Visit San Antonio: Marketing Q3 FY2023
Throughout Q3, the marketing team has been hard at work executing campaigns and initiatives to drive visitation, engagement, and revenue growth. We are thrilled to share the remarkable accomplishments achieved during this period.
Revamped Summer Campaign
One of our major achievements was the successful revamping of our FY23 summer efforts. With a strategic focus on increasing visitation among our targeted personas in the Adults and Families segments, we launched a robust summer campaign that began in mid-April. This involved an investment of approximately $3.2M in media, making it our highest-ever investment and a 30% increase over the previous year. Our messaging centered around compelling calls to action, such as “Plan Your Trip” and “Travel Now,” aimed at driving conversion and occupancy.
Targeted Media Campaigns
In addition to our overarching summer campaign, we executed several targeted media campaigns that made a significant impact on driving awareness and engagement. Let’s explore some of the notable initiatives:
- Fiesta San Antonio – We dedicated focused efforts to increasing visitation during our city’s iconic 11-day celebration, Fiesta San Antonio, by implementing strategic media efforts in Texas and supporting the Ford Fiesta Mariachi Festival on our beloved River Walk. Social media and blog support played a crucial role in extending our reach and connecting with Fiesta enthusiasts.
- Inaugural ¡Provecho! Fundraising Campaign – Marketing worked to support the inaugural ¡Provecho! Fundraising Campaign benefiting the San Antonio Hospitality Foundation by developing a dedicated landing page and a comprehensive media plan targeting San Antonio foodies and benefactors.
- River Walk’s Rio Magazine Campaign – To enhance awareness of Rio Magazine, our dedicated publication highlighting the vibrant River Walk, we executed an optimized media effort in Texas markets. This campaign helped generate interest and encouraged visitors to explore the myriad attractions and experiences along the River Walk.
- Summer Occupancy Campaign – With a specific focus on conversion and occupancy, we executed a targeted media effort from May through August. By strategically targeting Texas and nearby touch states, we are maximizing our reach and enticing potential visitors to choose San Antonio as their summer destination.
- Visit San Antonio’s E-commerce Campaign – To boost online ticket sales for attractions, we implemented a comprehensive media plan across Texas and select touch states from April through June driving traffic to our Tickets page.
- Black Heritage Showcase – Keeping in line with our commitment to celebrating our city’s diversity and heritage, we revamped our Black Heritage page. With the help of Deborah Omowale Jarmon and the San Antonio African American Community Archive & Museum, the page showcases the Soul of San Antonio experiences and highlights the vibrant attractions, sounds, and annual events that pay tribute to the significant contributions of the Black community.
- Juneteenth Campaign – Our Juneteenth Campaign focused on driving awareness and visitation to Juneteenth celebrations in San Antonio. Through targeted social media, blog posts, and a comprehensive media plan in key Texas markets, we generated excitement and engagement surrounding this significant cultural event.
- Pride Campaign – Similarly, our Pride Campaign celebrated our city’s inclusive spirit and supported Pride events throughout the month of June. The highlight of our efforts was the successful execution of the Second Annual Pride River Parade. With targeted media coverage in San Antonio and surrounding counties, we amplified visibility and encouraged participation, fostering a sense of pride and unity among the community.
- Virtual Field Trip Campaign – Another noteworthy initiative was our Virtual Field Trip Campaign to increase awareness of the Virtual Field Trip program. This educational initiative showcases the diverse learning experiences that San Antonio offers for children of all ages. Throughout May and June, we implemented targeted media efforts in the Rio Grande Valley, Houston, and Dallas, successfully reaching our target audience and highlighting the educational aspects of our city.
- Annular Eclipse Campaign – Lastly, we implemented the Annular Eclipse Campaign, specifically tailored to Texas and touch state markets, as well as solar eclipse enthusiasts. With a dedicated landing page featuring special offers and planned activities for this celestial event, we captured the interest and excitement surrounding the annular eclipse.
Website Metrics and Online Engagement (OLE)
Our website activity remained strong in Q3. As of the end of June, VisitSanAntonio.com has seen over 3.5 million users, 3.9 million sessions, and just under 7 million pageviews! Our River Walk website saw over 855,000 users, 1 million sessions, and almost 4.6 million pageviews!
We are also thrilled to share that our accomplishments have far exceeded expectations, surpassing our year-end goal of 55 million online engagements during this quarter – and still, one more quarter to go! In May, we achieved an outstanding 68.1 million online engagements, demonstrating the tremendous enthusiasm and interest surrounding our city.
Remarkable achievements were made this quarter on Visit San Antonio’s social media channels. Year-to-date through June, the Visit San Antonio social channels surpassed last year’s performance in multiple key metrics. Our dedication to delivering captivating content and fostering meaningful connections with our audience has resulted in significant growth in net audience, impressions, and engagements.
Our River Walk Channels also experienced great achievements. Year-to-date through June, our River Walk Social Media Channels saw strong net audience growth, engagements, and video views. The strong performance reflects our commitment to providing engaging and valuable experiences to our followers, and we are excited to continue building on this success.
Return on Investment (ROI)
Equally impressive is our return on investment (ROI), which soared to an impressive 54:1 during the month of May. This exceptional performance underscores the effectiveness and impact of our strategic initiatives, demonstrating the value and resonance of our marketing campaigns.
