Relic Agency


8 Ways to Revolutionize Your Destination Marketing Efforts in 2024

As we step into 2024, the world of destination marketing is set to evolve. In a recent episode of Relic’s Destination Marketing Podcast, host Adam Stoker outlined a series of groundbreaking resolutions that promise to reshape the industry’s strategies and elevate one’s marketing approach. In this blog post, we dive into each resolution and explore how destination marketers can apply these strategies in the coming year.

1. Embrace Destination Marketing GPT by Relic

Adam Stoker started the year with an exciting announcement – the launch of the Destination Marketing Agent by Relic. Drawing insights from over 300 podcast episodes, Adam’s book “Touchpoints,” and other valuable resources, this tool is a comprehensive resource designed to revolutionize how destinations approach marketing. The AI tool is designed to give quick, detailed and accurate responses to destination marketing questions based on thousands of hours of interviews and content specific to the industry. The Destination Marketing GPT stands poised to enhance both value and operational efficiency, providing DMOs with a cutting-edge solution.

2. Don’t be a Follow-on Destination

In his second resolution, Adam stresses a fundamental principle for Destination Marketing Organizations: trying to follow trends used by destinations with larger budgets is not a scalable strategy. Instead, focus on discovering and highlighting your DMO’s unique selling propositions. By crafting compelling narratives and taking calculated risks, destinations can set themselves apart and avoid being labeled as mere “follow-on” destinations. Make 2024 the year your destination truly stands out. 

3. Sustainability in Marketing: Investing in Owned Media

As technology and audience behaviors evolve, sustainability in marketing becomes paramount. Too many destinations are merely renting access to their audience by paying for traditional ads. On the podcast, Adam emphasizes the importance of investing a greater percentage of marketing dollars in owned media content. This move ensures content can be repurposed over months and years, yielding long-term dividends and reducing reliance on paid media for extended periods.

4. Use Paid Media to Promote Valuable Content 

Resolution four requires marketers to reanalyze how they are utilizing paid media. Adam urges destination marketers to shift their perspective on paid media from buying ads to promoting their branded content. Instead of relying solely on traditional ad strategies, create engaging and shareable content tailored to target niches. 

As an example, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is growing their branded content strategies to cultivate a devoted audience around their Beach Easy Media brand. Ideally, paid media will bolster this brand, which will in turn bring attention to Visit Myrtle Beach. This approach reflects changing media consumption behaviors and aims to build a community around the destination rather than pushing a direct “buy now” message.

5. Collaborate with Creators, Not Influencers

Social media is a lucrative advertising market, but working strategically in this area is important. Distinguishing between influencers and creators is crucial, as highlighted in a previous Destination Marketing Podcast episode with CrowdRiff CEO Dan Holowack. While influencers pitch products, creators develop engaging content featuring your brand. Think of it like “product placement” in a movie or TV show versus a traditional commercial. By aligning with creators who produce creative content that features your brand, DMOs can maximize authentic storytelling and foster meaningful connections with their audience.

6. Up Engagement with Content Pillars

“It’s not enough to create an owned media asset; it’s crucial to build an audience around that asset,” asserts Adam. Resolution number six introduces a three-step framework for DMOs to build and engage their audiences: Content Pillar Creation, Content Promotion, and Audience Engagement. This approach ensures the development of a loyal audience through strategic and compelling content dissemination.

To start, establish a central theme. This can be a documentary, YouTube series, podcast or another medium. Next, slice the central content into bite-sized pieces, ensuring widespread dissemination, but promote the entire story to encourage full consumption. Lastly, actively engage and build relationships with your audience that you gain from the content. Don’t ask too much of the visitor, but seek permission to market to them through channels like email, text or exclusive group memberships. Congratulations! You’ve accumulated an engaged audience using content pillars!

7. Build a Custom GPT for Your Destination

DMOs now have the opportunity to create custom AI bots. These bots can serve as comprehensive databases, offering visitors real-time and tailored information, enhancing the overall visitor experience. Looking to create your destination’s custom GPT? Relic Agency invites you to contact us and join our pilot program.

8. Partner with Relic Agency: Leaders in Owned Media Creation

While Adam rarely promotes Relic on the podcast, it’s clear that for DMOs aiming to accomplish these resolutions and explore the potential of owned media creation, Relic is the go-to agency. With a strong portfolio of owned media successes, Relic is uniquely positioned to guide DMOs on their journey toward expanding audiences through strategic media creation.

As we embrace the dawn of 2024, these resolutions for destination marketing serve as a roadmap for DMOs seeking innovation and success. With Relic Agency leading the way, the industry is poised for a creative and technological renaissance. It’s time for destinations to implement these resolutions and embark on a transformative year in destination marketing.