02 Mar Small Town Survival: Marketing Your Town Tourism With Big City Thinking
If you’re a professional in a rural area, I’m sure you have contemplated one or two of these questions:
- Could my community be doing more to attract tourism online?
- Do my staff need social media training to better handle our customer inquiries?
- Do we need help promoting our town/service/amenity/local products online?
If you have asked yourself any of these questions, you are not alone! So often rural areas want to promote their just-as-good-as-the-big-box-brand goods and services online, but do not have access to the tools and resources to make it happen. With technology adopting fast in rural areas (faster internet speeds, and dependable cell reception), it is more important than ever to be visible online.
Not convinced you need online marketing for your rural town yet?
Let’s break it out by scenario:
- Do you have a campground in the area to promote?
Afford campers the ability to reserve camping sites from the comfort of their home. No more honour system needed.
- Does your snowmobile rally bring in major winter tourism?
Afford your riders the option to follow the event online, engage on social media, and generate major awareness. Provide maps, interactive social posts on Facebook, and even request volunteer assistance.
- Your Midget A Hockey team are champions this year?
Give your community a spot to be proud and share in their accomplishments and show off your strong community ties.
- Is there an Estate Sale at the auction you want people to be aware of? Civic Services change service times?
Create general, collective knowledge for event-based information. It is a great marketing tactic – make your community more aware so they in turn can inform others if they were to ask. Rural communities’ talk! Take advantage.
- Is there a fishing tournament this week with a noteworthy prize?
Overnight, your post office clerk can be your social media guru – sharing with everyone who comes and grabs their mail that the next event is TOMORROW!
Let’s face it – in rural-anywhere-in-the-world – marketing is almost always a community effort.
However, no rural town can survive on the good graces (and by good graces I do mean the good, green dollar) of its immediate residents – rural businesses need to take advantage of great marketing campaigns to attract visitors, connect with key stakeholders , and promote the use of rural products & services that directly boost your local economy.
Watrous Manitou Marketing Group (WMMG) was awarded a Saskatchewan grant used to assist in revitalizing Saskatchewan main strips in rural towns.
WMMG hired Insightrix® Digital to develop a website that directly promoted this town’s initiative, so residents could visit the informational website and gather more material on the important cause that directly affected their town.
Plus – the website included an interactive survey where residents could provide input on possible improvements to their main street = they were engaged with the initiative!
During the website launch, WMMG also wanted to promote the survey with its rural residents within a 15 km radius. Insightrix tapped into our creative online strategies, and we were able to develop a social media campaign that included Facebook advertisements with the population of interest. With a smart strategy in place, we were able to save time and money for our client while boosting survey completions by nearly 30% in one week!