Additional Key Updates
Throughout the quarter, our team achieved significant milestones and implemented various initiatives to enhance our marketing efforts and elevate the overall visitor experience. Here are some additional key updates:
- Visitor Guide Launch: We successfully launched our 2023-2024 digital Official Visitor’s Guide, providing comprehensive and engaging information to visitors about the attractions, events, and experiences San Antonio has to offer.
- Website Redesign: We are currently working on a comprehensive website redesign. This initiative aims to enhance user experience, optimize functionality, and ensure our online presence aligns with evolving industry standards and visitor expectations.
- Digital Asset Management Content Audit: To streamline our marketing efforts and ensure proper usage of images and videos across various platforms, we conducted a thorough content audit of our Digital Asset Management system. This enables us to curate and leverage visual assets effectively in our overall marketing campaigns and initiatives.
- Email Marketing Optimization: We implemented a new email marketing tool to enhance our targeted efforts enabling us to better tailor and design content for our audiences.
- Addition of Self-Guided Tours: We recently added self-guided tour options to our website. This interactive feature provides a more flexible and customizable experience for visitors, allowing them to explore San Antonio at their own pace and according to their interests.
- Rio Magazine Cover Redesign: With the aim of elevating the branding and stature of our city’s top attraction, we redesigned the cover of Rio Magazine. This refreshed look enhances the magazine’s visual appeal and reinforces its position as the leading publication for showcasing the best of San Antonio’s iconic River Walk.
- San Antonio’s Metaverse Content Production: We finalized the content production for San Antonio’s Metaverse, a cutting-edge digital experience scheduled for an early August launch. This innovative initiative will offer visitors a virtual exploration of our city’s unique attractions and hidden gems, further expanding our reach and engaging a broader audience.
- Successful Co-op Campaigns: We successfully collaborated with key partners, including The DoSeum, San Antonio CityPASS, and Marriott Bonvoy on Co-op campaigns. These joint marketing efforts allowed us to leverage each other’s strengths and reach new audiences, amplifying the visibility and appeal of San Antonio.
- Phase 2 of Agency of Record RFP: We completed Phase 2 of the Agency of Record Request for Proposal process. The results of this evaluation will be announced in early August.
- IPW Support: Our marketing team provided invaluable support to IPW’s core team in developing key assets for the conference. This included the creation of an engaging IPW microsite, impactful email campaigns, branding and signage for both the city and conference, informative articles, out-of-home and digital advertising, as well as compelling videos for San Antonio’s main booth, lobby activations, attendance building, public relations, press brunch, and key presentations. These collaborative efforts ensured a seamless and impactful presence for San Antonio at this significant industry event.
Arts & Culture
In addition to the previous key updates, the Visit San Antonio marketing team also worked to promote San Antonio’s robust Arts & Culture scene. Here are the latest accomplishments and ongoing efforts:
- Successful Launch of Google Arts & Culture San Antonio Project: We effectively launched the Google Arts & Culture San Antonio project, which garnered widespread attention and exposure for our city. The launch event, held at the San Antonio Botanical Garden, featured notable speakers, including Congressman Joaquin Castro, Mayor Ron Nirenberg, and our CEO & President, Marc Anderson. The project’s launch week showcased San Antonio on the coveted Google Search page, significantly amplifying our city’s global exposure.
- Support for Key City Efforts through Social Media and Blogging: We continue to extend our support to key initiatives and events in the city through our social media channels and blog.
- Q3 Arts & Culture Blogs to Check Out
- CineFestival Returns to San Antonio this July
- Embracing San Antonio’s Rich Cultural Heritage and History
- A Guide to Texas Experiences in San Antonio
- Your Guide to San Antonio Pride
- Why San Antonio is the Live Music Hot Spot of Texas
- Where to Celebrate Juneteenth in San Antonio
- Explore El Camino de San Antonio Missions
- Explore the Asian Festival in Downtown San Antonio
- Celebrate “Pueblos del Maiz” in San Antonio
- Let’s Fiesta! Your Guide to Fiesta San Antonio 2023
- Discover the Colorful Cultures and Traditions of Fiesta
- Inclusion of Arts and Culture in Summer Videos: Our most recent videos developed over the summer prominently feature arts and culture. The Summer Kids and Summer Non-Kids videos showcase our commitment to celebrating the vibrant arts and cultural landscape of San Antonio.
Summer Spot (Kids)
Meetings and Conventions
As part of our partnership and content sponsorship with PCMA, two articles have recently been published. Click here to read the article: “Charming San Antonio Is Bursting With New Restaurants, Hotels and Experiences.” Click here to read the article: “Discover the Booming Business Community that awaits in San Antonio.”
In addition, as part of a content marketing media buy with Meetings Today, another article was published focusing on San Antonio’s many new developments. Click here to read the article: “San Antonio Builds on Its Historic Charms With Major New Developments.”
Our Client Advisory Board met in early June. We had very productive discussions about our current marketing campaign and our destination as a premier meeting location. As always, these meetings provided us with valuable feedback and insights.
Our marketing team updated and refreshed our trade digital ads. Look for the new ads to begin appearing in August!
Our ongoing paid and organic media continues to utilize a mix of channels and focus on both long-term and short-term bookings, as well as some key geographical markets and vertical/industry markets.