Benefits of Replying to Monthly Guiding Questions: April 2018

At the beginning of each month we pose one question to tourism stakeholders across Ontario’s Highlands – one creative query we call our Monthly Guiding Question. If you subscribe to our mailing listand have been receiving these, but thinking:

  • What’s this for?
  • Why would I respond to this?
  • What happens with my response?

Then I am happy to say, I have the answers you’ve been looking for! Let’s start with the first:

What’s this for?

With our Come Wander content marketing approach, we are always on and always looking for new unique stories and content to populate our channels and marketing initiatives – like ComeWander.ca, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and our Influencers and Media Relations programs. Questions are aligned with the themes in our Editorial Calendarand are designed to spark creativity, uncover insider insight, and challenge you to go beyond what you would typically submit for inclusion in a tourism directory.

Feeling good? Onto the second:

Why would I respond to this?

This is truly the best and simplest way to feed your business, event, experience, or package into Come Wander content. We know you’re busy and we developed this approach of asking just one question each month to support simple two-way communication, to keep you front of mind, to share your stories with our audiences, and to limit the number of places you have on your plate to share information. Your response is not only used on our content channels and seen by the OHTO team, but these are also shared with all of our DMO partners and fed into opportunities and partnerships with Destination Ontario.

If you do have a bit more time to spend, are feeling less creative, or are looking for a place you can do a bit more of an ‘information dump’ of all things happening at your business or in your community, we also have our Seasonal Product Knowledge Forms. These are available year-round and the information submitted is also fed into Come Wander stories.

And finally:

What happens with my response?

To put it simply: your responses drive our content. Each season, the team at OHTO takes the responses collected from previous months, drills down to find the content nugget, and creates our content lineup. As I previously alluded to, these responses feed into both our content channels as well as our marketing initiatives. We work with respondents to develop compelling stories to be featured on the ComeWander.ca website, we craft social posts to share with our audiences (that’s more than 29,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram), we feature them in targeted emails, and we bring media and Influencers to the region to experience them.

Hopefully that answers all of your questions, but to really make this process clear, below is an example of how one industry response fed directly into our content channels.

You may remember that in September 2017, we posed the question, “How do you spend a perfect “snow day?”

We received many awesome responses detailing how to have fun in the snow – or how to keep warm inside –including one from Corinne from Hush Lodge & Cottages, who shared:

“Do you remember watching the night sky as a kid and witnessing a shooting star? Then you’ll know what it’s like to sit, all warm and cozy gazing out onto that fresh blanket of snow or how it feels to look up into the falling flakes as they catch on your eyelashes….it’s a little bit excitement and a little bit of awe. The “perfect snow day” starts with those feelings and memories and spurs me to create new ones.” Bring on Blizzard

We thought this response beautifully summed up the magic of snow days for kids and tapped into the feelings and memories so important to Memory Makers. From this response, we were inspired to develop the story, Bring on the Blizzard, which highlighted eight things to try during the next snowfall that will make any adult fall back in love with snow days. A visit to Hush Lodge & Cottages to ‘Catch Snowflakes’ was featured as suggestion number one.

Catch Snowflakes

The story on our website received over 3000 views in the first month alone, and we proceeded to share this story with both our Twitter and Facebook audiences (tagging Hush Lodge & Cottages), with a reach of more than 2,600 impressions.

In addition to our website, Corinne’s response was fed directly into our social media content, with unique posts about Hush Lodge & Cottages shared across Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, garnering a reach of more than 5,500 across these three channels.

All of this exposure was a result of Corinne taking the time to respond to this one simple question in September. Her response of less than 80 words was leveraged through our channels to reach a larger audience and to feature Hush Lodge & Cottages within the Come Wander story.

This is just one example of how one response was fed into our content channels, but there are many more throughout the stories populating ComeWander.ca. If you still have questions about our Monthly Guiding Questions or content process, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Julie Mulligan

Marketing Manager, OHTO

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