Advertising

Print

Print advertising garnered 10,341,777 impressions for Visit North Carolina, with placements in several high-profile regional publications. The 2019 spring print schedule was a mixture of proven titles and newcomers, including a new Local Markets - Extended package (Modern Luxury and Manhattan); expanded Local Market - Northern package (Coastal Virginia Magazine); and the addition of Oxford American (North Carolina Music issue). As part of the overall 19-20 fiscal plan, the 2019 fall print schedule was optimized based on evolving partner appetite and ever-changing media landscape - adding new publications for expanded geographic coverage (e.g., Charleston Magazine via Local Markets - Southern package).

Linear TV + YouTube Extension

Network and cable TV were pulsed throughout spring 2019 across three primary markets (Atlanta, DC and Nashville), in which reach and frequency were maximized within real-time, non-DVRed programming. In order to gain additional viewership, YouTube was also tapped to extend exposure in the same primary markets plus three secondary markets (Columbus, Orlando and Philadelphia). Collectively, these efforts delivered 150.5 million impressions to increase awareness and interest in visiting the state.

Digital

Digital advertising continues to play a key role in all parts of the travel planning and decision-making funnel, and Visit North Carolina's digital media plan reflects that across awareness, site traffic and downstream conversion-driving tactics. In 2019, digital advertising across platforms drove 3,955,148 sessions on VisitNC.com, and contributed to a paid media Arrival Lift of 54.2 %. In addition to constant optimizations across vendors and tactics, 2019 saw several key advancements in digital media:

Cooperative Programs

Visit North Carolina negotiated favorable rates with leading travel, lifestyle and special interest publications to provide partners with cost-effective opportunities to broaden the reach of their own advertising efforts. In total, 27 partners invested in magazine insertions in:

North Carolina Ski Areas Association

Visit North Carolina and the North Carolina Ski Areas Association (NCSAA) continued working together to build awareness and intent to visit NCSAA member resorts for winter travel. The December 2018 - March 2019 cooperative marketing effort targeted NC, TN, SC, GA, FL, AL, MS and LA and drove site visits to GoSkiNC.com and downstream referrals to the resorts' own websites. Building on the momentum from the prior year's strategic shift to digital advertising (paid search, paid social and native), the campaign yielded 35% year over year growth in total site sessions and delivered 30,556 downstream clicks to NCSAA websites.

In-State Marketing Initiatives

While out-of-state visitors tend to stay longer and spend more when visiting the state, North Carolinians are also a point of focus within Visit North Carolina's program. Residents typically comprise approximately one-third of annual visitation, and partnerships with the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters, the North Carolina Press Foundation and UNC-TV remain key to Visit North Carolina's ability to cost-effectively reach more than ten million prospective travelers in the state's own backyard.

North Carolina Association of Broadcasters

Member television and radio stations aired 40,923 spots representing a value of $2,886,317.

North Carolina Press Foundation

Seventy-one newspapers with a combined circulation of more than 1.26 million published an estimated 2.300 ads representing a value of $1,080,000.

UNC-TV

UNC-TV's award-winning team produces 52 weekly episodes of its popular show North Carolina Weekend. Each episode is broadcast statewide multiple times each week on three of UNC-TV's program services: UNC-TV, The Explorer Channel and the North Carolina Channel. In 2019, North Carolina Weekend Shorts, a new program website and YouTube channel were introduced to further showcase the show's content. North Carolina Weekend provided more than $1.6 million in valuable exposure while featuring more than 200 destinations, attractions and events across the state.