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Tourism group sponsoring online marketing workshop

Corrina Ferguson.jpg

Corrinna Ferguson, shown here Nov, 14, is the Elizabeth City area's new chief tourism officer.

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From staff reports

Sunday, January 20, 2019

In business, it's important to be easily found, and to make a compelling first impression, including, and sometimes especially, online.

The Elizabeth City Convention and Visitors Bureau wants to help business owners do just that, and it's offering free website and marketing workshops on Feb. 1 at Museum of the Albemarle.

The sessions will offer the expertise of Brian Matson, of Brighton, Mich.-based TwoSix Digital, an online marketing organization focused on travel- and tourism-related businesses. The CVB contracts with TwoSix Digital for digital marketing, and CVB Executive Director Corinna Ferguson credited them with helping boost the bureau's web traffic and online presence in recent years.

According to the CVB, the first workshop will be from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., and will focus on “maximizing your website for success.” The second will run from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m., and focus on “developing a 21st century marketing plan.” The sessions are free, and attendees may attend one or both, Ferguson said.

The CVB will also offer attendees the option of a boxed lunch, at $11 per person. Attendees who want lunch need to pay the CVB for it by Jan. 28.

Ferguson said it can be difficult for small business owners to create and build their online presence. The city has some small businesses without a website, while others rely primarily on Facebook, she explained. Facebook is a valuable tool, but it doesn't reach non-Facebook users, she noted.

Ferguson explained she knows small business owners are often very busy, but also reiterated it's important that customers can easily find them, and get good, current information about their products and services, location, and hours of operation.

“It's kind of like the website is the front door of your business,” she said.

Ferguson said Matson can help explain how to create a compelling, mobile device-friendly website, and make sure it comes up readily in relevant internet searches. He'll also discuss how to market well across multiple platforms, she said.

In an email, Ferguson also reported Matson is being paid $2,500 to speak in Elizabeth City. This budget year, the CVB also contracted with TwoSix for $9,275, plus ad buys of about $22,500.

Matson's online bio states he's a former marketing director at the Fargo-Moorhead CVB in North Dakota, and one of his claims to fame is bringing the wood-chipper prop used in the movie “Fargo,” back to the town for display.

For more information on the sessions, call the CVB at 335-5330, or go to visitelizabethcity.com.

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