SIDNEY — As has been its mission since inception in 2002, increasing the regional visibility of Sidney and Shelby County as a recreation travel option continued as the primary focus of the Sidney Visitors Bureau last year.
“Promotional messages of the Bureau reached nearly six million people in 2018 based on conservative estimates for both digital and print advertising reach. Social media, eNewsletters, search engine optimization, the DiscoverOhio app, and web banner advertising were heavily employed to connect with consumers receptive to digital suggestions on how best to spend their leisure travel time in Ohio,” said Jeff Raible, Sidney-Shelby County Chamber of Commerce president.
For the sixth year in a row, the Sidney Visitors Bureau partnered with neighboring Visitors Bureaus in Darke, Miami, Auglaize, Mercer and Van Wert counties to exhibit at the AAA Great Vacations Travel Expo in Columbus. This annual three-day show is well attended by consumers looking for both day trip and overnight vacation getaways. In addition this collaboration of regional visitors bureaus produced and promoted a “Made in West Ohio” factory tour itinerary featuring popular manufacturing related tour stops in Greenville, Troy, Piqua, Sidney, Jackson Center, Celina, Maria Stein, Versailles, New Carlisle, and VanWert.
Brochure distribution services were another effective promotional tool for the Bureau in 2018. The Sidney Visitors Bureau distributed area visitor guides at rack locations along major interstate highways in Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan. In addition, guides were strategically displayed at select Ohio Department of Transportation Travel Information Centers across the state and at the Ohio State Fair.
Event support comprised yet another of our major marketing efforts this past year. The Bureau assisted with promoting many popular area activities that included the Shelby County Fair, Shelby County Historical Society’s Living History Weekend, the many events of Sidney Alive, Country Concert, Alumapalooza, the Backstage Block Party, Shelby County Farm Tour, Buckeye Farm Antiques Show, arts offerings by the Gateway Arts Council and more.
The Visitors Bureau website, www.visitsidneyshelby.com saw significant traffic and site engagement in 2018 as evidenced by data gathered using Google Analytics. Search Engine Marketing strategies using Google AdWords and broadcast email also contributed significantly to growing web site traffic for the Bureau. In addition, a new section on the web site was developed to promote the many events, attractions, and unique items of interest that will accompany the Bicentennial celebrations in 2019 for Shelby County and 2020 for Sidney.