Social media has become an integral aspect of almost every marketing sector, and the tourism industry has been no different. Subsequently, the North Devon Marketing Bureau has been working with BlueFrog Media for a number of years to enhance tourism in the area. North Devon is an area reliant on the tourism trade, with the industry supporting one in four jobs among local people. The North Devon Marketing Bureau, and the business owners who cultivate its membership, have been working to increase its tourist population for years. Yet the impact social media has had on the tourism industry has been paramount. With surplass travel agencies and bloggers using mediums such as Facebook and Twitter to promote everything from luxury holiday packages to diamond-in-the-rough style breaks in British towns, North Devon has arguably never had so much competition as one of the UK’s top holiday destinations.
What the area needed was to get in on the action - to get involved with its own digital presence in order to continue to drive its tourists back to the area, rather than losing out to competitive destinations, which now included cities such as London, Bath and Manchester, as well as surrounding coastal locations. Currently, BlueFrog have full management of North Devon’s social presence. We strategise monthly content plans, in concordance with current digital trends, area focuses and promotional tools to generate the highest level of organic traffic both to the website and to the official location pages. Working with various members of the Bureau, we regularly promote different businesses and attractions throughout the area, through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, as well as sending out mailers, and regularly posting blogs to contribute to the website’s SEO.
Recognising the USPs of North Devon, such as its food, beaches and areas of outstanding natural beauty, we identified the benefits of a visual marketing campaign. Setting up the group North Devon Captured has allowed a mixture of local and tourist photographers to contribute incredible imagery on a daily basis, which we can then use in the campaign. We often implement the photography into GIFs and videos to capitalise on the increased popularity of video marketing across social media; a video made by our design team showcasing the colours of North Devon, for example, has reached 42,014 people, and garnered 4,026 engagements so far. Being Facebook blueprint certified, the Bureau could be assured of our expertise on ad management. We run regular targeted adverts for different demographics to aptly pair each piece of promotional content with the most receptive audience.
Alongside content marketing, our Community Management team have been working tirelessly to incentivise potential visitors, as well as engaging with others by asking and answering questions, further promoting the area and local businesses, offering expertise and recommendations to add a touch of personality and locality to the overall brand. The campaign has certainly seen an increase in North Devon’s social presence, with a gain of 5000 followers across Twitter and Facebook within the last year alone, which has in turn increased daily engagement with content. We’ve also seen an overall consistent rise in engagements and impressions since the beginning of the campaign, with more people than ever interacting with North Devon and registering their interest in the area.
The growth of the social profile has ensured that the verified accounts for North Devon attract more attention than ever, becoming one of the go-to places for businesses across the area to engage with the account by promoting their events - henceforth, the appeal of a membership for the North Devon Marketing Bureau has only increased. Furthermore, the growth in audience has allowed North Devon to get itself back on the radar as one of the UK’s most appealing tourist destinations. Finally, a North Devon break has never been more accessible; with the help of our Community Management team, there is someone on hand from 9 until 9 daily to offer support, recommendations and local expertise to incentivise visits.