Bennington, VT Tourism Issues Website RFP


                The town of Bennington seeks to draw visitors from throughout the Northeast travel market to visit Bennington and to patronize its many cultural and recreational attractions, shops and galleries, lodging establishments, restaurants, and wedding providers. In year-1, the cornerstone of these efforts will be the launch of a tourism lure site along with ongoing digital marketing efforts to drive traffic to the site. By providing meaningful, visually appealing content, and promoting that content through SEO and digital marketing efforts, our       goal is to draw users to the site and in turn, drive tourism traffic to Bennington establishments          and attractions.

Background

                A few years ago, the town received a grant to conduct branding work that resulted in a BENNINGTON Vermont Begins Here campaign.  The surrounding campaign was primarily economic development focused and resulted in 3 high-quality videos, a printed lure brochure and the beginnings of economic development focused website that was created on SquareSpace. Due to staffing changes and a lack of focused funding the site was never fully built-out and no further promotional efforts were made.

                In 2019, The Bennington Select Board recognized the need to designate focused marketing dollars into attracting tourism to Bennington. The Select Board voted to designate funding in the  2019/20 budget to support a plan to create a tourism lure site along with surroundingdigital marketingg efforts.

Scope of Services

                In order to establish a long-term working relationship with a partner, the deliverables are broken down into three categories: setup, ongoing marketing and training. The town will have  internal resources for some tasks like content migration/curation, photography and image      manipulation, so we seek to partner with an agency that will be able to focus more on building   and strategy and analysis than on simple tasks where we will be able to save costs.

                Setup

·         Build a WordPress website as specified in Exhibit A attached.

·         Design and set up an email template for future mailers. Integrate Mailchimp list with the website for signups.

Ongoing Digital Marketing Support

·         SEO management – All new content produced by town representatives should be optimized before publication. Estimate one blog post per month.

·         Pay-per-click marketing – create and test ads and messaging across multiple channels

·         Budget recommendations – agency should regularly advise on budget allocation for funds available for each of the following channels:

o   Paid search text ads

o   Social media ads and boosted posts (Facebook, Instagram)

o   Google Display Network and YouTube

o   Remarketing
Proper Google Analytics tagging should be used for all campaigns for accountability, and event tagging should be set up to record micro conversions (i.e. email signup, return visits, engagement signals)

o   Regular recommendations on split testing should be made, and analysis provided in monthly reports to show learnings and to discuss strategy.

                Training and ad-hoc assistance – in addition to the above, applicants should provide an hourly   rate for training and/or assistance with:

·         Email creation, segmentation and tracking

·         Social media account setup and training for organic posting and strategy

·         Managing and publishing content in WordPress

·         Reading and analyzing data in Google Analytics

                Set Key Performance Indicators for analyzing digital marketing effort (i.e. number of email sign- ups per quarter, etc.)

·         NOT included in scope of work: photography procurement, directory content procurement, blog content procurement, influencer outreach, email content procurement, social posts, custom event calendar development, PR, logo development.

Due Date

                May 3rd 2019

Contact

                Town of Bennington
                Shannon Barsotti – Community Development Director
                205 South Street, Bennington, Vermont 05201
                802-445-1330
                sbarsotti@benningtonvt.org

Coyne PR and Hunter PR are strong tourism focused PR firms.

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