It can be easy for any organization to become siloed and lose sight of its goals.

Dan Rosenbaum, Senior Manager of Content and Social Media Marketing, faced exactly this challenge with his team at San Francisco Travel (SFT) in 2013. At that time, the team’s primary objective was to drive traffic to the SFT website, but a lack of alignment between consumer marketing, social media, PR, and email marketing departments meant that each team was creating its own content, and no one was coordinating the effort.

Dan’s team at SFT knew that it needed to set more meaningful goals and communicate to its audience effectively with relevant content, so they changed the way they thought about content marketing in order to promote their destination successfully and work as a team.

In his presentation, Dan takes us through San Francisco Travel’s journey toward adopting an always-on approach to content marketing.

Read key takeaways from his talk, or watch the full presentation below.

Step 1. Conduct research

  • The SFT team began working harder to understand its markets. Where are travellers coming from? What kinds of visitors are they? What are their needs and interests?
  • They began asking how the destination is perceived globally.
  • They reviewed third-party research.
  • Then, they spent time understanding the types of content that really resonate with SFT’s readers.

Investing time into research can provide your destination with a world of information that you can use to plan new marketing activities and the way you work as a team.


Looking for better results from your content marketing? Destination Think helps destinations like Tourism and Events and Queensland, Destination British Columbia and Tourism Inuvik make a greater impact. Contact us today to find out how we can help your DMO.


Step 2. Rethink your content strategy

Dan Rosenbaum

Dan Rosenbaum, Senior Manager, Content and Social Media Marketing, San Francisco Travel

Research laid the foundation for San Francisco Travel to build its “Pillar Strategy”. Dan’s team defined four core topics to draw on when creating content and communicating to travellers. The four pillars were built around:

  1. Iconic Beauty (Including landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge and Lombard Street.)
  2. Culinary (To promote the popular and hidden culinary world of San Francisco.)
  3. Arts and Culture (For example, museums and public art.)
  4. Diversity (Including people and neighbourhoods.)

This helped the team ensure that its content would resonate with travellers’ interests and needs.

Step 3. Review critical metrics

Dan’s team then created objectives for its website and social channels. This important step helps content marketers refine their strategy and report to their stakeholders.

Ask yourself what the priorities are. Are you looking to increase engagement on your social channels? Do you want to grow your email database? Are recommendations and referrals important? Come up with achievable and measurable goals to measure success and optimize high-performing content pieces.

Ensuring your DMO is always-on means that you’re “giving the audience the value they want, the way they want it, when they want it and in a way that can be measured to the bottom line.” This approach is ever-evolving, and as technology grows and changes, so too should your DMO.

Related reading: Destinations are shifting to digital-first marketing to improve word-of-mouth promotion

Featured image credit: Sharada Prasad CS, Flickr

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