In 2011, Beuerman Miller Fitzgerald (BMF) was tasked to develop and implement a digital/social media marketing campaign as part of the overall communications plan for Plaquemines Parish.
An 18-month plan was developed to cover specific targeted audiences and tactics, and to accomplish the objectives of the Louisiana Tourism Recovery Program as identified by the State of Louisiana, Office of the Lieutenant Governor. The plan focused on tourism strengths unique to Plaquemines Parish such as recreational fishing (including support industries such as charter captains, marina operators, lodging, food, festivals/events, historical sites and eco-tourism) and the parish’s unique agricultural assets. Further efforts included the coordination and collaboration with other tourism entities, other Louisiana Parishes and corporate partners such as Cabela’s, which allowed for joint venture production and sponsorship opportunities, and resulted in budget efficiencies and enhancement.
The “It’s Catching” campaign launched in the spring of 2011 and highlighted Plaquemines Parish as a place to “catch” rather than just “fish.” The now-ubiquitous phrase and attractive logo – as designed by the BMF team - can be seen in selected print and broadcast advertisements across the country, on outdoor billboards, and in online social media.
BMF created corresponding Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube accounts for Plaquemines Parish and implemented a successful multi-platform social media strategy.
Starting from ground zero, BMF built a strong following of 22,000-plus Facebook fans through traditional status updates, creative social media campaigns, and strategically targeted Facebook advertisements.
Along with help from local businesses as well as the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, BMF launched a Facebook contest in September 2013 which received phenomenal participation from start to finish. The concept was titled ‘Plaquemines Wall of Fame’ and was a major success increasing page likes by 800 (5%) in just two weeks all while promoting local businesses, wildlife conservation, and further positioning Plaquemines as a premier fishing destination. BMF also helped spearhead a partnership between Plaquemines Parish and Louisiana Outdoor Adventures to provide weekly fishing reports to Facebook and Twitter followers.
In alignment with social media and the other various out-reach efforts outlined above, BMF implemented an aggressive online marketing campaign. The first step in the process was to redesign Plaquemines’ website (www.plaqueminestourism.com). From there, BMF used web-based ads, specifically Pay-Per-Click (PPC), to ensure that the Plaquemines Parish site would climb to the top of search engines. This approach of behavioral advertising helped Plaquemines target travelers to Louisiana through travel sites and helped position the parish as a must-visit tourist destination. Over the course of a 12 month span, the website became one of the top Google searches experiencing a 241% increase in overall site visits. During that same timeframe, unique visitors to the site increased by 232% and page views witnessed a 235% increase.
Overwhelmingly, our results-oriented approach produced a strategic marketing and communications plan for Plaquemines Parish Tourism with proven results. Our methods increased the intent to visit Louisiana along with the positive perceptions of Plaquemines and collaborating parishes, as a travel destination, all while creating and executing a marketing plan that maximized dollars in multi-dimensional ways to ensure a long-term impact.