Since the 1920s, Hollywood has been a popular beachfront destination. Some 80 years later, its tourism is surfing the Internet Age.
The city’s tourism director, Judy Erickson, envisioned a brand new website (VisitHollywood.org) that would be user friendly, keyword intensive, highly searchable and rich with articles, features and visuals, the site would lure visitors and link them with local establishments.
The first initiative was this past summer’s Seaside Summer Getaway Promotion. "Hot Deals" from area hotels, resorts and superior small lodging were promoted on a variety of banner ads that drove traffic through pay-per-click advertising. The hook was a free three-day stay at a local property and vouchers for area restaurants.
Rather than run a single set of banner ads, our team studied visitor statistics, psychographics and habits. They learned that families, active-minded lifestyle travelers and nature-lovers each hit the site. Product offerings were adapted to include kid-friendly attractions, biking, and outdoor adventures like kayaking and exploring. This also gave us a snapshot of where future marketing investments could be made.
Site traffic – from page landings to click-throughs to area properties – outperformed expectations. It generated 31,000 unique visits to the landing page, visitors who then were steered directly to participating hoteliers.
The city followed up with its Great Fall Getaway Program and Cultural Escape Getaway, adding the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino to the mix. To highlight the success, the agency produced a video of visitor and business-owner testimonials to be played for city leaders, business owners and the Chamber of Commerce as part of the annual tourism update. The agency produced a similar video for the Hot Express Circular Shuttle Project, which ferried visitors between hotels, the Central Beach District and downtown. Next up: Taking tourist video clips and testimonials to YouTube – and promoting Hollywood to the world.
Based in downtown Fort Lauderdale, the agency knows the local market, is active in local business associations, and has a keen understanding of our area’s tourism offerings, travel trends, area development projects and marketing initiatives.
"Product knowledge is vital to making a campaign and promotion like this work," Erickson says. "They’re an outstanding team that helped create a success for all involved. Our hotel and business partners did well, we met our goal of driving people to the Website, and we’re able to showcase the city."