Situation & Challenge
The world has seen so many small-town destination communities struggling in recent history. While there were some big winners in rural travel, such as Jackson Hole and Moab, there are many who weren’t getting any attention. DMOs in small, rural towns are typically small and run on lean budgets. It can be difficult—even impossible—for a DMO staff of three to carve out the time and attention for creative storytelling, let alone build a campaign to share that content with international audiences.
Our team calls a small town in Wyoming home and we understand the importance of tourism and the challenges these small teams face. So we developed the Visit USA Parks travel content platform. Visit USA Parks was designed to increase awareness of small and mid-sized destinations along U.S. national park road trip routes.
America’s national parks have become increasingly popular over recent decades, especially among international travelers. Since 2016, Visit USA Parks has harnessed this interest in parks and public lands to benefit some of the lesser-known destinations around the country while also helping travelers have more authentic and meaningful experiences.
Depending on the goals of a client, campaigns target US drive markets and/or international foreign independent traveler (FIT) markets, particularly the European markets of the UK, German, France, Italy and Spain, as well as China, Japan, and Central/South America.
Visit USA Parks creates inspirational stories, travel tips for sustainable and responsible behavior, itineraries, and videos about destinations, some clients and some selected organically. Over the years, the Visit USA Parks platforms have come to host a multilingual library of content about sustainable travel to off-the-beaten-path destinations in the U.S. We continue to provide carefully researched content that is internationalized to speak directly to selected markets to methodically curated audiences in tools like Facebook and Google.
As Visit USA Parks has become a trusted source of unique travel ideas for global travelers, our social media communities around the world have grown into an ideal audience to introduce client destinations to. With each new or returning client (most return year after year), our team first conducts a destination and/or SEO analysis remotely or in-person, then crafts custom content (social media posts, one to two stories, or a video, depending on needs and budget) that informs travelers about the destination, educates them on visiting responsibly and sustainably, and encourages them to plan a visit. That content is then methodically internationalized in our European office. We don’t simply translate content; we ensure that it speaks to the travelers in a chosen target market. Finally, the content is distributed and promoted through Visit USA Parks Facebook and Instagram (and sometimes Google) channels. Each campaign is monitored closely and adjusted to optimize engagement and clicks by targeted, retargeted, and lookalike audience users. Whether the custom content is hosted on the Visit USA Parks website or the client site for this purpose, we report helpful insights and metrics to help our destinations develop their marketing efforts and to inform our future campaigns on their behalf.
Each campaign is designed to be valuable to travelers who seek meaningful holidays, and impactful for destinations that depend on visitors to thrive.
Visit USA Parks has had a positive impact on travelers and destinations by research and crafting inspirational and informative stories about destinations and distributing them precisely through Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Google to target markets both domestic and international. With data-driven decisions, a passion for travel, and a team that understands the challenges and gems of rural communities, Visit USA Parks is able to provide exposure at a price many can’t offer. This gets at the heart of the work: support communities like the small Wyoming town in which Herrmann Global is based while sharing meaningful travel ideas with conscientious travelers. As Visit USA Parks platforms have grown, small destinations across American have gained well-deserved attention and sustainable visitation from markets around the globe, affordably.
Travelers of the world appreciate and value content shared on Visit USA Parks because it is thoughtful, accurate, and emphasizes sustainable travel practices; clients increasingly see the benefit of being seen by our audiences. In 2020 alone, Visit USA Parks Facebook content on behalf of our clients earned 28,094,359 impressions and 7,790,469 post engagements. In addition to that outstanding engagement rate of 28 percent, the page saw a growth in likes of 64 percent last year. This was all in response to approximately 80 campaigns on behalf of small, rural clients on national parks routes. All totaled, these clients benefitted from 482,017 clicks to their custom content, as the world plans to travel to places exactly like this in 2021 and beyond.
Our content and curated platforms give destinations much-deserved and much-needed exposure to travelers who will have a direct economic impact. Rural communities have reported increased visitation—even unmatched travel seasons—after running campaigns with Visit USA Parks.