The Most Useful Destination Marketing Tools for Any Budget
Do you have a solid destination marketing strategy in place?
Having a plan will help you attract more visitors and achieve sustainable growth over time. It is also a great way to discover those areas of your organization that need improving.
But coming up with marketing tactics isn’t the hardest part.
The actual challenge comes up when you need to make things happen. And by this I mean putting your plan into action, on a regular basis.
The good news is that there are some amazing tools out there that can reduce the manual work. From promotion platforms to social media schedulers, they will surely help you make the most of your time and effort.
We decided to put together a list of selected marketing tools, especially useful for DMOs.
And considering the current situation, you’re likely on a tight budget so we focus on affordable solutions that maximize impact.
So let’s explore the most useful destination marketing tools and start saving time and money now!
Table of Contents
Reporting data is among the best ways to understand user behavior before building a marketing strategy. Remember that you need to know the interests of your audience to be able to target it effectively.
Web analytic tools can give you great insight into customer habits and demographics. They will help you easily obtain all the information you need and keep an eye on your progress.
Some great tools for analyzing and visualizing web data are:
One of the most popular digital analytics systems nowadays. Google Analytics allows you to analyze customer behavior on your website through a number of useful metrics. Comprehensive demographics reports are available to reveal information about the user’s age, gender, and interests.
You can also access custom reports to track the metrics that are most relevant to your organization. Analytics is free of charge and can be installed on any website.
This great tool has started to gain increasing popularity recently. You might be wondering what is extraordinary about it. Well, it lets you mix, compare and analyze data from all kinds of online marketing platforms.
Adobe Analytics gives you access to real-time reports from multiple channels and platforms. This tool also offers the so-called predictive analytics which can reveal hidden opportunities.
Adobe Analytics is especially useful for larger organizations and requires a monthly subscription. You still have the chance to request a free demo and give it a try before you buy.
A powerful tool that is distinctive with its visually engaging report and dashboard.
Hotjar visualizes customer behavior through heat maps and is great for tracking the customer journey and see your website through the eyes of users.
The best part? You can enjoy its features at no cost if you go for the free plan.
Influencer marketing can be a very powerful tool for DMOs. A post shared by the right Instagram influencer has the capacity to reach millions of people worldwide.
There is no actual cost involved in influencer marketing apart from the arranged budget between the owner and the influencer.
The challenge some marketers might be experiencing, though, is getting in touch with the right influencer.
To facilitate the communication and arrangements between the two parties, you can use an influencer marketing tool. Our research found some of the most reliable and useful options out there:
This tool is one of the game-changers in the influencer marketing industry. You will be surprised by the smooth and transparent process of working with influencers worldwide.
Wonder how it works? The owner submits a brief featuring the product or service they offer. Then interested influencers must purchase and try the product themselves. Once this is done, they share the experience in an Instagram post/story.
If you are happy with the content created on the influencer’s account, you can contact them and agree on a price. You are then free to share and repost.
If, on the other hand, you are not impressed by the content, you don’t have to pay the influencers. At the end of the day, It is all up to you.
We highly recommend Tribe Group to DMOs looking to promote their brand and attract more followers worldwide.
Upfluence is an influencer platform with a number of useful features. Advanced options let you perform custom searches and target influencers more accurately.
They store a massive database of over 3 million Instagram influencers that you can easily contact.
Email marketing is a great way to keep visitors updated and build long-lasting relationships with them.
If you want to level up your online marketing, we recommend using an email automation system.
Some of the most popular and effective systems out there are:
Mailchimp is a marketing automation platform, mainly famous for its comprehensive email service. The pricing options are quite flexible to suit the needs of every organization, large or small.
Based on the plan you go for, there are a number of useful features to enjoy. You can custom code emails, use pre-built templates and schedule campaigns in advance. What’s more, based on the performance of previous emails, Mailchimp can recommend the best time to send your next one.
For best results, the system lets you segment the audience and reach out to the most relevant people on your list. With Mailchimp, you can also design landing pages, postcards, surveys, and signup forms. This helps achieve consistent branding across all your online channels with minimal effort.
