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A Texan Goes Apple Picking: Planning Seasonal Content

Picture of the author, Ali Nichols
By Ali Nichols
M10 9, 2019

We’re getting our first breath of fall weather this week, and I am READY.  Following a recent trip to New England, I’ve already made a batch of hearty soup, eaten a pumpkin spice doughnut and am successfully wearing a sweater without getting too sweaty!  While I prepare for our cooler weather (read: 70 degrees), I’m also consuming all the fall content I can get and dreaming about my next seasonal adventure. 

The start of fall brings opportunities to align with visitor excitement for all that the season has to offer: the crisp air, seasonal flavors and a new reason to travel, especially when a visitor may not experience an idyllic fall at home. But for many travel sites, it can be a challenge to share seasonal content.  When so many parts of the country have enticing seasonal attractions, how do you stand out in the sea of fall colors? Inspired by a day of apple picking in Massachusetts, I wanted to share my favorite parts of apple picking combined with my favorite ways that travel sites show off their fall content.

Driving to the apple orchard: showing off your fall colors

I get it, small towns of Massachusetts – you are ridiculously beautiful with all your red brick homes and your gorgeous foliage.  The drive to the apple orchard may have been one of my favorite parts of the whole trip, letting me take in all the autumn colors I could imagine. 

Fall colors are a vital part of seasonal content where vivid imagery draws in visitors aching for a seasonal getaway.  We know that imagery can guide emotions that help your visitors see your fall colors for themselves. Better yet, let your visitors share their own fall photos through User Generated Content!  Personalizing your imagery based on your visitor’s interests or persona is a great way to further engage visitors. If you’re interested in learning more about persona based targeting, be sure to see how Mooreseville increased engagement through their personas!

Apple picking: enjoying a local’s recommendations

As we started our way through the apple orchard, we were grateful for the help of the family farm staff who navigated us through the many rows of apple trees, advising on which ones would be best for the apple crisp we planned on making that evening or which apples may be too tart (or, in his accent: “taht”) for our tastes.  As visitors, we relied heavily upon the staff’s recommendations and directions to make the most of our apple picking – and were grateful for the expert advice. 

Similarly, as the experts of your destination, your team is best suited to share how visitors can celebrate the season at your destination. Highlight what makes your fall activities unique and provide seasonal visitor guides or other planning resources to help your visitors plan their trip!  Personalizing visitor guides or seasonal activity ideas based on different visitors interests will help ensure that everyone can find something they enjoy. 

Apple cider doughnuts: showcasing your editorial content

At the orchard, I was introduced to the magic that is apple cider doughnuts, and my goodness, was my life changed.  In reading a local’s visitor guide, I was encouraged to try this traditional treat, and it did not disappoint. As a visitor, I love engaging with editorial content to help me make travel – and eating – decisions. 

Editorial content is a fantastic way to connect your audiences with new ideas to inspire their travel by combining imagery and recommendations.  Whether it’s highlighting your favorite cold weather food spots, family fun activities that can be enjoyed by all, or the best scenic drives or hiking trails, editorial content provides an opportunity to connect with visitors in a creative way. 

Daydreaming at home: the power of nostalgia

On my return to Austin, I was definitely craving apples (and doughnuts) more than I ever have before.  As I picked out a bag of honey crisp apples at the grocery store, I found myself wishing I was picking them off an orchard tree instead and continued to daydream (and google search!) to plan my next trip.  

Nostalgia is a powerful emotion, and when paired with moving imagery and creative content, we can help visitors make informed and inspired travel decisions so they can celebrate the season with your destination.  Happy creating and enjoy the season!

Interested in talking more about about creating the best content for your visitors?  We’d love to talk with you!

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