With the success of the “Stories of Greenwood” campaign and contest, adding seasonal contests and microsites was a natural progression which not only promoted the city but also garnered new contacts for future marketing efforts.
We worked with the Greenwood team to form partnerships with local business owners and leaders to develop the perfect weekend packages. We tested prize offerings to measure public interest and created both merchandise giveaways and highly successful weekend getaway packages tailored to specific interests.
The initial trio of online getaway contests offered time exploring the golf opportunities, lake life and the rich music scene, each valued at $500, with a local guide and plenty of excellent food. Custom landing pages, optimized with user interface testing, helped raise awareness of Greenwood’s many attractions, build a database of contacts for future marketing efforts and process requests for mail or online visitor guides. The getaway packages performed exceptionally well, with 850 entries, and the Golf Getaway was the strongest performer. We coordinated with the locals to plan and photograph the visits. Also successful was the holiday partnership with Uptown, using a "Light Up Your Holidays" microsite to drive entries and awareness.
Winners were chosen monthly to receive a gift basket of goodies from local shops and eateries. All entrants were considered for an additional grand prize package that included dinner at Break on the Lake, a kayak, cooler and water accessories, valued at approximately $500.
Across the Summer Swag Bag, Golf Getaway and Greenwood Holiday giveaways, 2,241 entries were captured, along with 12,800 clicks, for an excellent campaign conversion rate of 17.39 percent, exceeding travel and hospitality average of 2.82 percent by over 500 percent.
A baseline media campaign generated almost three million impressions and more than 2,000 conversions. Display ads successfully reached new eyes and acted as the main driver of awareness, while paid social generated additional conversions.
As we developed new marketing strategies, we worked to build connections for better public relations opportunities. Through our strengthened relationship with South Carolina Parks, Recreation and Tourism (SCPRT), we have engaged with travel writers, tourism firms and more than 20 unique media opportunities. Greenwood was selected as “The One Place You Should Visit in the Winter in Your State,” a story originally picked up by The Active Times, a publication with 645,594 unique digital visitors per month, then by The Morning Call, reaching 2,106,172 people a month digitally. Finally, the article was picked up by New York Daily News, a publication with the monthly digital reach of more than 26 million.
The firms working with SCPRT in turn shared Greenwood content with respected outlets like Southern Living Magazine, The Travel Channel, Food Network and more. Local favorites that were highlighted included Mill House Pizza/Good Times Brewing and The Inn on the Square. We also secured placement for Discover Greenwood and the Festival of Discovery on TasteAtlas, the world's first food atlas.
We have provided ongoing social media support through digital and social ads. Our 2018 digital media creative exceeded travel and hospitality industry average by over 633 percent. By continuing to cultivate a sense of place on social media, Greenwood has seen excellent growth, with a 54.6 percent increase in engagements on Facebook. Greenwood surpassed our target of 5 percent engagement rate, registering at 7.6 percent in 2019. Instagram saw a similar level of success, with a 35.6 percent increase in impressions and 29.2 percent increase in followers.
Capitalizing on existing assets and strong storytelling created even more success for Greenwood.