Emerging Digital Content Trends for 2024

In this Roundtable, we discussed the major developments happening right now and how technology will define brand experiences in the coming years.

In this Roundtable, we discussed the major developments happening right now, how technology will define brand experiences in the coming years and we looked at the impact of some of the most exciting happenings by inviting everybody around the table to share their first hand experiences, pilots and prototypes as well as their views on technologies likely to be most disruptive in 2024.

In this Roundtable, we discussed the major developments happening right now, how technology will define brand experiences in the coming years and we looked at the impact of some of the most exciting happenings by inviting everybody around the table to share their first hand experiences, pilots and prototypes as well as their views on technologies likely to be most disruptive in 2024.

In this Roundtable, we discussed the major developments happening right now, how technology will define brand experiences in the coming years and we looked at the impact of some of the most exciting happenings by inviting everybody around the table to share their first hand experiences, pilots and prototypes as well as their views on technologies likely to be most disruptive in 2024.

Here's a recap of the ideas and insights shared:

Nick shared the DTTT's latest research of approximately 300 DMOs, showing that search, web traffic and social media (especially Facebook and Instagram) are still seen as the most important marketing channels. Nevertheless, emerging channels are prominent in discussions about the future of marketing.

Smålands Turism mentioned that Google ads performed strongly during their domestic summer campaigns over the past two years and they plan to invest more in this channel. The DMO was amongst the first regions in Sweden to use TikTok last summer and has seen good results. The positive outcomes of the test mean the DMO sees the potential to use the channel more in the future. To advertise through TikTok, it is extremely important to adjust content specifically for TikTok users. In contrast to other social media platforms, TikTok needs to have the hook at the beginning of the video; not in the middle, meaning that there is less scope for scene setting at the start of videos. Using TikTok requires a shift in mindsets and an emphasis on showing fun and enjoyment.

Smålands ran their summer marketing campaign from the end of May to the end of August with posts on their account and adverts. They collaborated with influencers who shared the posts. The hardest element of working with TikTok is the need to produce lots of content. There wasn't sufficient time to produce enough content before the summer holidays, partly because the budget was allocated late. Otherwise, content would have been posted more frequently.

This is Athens shared how TikTok was a hot topic for the DMO. Their content marketers love the platform, but when determining the marketing strategy and identifying how to create engaging and enjoyable content, the DMO decided not to invest in the platform. All content is produced internally and the DMO recognised that it lacked the capacity to produce sufficient content for the platform and keep audiences engaged as they had aspired to produce content that had the potential to go viral. TikTok takes away from the usual content production approach and needs a unique perspective. This is Athens had conversations with a university about their final year media students producing content for the DMO, but politics has slowed down the process.

Marketing Greece joined TikTok last year as they realised the benefits of having a presence on new social media channels. They opted for the strategy of making small adjustments to Instagram Reels content and posting them on TikTok. However, it was realised that a TikTok-first strategy is needed, emphasising fun through memes and stickers. Inspiring content on its own doesn't work on TikTok. Marketing Greece identified that the paid media strategy works better on TikTok than other social channels as it's cheaper. The DMO doesn't know how effective TikTok's targeting is, but recognises the importance of being seen by a younger audience who are the travellers of the future.

This is Athens emphasised how TikTok is a trending platform and people talk about the content they see.

Smålands Turism highlighted how families are a target audience for the destination. In Sweden, children have a big influence on destination choice.

Visit Norway explained how there is a need to better understand TikTok as a channel as people view thousands of videos every day. The DMO has a Tiktok account, but do not believe they are using it in the proper way as TikTok requires dedicated resources to understand the platform and the message that should be shared, not just videos and photos.

Cape Town Tourism has been on TikTok for a year and a half, gaining 78,000 followers on TikTok. They launched their account with an international campaign (Find your Freedom), which TikTok said performed well, but without a benchmark to compare performance it is difficult to quantify success. The DMO creates content internally, with Gen Z employees looking after TikTok and Millennials looking after Instagram, with cross-collaboration among their team. Cape Town Tourism identified that serialised content works well on TikTok, with content posted in parts. To do this, longer Instagram content is edited down to snippets for TikTok. The DMO researches TikTok trends (e.g. sounds and music for overlaying content) to maximise video performance. TikTok is a brutal and unpredictable platform and getting engagement is a challenge. Therefore, experimentation and regular posting are important, with the DMO posting twice a day. It is advised to take comments as they are and not to feel pressured into trying to respond to everything.

Nick shared how Ryanair is great example for how to use TikTok as they play with their image of being a cheap airline.

Smålands Turism highlighted the importance of honesty in communication.

Cape Town Tourism shared how TikTok is becoming more important for searching for information due to the abundance of raw, unedited and unfiltered content.

Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism referenced the ban on TikTok by many North American governments and the difficulty in considering a strategy when employees can't download the platform onto their phones. The political environment makes it difficult to compete on the channel, especially as the content would likely just be repackaged vertical videos from Instagram Reels meaning that TikTok is not seen as a priority. With the DMO's target audience being an older demographic, it becomes even harder to justify allocating budget to enter the channel.

Visit Tallinn shared that they have a TikTok account, but are also not actively using it as the city might ban TikTok on government employees' phones. YouTube Shorts is seen as a good alternative to direct people to longer videos and has shown positive results.

Fáilte Ireland also highlighted that TikTok is banned on government phones in Ireland and that the DMO's marketing employees needed to obtain special permission to allow them to access and post on the platform. Their TikTok content is also posted directly onto YouTube Shorts.

Visit Norway mentioned that their content on Instagram Reels shows strong performance and YouTube content is one of the best new channels that they're entering.

Nick explained that in recent research, YouTube was ranked as a low priority in Europe and high in the US. SEO, social channels, search, programatic display and influencer marketing are viewed as equally important, with digital publisher partnerships lower down. He emphasises that in-game advertising and connected TV (where video content can be accessed through TV apps) are seen as less important and that the majority of DMOs haven't seen many opportunities emerging over the past few years. However, Brand USA and California have their own apps with huge playlists of their own video content and advertising opportunities. Meanwhile, smaller destinations can use TV partnerships with platforms such as Samsung TV, which has almost 5,000 channels.

Sojern highlighted how connected TV is broad in terms of how it can be used; either through bespoke content or videos shared through programmatic campaigns. The technique is seen as a trend, especially among airlines and hotels, but it is on the rise in US destinations.

None of the roundtable participants are using connected TV, highlighting the cultural differences between marketing techniques in Europe and the US.


Nick shared how AI tools are being used for search. While the goal of SEO is to appear highly on search results and bring direct traffic through functional (hygiene) content, with AI this will potentially become less important. There is concern about the rise of native answers within Google.

The Austrian National Tourist Office believes that search will die. As a countermeasure, the DMO has ensured that its AI gets data from trustworthy sources and launched a project with the nine federal states to ensure data quality and accurate answers. They have seen an increase in usage and provide ratings for the content written by the federal states based on what information has been used to answer questions, sharing daily statistics. It took three months to train the generative AI model to create lots of structured data and ensure that the unstructured data accessed by the AI tool is accurate. The DMO created the Austrian Tourism Data Space, with the nine federal states having their own data hubs in the platform. Open data is provided to the partners, including the search queries, keywords and ranking of content pages based on generative AI use.

Aruba Tourism Authority shared rumours that Google will launch an AI search hub in the US, which will then be rolled out in Europe. Google is attempting to protect its position and it is believed that search will remain important, but in a new form supported by Google's AI tool. Meanwhile, searching through social media will become increasingly important.

Smålands Turism also shared a rumour that Google will completely change their search engine to require companies to share open data to benefit from strong SEO rankings.

Nick highlighted the move to structured data and having better management over the databases that power websites. He highlights Visit Norway's headless CMS meaning that the website is one channel that the CMS is serving. It's important to think about the granularity of tags so that they are appropriate for every interface.

The Austrian National Tourist Office highlighted the importance of understanding the user interface. For example, people might wear Airpods and search with their voice through an AI assistant. Consumers will visit websites or be directed to them through their preferred user interface. This requires a shift so that DMOs can serve any interface.

Fáilte Ireland explained how younger demographics have already shifted towards voice search, with phones an important part of their daily lives. As a state agency sharing open data is essential, with the DMO also using a headless CMS.

Visit Norway identified that there are still lots of questions about AI search, including how content ranks and the level of trust in the results generated. ChatGPT picks up data without thought and highly ranks some inaccurate information. Therefore, there is a need to understand the training of the language model. AI is good at answering practical questions but inspirational and in-depth content is not delivered well, with storytelling often missing.

X (Twitter)

Nick mentioned that X (Twitter) is ranked poorly in the research. Brand safety is an important topic as brands desert a channel because of controversy or negative images associated with a channel.

Fáilte Ireland announced that they are leaving X as the platform is not seen as bringing a benefit, while employees are spending time managing the platform. They will keep their Discover Ireland account, but are getting rid of their other channels. The latest controversy has helped to justify the argument to leave the platform and allocate marketing budgets more effectively through other channels.

The Croatian National Tourism Board highlighted how they use real-time communication when attempting to engage people and Twitter helps to trigger conversations during events.

Visit Norway mentioned that Twitter is still a valuable platform for the MICE sector and B2B as many businesses also have accounts on the platform.


Nick shared how YouTube needs a big investment as a platform to gain subscribers and build a genuine audience. Those DMOs that are investing need to make the platform central to their strategy due to the significant budget allocated to managing this channel.

