PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Department of Tourism launched its 2016 summer marketing campaign in April, and all elements – from digital and social media to television and print – are in place and attracting potential visitors from the state’s key markets and across the country.
The Department identified three key audiences for the summer marketing campaign: young families, young couples and bucket listers. The campaign theme will be a continuation of 2015’s “Find Your Great Place,” but each audience will be shown messaging specific to their interests within that theme.
“We found that the 2015 campaign resonated well with our visitors through all platforms,” said Jim Hagen, Secretary of the Department of Tourism. “This summer, we’ll continue to ask visitors to ‘find their great place’ in South Dakota, and make a connection between the state and a meaningful, inspiring vacation.”
To accomplish the campaign’s goals, part of the strategy includes a larger investment in out-of-home elements and sporting event signage and sponsorships.
“As the marketplace becomes ever more crowded and competitive, we have realized the need to stand out through more event-based promotions and takeovers in high-traffic locations,” continued Hagen.
Partnerships with the Minnesota Twins, Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago White Sox have been secured to aid in this effort. The partnerships with Milwaukee and Chicago include in-stadium signage, while the Twins partnership consists of in-stadium signage, sponsorship of the Twins’ “Fireworks Fridays,” and the opportunity to have a promotional presence on the stadium plaza. To maximize the exposure, the department has also placed media buys with FOX Sports North and FOX Sports Wisconsin during Twins and Brewers games.
The Department is also putting more investment into out-of-home messaging such as high-impact billboards and oversized banners in places like the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn. After a steady march to Chicago began four years ago, the Department has upped its presence in the city for 2016, utilizing larger-than-life out-of-home elements to boost awareness of and exposure for South Dakota.
Traditional advertising efforts also include national magazine placements, broadcast and cable television, digital television, newspaper inserts and direct mail.
The 2016 campaign also features a comprehensive digital campaign, ranging from display and rich media banner ads, to high impact digital takeovers, to interactive pre-roll videos. Accompanying that effort is a robust social media advertising strategy and a social media influencer program. All of these efforts are complemented by an aggressive public relations program and a content development program that ensures potential visitors are finding the information they’re looking for when considering South Dakota as a vacation destination. The department is also working with third party vendors like Matador Network to develop native content pieces such as articles and videos for distribution through third party websites.
Each of the three main audiences will be targeted in markets that have the highest propensity to travel to South Dakota. These markets include cities in Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and Wisconsin.
“These markets repeatedly perform really well for South Dakota, and continue to show potential for growth” said Hagen. “With other states and cities also trying to woo travelers in these markets, the South Dakota message needs to remain strong and consistent in order to continue attracting these visitors.”
The South Dakota Department of Tourism is comprised of Tourism and the South Dakota Arts Council. The Department is led by Secretary James D. Hagen.
South Dakota Department of Tourism