Sense of place marketing: Botetourt historic downtowns

The special landing page says it nicely: The classic American Experience is alive and well in Botetourt County. The link www.downtownsofbotetourt.com delivers visitors to a special introductory page of the county’s tourism webite, listing upcoming events and links to three historic downtowns: Buchanan and Virginia Main Street affiliates Troutville and Fincastle.

The site looks great and functions nicely. Here are some things the website does particularly well:

1. It builds on existing tourism efforts. The event data draws directly from the Virginia Tourism Corporation’s virginia.org listings. Once a business owner or community group posts an event on virginia.org, it’s listed on the county website as well.

2. It segments the market. The special landing page is just an entry page that tailors content for the interests of a specific type of visitor. The person interested in touring historic downtowns gets a special introduction, grouping the downtowns, giving the impression that a day (and some disposable income) could be well spent meandering down a  trail of historic commercial districts. You can easily imagine a landing page for birders, hikers, and more.

3. It  connects the downtowns to nearby quality of life assets such as the Upper James River Water Trail, the Appalachian Trail, and the Botetourt Wine Trail.

4.  It provides a sample itinerary of things to do, giving a visitor a headstart on a memorable experience.

Best of all, each of these strategies can be employed on your existing website as you work to make and fulfill your promise as a historic downtown.

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