Developing a year-round destination marketing strategy and business accelerator program for the Lakefront district in Little Elm, TX.


Destination Marketing Audit & Strategic Plan

Lakefront is a district in Little Elm, TX with a great beach and several businesses that complement lake activities. However, they needed a sustainable way to drive visitors to businesses year-round, not just when it’s beach weather.

WE conducted an 8-month destination marketing audit, which included surveying Lakefront residents and visitors as well as those visiting competing districts, conducting business owner round tables and meetings with city staff, the mayor, and economic development. From all that information, we put together a 96-page comprehensive brand and destination marketing strategy plan.

Website & Content Strategy

We redesigned and launched a brand new Lakefront website. The new website features an interactive map, detailed content about businesses and things to do, and is designed to be responsive and mobile-friendly so visitors can quickly get info on the go. We also implemented a persona-based content strategy consisting of articles designed to drive traffic from those in the area searching for things to do, and an email newsletter to continuously stay in-front of those who have visited.

SOCIAL STRATEGY

As a defined district, Lakefront at Little needed to have its own voice rather than be promoted through citywide media channels. Therefore we established a social presence for the district aimed at increasing awareness of and engagement with the area. Content featured a mix of original photography/video and curated user-generated content to reinforce the message that life on the lake is more of a state of mind rather than a specific season. We also featured businesses, recurring giveaways, contests and scavengers hunts to keep people engaged with the destination. In addition, we implemented and optimized monthly coordinated digital ad campaigns.

104%

3-month follower growth

70,000

video reach

8.25%

average engagement rate

350,000

digital ad impressions

Good Morning Texas Feature

We kicked off the summer season with a feature on Good Morning Texas. We had the Mayor out to talk about Lakefront and featured businesses like DFW Surf with their SUP rentals and yoga on the beach. The news segment highlighted all there is to do in Lakefront — just a short drive north of Dallas and Fort Worth.

The key to successful district marketing is the local businesses. We partnered with Economic Development staff and created the Lakefront Accelerator to assist local shops and restaurants and help them each step up their own branding and marketing. We held regular business owner roundtables to uncover ways we could help and coordinate with them, and each month businesses could apply and be selected to receive free consulting and $1,500 in marketing services. This included professional photography, graphic design and digital marketing — giving them the tools they needed to continue marketing on their own.

PASSPORT CAMPAIGN

We designed and produced a passport campaign that encouraged residents and visitors to get out of their usual routines and explore everything Lakefront has to offer. Businesses were each given a custom stamp with their brand to stamp the passports, and there were weekly giveaways for those that shared their passport activity on social as well as a grand prize winner at the end of the campaign.

Seasonal Videos

We produced a series of videos showcasing the district in different seasons

TRANSITION & QUARTERLY AUDITS

As brand and destination marketing consultants our ultimate goal is to develop the strategy, get it running and then transition the day-to-day management back over to the city’s in-house team. To do this we develop a transition schedule and then conduct quarterly audits, giving city staff a report card that shows what is working and what can be improved. This allows the city to begin to take ownership of the strategy while still getting valuable feedback and direction.

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