Digital Media Update
In this quarter, we have revised the annual figures for the digital assets to assess our progress and consider other innovative strategies to continue growing our audience engagement, brand awareness, promotion of tourism attractions, and investment opportunities
Social media remains a prominent marketing and engagement platform which we are maximising for destination exposure. This quarter, our focus has remained primarily on multimedia awareness campaign content. This includes golf, seasonal specials, seasonal activations, Blue Flag beaches, holiday safety tips, the Explore KZN South Coast App promotion, and ‘Thank You‘ for the ‘I Love Summer campaign‘.
We are clearly on track, because, in the last year, we have noted exponential growth across all our social media sites with the data and analytics showing a 136% spike, with almost 1 million ‘impressions’ online. When it comes to engagements, there has been an astounding 859.1% increase with 45 997 engagements and 3 587 Post Link Clicks. This means that audiences are responding positively to the content being shared.
On Facebook (Meta), our page Likes have escalated from around 4 000 to close to 10 000 organically, with the number of ‘Followers’ almost matching this number. To ensure we sustainably grow our audience engagement, we will be ‘boosting’ posts and using paid campaigns going forward. We are also considering a presence on the social media platform Tik Tok in the coming months, budget permitting.
With websites and apps a first port-of-call for most tourists, it is promising to note that our destination website’s annual visitor growth showed 78 583 page views, including a spike in total page visits and unique views. It is interesting to note that at least 72.49% of traffic was organic Google searches, meaning visitors are actively searching for our tourism products. We advise you to check that your business information is updated on our website.
Keeping website content fresh and relevant is vital, which is why we update our Blog, Specials, and Press Release pages on a daily and weekly basis. We have also restructured the destination website landing page, to include our 11 golf courses, the Buy Local Campaign and Buy Local Membership – all of which are backlinked to our Invest KZN South Coast website.
All our Category listings are constantly updated and promoted, and we have started operational rollouts to e-Commerce the platform, through our MOU with Mastercard. Our SMEs and informal traders will be able to use these payment gateways and Mobile Point of Sale (mPOS) systems, from our upcoming booking platform. Other online resources, such as short entrepreneurial courses, will be available soon.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
We have always prioritised SEO on our website to drive audiences to our online offerings. We noted the destination website’s total ‘impressions’ rose from 1.11 million between September 2020 and December 2021, with analytics showing an impressive growth to 2.5 million ‘impressions’ from December 2021 to January 2023.
The keyword ‘KZN South Coast’ has organically reached Page One Ranking. This is a massive leap from its lower position previously. We believe the introduction of additional SEO articles through analytical recommendations, considering competitor ranking and keywords has contributed to this upward trend.
Explore the KZN South Coast app
We have connected the app with the destination website so that it functions using one Content Management System (CMS), which allows us to cost-effectively update information across the app, as it is done on the website on a daily and weekly basis.
Please be sure to download the app to check your updated business information is included. While the app was being restructured over the last year, its marketing was placed on hold.
However, we reignited marketing in January through cost-effective Public Relations and social media efforts, leading to double the number of subscribers. We have also formulated a strategic and robust marketing plan to encourage additional downloads, with a view to monetising the platform.
We have restructured and updated our internal, POPI Act-compliant database, adding new categories to allow us to diversify our communication efforts through SMS, newsletters, and other push notifications. This has enabled us to reach KZN South Coast organisations, municipal representatives, and strategic partners, helping to further grow tourism and investment opportunities, where possible.