The most effective communication engages as many of our human senses as possible.
With all of the attention given to grabbing eyeballs with visuals, however, it’s easy to overlook the different ways of reaching your visitors, guests, or customers through their ears…. with audio.
First Steps for Audio in Destination Marketing
Start small and experiment.
Make some simple audio clips recorded from your phone, using an app like SoundCloud which also creates an embeddable play box that you can use in a blog post, to extend the reach of the content.
We’re also hearing some noise about Anchor – an app for podcasting from your phone.
Music may be the easiest way to add audio content to your marketing mix, and it is a wonderful way to connect people with a destination.
How about the Mississippi Blues Trail Spotify playlist (each song is related to a specific historical marker on the statewide Trail – the 200th one is “Rocket 88”) or the Explore Asheville [North Carolina] Radio playlist?
Next Steps in Audio
Feeling a little more ambitious?
Try a short series podcast, like this one from Travel Oregon about haunted places around the state.
Ready for the challenge of your own ongoing destination podcast?
Here is some inspiration:
- A DMO sales team podcast about local highlights, focused toward meeting and event planners – the Minneapolis Insider podcast from Meet Minneapolis.
- Visit Kansas City MO has a podcast exploring Kansas City culture, “all with the help of people who make and shape it every day.” – Speak Easy: A Visit KC Podcast
- To “increase Philadelphia’s share of the multicultural meetings and tourism markets,” Discover PHL has the PHL Diversity podcasts.
How to set up and run a full-blown podcast show is a little beyond the scope of this blog post, but here is a pretty good HubSpot post about setting up a show, and here is a detailed podcasting manual from Blubrry.
Podcast and Audio Media Buys
Consider buying affordable ads on relevant Spotify or Pandora streaming music stations, or maybe sponsoring or being a guest on podcasts that connect with your visitor niches.
Both have worked with CVBs, DMOs, and Tourist Boards via press trips and fam tours, and they accept advertising and sponsorships as well.
If you have a particular visitor niche like birding or craft beer, there is very likely a related podcast that would welcome you as a sponsor. For example, here is a list of birding podcasts via the Audubon blog.
For Your Own Learning
Podcasts are great for your professional development as a destination marketing expert.
Give a listen to the Passport Travel Marketing and PR Podcast, and the long-running This Week in Travel. The travel news site Skift recently started a podcast, with all sorts of travel- and hospitality-related episodes.
Also consider the Tourism Upgrade podcast with Holly Galbraith in Australia (she hosted the May 2018 #tourismchat on Twitter, about culinary tourism.)
There are conferences around the world about podcasting – you should find one to attend if you want to connect with influential podcasters, or begin a show yourself.
Podfest and Podcast Movement are two of the larger events; here is the link for the next Podcast Movement.
For the latest industry information about digital audio programming, we recommend Edison Research, especially their Infinite Dial report.
Do you have ideas or questions about using audio in destination marketing? Tell us about it in the comments.
PS. Some of these thoughts came directly from client questions that inspired a recent update of Lesson Six in our self-paced online course in social media and digital marketing for tourism. Our course is really an ongoing knowledge bank and consulting resource – it includes Q&A with us, continuous course updates, and a private Facebook Group. Our clients never lose course access, either.
By all means, contact us if you’re interested but have questions. Thanks!
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