• The Colony of Avalon

Enticing audiences with a dedicated storytelling platform

Newfoundland, Canada: When Maverick Digital was approached by the team from the Colony of Avalon (CoA) to create a new website for them, we jumped at the chance: they would be our first Canadian client – and what a project to start with! What is the Colony of Avalon, you ask? Great question… 

The Colony of Avalon is a National Historic Site of Canada, located on the coast of the picturesque Newfoundland (famous for its birdwatching and the chance to see HUGE icebergs float by at certain times of the year). Visitors to the colony not only have the chance to tour the archaeological site, but they can also roll up their sleeves up and join the crew in unearthing the history of the area – a true hands-on experience! Other unforgettable experiences include a Colonial Cook-off in a 17th century kitchen or, for a fully immersive experience, why not play Dungeons and Dragons in the old kitchen while being served up local dishes by your host – count us in!

The Challenges 

When the team from the CoA reached out to us, they were hindered by a website that was entirely locked down – they had no way to edit the content, which was all out-of-date, resulting in a poor user experience. In such an isolated location, not being able to tell the story in a captivating way through their digital platform meant some visitors to the were unknowingly driving straight past the colony – missing out on an unforgettable experience!  

Aside from being unable to edit the website content, the old CoA website had no live booking functionality which caused headaches for those wanting to book, as well as the CoA staff who had to manually set up bookings, an unnecessary workload during peak season.  

A unique issue identified by the CoA team was that because the site is public property, they were finding people were exploring the site for free, without booking a tour with a local guide and therefore missing out on hearing the rich history of the area and the site itself.  

Our Solution 

Storytelling is a huge part of the puzzle for the Colony of Avalon, their remote location requires a lot of work to convince visitors that it’s worth the drive – and their website is now able to do the heavy lifting in this space. Imagery is used to highlight the experience, focussing on people experiencing the tour and on-site locations. Complementing this with shots of the stunning locations surrounding the site and features that visitors will encounter help to build an expectation and anticipation for a guided tour, rather than a self-led experience.  

As part of the website redevelopment, we had an opportunity to refine and develop the brand narrative around the site, location and products to entice people to book a tour, rather than exploring the site on their own. There are multiple facets to the experience that have their own individual unique selling points (USPs) or calls to action (CTAs) including the tours, dig products, museum, colonial kitchen, and their position on the Irish Loop scenic drive. The new website combines these with a clear and consistent visual and written identity to help achieve its goals of improving engagement metrics and conversion rates.  

The written content is focussed on driving users to conversion, using fun, conversational language with short and snappy headings and CTAs throughout the site. And with live functionality now available, the entire booking experience is far more seamless for both customers and the CoA team.  

The result is a beautiful new website that not only delivers a seamless experience for the customers and tells the amazing story of the Colony of Avalon, but it also allows them to take ownership of the content through an open-source platform, enabling them to continue to expand their narrative over time, showing people what they can encounter when they visit the Colony! 

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