100 Years of Advancing Destinations

Topic Modeling: Content Creation for DMO's

Posted: October 04, 2013
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As a Destination Marketing Organization, one of the greatest assets you have at your disposal is the wealth of information about your destination in terms of things to do, places to stay, events, and goings-on in the destination. From a content creation standpoint that much information can be overwhelming at times, and I think we can all agree that there’s nothing worse than sitting down to write up content and not knowing where to begin, or even worse, having a good ol case of the writer's block.

To combat this in my DMO days in Tampa, I would often leverage a tactic called "topic modeling" to assist in shaping content ideas. I first came across the idea from Jim Brown, in blog post he did back in September 2012 using one of his favorite bands as the topic.

Specifically in Tampa, one of the great things about the destination was the plethora of events in and around the area that we had to promote, specifically concerts and music related events. So in taking a page out of Jim's book, lets use a music artist as our topic. Although I don't believe he ever came to Tampa in my time there (please correct me if I'm wrong), I will use one of my favorites, in the form of Lenny Kravitz as the focus of my topic modeling efforts.

Since I already have a good idea about the content I want to focus on I can go ahead and begin my topic model, to look like below:

In his origital blog post, Jim goes into more detail of ways to brainstorm content, but as you can see, I already have a variety of topics to start with such as tours, albums, and songs, etc, so i am gonna roll with that. Since I am interested in Lenny's latest tour and specifically the ficticious tour to the Tampa Bay area, I will next focus my efforts on breaking down the content mix based on tour related items as seen below:

So from here I can create pieces of content based on the blocks of green. With a little help from some of your local partners, and even the concert promoter you can gather this information and begin building and writing your blog posts, news releases, social media promotions etc. Not only does this fulfill your content marketing efforts from an SEO and distribution standpoint, but you also have content where you highlight your partners and aspects of your community that a traveler or perhaps even a local would be interested in.

Another example of this would be a blog post focusing on the venue where Lenny would be playing while in town. The Straz Center for Performing Arts blog posts can feature a variety of content in terms of venue space, past concerts, ticket prices, and need to know information on parking just to name a few. I think you get the point here in that using a topic modeling method, the options are endless for creating content for your calendar and pushing it out via your normal mediums.

Even though concerts/music are the items that I have based my model off of, there are plenty of directions you can go from a DMO standpoint. Another example would be to make a local chef the topic of your content model. From there break it down to the chef's restaurant(s) and then further break it down by cuisine types, favorite dishes, competitions won etc and write your content pieces off of that. So many directions that a path such as this can take you down.

No matter where your area of expertise within your DMO lies, be  it partnership, convention & meetings, tourism marketing, or even board/stakeholder relations, make topic modeling work for you. How many pieces of content do you think you can create?