Blooloop’s Innovation Session, presented in partnership with LaneTerralever, looked at how attractions can enhance the guest’s digital journey.
During the session, Hannah Tooker, Director, Content Marketing at LaneTerralever, explored how attractions can engage guests at each stage of their digital journey.
After a difficult year for the attractions industry, visitor flow at attractions is starting to increase thanks to pent-up demand. Having a good digital experience is vital for reaching your visitors and ensuring they return on a more frequent basis. Hannah explained that now is the time to think about the digital customer experience to create a bridge between the offline and online guest experience.
Hannah also featured examples of brands that are doing it well in real life. These examples came from LaneTerralever’s 2021 Digital Customer Experience Report, which looks at how the top 100 attractions in the US engage with their visitors online through website, social media, and brand experience.
Travel changes since the pandemic
Hannah explained that post-pandemic travel has changed the tourism industry. 56% of travellers say that they would prefer a trip that is local or domestic, rather than going abroad or far from their home.
An attractions’ digital tactics can, and should, be tailored based on where someone is visiting from. In-town visitors have a shorter lead time when deciding to visit an attraction. This means your online experience needs to attract them more quickly. They are also more likely to revisit an attraction, so you should offer them a reason to return.
Whereas an out-of-town visitor takes longer to decide to visit, and they are more interested in pre-planning. Attractions need to communicate more with these visitors to encourage them to visit.
Guest experience starts online
Website experience, social media engagement and online reviews all contribute to the favorability of an attraction for visitors. Customers use online research to decide to visit an attraction so it is vital to make a good first impression.
Social media is extremely important for appearing favourable to visitors and retaining engaged and loyal visitors. Attractions should have one-to-one conversations with those who comment on their social media posts. It’s also important to use influencers in marketing campaigns; consumers trust influencer messages more than a company’s own advertising.
When attractions were forced to close during the pandemic, many introduced online immersive experiences. It is important to continue to use these digital experiences to bring an attraction to life. These give visitors an idea of what they will experience before they visit. If they enjoy the digital experience then they are more likely to visit in person.
Finally, Hannah emphasised that an attractions’ website should be easy to navigate and be mobile-friendly. The website should take the visitor through a clear journey of what their experience will be like. Make it easy for the visitor to understand what they can book and do at an attraction.
Improving loyalty through brand ambassadors
Attractions should take also advantage of User Generated Content. This ensures that visitors feel like their experience matters and solidifies their connection to the brand.
Loyalty programs are also a great way to make your guests loyal brand ambassadors. For example, Six Flags rewards its visitors with loyalty points for posting on social media and going on rides – visitors are rewarded for interacting with the brand.
Visitors then don’t have to spend lots of money to experience rewards. The Six Flags rewards include exclusive opportunities such as VIP park tours which make it stand apart. They also give visitors a chance to connect more deeply with the values of a brand they obviously enjoy.
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