Last month we were excited to share that MRBTA and Premium Publishers were shortlisted in the prestigious 2022 Mumbrella Travel Marketing Awards, which celebrates the best of APAC’s travel marketers.
Our joint publication, Tales & Trails was selected as a finalist for the ‘Publication of the Year’ category alongside leading publications including Qantas magazine.
We look forward to attending the awards at the end of October. In the meantime, if you would like to contribute a story idea or submit an article, we are currently taking content submissions.
In other positive news, a September Austrade Report showing insights on maintaining momentum for domestic tourism showed the Margaret River Region as a post-pandemic hotspot along with the Snowy Mountains and the Daintree Rainforest.
It’s too soon to tell whether this appetite for the region will be sustained in the long term as there are of course bigger geopolitical factors at play both nationally and globally but it is encouraging to see that there is a strong sense of commitment in the domestic market.
Expressions of Interest for November Content
Our full year working content calendar can be viewed here. Expressions of interest are open for the following blogs. Blogs are free for Primary members and $99 per inclusion for Secondary members.
- What’s On December: The guide receives around 2,000 hits per month, is promoted on our social channels and included in our monthly consumer email marketing with 30,000+ subscribers. For consideration, your event must be submitted and published on margaretriver.com no later than the 15th of each month to appear in the following month.
The following new articles are available for EOI’s:
- New Year, New Experiences
- Accommodation with an Outdoor Bathtub
- Perfect Partners: Wineries that Offer Epic Cheeseboards
We will be refreshing the following evergreen articles, which are available for EOI’s.
- Aquatic Adventures to Have in the MRR
- The Luxe List: Once in a Lifetime Experiences
- Discover Downtown Dunsborough
- Family-Friendly Accommodation
- Itinerary: 3 Day Family Holiday in Dunsborough/Yallingup
- Augusta’s Sublime Seafood Scene
MRBTA Marketing & Visitor Servicing Channels
In September there were 266,358 page views in total, with the average time spent on a page at 2 mins and 14 seconds. This is a slight dip when compared against last year, but while we are seeing an expected decrease specifically from the Perth audience now that the borders are open it is positive to see that traffic from interstate is rebounding.
Top 5 pages in September (excluding the Homepage) were:
Top 5 blog posts in September were:
SEPTEMBER BLOG STORIES
There were 13 new and refreshed blogs curated by MRBTA in September.
In total there were 52,160 blog story page views. Website visitors spent an average time of 2:27 minutes on the page.
Social media plays a significant role in destination marketing and has almost replaced guidebooks and brochures for consumers. In the last couple of years however, social media numbers have plateaued – with online engagement fluctuating but ultimately levelling off for many global brands.
The kind of exponential growth that was seen early on with Instagram, is now being seen with TikTok – which has grown by 32% since 2020 (and not just with Gen Z’s but with baby boomers too). Older TikTokkers see themselves as creative, adventurous and ambitious. Although the Margaret River Region isn’t currently aren’t active in the TikTok space, we will be looking at this platform as we build our three year marketing plan.
Given that the digital landscape isn’t all about ‘growing followers’ right now, it’s a good time to reflect on brand messaging and be experimental with social media. You could try creating some live stories, putting together a reel, and reaching new audiences through hashtags.
While Facebook stats show a dip (as paid activity ended) September’s organic Reach was still higher than last summer.
Instagram’s September figures were low, and came off the back of August’s Open Studios competition which boosted numbers. The month’s most-seen Reels were a Canal Rocks sound recording, and a Walking on a Dream Reel created internally.
The highest engaging post was about the blog ‘How to: travel mindfully and responsibly’. The use of excellent UGC meant this important message was broadcast further: 19k Impressions, 50 saves, 1.1k Likes
In winter our top posts received only 400-600+ Likes, a significant drop caused by Instagram’s shift towards Reels. A partial reversal in spring is showing up, with these top posts getting up to 1100 likes each.
Instagram: Increase in audience by 289 over September. Current total of 67,189. Impressions and reach were both down.
- Arts related content typically underperforms on Instagram, so it was great to see a Yallingup painting in the top 5 posts, plus further MRROS content in the top 10 and top 15.
