Pinterest marketing for tourism – insights from Visit Muskegon MI
How can Pinterest marketing for tourism help you?
There are three reasons we like the Pinterest “digital bulletin board and visual bookmarking” social network:
1) Pinterest is an inspiration search engine more than a social media platform. Those searches include people looking for travel inspiration and current travel trends.
User growth is not huge, but it is steady, and “includes an especially strong influx of users from Gen Z” plus an opportunity to attract all sorts of niche travelers who might be a good fit for your destination, attraction, or hotel.
2) Pinterest can drive traffic to your website and blog. A photo or video Pin can be linked back to a relevant blog post or website page.
If it is evergreen or seasonal content, you could see traffic coming in for months, or even years.
3) Pinterest is an easy way to repurpose content – get more use out of photos and video you’ve already created.
We recently discovered Visit Muskegon, Michigan on Pinterest, and LaShelle Mikesell, their Digital Media and Marketing Coordinator, was kind enough to answer our questions via email.
Learn from LaShelle!
How Visit Muskegon MI Does Pinterest Marketing for Tourism
Our question 1 — How does posting on Pinterest fit into your overall strategy and specific marketing goals for Visit Muskegon? Is there a particular audience or “perfect visitor” that you’re using Pinterest to reach?
“Following a marketing audit, and listening to various social media marketers (via podcasts, websites like Social Media Examiner, and newsletters) we decided to become more active on Pinterest in spring of 2022.
We try to share blog post links on a weekly basis, along with images linking to other pages on our website, and UGC (User-Generated Content) that has been approved by the photographer (for these we include a link to the photographer’s Instagram image).
A small monetary ad is created from the blog post link/Pin that performs the best.
[We think that’s smart – validate with organic, then put money behind the one(s) that have shown you – for free – that they work.]
By the use of UTM tracking codes we found that while we had fewer clicks from Pinterest than from other social platforms, those Pinterest users spent more time on our website, making them a quality visitor.
In our Pinterest ads we do target geographical areas that mimic where we are targeting digital ads elsewhere.”
Question 2 — How did you decide to organize your Pinterest Boards and Pins? Any tips for other CVBs and DMOs about how to set up and get organized?
“The Pinterest Boards were created before I began working with Visit Muskegon. However, when Pinterest Sections (subcategories in Boards) were rolled out in 2017, it allowed me to enhance the existing Boards.
For instance, our Board ‘A Reason for Every Season’ could be sectioned into all four seasons. As time allows, we will attempt to rework our Pinterest Boards to match our (new) website landing pages.”
Question 3 — Where do you find your Pinterest content? If you repurpose images and video, how do you adjust or edit them to better fit Pinterest?
“For the blog post links, we use the images found within the blog post(s). If I am creating Stories on Instagram and/or Facebook, I will resize them to repurpose as Pins. We use Canva Pro for creating most of our Pins and Stories.”
Question 4 — At Tourism Currents, we tell folks that Pinterest for tourism is mostly an SEO and website/blog traffic play, without creating a ton of extra work. Are we correct, or is there another, better justification for having a presence there?
“You are 100 percent correct! This is exactly the reason we decided to be more present on Pinterest.”
As social media and digital marketing tools come and go, think about how you can spread your content around, make it last longer, and get in front of your audiences on the platforms where they spend their time.
If one platform goes bust or doesn’t work for you any more, make sure you have options.
Related post – the current state of tourism marketing in 2023
If you are familiar with the U.S. Upper Midwest, you know that regional competition for visitors, guests, and customers is fierce among the many beautiful Michigan beach towns.
Kudos to Visit Muskegon for doing everything they can to stand out in a tough market, and thanks again to LaShelle and Visit Muskegon MI for showing us how they use Pinterest to inspire travel to their destination.
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Are you located on or near a designated U.S. scenic byway or heritage highway?
Or maybe you just want a more effective Board of Directors for your organization?
Join us on Thursday, May 4, 2023 as Alysia Cook, PCED, IOM with Opportunity Strategies talks about the steps you need to take to build a better Board for your byway.
We enjoy working with our clients the National Scenic Byway Foundation, and we also admire our colleague Alysia who knows SO much about economic development, Chambers of Commerce, and Boards of Directors.
Go here to learn more about this webinar, and register. It’s free to NSBF members, and US$35 for non-members. There will be a recording and a copy of the slides if you can’t make it in person.