2017 Agri/Ecotourism Conference: Marketing Tips
In late February members of the tourism industry, landowners, business owners, tour operators, nonprofits, and government officials gathered in Broken Bow to attend the 2017 Agri/Eco-Tourism Workshop. For 12 years the Nebraska Tourism Commission has hosted this workshop to educate interested parties about agri-toursim and ecotourism opportunities in Nebraska.
An important one: Content is (still) vital.
People aren’t generally searching for what ecotourism sites have to offer; instead they’re consuming content and then stumble upon these sites. Regularly posted content on social media and websites is important.
It’s easiest to find customers on social media. That’s where the people are. Thirty-six out of every 60 seconds on a phone is spent on social media. And people spend around 6 hours a day on digital platforms. Content finds them through these channels and supplies them with a value they didn’t even know they wanted. We normally don’t intend to take a bunch of Buzzfeed quizzes, but they find us and we end up down a rabbit hole.
When you’re creating this content, keep in mind that most people (50% plus) are visual and tend to relate best to content with photos, video, graphics, and lots of breaks in text blocks. White space is very appealing versus large blocks of intimidating text. This content doesn’t have to be professionally done. Quick mobile phone photos and hand-held video are just as shareable as professional content production.
By asking people to like this content, they’re buying in at a low level. You can build value for them through content, through asking people to support conservation/rural programs. They buy into your messaging and then later, they’re more likely to buy. After you establish this connection with them over several content pieces, you can later ask them to visit/buy. Before that ask, though, people need to know you and your business.
A round up of other content at this year’s event:
- Nebraskan and world traveler, Dean Jacobs, shared with the group lessons about travel and humanity that remind us why it’s important to share the beauty of our region with others.
- Kinkaider Brewing Co., in Broken Bow, talked about how they’ve managed so much growth in just two years.
- Andy Pollock, a lobbyist for the Nebraska Travel Association, gave an in-depth legislative update and answered questions pertaining to the Agritourism Liability Act and Recreation Liability Act.
This workshop paved the way for “Plains Safaris: A Conference on Tourism and Conservation in the Great Plains” which will be held at the University of Nebraska at Kearney in April 2018. Stay tuned for more information in the coming months. We look forward to seeing you all there!