferson and Madison and explore the impact of slavery on their world,” said Leslie Greene Bowman, president and CEO of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation. “The passport is designed to capture the attention of visitors to the exhibition in D.C., and offer them a deeper exploration of the topic by coming to our area, where they can immerse themselves in history, and enjoy all that we have to offer.”