Q3 Marketing Highlights - RTO 9

Q3 Marketing Highlights

We are excited to share the collective accomplishments we have made for Q3 (October 1st – December 31st, 2021).


Earned & Paid Media

RTO 9’s Digital Marketing Support Program provided six Digital Marketing members (from Destination Marketing Organizations & Tourism Offices in South Eastern Ontario) the opportunity to partner with RTO 9 on digital marketing tactics such as Facebook Ads, Blog creation, and Giveaways. This content was managed and paid for by RTO 9.

On our Facebook channel, we featured Facebook Ads for Prince Edward County’s newest Experiences page, SDG Counties Paranormal Investigation promotion, and Rideau Waterways Festival of Small Halls Christmas Event.
Our ‘Storytelling Campaign’ featured Prince Edward County and included a blog, Instagram Stories, Instagram Reels, and a giveaway.

Rail + Roam

RTO 9, in partnership with VIA Rail and Landsby.ca, launched a winter Campaign – Rail + Roam. The goal of this campaign is to drive interest in winter getaway travel to South Eastern Ontario city destinations such as Cornwall, Brockville, Kingston, and Belleville. This campaign will promote unique hub and spoke winter experiences and stays through packaging created by Landsby.ca. The campaign promotes safe, local travel by train from key Canadian markets and will provide a VIA fare discount from November 1, 2021- March 31, 2022 (some blackout dates will apply) when experiences are booked through Landsby.ca.

Rail + Roam results ending as of December 2021

The Rail + Roam campaign ad units ran on Sharethrough, Facebook/Instagram, Search and YouTube in December 2021. However, the ad units on Facebook, Search and Sharethrough were paused on December 24 in response to the rising case of COVID. Before pausing in December, the campaign generated 1.3M impressions and 8,735 clicks in total. On social, Facebook/Instagram generated 398,969 impressions with 7,879 clicks at a CTR of 1.97%, which is well above the industry benchmark of 0.9%. An unskippable video ad ran from Dec 6 to Dec 24 on YouTube which generated 573K views in total with a high completion rate of 83.82% meaning that viewers are highly interested in our content. On the programmatic end, our campaign generated 256K impressions and 238 clicks at a CTR of 0.09%, which is above the platform benchmark of 0.08%. We have gone back into market with this campaign as of Jan 27, 2022.

Here’s a look at just some of the media our operators and destinations in South Eastern Ontario gained in Q3.

Article: Hotels and resorts across Canada are offering a wide range of festive packages to fully vaccinated guests

Outlet: Globe and Mail

Date: December 9, 2021

About the Article: A new partnership between Via Rail, Toronto’s Landsby travel agency, and the regional tourism organization for Southeastern Ontario has produced “Rail & Roam” packages that combine and discount train tickets, accommodations, meals, tours, car rentals, and more. From the Via station in Cornwall, for instance, guests can travel west along the scenic St. Lawrence River until they reach Upper Canada Village in Morrisburg, which until Jan. 1 is draping the recreated 19th-century settlement in more than a million coloured lights. From there, the historic village of Winchester, and a suite in the country-cozy Terrace Green B&B, is less than 30 minutes away by rental car. From $399 a night, landsby.ca/rail-and-roam

Reach: 6,618,420 UVM (Unique Visitors per Month)

Article:  Six great day-trip ideas to keep you active

Outlet: Toronto Star

Date: December 18, 2021

About the Article: The article notes various day trip activities to keep readers active over the winter, including ice fishing in P.E.C. and the ice fishing hut options available at Merland Park Cottages.  

Reach: 5,689,932 UVM 

The same article also appeared in the following outlets:

Toronto Star (print) – 242,300 Circulation

Welland Tribune – 125,940 UVM

Waterloo Record – 467,741 UVM

Niagara Falls Review –  94,084 UVM

Article: 9 Small Towns In Ontario That Are Even More Magical To Visit In The Winter

Outlet: Narcity

Date: December 13, 2021

About the Article: The article highlights various places in Ontario to visit during the winter and highlights Kingston as one of the province’s top destinations. Madeline Forsyth selected Kingston for its small-town vibes, tons of downtown shops and cafes, and an enchanting ice skating rink in the square.

Reach: 3,129,248 UVM


Article: North Grenville Community Theater still going strong

Outlet: Toronto Star

Date: December 10, 2021

About the Article: The article notes that the North Grenville Community Theatre has requested $5,000 in funding with the goal of making some needed repairs to the old Oxford Mills Town Hall. The building is being used primarily for the storage of costumes and equipment by three local performing arts groups. The article notes that the theatre group is bouncing back with a planned production of “Ripcord,” planned for the Spring of 2022 at the North Grenville Municipal Centre. 

Reach: 5,689,932 UVM 

The same article also appeared in the following outlets:

Hamilton Spectator – 804,908 UVM

St. Catharines Standard – 396,138 UVM

Welland Tribune – 86,138 UVM

Article: Brockville Has A Free Holiday Trail Of Lights Where The Trees Dance To Music (VIDEOS)

Outlet: Narcity

Date: December 6, 2021

About the Article: The article highlights Brockville’s River Of Lights is happening at Blockhouse Island, where guests will be able to see thousands of twinkling lights. The piece notes that the event is happening seven days a week until January 2, 2022, and no admission tickets are required.

Reach: 941,190 UVM 

Earned Media Snapshot

Total Stories: 80
Print: 11
TV Segments: 1
Online: 69
Newsletter: 1
Radio: 0

Total Media Impressions for Q3: 64,050,638
Total Cumulative Impressions Since the Beginning of the Campaign: 8,229,322,601

Owned & Paid Media for South Eastern Ontario

Total Reach: 2,140,707 (+102% YoY)
Total Engagement: 36,816 (-58% YoY)

Total User Visits: 107,267 (-15% YoY)
Total Page Views: 155,088 (-17% YoY)

Total Events 55,624 (direct links to tourism operators’ websites):

Top Website Content
Bucket List: 25 Restaurants You Need To Try In Prince Edward County (10,352 Page Views)
16 Paranormal Locations In South Eastern Ontario We Dare You To Visit (8,381 Page Views)
22 Of The Best Ontario Holiday Markets You Have to Visit (8,184 Page Views)
Bucket List: 24 Restaurants You Need To Try In Kingston (7,731 Page Views)
Home Page (6,300 Page Views)

Future Initiatives

Winter Campaign – Rail + Roam (Continued)

South Eastern Ontario Cruise Campaign, Theatre Pitch to Media, planning, and implementation of both

Fam Trips to South Eastern Ontario

Updating SEO Maps and Cycle Maps

Working alongside our DMO’s, we will be launching blogs and itineraries that will highlight experiences and operators in the region.

Promotion of awarded Winter Partnership Funding recipients.

RTO 9 provides regional leadership and coordination for tourism in South Eastern Ontario. We are fiercely working on your behalf to grow all aspects of tourism to attract more visitors, increase revenues, and generate economic activity such as investment and job creation. Connect with a team member who can assist you in your tourism initiatives.