Tourism businesses level up with digital

Tourism businesses level up with digital

< Back to Articles | Topics: Trends


Sam Richardson (Communications Coordinator, Digital Nova Scotia)

Located on Nova Scotia’s South Shore, Petite Riviere Vineyards has long been the anchor winery of the gorgeous Lahave River Valley. The COVID-19 pandemic forced significant changes to the wine industry’s retail and distribution, requiring businesses to make extensive use of online stores, content marketing, and social media advertising. Although Petite Riviere had some of this already in place, there was a need to level up in order to meet these requirements, particularly in regards to an online store. So Petite Riviere turned to the Tourism Digital Assistance Program.

The Tourism Digital Assistance Program (TDAP) is a partnership between Digital Nova Scotia (DNS) and Tourism Nova Scotia aimed at matching tourism businesses with DNS’s vast network of digital service providers. The program’s purpose is to increase digital opportunities and showcase the unique tourism businesses here in Nova Scotia. Through TDAP, Petite Riviere connected with Arbuckle Media, and a partnership was formed.

With experience in the tourism industry, Joel Arbuckle (President of Arbuckle Media), took no time devising a plan of action. The team at Arbuckle Media quickly helped Petite Riviere make the most of Shopify through virtual marketing opportunities and by making their online catalog more accessible to customers through improved design and user experience. With a great online store ready to go, they helped roll out a digital marketing strategy with streamlined ad spend and clear measurements. For social media messaging, Arbuckle Media’s strategy was to focus less on direct selling and more on speaking to the experience of the South Shore area — an idea that would eventually lead to cross promotion with other local businesses.

A major component of Arbuckle’s marketing strategy for Petite Riviere was determining what their brand is about. The goal was to give Petite Riviere better brand positioning and make their brand voice more consistent and authentic for them.

Upon completion of the project, Petite Riviere Vineyards noted a huge increase in their visibility thanks to the initiatives implemented by Arbuckle. For example, the owners discovered that many of their products could be marketed better if sold together as branded packs. Since then, bundles such as their Date Night Pack and Beach Pack have proved successful in increasing purchases and adding fun to the customer’s experience.

As a small business, Petite Riviere was thrilled to be able to work with a Nova Scotian digital service provider. A local company selling local products to local communities needs a voice that understands the Nova Scotian business climate, especially in the midst of a pandemic. According to Joel Arbuckle, the passion and effort seen from small business owners inspires digital service providers like Arbuckle Media to go above and beyond the scope of the grant to ensure there are systems that clients feel comfortable with moving forward.

The Tourism Digital Assistance Program has matched hundreds of tourism business owners with local digital experts. Together, they are working to continue to increase the profile of our beautiful province. Digital Nova Scotia is proud to partner with our friends at Tourism Nova Scotia to continue to deliver this impactful program!

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