The CapeTownMagazine.com and Citymob 100 Days to Summer campaign – with 50 days to go today – has a daily prize on offer that connects Capetonians to a tourism experience in the Western Cape. Today’s prize, for example, is a trip up Table Mountain with dinner for two at the Table Mountain Café.
“But that is just the beginning… At the end of the campaign, on December 1, one person will win all 100 prizes that we’ve give away over the month,” explains CapeTownMagazine.com founder and director, Marc Zandhuis. “The campaign has helped us grow our weekly Cape Town newsletter database to nearly 30 000 subscribers. We will reach that target tonight!”
It’s an interesting departure for the online magazine. Up until now, Zandhuis – who was born in the Netherlands but moved to Cape Town six years ago looking for adventure and business opportunities (he’s found both) – has been using the site (it is available in English, Dutch and German) to attract foreign visitors, particularly Dutch and German. Apart from the weekly newsletter, their monthly newsletter goes to 31 000 subscribers around the world, 900 of them media, and 3 000 in tourism businesses. Unique visitors to the sites are between 3500 and 9000 readers, per day.
The online magazine has become the number one reference point for visitors from those countries. He’s Mr Cape Town, the man they call when anyone wants to know anything about the city and where to go and what to do. Even National Geographic have called on him. As have Lonely Planet, as well as newspapers and magazines from China, Russia, the UK, and the USA.
“But you know when you think of all things to do here, and how little many residents know of their own city, we thought we’d create a campaign that would encourage local residents to get out and explore their world. Coupled with the deals from Citymob – last week, for example, we had an offering from Warwick Wine Estate that saw two people have an awesome gourmet picnic, go on a 4×4 driving experience, enjoy a big five wine tasting…for R199, well that’s why over 1200 people bought into the deal,” he explains.
Of course, one person wins the experience for free, and that’s the key driver to the 100daystosummer site. It has been so successful that Cape Town Tourism now want to join the fun.
Zandhuis and his team of 11 are a master of the social networks and his familiarity with the way in which to operate in that space has helped grow his audience substantially. Using the CapeTownMagazine.com site, newsletters, mobile, Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare, he delivers up to the minute info to his followers, wherever he is. If there’s a fabulous special offer at a restaurant, and Marc – or Molo Cape Town, a character he’s created and a real man about town, for sure – will have it up and out there in seconds. He could certainly be described as the city’s mayor of fun and information!
“This campaign has been a rollercoaster ride,” he laughs. “It’s been quite an investment for us. But I think it’s become one of the biggest activations the city has seen. It’s gone across multiple channels, including Facebook, mobile and Twitter and CityMob and us incorporated an ingenious ‘invite’ mechanism into the competition as well as the Facebook App.
“The campaign was built to be measured. So if you invite someone to enter now, you get a free entry into the daily competition. For every person you invited who joins, you get another 10 entries.. The idea is to connect people and places and experiences,wherever they are, what ever medium they use. That’s how media works today” he says.
Zandhuis says CapeTownMagazine.com is a “pioneer in content marketing’, and certainly its numbers show a healthy picture: the site has 9 000 readers per day. Over 15 percent read it on mobile. There are 16 000 followers on Twitter. It has over 6000 ‘likes’ on Facebook.