We all know Los Angeles is known for its beautiful weather, hustling city, and celebrity sightings, but there are an abundance of small businesses many have yet to stumble upon. Downtown Center BID (DCBID) creatively promotes these small businesses through Bandwango passports. At the start of 2023, Downtown LA launched their “23 Things to Try in 2023” pass. This idea came about through brainstorming innovative ways to build their newest Bandwango pass and play off of New Year’s resolutions. People often want to try new things, be more active, and embark on adventures at the start of a new year.
“23 Things to Try in 2023” is a collection of health and wellness check-ins as well as diverse food, cultural experiences, entertainment and nightlife options. January and February tend to be a slower time for some of the businesses included on the pass. The hope was that the pass would drive traffic to these organizations and bring them much needed traffic within the first couple of months of 2023.
“With the ability to do GPS check-ins and have a featured list of venues, we wanted to try something that was creative and compelling,” says Bree von Faith, Vice President of Marketing for DCBID. The goal was to incorporate merchants that not only fit seamlessly with a New Year's resolution theme, but also had not recently been featured or promoted. DowntownLA and Bandwango successfully partnered to bring this idea to life.
While we know picking the correct businesses plays a major role in the creation of a new passport, von Faith says that she believes that this was a key factor in the overwhelming success of 23 Things to Try in 2023. Of course, this is true alongside promotions and marketing.
DCBID promoted this pass by utilizing email blasts and including updates in their newsletter. E-blasts are an engaging marketing tool to inform audiences who have signed up previous passes of the newest launch! Earned media also plays a large part in marketing a new passport. When news sources got wind of this passport that was driving traffic to local merchants, they wrote articles and helped to promote it.
The 23 Things to Try in 2023 landing page had 5,368 pageviews with just over 62% of pageviews coming from social media (paid and organic), 7% coming from organic search, and 1.6% coming from Yelp.
The paid social media campaign had 132,900 impressions and 2,383 clicks. The dedicated e-blast was sent to 28,000 subscribers with a 35.4% open rate and a 2% click rate. These marketing campaigns have led to over 450 sign ups so far!
The numbers show that marketing through various channels is beneficial to reach passport goals for signups and engagement. This campaign outperformed expectations; von Faith and the DTLA team are looking forward to creating 24 Things to do in 2024 in the upcoming year!
Creativity is very important when creating a Bandwango pass. It gives people the opportunity to try something new, get out of their comfort zones, earn prizes, and enjoy life. When brainstorming your next (or perhaps first) pass, think outside the box. How can you involve new merchants and passholders in a fun, exciting way?
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