The Mikula-Harris team is just getting started on a branding project for the Town of Appomattox, VA. It’s a cool small town located east of Lynchburg. The drive between our office in Vinton and Appomattox is especially wonderful because most of the miles are in Bedford County. Returning from a meeting recently, I was driving west on Route 460. Once past the congestion of Lynchburg, you begin to see the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. As the sun slowly sank on the horizon, I was reminded where the inspiration for the ad campaign “Where Ordinary Ends, Bedford Begins” came from as well as the line of ad copy “To the east and west are bustling cities, but in between is pure bliss.”
The message perfectly hits the nail right on the head for Bedford. We knew instinctively that the branding and creative work we did for Destination Bedford was gold. Now that some time has passed, we’re able to see that it’s helping move the needle. All of the newly branded campaign materials hit the street in early 2020. The website launched in March and traffic grew steadily all through the year. There were three times as many users and page views in April 2021 than during the same period in 2020.
What are the reasons for this success? As with most tourism marketing success stories, it’s not a single magic thing. It’s a combination of things:
• The new website follows all best practices for SEO. Result: Organic Search as a source of traffic is up 490%.
• Social media as a source of traffic is way up because the team at Destination Bedford is working hard at consistently posting quality content.
• The management and marketing team at Destination Bedford is investing its advertising budget in the right places — building brand awareness and generating website traffic.
The future looks bright for tourism growth in Bedford County. In the meantime, the present is pure bliss.