With travelers increasingly using social and digital media to experience a destination before visiting, the competition for consideration and visitation has become higher than ever. Travelers continue looking for ways to “experience the trip before the trip,” so finding the right content creators, distribution partners, and channels is crucial to driving visitation.
Effective storytelling requires the right content and the right distribution channels
Throughout the summit, the storyline was clear—when it comes to destination marketing, content continues to be king, and it is even more effective when it tells an actual story of the destination. Video storytelling on TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and especially video streaming platforms continues to drive interest and engagement with travelers throughout their planning journey. And as it turns out – consumers are in an “always-on” trip planning mindset, saving articles, images, and videos, liking posts, and commenting on stories of the destinations they are most excited to visit.
For destinations, the key is that the story goes beyond showing happy faces in beautiful places; it requires an emotional connection that connects people to the lifestyle and community of the destination. To create engaging content, destinations need to focus on telling stories that highlight the unique features of the destination, including its people and culture. Finding the right content distribution partners on digital and traditional channels helps to extend the reach and impact of these stories and amplifies the connection to travelers during trip planning.
A connection to community fosters personalized experiences
A continued connection and partnership with the local community is key for destinations. DMOs must showcase what community partners offer, leading to more personalized discovery for visitors. People and culture are currently the top reasons why visitors are interested in many destinations, ahead of specific products. Therefore, media strategy and buying professionals must focus on highlighting a destination's unique features to create personalized experiences for travelers. Community engagement and listening to community feedback are more important than ever in this environment. Over-tourism is a real problem (for some destinations) that can impact the sustainability of a destination. Therefore, tourism teams need to focus on being good stewards of the destination, going beyond marketing and management, and engaging with the local community.
Representation in destination marketing matters
Diversity, accessibility, and inclusion have become crucial for new product developments and are equally important to consider when promoting destinations to all types of locals and travelers. Marketing and media strategists need to be mindful of representation; developing bespoke creative that addresses the interests of diverse groups will drive deeper connections between travelers and your destination.
In the re-emergence of travel as a booming industry post-pandemic, destination marketers need to continue to be creative - test new strategies, repurpose ideas, concepts, and formats, and work with partners to create effective marketing and messaging strategies across all formats and channels. Collaborating with mar-tech partners can help build resilience and agility for destination organizations that continue to rebuild teams and manage changing budgets/priorities.
To learn how VDX.tv can help your destination deliver impactful, video-driven experiences during your next ad campaign, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.