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April 27, 2017

Denise Koff, Vice President
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ROANOKE, VIRGINIA—LeisureMedia360 of Roanoke, publishers of The Roanoker, Blue Ridge Country and other titles, has been awarded the publishing contract for Virginia Tourism Corporation.

Leisure, which is celebrating its 45th anniversary in 2017, has been Virginia Tourism’s publisher for all but three years since 1999, and continuously since 2002.

“We are immensely pleased to continue our work with Virginia Tourism,” said Leisure Founder and CEO Richard Wells. “It is both a distinct honor and a compliment to our staff to have again earned the title of Virginia’s tourism publisher.”

The contract, for the year 2018 and with four one-year extensions, is for the annualVirginia is For Lovers Travel Guide and the Virginia Golf Guide, as well as for advertising sales for VTC’s award-winning website, These products are supported with advertising dollars and produced at no charge to VTC. The latest study showed in 2015 tourism revenues generated $22.9 billion in domestic visitor spending, supported 223,100 jobs and provided $1.6 billion in state and local taxes for the Commonwealth.

"Virginia Tourism is pleased to continue our longtime and valued partnership with LeisureMedia360 for the 2018 Virginia Travel Guide," said Rita McClenny, president and CEO of Virginia Tourism. "We are excited to work with an outstanding Virginia-based company to showcase the Commonwealth's regions, attractions, and people—and to show travelers why Virginia is for Lovers."

Leisure, which also publishes annual guides for Smith Mountain Lake, Lexington, Prince William County and other Virginia localities, is also the official publisher for Virginia ABC. The three-year-old quarterly Spirited Virginia has seen a tripling in its circulation over that time, adding another pillar to Leisure’s service to agencies, DMOs and other entities around its home state.

“As one of the oldest regional publishers in the Commonwealth, we simply couldn’t be happier with the opportunity to continue to get the ‘Virginia is for Lovers’ message out to more people than ever,” said Wells, whose service to the state over the decades has included several board memberships as well as awards for business and civic involvement. The

Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) is the state agency responsible for marketing Virginia as a premier travel destination and film destination, as well as promoting the 48-year old “Virginia is for Lovers” brand, the longest-running state tourism slogan in the country.

Plan your next vacation in Virginia. Visit to discover why Virginia is for Lovers.

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1. Invest in quality over quantity: Focus on creating fewer, but higher-quality pieces. If you’re currently writing three to five short posts on your blog, consider switching to one to two long form, more “meaty” posts.

2. Define your ideal persona: If you haven’t already done so, figure out exactly whom you’re writing your content for.

3. Write a top 100+ post on a relevant topic in your niche.

4. Ask your readers to submit a story of their experience with your product or service.

5. Look through your analytics to see your top three blog posts, then write a follow up post for each one.

6. Recycle some of your old newsletters by turning them into blog posts.

7. Recycle some of your old blog posts by turning them into newsletter content.

8. Do a poll or survey of your audience and publish a post with your findings.

9. Ask your readers, subscribers and social media followers to submit videos, ideas, or images: Choose the best ones and create blog content around them 

10. Create a simple spreadsheet where you can jot down content ideas as they come to you (or your smartphone’s notepad application works fine too); this will ensure you never run out of things to write about.

11. Plan to incorporate content curation into your marketing mix. For best results in terms of SEO, be sure to add your own ideas and thoughts to the content you’re curating. 

12. Compile Top 10 resource lists for your niche: Top 10 blogs; top 10 companies; top 10 tools, etc.

13. Put your URL or website name on all the original photos you use on your blog; this way, if they get pinned or shared, you’ll be sure to retain credit.

14. Go through your old, outdated, potentially Penguin and Panda-penalized content and improve it: Combine short pieces into longer, more “meaty” content, or get rid of poor-quality content altogether.

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LeisureMedia360’s content marketing programs are customized to your specific needs and the budget you have to work with. Here, we present seven tips about content marketing, as well as how it can work for you.

1. You need a scalable website. Responsive design might help.

Today, anywhere from 20 to nearly half of your website visitation is coming from mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Even if you do not have a 100% mobile-friendly site, you can create a mobile microsite to at least provide the most popular/needed information. Many state that over 50% of the people looking on your site just want your phone number and maybe your address. Make it easy to access that information even if your whole site is not mobile friendly. 

2. Do an evaluation of your existing content.

Think about your primary and secondary audiences and maybe modify or shorten existing content to freshen it up. Graphics can go a long way to keeping your site timely. Just changing out the images on your home page and landing pages can help engage visitors, especially repeat visitors. Study the most popular pages. Use Google Analytics.

3. Create a content strategy.

What is your website’s goal? What do you want to accomplish with your website? What is the call to action? Having a content strategy will save time and money. Spend time thinking about what you want to accomplish on your site. Ask what you would like visitors to do on that site and then make sure that call for action is frequently seen, clear and appealing. Review related sites and competitive sites. What makes you different and unique? 

4. SEO with Penguin and Panda Google Programs.

Panda started the ball rolling on the content discussion, focusing on sites with in-depth, regularly updated content vs. sites with too much advertising and poor navigation. Since Panda, content marketing has increased in popularity with a focus on blogging, on-site content, building off-site content assets through practices like guest blogging, and social media participation.

Penguin focused on quality links vs. manipulative link building techniques such as buying links, building thin sites simply for the purpose of linking back to a main site, trading links, comment spam links, and similar tactics.

5. The Hummingbird Effect.

Hummingbird is paying more attention to each word in a query, ensuring that the whole query—the whole sentence or conversation or meaning—is taken into account, rather than particular words. What this means is that it is more important than ever to write meaningful content for your website and push it out to the world thru social media platforms. Now you need to ask yourself: What are the phrases or questions prospects will use to find our location a great place to visit?

6. Size does not matter.

Ever heard of River Pools & Spa in Warsaw, VA? He built a tremendous business by adding valuable content to his website. Frequently asked questions. Information about pool costs. A blog. Testimonials. It’s now on the first page of Google search for thousands of searches.

River Pools & Spa started small with content but was consistent in adding new, fresh content. One key to succeeding is to continue building content for a full 12 months before determining the success.

7. Get your website humming, then advertise to drive traffic!



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