Hubspot is another great marketing automation system. While the costs can be higher if you buy multiple products, there are some free tools to get you started.
You can engage people with ad targeting and email marketing. The more advanced plans include SEO, analytics, A/B Testing, team management, revenue analysis, and much more.
HubSpot host an extensive hub of free business and marketing resources. They also have an extensive library of courses, ideal for all destination marketers looking to freshen up their knowledge.
Social media can be an exhausting activity.
It might seem pretty straightforward, however, those managing SM channels know what I mean.
Although putting together a post might sometimes be a challenge, there are some useful tools to help you with the overall process.
You probably think you don’t need to use one since you are creating the content yourself anyway. However, social media planners have many more advantages other than scheduling and sharing.
They will advise you on the perfect times of the day and week to do a post, and also measure the effectiveness of your existing publications.
Using them gives you more flexibility and guarantees you won’t forget to share on time. Some of our top suggestions are:
Buffer is a popular social media planner that will help you build a systematic approach to sharing content. Various plans are available to suit your budget and needs.
With Buffer, you can plan and publish posts on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. You will receive weekly performance reports to track engagement across all platforms.
More advanced plans will let you reply to comments and access custom strategy recommendations. Buffer will surely make your work way more organized and change your experience with social media for the better.
While Buffer helps with scheduling and analyzing, Canva is a life savior when it comes to design. Not all marketers are graphic designers so we guess quite a few need some creative ideas.
With Canva, you can access thousands of beautiful free templates. You can design a range of artworks for social media and print. The drag and drop feature makes it super easy to achieve outstanding results in seconds.
You can customize most templates to make them match with your brand guidelines.
Canva uses a freemium business model. In other words, you can use it for free, but you need to upgrade to the premium version to unlock more features.
Just like social media, content creation usually takes a while. However, you can make the process much more pleasant by using a tool for work planning, design, and optimization.
So when you lack inspiration, just explore the exciting free tools featured below. They will help you create engaging web content and visuals for half the time it usually takes!
Grammarly is a digital writing tool using artificial intelligence to eliminate grammar errors and improve text quality. You can download the Grammarly extension and enjoy some of its exciting features for free. If you are particularly occupied with copywriting and content management, the premium version is absolutely worth the money.
Nowadays Grammarly is a must for every destination marketer. Having a second set of eyes look over your writing is always a good idea.
With Asana you go beyond the standard to-do lists and give your team clarity to help them meet deadlines. The tool lets you plan projects and assign tasks while keeping work on track.
Most people using Asana share very positive feedback. They believe that its powerful features help them execute work successfully and on time.
Asana can be connected with other tools you regularly use like Slack and Outlook. This way you can add relevant information to projects and keep all the work in one place.
The all in one SEO Plugin, Yoast will help you optimize content, target keywords and analyze the readability of the copy you wrote. It gives you full control over your on-page SEO and helps you avoid duplicate content.
Although you need to pay for most of Yoast premium features, it’s definitely worth the money – keeping in mind that it will increase your readers’ engagement and improve copy quality.
Strategy means nothing if it is not executed accordingly.
Using marketing tools helps you stick to your plan. They will keep you on the right track and make it easier to scale many of your efforts.
I’m sure you’ll be happy with the amount of time and effort you’re able to save with some of the tools mentioned.
So what’s next? This might be the perfect time to re-evaluate your marketing tool stack and explore what’s working and what can be improved. We hope this list is a good starting point and there was at least one new thing you learned to improve your DMO’s performance.
This blog post is part of our series on destination marketing. You can find the rest of the articles below:
- 10 Destination Marketing Strategies to Help You Grow Quickly
- 8 Tips for Successful Destination Branding
- How to Use Social Media for Destination Marketing
- The Top Destination Marketing Trends in 2020 and Beyond
- How to Get Destination Marketing Right in a Digital World
- 4 Destination Marketing Campaigns to Inspire You In 2020 and Beyond
- 5 Reasons Why DMOs Should Work with Bloggers
- How Destinations Should Position Themselves in the Tours & Activities Market
- Storytelling for DMOs: Make Your Destination Come Alive