Episode 103

Why Your Destination Needs A PodcastAdam Stoker

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About Our Guest

Adam Stoker

In this episode of the Destination Marketing Podcast, Adam breaks down all of the reasons why every destination needs to have their own podcast. Listen to learn how destination-specific podcasts can be important tools for not only tourism but also economic development and stakeholder engagement.

Episode Highlights

  • Name: Adam Stoker
  • Position: Co-founder and CEO of Relic
  • Favorite Destination: Fiji
  • Dream Destination: New Zealand

“Why Your Destination Needs a Podcast” – Show Notes and Highlights

 

Show Highlights:

  • A website is essentially a virtual or visual representation of what your experience would be like within the destination.
  • SAPPHIRE and SimpleViewer website platforms provided tools to allow every destination in the world to have a great website.
  • Millennials and Gen Z are starting to have more disposable income and probably one of the most passionate target generations about travel.
  • Content is consumed especially younger audiences who love the ability to consume content in a passive way.
  • Benefits of having a destination podcast:
    • Allows content consumption to move from an active format to a passive format for newer audiences with different content consumption habits such as the gym, or driving a car.
    • Give real-time and updated information then you can on your website.
    • Gives the opportunity to tell that story in a unique way.
    • Build and nurture audiences over time, manage through each stage of the funnel, and even create returning visitors as a result of your effective storytelling.
    • Ability to keep your local stakeholders and residents informed of what’s happening in the destination.
  • If you do an effective job of storytelling with your podcast, you get to access that audience through every stage of the funnel, instead of renting an audience on Facebook, Instagram, magazine or billboard and not knowing which stage of the funnel that audience is in.
  • The difference between a podcast and placing an ad is that if you are willing to do the work that it takes to build your audience, you are creating your own medium. And now you own the medium as opposed to renting the audience from someone else.
  • Major destinations should have a podcast for economic development, stakeholder engagement, and one for visitor engagement.

 

Resources Mentioned in the Podcast:

Episode Transcript

Adam Stoker: [00:00:00] Okay guys, since we started the Destination Marketing Podcast a little over a year ago, I’ve had several destinations reach out and say, “Hey, could you help me start a podcast?” And at first, we were like, “Well, no, that’s not really what we do,” but after enough requests, we said, “You know what? Let’s explore this.” And we’ve created a turnkey program for destinations where we will produce, we will host, we will edit, and we will publish your podcast for your destination on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis. And all you have to do is show up and answer some questions.

 

[00:00:37] We’re really excited about this program. We’ve got a few destinations that have been doing really, really well with their podcast. And if you’ve ever thought about creating a podcast for your destination but you don’t have all the equipment or you don’t have the expertise or any of that type of stuff, let us take that off your hands. Let Relic handle your podcast creation and production. And all you have to do is show up and answer questions about all the amazing things there are to do within your destination. So let me know if you’re interested, email me at adam@relicagency.com, and we’ll get you set up on this podcast program.

 

[00:01:22] Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of the Destination Marketing Podcast. I’m your host, Adam Stoker. I’m excited to be with you again today. We have a great show for you today, and it’s going to be a little bit different. I kind of teased this in my 100th episode that I did, that we’re going to have a few episodes here and there of more what I’m seeing in the industry. And this will be the first show in that series. I’ve been getting a lot of questions recently from destinations around the world of, “Adam, why does my destination need a podcast? You talk about it on your show. But why?” And that’s something that, man, we’ve talked a lot about this internally and I thought I would give my general thoughts as to why every single destination in my opinion needs a podcast.

 

[00:02:16] First of all, we’ll talk about… When destinations first started doing a really good job of destination marketing in the digital age, I think everybody realized that you needed a website. And that website needed to be essentially a virtual or visual representation of what your experience would be like within the destination. And as those websites got more and more sophisticated, the content became more and more tailored to the target personas that are traveling to your destination. And now I would say 95% of destinations have great websites.

 

[00:02:56] There are several different website platforms out there. I know SAPPHIRE and SimpleViewer are out there, and they’ve provided tools to allow every destination in the world to have a great website. I know there are other tools out there. Those are just a couple of examples. But what’s happened over the last several years is that as older audiences have continued to age and younger audiences have aged as well into more of the buyer category and as many of you know, it’s been discussed ad nauseam, Millennials and even Gen Z are starting to have more disposable income and they’re probably one of the most passionate target personas or generations about travel.

 

[00:03:42] And so that means that the content that we create should no longer be tailored exclusively to the previous generations that were willing to sit down for 30 minutes and peruse a destination website. You’ve seen social media start to pull some of that engagement from the website onto other platforms. And now what you have is kind of another revolution happening with the way that content is consumed. And the thing that especially younger audiences love, and those of you listening to this show know what I’m talking about, they love the ability to consume content in a passive way. When you’re sitting on your desktop computer at your desk or if you’re on your phone, you are only able to consume the content by reading through it and scrolling through it. And for those that have the busy lives of today and those that are doing all the different things that they’re doing, it slows down their life by having to sit and consume that media.

 

[00:04:57] And so what a podcast does is allows that content consumption to move from an active format to a passive format. So now I can consume that content when I’m at the gym, I can consume that content when I’m driving in my car. And these are places where I was unable to consume that content in the past. And so one of the main reasons that I recommend destinations need a podcast is to provide content that can be consumed passively and allows these newer audiences with different content consumption habits to be able to consume your content in the way they prefer to consume it. So that’s one.

