On Wednesday 4th October we joined other industry experts at the annual National Conference of Visitor Attractions; the leading event for all types of Visitor Attractions in the UK.

With years of experience and expertise, working for and with some of the UK’s most exciting attractions, our Managing Director, Anthony Rawlins and Customer Service Director, Simon Jones were suitably equipped to give their seminar on new audiences.

Calling on experience, that includes Merlin Entertainments and At-Bristol (now We The Curious), Simon was able to see how targeting new audiences has moved over the years.

He began by taking us back to the days when direct mail leaflet distribution was one of the most influential channels and the biggest ‘influencers’ were local businesses and community groups.

It’s safe to say that since then, with the rise and rise of social media, things have changed quite a lot but really “the tactics aren’t different, the channels you use are.”

Engaging content, delivered to the right people, will still generate interest. But social media and its advanced targeting options, have made it even easier to reach relevant and new audiences at exactly the right time, relatively cost effectively.

Utilising local ‘influencers’ and partners is still one of the best ways to speak to your audience directly. Just nowadays it’s all about tapping into the loyal following of appropriate instagrammers, vloggers and bloggers or accessing relevant pre-defined audiences through trade partnerships.

You can view Simon’s presentation on SlideShare here.

The tactics aren’t different, the channels you use are.

Anthony, reinforcing the idea that channels have changed but tactics remain the same, then took us through the journey of finding, understanding and reaching new audiences in the modern world.

It begins, and ends, with data driven marketing.

Step one: identifying your current audience and what engages them, not only within your channels but outside of them too, which can be done through a myriad of tools and software. By doing this you gain valuable insight into what conversations are happening, where they’re taking place and how you can get involved; which in turn identifies the gaps in your market.

Once you know who, where and what about your audience, you need to understand how. Step two: how do you reach them? This comprises four main areas – objective, targeting, need state and tactics.

Anthony was able to put these ideas into context through our recent activity for attractions that has targeted international visitors and promoted events to local audiences, including campaigns with Royal Museums Greenwich and Bristol Zoo.

You can view Anthony’s presentation on SlideShare here.

For a more in-depth look at social media tactics, that will really activate ideas addressed by us and other expert contributors at VAC2017,  look out for our new e-book. Due out in mid-November, it covers key topics like new audience targeting, effective influencer marketing and data capture campaigns that will maximise visitor attraction’s commercial opportunities around GDPR right now!

If you’re interested in finding out more about our work with Visitor Attractions, drop me a line: simon@digitalvisitor.com