Destination Podcasts: Telling Your Story
It’s no secret that we’re huge fans of podcasts at Break the Ice Media, as we have our own podcast, Destination on the Left, exploring creativity and collaboration in the travel and tourism industry. Podcasting gives you the opportunity to talk to fascinating people and tell their stories in ways you might not be able to with short-form content like a social media post. As a destination, you have countless stories to tell about your local businesses, residents, and the things that make you a unique place people want to visit. We’ve rounded up a list of destination-produced podcasts to give you inspiration as you think about creative ways a podcast can enhance your marketing toolkit.
1. Go Great Lakes Bay
Go Great Lakes Bay is a weekly podcast that explores all the attractions that make the Great Lakes Bay region of Michigan a special place to visit. Hosted by the Director of Marketing at Go Great Lakes Bay CVB, Michael Hensley, the podcast tells the story of businesses and gives the region a chance to expand its relationship with stakeholders. We spoke with Hensley on Episode 333 of Destination on the Left, and he told us that his passion for the area led to the podcast. Each week Hensley interviews the people of the Great Lakes Bay region who are making the destination an amazing place to visit.
2. For the Love of Mesa
This podcast was created to feature long-form conversations about news and happenings in Mesa, Arizona. For the Love of Mesa introduces listeners to people who are making the city one of the biggest hotspots in the Southwest. Episodes include everything from conversations with local pizza shop owners to the story of a world-class sports complex.
3. California Now
The California Now Podcast produces bi-weekly episodes that explore the people and places that make California a unique place to visit. The show explores different regions of California, interviews California residents, and gives travel tips for those looking to visit the state.
4. The Inner Coastal Podcast
The Inner Coastal Podcast explores Beaufort, SC through bi-weekly episodes hosted by the team at Visit Beaufort. This podcast stands out because, in addition to inviting listeners to discover Beaufort and the surrounding areas, it also speaks to the community’s passion for preserving and protecting the Lowcountry coast. The podcast interviews local business owners and talks about the lasting impact the Lowcountry of South Carolina has on visitors.
5. Walk in Her Footsteps
Cayuga County in the Finger Lakes prides itself in being the chosen home of Harriet Tubman and in 2022 the region set out to tell her story as they got ready to celebrate her 200th birthday. As a way to invite both visitors and residents to walk in Harriet Tubman’s footsteps, the county developed a four-episode podcast to tell her story and show how her legacy lives on in Cayuga County. This show is an excellent example of using a podcast to add an element of long-form storytelling to a destination’s marketing campaign.
6. Love & Grit
Developed by Visit Philly, Love & Grit celebrates the people and culture that drive Philadelphia to greatness. The podcast tells authentic stories about the people, music, and culture of Philadelphia. The goal of the podcast is to help people discover the greatness of Philadelphians and drive listeners to go experience the city for themselves.
7. Unexpected Adventures in North Alabama
With new episodes twice a month, Unexpected Adventures in North Alabama takes listeners through a variety of activities in North Alabama from hiking and fishing to museums and restaurants. The podcast tells the story of hidden gems and gives an inside look into what visitors can expect when they make a trip.
8. The Magic of Kanab
The host of The Magic of Kanab takes listeners on an enchanting tour of Southern Utah. The show explores Kane County’s diverse attractions and tells stories about secret gems hidden around every corner of this expansive region.
9. Hello Wyoming
Hello Wyoming transports listeners to the Cowboy State and makes it easy for them to imagine a trip to the picturesque area. Hosted by the Wyoming Office of Tourism and produced weekly, the podcast shares some of the state’s best-kept secrets and favorite local attractions.
10. Find Your Flow in MoCo
With episodes released every other week, Find Your Flow in MoCo shares the stories, history, events, and attractions of Morgan County, Alabama that both visitors and locals love. The podcast inspires listeners to take their next adventure to Alabama and experience all that the region has to offer.
While these podcasts will provide you with plenty of inspiration, you might be wondering… where do I start? When we spoke with Michael Hensley about what it was like starting Go Great Lakes Bay, he gave us some great advice on how to get started when developing a podcast.
1. Consistency is Key
One of the most challenging parts of starting a podcast is developing your audience. Consistency is the key to building momentum. Don’t get discouraged if your episodes don’t start off with a huge number of listeners, keep producing high-quality content and you will see results. Go Great Lakes Bay releases episodes every week, while some of the other destination podcasts release episodes bi-weekly. Find what works for you and stick with it.
2. Have a Conversation
When Hensley started his podcast, he felt like he needed to be an expert journalist and he stressed about how he would conduct interviews. He learned that he didn’t need to be the next great interviewer, he simply needed to open up the space for his guest to talk and share their story. Don’t feel like you need to have the perfect questions, simply have a conversation with your guest and the rest will come naturally.
3. Podcasts are a Team Effort
Collaboration is extremely important when it comes to producing a podcast. Here at Destination on the Left, we work with an agency to produce and release our content. At Go Great Lakes Bay they work with the radio station to have their episodes edited on time every week. Many destinations work with The Destination Marketing Podcast Network to get their episodes on all the right platforms. If you have a quality team behind you, then you can focus on the storytelling without getting bogged down with the technical side of things. Don’t be afraid to use your resources so you can focus on what it is you do best, telling your destination’s story.
And a few resources that Nicole Mahoney, host of Destination on the Left recommends include:
Profitable Podcasting by Stephen Woessner, this book provides a step-by-step guide to launching and producing a podcast and Stephen’s company Predictive ROI produces Destination on the Left.
This interview on Episode 264 with Tom Ritter on Destination on the left talks about using podcasting as a marketing tool and provides great insights into building a successful show.