 

[00:05:46] The second reason that I feel like a podcast is a great value add for potential visitors is that you can give more real-time and updated information on a podcast than you can on your website, and sometimes on your social media channels even. And you can give insider information, especially if you’re releasing that podcast on a weekly basis, that as I’m navigating your destination as a visitor, I can even consume that content as I’m driving from the airport to the hotel. Or as I’m in the hotel getting ready to go out for the day, I can listen to the most recent podcast that gives me the most updated and recent tips and tricks for how to navigate the destination. So it’s a great value add for a visitor because once they get to your destination, that podcast episode can be a guide. And then it can also provide a way for them to learn about all the different things there are to do and see, once again, in a passive way. It’s the only way for these audiences to passively learn about your destination.

 

[00:06:56] We’ve seen a great example of this with Beaufort, South Carolina. They have a podcast called The Inner Coastal Podcast. And what’s happening is they’ve got people from all over the country and all over the world now downloading their podcasts and consuming their podcasts. And all of their content in every episode is a little bit different. For example, they had one entire episode about the Kazoo factory that they have in the area. And that’s been a really popular episode. Something that very few travelers would be aware of when they come to the destination. Another one was all about all the different films that have been made in Beaufort, South Carolina, and talked about the history of those films and the process of creating those films. And that has proven to be a really valuable episode too. And so it gives a more well-rounded…

 

[00:07:49] On a website, you don’t get a lot of opportunity for storytelling. And the most engaging form of advertising is storytelling. And the podcast format gives you the opportunity to tell that story in a unique way. And that storytelling will allow the visitor to have a more well-rounded view of what they want to do when they get to the destination.

 

[00:08:16] Now, another question that I’ve had around podcasts is, “Okay, but how do I measure the return on investment of creating a podcast? How do I know if this was successful?” And this is a fun conversation for me because my first question when I get that question is, “Okay, well, help me understand why you buy media.” Think about that. You buy media to rent someone else’s audience. When you put ads on Facebook, you are renting Facebook’s audience. When you place an ad in a magazine, you are renting their audience. You’re putting your ad in that magazine to rent the audience that consumes that magazine. And the difference between a podcast and placing an ad is that if you are willing to do the work that it takes to build your audience, you are creating your own medium. And now you own the medium as opposed to renting the audience from someone else. And you can take the people that are listening and you can do what I call nurturing those contacts over time and be able to reach them at every stage in the marketing funnel.

 

[00:09:33] The awareness stage is where people are just kind of learning that your destination even exists. The consideration phase is when they’re trying to decide which destination to go to. And then the purchase phase is when they’re actually making a purchase. And if you do an effective job of storytelling with your podcast, you get to access that audience through every stage of the funnel, instead of renting an audience and not knowing which stage of the funnel that audience is in. When they’re on Facebook or Instagram or a magazine or a billboard or whatever it is, you can not adjust your message based on the funnel stage, except for some very specific digital cases.

 

[00:10:17] And so one of the things that I love about a podcast is that if you’re consistent and do a great job of storytelling, you’re going to build your own audience and you’re essentially, you have the audience and you no longer have to rent it. You own it. I’d compare it to buying a house. Why would you go pay rent if you had the money to buy a house and continue to rent forever and make someone else’s mortgage payment, or would you rather buy the house, own the house, and then eventually you pay it off and it’s making money for you? And that’s exactly what I see in a podcast audience. That you can build and nurture that audience over time, manage through each stage of the funnel, and even create returning visitors and things like that as a result of your effective storytelling.

 

[00:11:09] As far as the return on investment goes, yes, a podcast is the long game. It takes a long time to make a podcast successful. I’ve been doing this thing for a year and a half so I’m speaking from experience. It takes a long time. But what it does is allows you to own your success and not be reliant upon the reach of another medium. You’re creating your own advertising medium and there’s incredible value there. Another reason I think a podcast is great is if there’s one thing that we’ve found during this Coronavirus period is that so many destinations for so long have neglected their local stakeholders, whether it’s through their marketing messaging, whether it’s just through informing them of what’s going on. There’s been a gap there. And the reason you can tell that that gap was there is because there was such a significant pivot that needed to happen with every destination as they went through the Coronavirus situation.

 

[00:12:15] And so what I think with a podcast is that you have the ability to keep your local stakeholders and residents informed of what’s happening in the destination. So a side benefit to being able to continue to nurture your audience and grow your audience and acquire new visitors, you also have the ability to engage and inform your local stakeholders. And that is an incredible value as well because you have so many people within the community that says, “Well, what does that tax even do for us?” Or, “What does the destination, the DMO, even do for residents of the city?” And now you have the ability to show all of the things that you’re doing on your podcast and engage those stakeholders. I think major destinations should have a podcast for economic development, for stakeholder engagement, and even a third one for visitor engagement.

 

[00:13:11] And I would create three separate shows for small destinations. I think it makes sense to try to sprinkle bits and pieces of that into the same show, but regardless, stakeholder engagement is so underutilized in destination marketing, and a podcast does a great job of engaging those stakeholders and especially if they feel like, “Oh man, I feel like the visitors get more information than we do. We don’t know what’s going on, but they’re advertising this message outside of our market.” The podcast will do a great job of telling that story for your local stakeholders.

 

[00:13:45] So if any of you consider doing a podcast, I would really look into it. It’s the long game. I would look at what it takes to start one. We obviously have a product at Relic, but I don’t care if you do it through us or you do it through somebody else. Every destination needs to start today and do a podcast. You will reap the benefit over the next several years and years and years. Okay, guys, that’s it. That’s what I got for you. I wanted to talk about my views on a podcast for destinations, why I feel like they’re important. Thanks, everybody for listening, and there’s more to come.