The final three months of 2014 were very busy for VisitWiltshire - read on to discover how we promoted your business between October and December last year...
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In the three months from October to December 2014 VisitWiltshire:
• Received over 230k unique visits to our website, keeping us on track for a million unique visits annually
• Added 14 new blogs to our website
• Increased our consumer email database to almost 39k names and sent out 5 consumer e-newsletters
• Increased our interaction with people via social media to over 20,000
• Increased downloads of our apps to around 5,200 for our Wiltshire one and 5,400 for our Salisbury one
• Achieved a PR reach of almost 70 million people
• Welcomed 70 trade and press representatives from the UK, US, Russia, France and Australia on fam trips hosted by VisitWiltshire

See below for more details...
Website & Digital

The following web stats are for the period from 1 October to 31 December:
* We received 230,700 unique visitors to our website, up 50% compared to 2013
* Page views were up 110%
* Top countries for people visiting our site were: UK, USA, Australia, Germany and Canada
* Top towns and cities for people visiting our site were: London, Bristol, Bath, Southampton, Andover and Gloucester
* Top referrers were: Twitter, Ebuzzing, (the VisitEngland advertisements), VisitEngland, VisitSouthWest, Facebook
* Organic traffic was up 57% compared to 2013
* 54% of our website traffic came via tablet or mobile device

Read on for more details…
Social Media

From October to December we increased our followers from around 12k to 13k, an increase of 8%. Highlights included:
* A promoted tweets campaign, linked to our autumn campaign
* Numerous Twitter interactions resulting from the Salisbury Lonely Planet announcement
* Lots of interaction relating to our Paddington activity

From October to December we increased our likes from around 5,000 to 7,000, an increase of 40%.
Likes increased by over 950 as a result of the Time for Wiltshire Facebook campaign. Among the most popular posts were:
* Longleat Festival of Light YouTube video seen by over 2.8k people
* Avebury in the mist which reached over 2k people
* Salisbury Lonely Planet announcement which was seen by over 3k people, had 143 likes, 47 shares and 6 comments
* Big Belly Oak near Marlborough which was seen by over 2.5k people
* 5 hot events in November, seen by 2k people
* Darkness to Light service at Salisbury Cathedral which had over 2.7k views, 100 likes and 33 shares
* A photo of sheep at Hanging Langford which was seen by over 2k people, had 171 likes and 19 shares
* Salisbury Christmas Market seen by over 1.6k people
* Stonehenge which was seen by almost 3k people, had 169 likes, 31 comments and 16 shares
* Lydiard House seen by just over 1k people

From October to December we increased our followers from around 400 to 657, an increase of 64%. Among the most popular posts were:
* An image of Tiddleywink near Castle Combe, which received over 50 likes and was regrammed by VisitBritain generating 374 likes and numerous positive comments
* An image of Stourhead with over 70 likes
* An image of Calne with 59 likes
* Salisbury Christmas Market with 55 likes
* Paddington on Corsham High Street with 42 likes

The three months from October to December saw a number of significant highlights: a Magna Carta Trail leaflet was launched, featuring a two-day tour of Wiltshire; Salisbury was named as one of the top ten cities to visit in 2015 by Lonely Planet; and Paddington received a warm welcome as he toured Wiltshire in support of a VisitBritain campaign timed to coincide with the launch of the new film.

During this quarter our PR activity achieved a reach of almost 70 million people.

In the three months from October to December VisitWiltshire hosted 9 press and trade fam trips, welcoming 70 visitors from UK, USA, Australia, France and Russia.
4 press releases were issued.

Read on for more details…

Time for Wiltshire
VisitWiltshire's autumn advertising campaign was headlined Time for Wiltshire and focused on the twin themes of romantic breaks and great local food and drink. The centrepiece of the campaign was an inspirational, 8-page, full colour leaflet, 190,000 copies of which were sent out as an insert with Time Out magazine, The Telegraph, The Mail and a range of lifestyle magazines. Other aspects of the campaign include train panels on South West Trains; an affinity promotion; online advertising; themed blogs; a Google Adwords campaign; a Twitter campaign; a dedicated page on; Wiltshire-led romantic and foodie experiences on the VisitEngland website; an e-newsletter; PR and a social media campaign. The Facebook campaign which launched at the end of September took us to 6,833 likes. The hashtag #timeforwiltshire featured prominently throughout.

VisitEngland Campaigns
This integrated with VisitEngland's 'Rekindle that Love' and 'From Field to Fork' campaigns which included both digital and radio activity, with a mix of competitions, live reads, and rich media advertising with environmental, behavioural and demographic targeting. In addition they featured on VisitEngland's website and in their social media and press and PR activity.

Online Display Advertising
Display advertising is primarily aimed at increasing brand awareness. During October we received 935,107 impressions, generating 987 clicks, a click through rate of 0.11%. In November we received 93,917 impressions, generating 339 clicks, a click through rate of 0.36%.

