Cumberland County Heritage Network Society

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Creating Effective Ads and Promotional Materials for Your Heritage Site

In this article we will explore some of the more common and well used methods for creation of a well rounded and effective marketing package for your “brand,” i.e. the persona of your heritage and or cultural attraction.

To begin there are a few simple rules in creating a brand that you should keep in mind: 1) Branding is the art of being different, or rather the process of setting yourself apart from everyone else. 2) Successful brands create the perception that there’s no place quite like yours. 3) Successful brands don’t necessarily have to appeal to everyone. 4) A brand is not what you say you are, but what people think you are. So it is important to tap into those feelings.

When you have some idea of what your brand should be, then you must find where to focus your attention and where you should invest your promotional funds to get the “most bang for your buck.” Here are a dozen simple tips that should help you get started: 1) Narrow your focus. Trying to be all things to all people will simply not work. 2) Promote what is truly unique about your brand. Remember there are a lot of other sites like yours out there, being different will make the visitor remember you and help spread your message to others who may visit. 3) Sell the experience not the place. Remember that we live in Nova Scotia and there is beauty in every corner of our province. Visitors will soon get tired of pretty vistas and will look for something to do. Your brand should be able to give them that particular experience they want. 4) A good photo can speak a thousand words. Use good imagery to identify your brand. 5) Develop a social media marketing tool program. The days of brochures and rack cards are numbered. 6) Make your traditional marketing tools, i.e. brochures, rack cards, newsletters etc. available on your on-line resources. If the visitor prints off your promotional material that will mean that you will have to spend less on them. 7) Develop activity guides or “things to do and places to go” handouts to intrigue the visitor and to keep them in the area adding to the overall wealth of the economy. Our tear-away maps are an example of this. 8) Use the KISS principle: KEEP - IT - SIMPLE - STUPID. This involves keeping your promotional material as clean and as clutter free as possible. Too many graphics or visual elements are confusing to the eye and will not be as effective. 9) Avoid cute or clever ads. They seldom work and can look unprofessional. 10) Avoid using sandwich boards and limited the visuals on your signage. Sandwich boards are too small to read at speed and if your signs and too cluttered, the visitor will not get all the necessary information. 11) Develop graphic design and marketing packages and stick to them. Changing logos and visuals too often will confuse the returning visitor. Change your brand only if it seems not to be working. 12) And lastly, keep in mind that you will be more effective using one loud voice, rather than a hundred small voices. Make sure all your employees know your message and take the effort to engage other sites for cross-promotion, such as what we are doing here at the Cumberland County Heritage Network.

1 comment:

  1. You are writing like a real professional. It's very important to decide what your brand will be like. And only then make any changes.


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