- Ian Mutch did a fantastic IG Story Takeover for MRROS, chatting to the camera, showing his studio then visits around the region. We received some nice messages from member businesses about it.
What We Learnt
- We are working towards being more consistent with our imagery and copy, and how it represents the regional brand. This is not something that can happen overnight, but will be a shift you will hopefully notice in the long term.
- Total likes are up 33% but fewer comments in September (no competition) meant that overall engagement and therefore reach, dropped.
Facebook: Facebook gained 671 new followers bringing total to 61,048. Engagement was up 2.2% and Impressions and reach both down for September.
- Organic impressions in September were 50% higher than January – which is a positive sign.
- Repurposing some impactful spring photoshoot imagery got good results.
What we learnt:
- Paid activity of the Drive Trails campaign ended, so the September stats are mostly organic.
- Reach is up to 2-2.5% higher than on Facebook than a similar post on Instagram (but not always), it looks like it’s trending back towards being more even.
A few things to note:
- Most followers on our platforms are Perth-based and female, between 25-44 years of age. Popular blogs on our website are also ‘family friendly’ stories suggesting a similar audience are actively engaged through the web channel. We would like to reach new audiences and develop content that targets new markets such as Sydney/Melbourne cohort of the same demographic as well as environmentally conscious travellers.
- Reach is the number of people who may have seen your content, while impressions are the total number of times your content was displayed to people.
Last month we produced a photoshoot to promote our regional magazine. Thank you to Nadine at the Undalup Association for organising talent.
The library of images has some lovely shots of the Cape to Cape Track at Smiths Point as well as some nice images of the magazine. Please feel free to access these for your own digital marketing.
Our next scheduled photoshoots will include;
- Updated imagery of the Margaret River Main Street
- Blackwood River & Augusta Skiffs.
Monthly newsletters to consumers and media have maintained high engagement. The industry benchmark for Travel & Leisure is an open rate of 20.2%.
As part of our ongoing EDM strategy we are currently in the process of segmenting and cleaning our email database, in order to maintain these strong engagement rates.
September Consumer Newsletter Sent to 38,505 subscribers. 38.12% open rate and 3.61% click rate (CR).
There were 1,727 sessions to the website from this EDM.
*CR= Click Rate
The most popular stories in the EDM this month were:
- The Spring Bucket List
- The Spectacular Wadandi Track
- The Guide to Masterclasses and Workshops
- The Ultimate Wellness Weekend
Hot tip: Consider sharing these stories to your email database.
- What’s On in September Sent to 427 subscribers. 46.08% open rate, and a very strong 9.03% click rate.
A snapshot of some of the media featuring our region over the last month.
- Article in The Australian newspaper on booming towns including the Margaret River Region as a post-pandemic hotspot.
- Australian Traveller EDM lead with an article ‘The Dreamiest Accommodation in Margaret River.’
- Regional caves featured in a Sunday Times article by Symoune Aron.
- Margaret River Region develops LGBTQ+ Travel Guide – article in local Dunsborough/Busselton and Augusta Margaret River Mail.
- Article in the Guardian Australia featuring Open Studios event and artist/photographer Martine Perret.
- Urban List article 50 of the Best Things to Do in Margaret River (by local writer Cassandra Charlick).
The MRBTA annually supports over 30 major events to drive off-peak visitation to our region.
In September we supported Margaret River Region Open Studios.
Margaret River Region Snapshot: A three-page document in presentation format that can be used for media and trade. The summary includes a regional map overview, top 10 natural attractions, town anchor points, signature experiences and iconic drive trails.
2020/21 domestic market profiles: These have been recently updated and published by Tourism WA, and reveal insights into our interstate and intrastate visitor behaviour.
Spring / Summer Image Library: Members can access our Spring / Summer image library and share inspirational visuals of the Margaret River Region. Please always credit the photographers when using images.
How to Leverage Your Events: MRBTA regularly supports major events in the region and have noticed a growing demand from members hosting smaller events wanting to gain leverage and build their audience. In response to this, we have put together a guide with useful tips on promoting your event.
Rediscover Videos: The regional Rediscover compilation video shares inspirational messaging for a domestic and intrastate market. Members are welcome to share the video across their channels.