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How Collaboration, Creativity & Digital Marketing Cultivated New Meeting Possibilities for VisitColumbusGA

Here’s how Digital Edge helped legacy client, VisitColumbusGA, drive awareness to the destination’s new hotel product and convention package through compelling content and a focused digital marketing campaign.

Digital Edge Marketing team member

Author: Melanie Schultz

THE NEED

VisitColumbusGA needed help in developing a compelling meetings marketing campaign that focused on raising awareness for Columbus, GA and its new hotel product and convention package. Plus, it was pertinent for the CVB to showcase how the destination could provide viable meeting options to keep partners engaged and working collaboratively.

Enter Digital Edge.

THE SOLUTION

Digital Edge developed a phased, meetings marketing recovery strategy and utilized this approach to test the marketplace, increase  planner awareness, generate soft meeting leads and communicate key post-pandemic messaging.

Continue to engage planners in key markets while gaining new prospects by blending existing campaign content and creative with fresh copy and imagery that still drives interest for the new hotel product (all of which are now open) and convention package in Columbus, GA.

Columbus, Georgia

The Target

Pulling from the major group markets that are ideal for Columbus’s product, we concentrated on those sectors that were poised to still meet post-COVID-19 and would benefit from the additional product — which included in-state associations, SMERF groups and military reunions in the Southeast.

The Partnership

VisitColumbusGA’s awareness content is how our agency is building visibility and driving meeting planners to the brand. The pieces we developed for the meetings site are top-of-the-funnel actionables that are necessary, because for the bottom-of-the-funnel sales strategies, you need the audience to sell to. 

We know awareness builds an audience and our team of meetings marketing experts were meticulous in curating content and messaging aligned to VisitColumbusGA’s brand while adding our edge to help make Columbus, GA stand out. Mix in innovative design work, social media distribution and paid media efforts to keep the campaign fresh, current and captivating.

THE CAMPAIGNS

Under the Radar, Over the Top

Lead Generation + Site Visit Component

Playing off of Columbus being a quietly cool destination for meetings and conventions, we implemented a targeted message and campaign to promote their convention center and encourage site visit interest to explore the offerings for attendees.

133 LEADS

Columbus Banner ad

Meetings Marketing Recovery Plan (Two-Phased Awareness Campaign During & Post-COVID-19)

Phase 1: Support + Reengagement

With an optimistic approach, Digital Edge curated relevant and supportive messaging in email marketing, social media distribution and website content — helping the destination maintain a presence.

We focused on re-engaging planners through VisitColumbusGA’s key communication channels to cost-effectively reach goals while building momentum for Phase 2.

Phase 2: Expanded Reach + New Normal

Digital Edge launched this awareness-based campaign to focus on “new hotels and new meeting possibilities.”

It was all about driving interest to the new hotel product available in the downtown area (known as the Uptown District) — concentrating on planners who were turned away in the past due to lack of rooms, planners who fit new product criteria to generate bookings, and regional drive-in markets — all while communicating health and safety measures for groups to meet with confidence.

THE RESULTS

Deliverables (Over the Last Three Years)

33

Monthly Sales & Support Emails

19.63%

Average Open Rate (Mid-2021 – Present)
*Benchmark open rate for
the industry is 10-15%.

1.46%

Average Click Rate (Mid-2021 – Present)

28

Sponsored Social Posts

1

Video Marketing the Convention Center Package

8

Content Pieces

1

Digital Sales Kit for VisitColumbusGA Sales Team

Traffic Metrics

MEETINGS WEBSITE

12,767 New Users

(+105.50% From Previous 3 Years)

14,748 Sessions

(+103.42% From Previous 3 Years)

LANDING PAGE

32,636

Total New Users to Date

39,399

Total Sessions to Date

Columbus GA Lead page

Recent Campaign Metrics

Meetings Recovery Strategy (July - October 2021)

FACEBOOK ADS

Impressions: 232,293
Clicks: 2,609
CTR: 1.12%

GOOGLE ADS

Impressions: 1,444,023
Clicks: 6,538
CTR: 0.45%

Meet in the NEW Columbus, GA (January - February 2022)

FACEBOOK ADS

Impressions: 59,157
Clicks: 793
CTR: 1.34%

GOOGLE ADS

Impressions: 808,721
Clicks: 3,552
CTR: 0.44%

LINKEDIN ADS

Impressions: 42,933
Clicks: 211
CTR: 0.49%

The Formula

Successful targeted marketing for the growing destination that Columbus, GA has become to methodically reach new markets that fit their new meetings product.

To learn more about how we’re helping destination marketing organizations with their convention center package or new meetings product, reach out to see how we can work with you.