Client: Washington, NC Tourism Development Authority
We do a lot of work with North Carolina communities, both in economic development and tourism. Cities are just like any brand, having a clear identity and being known for specific attributes that set them apart from other cities is important.
When the Washington Tourism Development Authority identified Raleigh as a potential growth market, they learned of some of our past work and wondered if we’d be able to help brand Washington as a great day trip or weekend visit for Triangle residents.
The Washington Tourism Development Authority is responsible for leveraging municipal and county hotel and restaurant tax revenue to encourage growth of the industry. Upon meeting with the clients, together we settled on a multi-pronged branded content campaign that would target the greater Triangle region.
We would begin with a series of articles and videos that helped amplify Little Washington’s real strengths: A classic, charming southern town mixed with modern amenities. We would then layer in digital marketing, banner advertising, social media campaigns, contests, a Hometown Carolina partnership, and eventually a spot as a Launch Community on Hometown Carolina’s Virtual Main Street, a hub that connects WRAL’s huge regional audience with local establishments and businesses in our Hometown Carolina platforms.
1) Spotlight Articles
Our first effort was a series of branded content articles that spoke to the compelling reasons to visit Little Washington. It has charm, but so do other cities. It has modern amenities, but others do as well. But the combination of small town feel, warm, waterfront, and modern amenities is a combination few can match. We wrote all about it, and people were extremely receptive.
2) Video Production
The client came to us with a great idea: show Little Washington through the eyes of a dog. It would be unique, and it would showcase how dog-friendly of a place it is. They provided the dogs, and together we scripted the whole video.
Additionally, we created a video showcasing their antique district, another unique trait of Washington that sets them apart from other cities.
Those two videos led to additional videos, including a hype video, a recreation video, and a couple Hometown Collaboration mini-documentaries as well.
3) Ad Campaign
For nearly three years we have been designing and placing ads for Little Washington, all themed around their unique value-propositions: the water, the beauty, the antique shops, the recreation opportunities, and the ability to enjoy all of it safely and socially-distant during the pandemic. There is typically synergy between banner ads, videos, and contents we run online, all helping with frequency and target market impressions.
4) Hometown Carolina Partnership
Our comfort level with the Washington Tourism Development Authority and fondness of the city led to us facilitating a partnership with WRAL’s Hometown Carolina platform, a digital hub where North Carolina’s best and brightest communities are showcased for WRAL’s massive regional audience. Articles, videos, and digital advertising all combined to help get the word out that Washington is one of North Carolina’s true gems.
Our Little Washington efforts have reached over 200,000 unique users for an average of three minute with reasons to visit and love Little Washington. Our contest achieved nearly 2,000 email opt-ins for the client’s email database.
Through the advent of COVID-19, our “Safe-cation” campaign helped our client consistently report increases in hotel occupancy, restaurant occupancy, and foot traffic downtown – all attributed to the Raleigh market.
Client website traffic increased dramatically and consistently period over period since day one.
And equally important to us, our client reported increased visibility and satisfaction with our campaigns, and our strategic and creative capabilities. It has been a relationship we have valued, appreciated, and are excited to continue to grow.