Diane Bures, Director of Consumer Marketing at Banff and Lake Louise Tourism will be joining us on the first day of #DTTTGlobal and we are really looking forward to hearing about the different marketing initiatives it has developed to enhance the visitor experience while always encouraging responsible tourism.
Please introduce yourself, your role and your organisation – how long have you worked here, and what do you like doing when you're not being a DMO expert?
My name is Diane Bures, Director, Consumer Marketing at Banff & Lake Louise Tourism and I’m proud to have been with the company for 2 and a half years. I grew up living an hour away from the beautiful Canadian Rocky Mountains. Now I get to finally live here and do the things I love to do like road cycling, mountain biking, skiing and hiking.
In this current climate, what is the biggest challenge for Banff & Lake Louise Tourism? You can be both brief and rather generic here, but the more detail is better.
The biggest challenge for Banff & Lake Louise Tourism is driving year-round visitation.
While visitors have so many things to do and see in Canada’s first National Park every month of the year, historically they have visited us in our most popular time - July-September, which causes congestion.
We continue to leverage our sales and marketing channels, while also building relationships with media to help generate awareness that we are a year-round destination. For the past two years, we have also worked with Parks Canada and the Town of Banff and ID9 to develop and implement a communications strategy that not only disperses people within Banff National Park, but also encourages day visitors to take shuttles into the Park from Calgary, use strategic parking outside of the town and travel via public transit around town.
In light of your previous question, what is the biggest content opportunity for Banff & Lake Louise Tourism? How are you monopolising this opportunity and what are your plans for making the best content? Do you have any examples?
Our biggest content opportunity is year-round storytelling to showcase the many activities our visitors can experience in both the winter and shoulder seasons and summer. We also work closely with our members to help them understand our destination brand and help them create and share their own content. We are very fortunate to have an in-house Content Creator that writes blogs, produces videos, VR/360 content, and develops strong relationships with freelancers, videographers, photographers and creative agencies that help us bring our brand promise of ‘indelible awe’ to life. We never underestimate the power and influence of establishing close relationships with local, regional and tier 1 media - working with the ‘right’ influencers and placing our brand’s content on the most relevant media channels at the right time and to the right travellers.
Recent Influencer Partnership
For more great videos, check out the playlist.
How is Banff & Lake Louise Tourism engaging with consumers? With regards to social media, do you have a favourite or more popular one and what are you doing to engage the not-so-popular ones? Are there any other avenues that are working well for you?
Banff & Lake Louise utilizes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Currently, Facebook is still the most effective for engaging our visitors while they’re planning their trips and while they are in-destination.
Facebook Live, Facebook event pages, Facebook 360 and Instagram are where we see the most social engagement. We also reach visitors via a variety of paid tactics, ranging from content retargeting to in-destination geo-fencing initiatives.
As an organisation, what is your content strategy? If you could summarise your strategy, what do you think is the most important thing to focus on and why?
Our content strategy starts with the very core of our brand strategy, bringing our brand promise of ‘indelible awe’ and brand position of ‘Alive’ to life.
Often while creating content we pose the question “How can we transport someone to Banff and Lake Louise?”
By taking advantage of new media opportunities, like POV live videos and 360, we’re able to momentarily bring someone from their commute in London or New York City, and allow them to partake in a more complete sensory experience of an adventure in Banff or Lake Louise that just can’t be captured in a photo.
How are you telling stories in your content marketing? Also, how do you plan to distribute the content?
We have four niches that our content is focused around: food, adventure, ski and wellness.
In the summer we also add dispersal and transportation messaging to our annual content mix. Our distribution plan is fully integrated starting with sharing content with our members, media, partners, and on our website and through owned social media channels. It also includes paid marketing channels such as native, display, paid search, social listening, content partnerships and co-investment campaigns with Travel Alberta, Destination Canada and finally, through Tour Operators across all of our global markets.
The focus for our consumer marketing in 2019 will revolve around personalization. The goal here is to create a hyper-personalized content experience for anyone interacting with our content. For example, why would we serve someone without children family content? We know that content cannot be one-size fits all, so we’ve developed a very intricate content distribution matrix that will help us deliver the right piece of content to our audience, rather than just present them with generic Banff and Lake Louise messaging. Basically, we want to take the obsessively optimized approach typically dedicated to time-bound campaigns and apply that to our always-on marketing.
What have you learned from collaborating with Parks Canada? Tell us about your relationship and what your joint goal is. What are you taking forward with future marketing and what's been your favourite thing about this partnership?
We have a strong relationship with Parks Canada. Our joint goal is to protect Banff National Park for generations to come, to encourage visitors to be stewards of the Park - to celebrate the natural beauty, the wildlife, the cultural heritage, and significance of this place. The most satisfying thing about our relationship is that over the past two years we have collaborated closely on developing a communications strategy that encourages visitors to take other means of transportation besides their vehicles into the Park and to enhance people’s experiences by visiting popular attractions in different times of the day. In 2019 we will be supporting messages of visitors being responsible with wildlife, keeping on trails, and taking great care of areas within the Park.
What will attendees be able to take away from your talk? Why should they attend? If they're interested in one particular thing, what would it have to be and how will you hope this talk inspires them?
As the role of Destination Marketing Organisations evolve, organizations will continue to be challenged on how they can best show value to their members. In 2017, Banff & Lake Louise Tourism embarked on a conversion pixelling program with its members that have e-commerce capabilities on their websites. We are able to measure marketing attribution for leads we send to members and are starting to paint a portrait of when travellers are booking by each geographic markets, arrival times, group sizes, etc.
What excites you the most about our Global event in 2018?
I’m so excited to join my fellow destination marketers to share best practices, to discuss our biggest challenges and to help each other find solutions. Globally, DMOs are doing some incredible things in content development, social media, experience development, influencer relations and utilizing technology and tools to help us market to travellers and enhance their experience. I can’t wait to share and learn.
Finally, as a bonus question if you could offer one piece of advice to a DMO struggling to tell their story, what 3 words would you use to motivate them?
The best mantra I’ve ever heard about the essence of telling a great story is from an ad agency I used to work for. “Truth well told” still rings true for me 20 years later.
Don't forget! Diane will be joining us on the Global stage on the 29th November from 11:45 to 12:15.
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