Shoulder season digital marketing campaigns prove successful

(Gazette file photo)




Late season attraction campaigns appear to have been successful.

In March 2017 the Community and Economic Development Commission (CEDC) decided not to be involved with the new Bay of Quinte Regional Marketing Board. The commission had worked with the Bay of Quinte Living Council in the past and had contributed $13,000 for membership in that body.

In November 2017, since the money was unallocated, the CEDC instead elected to use $10,000 of that money toward digital marketing campaigns aimed at resident and investment attraction, shoulder season visitation, and shopping locally.

Community development director Neil Carbone told the commission Monday the results were positive.

A winter getaway visitor attraction campaign targeted existing tourism subscribers and tourism related activities in Ontario using Google Ads, Instagram, and Facebook. That campaign was seen by 291,664 people, generating 4,671 website visits and 2,237 new subscribers.

A resident and investment attraction campaign using Build A New Life profiles targeted the Greater Toronto Area, Ottawa, and communities within a 100-km radius of Prince Edward County. This campaign used Google display ads, Facebook boosted posts, and YouTube pre-roll ads. The campaign resulted in 955,271 impressions, 30,220 YouTube views, 10,735 unique website visits to, 127 new subscribers, and four new business inquiries.

“The resident and investment attraction campaigns and the shoulder season visitation attraction campaigns were very successful,” said Carbone. “We have a score of new subscribers and leads that have been generated as a result of those campaigns.”

While the shop local campaign was considered a success as well, Carbone said it was more challenging in terms of measuring its effectiveness.

“There was mostly an awareness component of the shop local campaign simply because a lot of the other things that we need to have in place to be able to quantify the outcome of that, they just weren’t in place at the time we launched that campaign,” said Carbone.

The campaign resulted in 61,171 YouTube pre-roll ad impressions locally, and 17,000 YouTube views. The campaign was advertised on 99.3 County FM 176 times, as well as appearing on Facebook and generated 1,958 unique website visits to the County’s new tourism website

“Certainly, there was online discussion on social media around the shop local campaign, we were contacted by local media, so it was evident to us anecdotally that there was awareness of this push,” Carbone said.

The municipality was able to partner with the Picton BIA, which had its own shop local campaign, and push both campaigns further by combining resources. However, Carbone said because there isn’t an online shop to link to from the advertisements, it’s difficult to say how much impact the campaign might have had.

“It’s difficult to quantify the numbers short of going around and surveying businesses and trying to glean something from that,” he said. “What we will look for, if we do this again seasonally, is to try to plan that out a little bit further in advance and [provide] some encouragement to local businesses to set up some of the online tools that would allow for that kind of tracking.”

Carbone said staff would look to provide more advanced notice and would investigate ways of encouraging other local business organizations to consider more county-wide programming or event co-ordination during the holiday seasons if similar campaigns are run in the future.