If you’re ever visiting in Utah (or live there), you’ll want to check out the neat things the St. George & Zion National Park have in store for tourists. Their website, AtoZion.com, is wonderfully structured to give visitors a taste of the unique experience they’d have when visiting the park in their next vacation.
According to Paul Jewkes, Director of Digital Marketing for the park, the thought behind the name is, “the idea that there are so many things to do here, you can do everything from A to Zion!” And the site does a great job reflecting that. Visitors can find information on attractions, lodging, and dining in the area––everything they need to get their vacation ready.
To make sure they fulfill that goal, AtoZion’s content is determined by the information they gather on what tourists like doing in the area, for example.
“Analytics do play a large role in this process as we take an educated guess at what’s popular at the time, and what visitors are interested in, to help drive our marketing,” Jewkes says. “If we have a special event––like the Redbull Rampage Mountain Biking event––we use the recommendation tools to show our content on the event, and get visitors excited to engage.”
Content is part of the strategy; AtoZion has made use of several AddThis tools to help get that great content shared and recirculated. In March, they won second place in our “Show Your Pro” contest receiving six months of free AddThis Pro.
“We’ve seen a massive change since we installed AddThis Pro tools,” Jewkes says. “Before we saw little engagement and less pageviews. Now when a user lands on the site they see other intriguing content and click through to it.”
“Recirculated clicks have been the most impressive. The tool helps move visitors through the site to the content they want to see,” he says.
The shares and clicks on specific content is a good indicator about what their visitors are interested in seeing. As Jewkes says, “engagement is an interesting thing.”
“Sometimes you can produce a piece of content you’d expect to go insane, and it just falls flat,” he explains. “Other times, something you don’t expect to succeed does really well.”
Case in point: AtoZion’s community has shown their love for photography content. To the team, “it’s a given” since the Zion National Park is the sixth most visited National Park in the U.S.
“But the right, unique, photos always do best,” Jewkes says. “Give someone a vision of where they could be, and they will share it.”
Just the same, they learned what content didn’t resonate as well with their audience.
“It’s different for everyone,” he says. “Our biggest curse is also our biggest blessing. We have so much to do here, that you can often fall victim to being all things to all people. We have to carve out niches and find those that belong.”
One example Jewkes mentioned is the gap between a mountain biking athlete and an avid museum goer.
When asked what advice he’d give to other publishers based on his experience, Jewkes emphasized his earlier point.
“Don’t try to be all things to all people,” he says. “This also means don’t try to use every social network out there for everything you do. You will get worn out and spread yourself thin. Discover where your users are most active and why––then use that to your advantage.”
This comes from experience. “For example,” Jewkes says, “Twitter is highly effective in promoting our Ironman event every May. We don’t use Twitter a whole ton during the year, but in the months before the race, our account explodes with activity. That’s because we found our athletes use Twitter. Our leisure vacationers use Facebook, and our photographers and videographers use Google+.”
“I REALLY love this product. Keep up the good work!” Jewkes tells us.
Use the same tools AtoZion has on their site by signing in or creating your AddThis account, and visiting the Tool Gallery.