BEAUFORT — As several projects to upgrade facilities at Michael J. Smith Field Airport get underway, airport officials hope to attract new customers with a marketing plan that includes a soon-to-be-launched website.
The Carteret County-Beaufort Airport Authority met Oct. 22 via Zoom to discuss the marketing plan, among other topics. In attendance was James Amato with WRAL Digital Solutions, who has been helping the airport build the new website and develop the marketing plan.
Mr. Amato gave authority members a tour of the new website, which should be ready to launch before the end of the year. The airport does not currently have its own website.
One of the main goals of the site is to attract pilots who may not be aware of or have never considered landing at the Beaufort airport. Mr. Amato said by using existing demographic data, such as where pilots tend to live and shop, the website can better reach its target audience.
“When we developed this site, we’re trying to put ourselves in the shoes of someone who would utilize the airport,” he said.
The website will feature amenities the airport offers, as well as information about the surrounding area. There will also be a section with information about the airport authority and links to meeting agendas and other documents.
Authority members suggested a few minor changes to the site before it goes live, which Mr. Amato said he will implement, with oversight from Interim Airport Manager Jesse Vinson. Overall, members said they think the website will be an asset for attracting new customers as the facility grows.
“I’m impressed, it’s a good start and a lot better than what we’ve got now,” Chairperson Pat Joyce said.
After it launches, Mr. Amato said his company will monitor the website for a few months to collect insights and make adjustments, as needed. He said it will also be easy to update the website as services evolve.
The authority also discussed how to handle advertising on the website and whether third-party services, like the airport’s fixed-base operator, should pay to have their information displayed on the site. Mr. Vinson said the airport will explore those options as it develops its marketing plan and a corresponding budget.
The effort comes as the airport is undertaking several major capital projects, including rebuilding around 30 damaged hangars and constructing a permanent fuel farm. Both of those efforts are in progress and moving along mostly according to plan, Mr. Vinson reported last week.
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