Paid Search
Paid Search using Google Adwords is used to capture strong leads and deliver traffic to the VisitWiltshire website. During October we received 131,147 impressions and 2,749 clicks, generating a click through rate of 2.1%. In November we received 92,599 impressions, generating 1,776 clicks, a click through rate of 1.92%. At around 80% for both months the percentage of new visitors to our site was high, and the conversion rate - ie the proportion of people who go on to make use of our website having clicked through to it - was particularly strong for the Accommodation element of the campaign at around 35%.

Read on for more details…

Photography and Video

Photo Competition
Once again our annual photo competition generated an excellent selection of new images for use on our website and in our publications. The results of our photo competition were announced in October. First prize went to Claire Young for her image of the Kennet & Avon Canal near Bradford on Avon, with three runners up prizes going to Damien Davis for his photo of Wilton Windmill, Jonathan Bedbrook for his photo of a Ridgeway signpost, and Paul Chambers for his photo of Salisbury Racecourse.

See the winners' photos here...

Photo Shoot
In order to increase our range of seasonal images we undertook an autumn photo shoot aimed at capturing the essence of the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, and a Christmas one covering Bradford on Avon, Lacock, Marlborough and Salisbury Christmas Market.

The first of our three new videos – Time for Wiltshire – which was developed throughout the autumn has now been launched and can be viewed here. Work has now started on a further two videos in line with our new branding (see below) – details to follow.

Publications & Distribution

8,000 copies of the Group Visits guide were printed and delivered during December. These are being distributed at exhibitions and trade shows and sent out to contacts on our travel trade database.

50,000 copies of the Accommodation - Stay, Discover, Explore guide were printed and delivered at the start of January. These are being sent out to named individuals requesting a copy as well as being distributed via information centres around the country, the London People at Work network (leaflet racks in large business premises) and selected additional sites around the South West.

200,000 copies of the Great Days Out guide have now been printed and delivered. They will be distributed within Wiltshire and the surrounding counties via hotels, bed & breakfasts, caravan and campsites, supermarkets, motorway service stations, attractions, pubs and restaurants, park & ride sites and the London People at Work network, as well as information centres around the country.


Brand Positioning

Throughout 2014 VisitWiltshire worked with consultants Heavenly - and in consultation with our partners - on the development of a brand positioning plan for the county, aimed at increasing market share.  

The objectives were to set Wiltshire apart from other destinations; to be unique, distinctive and emotive; to be relevant to and add value to all sectors; to be appropriate for communication to both UK and overseas markets, and to be meaningful and credible to consumers.

The brand image and positioning needed to work across all media and be relevant to the digital age and social media, encouraging talkability and shareability. In addition it had to recognize that storytelling and sharing are essential, inspire immediacy for visitors to come now, be aspirational and engaging, and be relevant across the destination and across all sectors. It is hoped that relevant stakeholders will adopt the brand positioning, imagery and key messages. 

The final plan has now been received and can be viewed here. Creative treatments are currently being worked up and will be circulated in due course.

Travel Trade

VisitWiltshire’s new Travel Trade package is receiving interest from an ever-growing group of partners and travel trade activity is going from strength to strength. It is reported that travel trade business for partners is up compared to the same period last year.

A new groups’ display advertisement was developed during the autumn,featuring in a range of publications, and a travel trade e-newsletter was sent out in December focusing on Great Group Days Out in 2015.

During October VisitWiltshire hosted two familiarisation visits - one for the travel trade press (in conjunction with the Coach Tourism Council) and one for group organisers and operators. Many of the operators who visited are now selling packages including the partners they visited.

In November VisitWiltshire also hosted a group of 10 Russian BritAgents, one blue badge guide and a VisitBritain Russian representative.

At the start of November VisitWiltshire attended the World Travel Market at ExCel London, on the Magna Carta 800th stand, representing Salisbury and Wiltshire as part of the Magna Carta Trail.

Read on for more details…
Marketing Evaluation

VisitWiltshire has recently undertaken an online survey designed to measure the effectiveness of its 2014 marketing activity. A questionnaire was sent out to our database of approximately 39k consumers, inviting them to tell us what they thought about the information they received or saw during 2014, in return for the chance to win a 2 night break for two people to Wiltshire. The results will be used help us improve the quality and impact of VisitWiltshire's marketing activity in the future.

Of the 2,769 people who responded to the survey, 2,036 (74%) recalled seeing our marketing information. 
By analysing the results and extrapolating to cover all visitors to Wiltshire it is estimated that our 2014 marketing information influenced 23,715 holidays booked or taken, 424 holidays extended and 41,308 day visits - an overall total of  296,277 visits influenced. The total value of all influenced activity was £12.3 million, a return per marketing pound invested of £33.65.

Of the consumers surveyed, 100% indicated that their visit had either exceeded (39%) or met (61%) their expectations.
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