Madison residents agree. Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream Co. was voted 2016 Best of Madison Ice Cream by Madison Magazine readers. It was the first time Chocolate Shoppe was recognized in the Gold category, though they've consistently placed in the top three. “We’re really proud of our family-run, locally-focused products,” says Deadman. “We love this city and are honored that its residents feel the same way about what we do every day.”
But residents aren’t the only ones who are sweet on Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream’s offerings. Visitors have played a big role in building the business, too. “Each of our locations—particularly State Street—benefits from people who are new or returning visitors to Madison,” Deadman says. “Being a GMCVB partner only amplifies this effect. The team there knows their clients so well that they can let us know when groups like Family Motor Coach Association or WIAA players, who are avid ice cream aficionados, will be in town. That helps us to staff up if needed or even create unique flavors to honor those events. It’s easy for us to do, and only enhances their experience in Madison, which helps us all.”
Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream Co. stores are open seven days a week. Learn more about their locations and hours.
In December 2015, the Greater Madison Convention and Visitors Bureau launched a redesigned Visit Madison web site. A responsive design, interactive widgets and industry-specific integrations were part of a package designed to help visitors explore our destination offerings the way they want. But behind the scenes, we were developing something even more valuable: a digital content strategy.
Though it’s not a new concept, content marketing is more important than ever before. By creating entertaining, useful and relevant content, organizations like the GMCVB can create valuable connections. Here’s how it helps:
- SEO. When a brand regularly publishes unique content that is high-quality, shareable and unduplicated, it has a significant impact on search engine ranking. We want to be at the top when someone types “Scenic biking and hiking trails in Madison” into Google. And so far, we are. When we create original articles like Top 10 Trails to Try—And Why, it makes us relevant and ranks our expertise in an even more valuable way.
- URLs. As a best practice, you’d give that “Top 10 Trails” article its own URL within the main body of your web site. The next step is to drive to that page with posts from your social media channels. Now, readers can easily engage with your content by liking, commenting and sharing.
- ATS. Average Time on Site is one of several ways to measure engagement on your web site. Once readers are engaged in a topic, linking them to a related article, helpful trail maps or even a general Biking and Hiking page will keep them engaged and leave an impression about your destination.
Original content is being created for the Visit Madison site monthly, and in May we highlighted Best Places to Brunch, Summer Sips recipes from Madison mixologists, places to enjoy the Arts Alfresco, getting active from Lake to Lake, and even a behind-the-scenes Lion King Lookbook. Look for an all-new round of articles starting next week!
Our goal is to rotate in seasonally relevant partner businesses throughout the year, and we look forward to learning more about what’s new with you so we can continue to share all that’s exciting in our destination. Got ideas? Share them via firstname.lastname@example.org.