In the vast and vibrant world of tourism, each destination holds a unique story waiting to be told. For Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) grappling with limited budgets, the key to standing out isn’t just about flashy marketing; it’s about uncovering and sharing that unique narrative. At Biggest Bark, we believe that every destination, no matter how small or seemingly mundane, has a compelling tale that can attract visitors from near and far.

Discovering Your Destination’s Story:

  1. Identify What You’re Known For: Begin by pinpointing what your destination is already known for. Is it natural beauty, like the canyons and waterfalls of Starved Rock State Park? Or perhaps it’s a historical significance, like the towns along the Illinois & Michigan Canal. These are the hooks that will catch the interest of potential visitors.
  2. Pairing Popular Attractions with Hidden Gems: Often, it’s not just the well-known attractions that captivate visitors but also the lesser-known experiences. For example, while the historical aspects of the towns along the Illinois & Michigan Canal might not be the main draw, pairing this history with excellent dining and unique shopping creates a more rounded and appealing offering.
  3. Engage the Community for Authentic Stories: Sometimes the best stories come from the locals themselves. Engaging with the community to gather anecdotes and insights can add depth and authenticity to your destination’s narrative.
  4. Utilize Visual Storytelling: In the age of social media, visuals are king. Beautiful photographs and compelling videos can be powerful tools in conveying the allure of your destination, like the captivating scenes of nature at Starved Rock State Park.

Marketing Your Story:

  1. Content Marketing: Develop content that narrates your destination’s unique story. This could be through blog posts, videos, or social media campaigns that highlight both popular and lesser-known attractions.
  2. Social Media Engagement: Use platforms like Instagram and Facebook to share your story and connect with potential visitors. Hashtags, user-generated content, and interactive posts can greatly increase your reach.
  3. Collaborative Marketing: Partner with local businesses and influencers to create a cohesive narrative. This collaboration can also help in promoting those lesser-known aspects of your destination.
  4. Event-Based Storytelling: Create or promote events that encapsulate your destination’s story. For instance, a festival in one of the historic towns along the Illinois & Michigan Canal can draw attention to both its history and its current attractions.
  5. Target Your Audience:  Although its tempting to try, blasting your story to everyone isn’t that effective.  Especially if people click the spam button or you’re not getting the likes to feed the social algorithms.  Work on creating your visitor profiles and sharing content that appeals to them.

Every destination has a story that sets it apart, and at Biggest Bark, we’re here to help you discover and share yours. By focusing on what makes your destination unique and creatively marketing this narrative, you can attract visitors and stand out in the crowded tourism industry. Let us guide you in weaving the tale of your destination into an irresistible invitation to travelers.

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