Marketing campaign generates Wilson tourism buzz

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Marketing for Wilson County tourism dipped slightly in June, according to a Raleigh-based branding agency.

Clean’s campaign launched in the fall and generated roughly 2.6 million impressions in May and 2,581,006 impressions in June through print and digital advertisements.

During a Tuesday meeting, Wilson County Tourism Development Authority Board of Directors Chairman Dennis Johnson said Facebook posts garnered 861,000 impressions while Instagram had roughly 173,000 impressions. Johnson said peer communities — Rocky Mount, Smithfield and Greenville — had about 5,000 impressions each in the same month. There was a 17% increase to more than 4,700 visitors clicking on the “things to do” tab on www.wilson-nc.com/.

“Greenville actually contacted Clean in May and asked them to develop a campaign for them based around our campaign and how well it is doing,” Johnson said. “Clean declined them because of competition, but I thought it was interesting because there is a marketing firm in New Bern, but they didn’t want anyone but Clean because of our campaign.”

After months of design choices, the board in June approved a new fold-out map of the city and county to distribute to visitors.

“I’m getting rave reviews about the maps,” said Minnie Horton, general manager of the Hampton Inn Downtown.

When comparing June 2018 to last month, the hotels along Interstate 95 and U.S. 264 alternate saw a 4% increase in occupancy and a 5% increase in the average rate for rooms.

“We’re sold out until Friday and we have been since last Friday,” Horton said. “In the hotel business, you’re never sold out on a Sunday and we were sold out on Sunday, which is huge.”