*Cool 2020 update! Due to COVID-19, Visit Florida actually did begin heavily promoting to Florida residents to boost in-state travel spend in August
Exploring an untapped demographic and the use of inbound content marketing
VISIT FLORIDA, the state's official source for travel planning, is the premier sales and marketing organization that promotes tourism to Florida through sales, advertising, promotions, public relations and visitor services programs both domestically and internationally.
Background: Increase local, in-state tourism and raise awareness on Florida’s offerings other than main tourist destinations. Reach out to Florida residents who have the disposable income, proximity, and just enough time to take weekend excursions and with curated trips based on the experience they'd like to try
Insight: Overseas tourism to Florida has dropped in the last few years, so exploring Florida residents as an untapped market could compensate for the loss and provide repeat revenue to Visit Florida's partners throughout the year
Target Audience A: "My name is Tammy. My husband is Mark, and we have three kids and two dogs. I take care of our kids, and Mark owns and operates his business. We live in Orlando, and we've been to every theme park in the area. We'd like to take the kids somewhere new for the weekend, but we're not sure where to go. We're pretty open-minded to different places, but planning a trip by myself for my whole family is stressful and tedious, especially to somewhere I don't know anything about."
Target Audience B: "I'm Carl. I'm from New Jersey, and I'm a Florida resident now. I graduated from a Florida public University a few years ago. I have a steady income now, so I can actually afford to do fun things here and there that I couldn't before...and still put some money away! I don't always want to drop money on flights, but I can handle a weekend trip by car. I just want to get out of the house, and go somewhere special with my girlfriend and friends sometimes."
People like Tammy and Carl don't want to visit tourist spots, and they don't want to eat at chains. They want something unique to that area that they won't find at home. How can they plan a trip if they don't even know what's out there?
Concept: Using just their email and address verification, Florida residents can opt-in for monthly deals on lodging, dining, and other experiences when they book a trip to a city of their choice. Upon signing up, qualified residents will receive an e-mail to verify their Sunshine Stay membership ID, which they can apply as a promo code when booking a trip through the Visit Florida website.
Bringing It To Life: What would change?
On the Residents segment of the Visit Florida website, visitors are greeted with a dynamic web page introducing them to Sunshine Stays. The page showcases full display of banner videos showcasing a variety of experiences that one can experience in all corners of Florida, with a CTA to explore the page.
Before proceeding to the next page, visitors receive a pop-up to sign up for Sunshine Stays. If they don't sign up here, that's ok. Visitors can proceed to explore a variety of experiences and they'll be prompted again when they're ready to book their trip.
The 'explore' portion of the Residents tab is where visitors can explore a variety of experiences with personalized filters that will help them create the perfect staycation. It will also feature thumbnails to the most recent curated content from prominent Florida-native influencers.
Additional criteria include: budget, number of guests, pets, etc.
Marketing: How Will We Drive Traffic To The Website and Build Awareness?
Social Media - Sponsored Facebook ads for Sunshine Stay memberships to Florida locals; Infographics on how the membership works and what the benefits are; Geographic-based polls on Facebook for local users to vote which businesses (ex. Dining, shopping, etc.) are their favorite in the area. Every year, A 'Top 10' report will be published at the end of polling as curated content to be used site-wide for Visit Florida; 'Creator' Marketing
Curated Content - Content produced by major Florida-native influencers for specific niches. For example, Elena Cruz (445K) would be an excellent content creator for music festivals, GloZell (1.4M) for testing out the Sunshine Stay membership, and 'Ken Eats Florida' as a permanent video segment for the top eateries across Florida. These are all creators who create high-quality content quickly and have both in and out-of-state reach. This content could be used to for the site's multimedia library but also for Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Media would include photos, videos, interactive stories, blogs, and even infographics on how the Sunshine Stay membership works.
ex. 'GloZell Goes on a Staycation' vlogs her Sunshine Stay and documents the places and experiences she goes on, all to places she's never been. These videos could be split up into segments by lodging, restaurants, and experiences unique to that area.
* The content made here could also be used for overall marketing plan to to other audiences.
Storefront - The Top 10 Local Gems will receive Decals to display at storefront locations. "Voted Top 10 Local Gems of ________ (year) Presented by Visit Florida"
by Ashley Williams, 2018.