Meeting the Visitor in the Digital World: January 2019

In today’s digital age, it’s more important than ever that we meet visitors where they are – online. However, it’s not enough to simply be online; we also have to stand out from the crowd, hold their attention, and offer a valuable and quality experience.

We’ve spoken a lot about our visitor-first approach to tourism and about the importance of offering great experiences, but this visitor experience doesn’t start when they step foot into the region or onto your property; it starts from the moment they first engage with your business – click to visit your website, comment on or like a social post, or read past visitor reviews. Your digital presence not only influences whether a visitor chooses to book with you, but also impacts the visitor’s overall trip experience.

It’s important to make efforts to both reach and support visitors online to best leverage this digital world, which offers a space for us to meet potential visitors we wouldn’t otherwise be able to connect with.

For ideas on how to reach new audiences in 2019, we thought we’d share advice from a recent Business 2 Community blog post, which explores 3 top social trends and ways you can integrate these into your business this year. These top trends are:

  1. Micro & Local Influencers – Rather than focusing on Influencers with huge followings, look to maximize your message by working with Influencers with small, but engaged followings.
  2. Instagram Stories & Short-Lived Content – Add variety to your social posting, test out new ways of communicating your message, and connect more personably with your audience with these shorter-lived stories.
  3. Facebook Groups – Engage with customers and build stronger relationships by creating Facebook Groups in addition to your business page.

For more information on these trends and suggestions to capitalize on them, please click here to read the full post. Don’t forget that articles like this are just a guide, and it’s important to know your audience and track your marketing performance to know what works best for your business.

These tactics are great ways to garner some attention and reach visitors in the digital world, but what happens once you connect? How does your digital presence support your online visitor? It’s important to make sure channels meet the visitor’s needs with information about your experience clearly available, easy-to-navigate websites, and straightforward booking processes.

If you’re feeling like your website is in need of a facelift, but need some support, you may be in luck! Together, the Province of Ontario and the Ontario BIA Association are offering two types of grants to help small main street businesses across Ontario strengthen their digital and online capabilities through their Digital Main Street program. The first opportunity is specifically targeted at small town main street businesses and the second at qualifying municipal and business associations. For more information on these Digital Main Street Grants, please click here.

By putting the visitor first and ensuring we offer quality experiences from our first interaction to our last, we can build up our audience to capitalize on word-of-mouth marketing and inspire more visitors to Come Wander Ontario’s Highlands.

Sending wanderful wishes for 2019,

Julie Mulligan,

OHTO Marketing Manager

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