Skyscanner shared that marketing through YouTube is new for the company. They have started testing the platform with a few DMO partners and will put more emphasis on the channel next year. Google and Skyscanner have partnered to share data and ensure they are targeting consumers at the right time and in the right place. YouTube is the perfect platform for distributing longer-form content and generating action, with the company wanting to direct users to the Skyscanner website. The company sees the importance of taking a holistic approach and maximising investment in long-form content by splitting videos into shorter snippets for social media. DMOs are spending lots of money to encourage consumers to view their YouTube content. The platform requires high subscriber volumes to generate a return on investment, but there needs to be a clear reason for consumers to subscribe to a channel. For DMOs the focus is on ads to generate traction with their content. Long-form to short-form content has lots of potential to repurpose material and reduce the volume of filming across the two content formats. However, questions still remain when considering how to create the right hook when repurposing a YouTube video for social channels to ensure the correct tone of voice across each platform.

Visit Norway shared how they are focusing on long-form YouTube content, which is cut down and used for Instagram and Facebook. They see this as an effective approach to creating content that people want.

Skyscanner mentioned how KPIs differentiate between channels and that there is a need to set KPIs per channel.

Cape Town Tourism explained that TikTok counts all views, even those when someone is just scrolling past content, and is expensive as an ad platform. This raises the question of how to trust the figures shared and measure success. DMOs need to determine their views of what success looks like before initiating a campaign to avoid metrics being used as a vanity tool and not measure conversion.

This is Athens shared how YouTube ads are successful in terms of viewer numbers and that the platform is one of the most expensive for ads. People don't notice ads or skip after six seconds and the DMO believes that YouTube ads bother consumers more than creating valuable content since they are motivated to watch other video content.

Fáilte Ireland explained that there are two sides to YouTube and that their focus is on organic content. The media advertising team is in charge of broadcast, while the marketing team is focused on digital marketing to make sure that the right content is on YouTube and to leverage the fact that the platform is the second biggest search engine in the world

This is Athens explained that YouTube acts as a library of content, but subscribers isn't a valuable metric for the platform and there is a need to understand why people want to subscribe to channels.

Visit Tallinn shares how vloggers give a face to the channel, with influencers sharing about the city from their own points of view. This necessitates strategic planning but giving some leeway to influencers to share their emotions, meaning content development and filming can't be planned too rigidly. The campaign was extremely successful in the Swedish market and used three vlogs focused on the old town, Michelin-star restaurants and shopping. Food was the most successful theme, with over 90% view-through rate despite the video being over 20 mins. Even if YouTube videos don't directly lead to conversions, people are still inspired by the destination.

Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism highlighted how YouTube is an important channel, especially when looking at the horizon. He highlighted that Google doesn't do everything right. Google invested heavily into Google Stories two years ago and got DMOs excited. However, the rollout in the US wasn't successful and all efforts were then pushed into YouTube Shorts. On the YouTube app, short-form vertical content is strongly pushed and is the first thing viewers see. Most DMOs already have a vertical video strategy, which makes it easy to compete on the platform and to use existing content from their content libraries. With Google's large reach, there are lots of places to service the content, with YouTube Shorts to start appearing on Google Maps.

This is Athens shared Google's plan to display YouTube Shorts on search results for destinations. The DMO shared tailor-made videos, but the feature has not been launched yet. This demonstrates how Google sees the strong importance of short-form content in consumer searches.

Visit Norway shares how image and video search is becoming more important.


Nick shares that AI can be seen as an assistant to marketing teams and poses the question of how AI can shape stories online. DMOs see AI as having the biggest impact on predictive analysis and content creation.

Marketing Greece outlined concerns around finding authentic information about the destination when using AI. To create authentic stories, especially those related to sustainability values, locals know best. The DMO chooses to collaborate with the tourism industry, local communities and public authorities to obtain accurate information about Greek destinations. The DMO shared that they only use AI tools to get feedback and extra ideas when writing briefs or travel articles. Writing good prompts is essential to effectively use AI and the technology gave useful feedback for fine-tuning the stops of a self-guided tour developed by the DMO. Marketing Greece has also tested DALL·E and other visual AI tools, but the assets generated have not been used for consumer campaigns as they need to be authentic and honest. The DMO hasn't tried text-to-video AI tools (e.g. Runway), but they believe that AI visual content is not effective.

Visit Greenland shared that the DMO recently ran a campaign called Authentic Intelligence vs Artificial Intelligence. The DMO emphasised how local knowledge is important for tourists, especially when considering geographical considerations for itinerary planning. However, as the DMO uses external writers, AI tools are used to improve the legibility of written content. ChatGPT has been used to create text faster and bring a different perspective. AI can be an enabler for DMO marketing teams.

Nick shared how strategies and travel content have defined structures meaning that there is potential for AI to learn how to write these types of content.

The Aruba Tourism Authority hypothesised that free versions of ChatGPT are not accurate. However, paid versions give quality feedback and brand guidelines and segmentation data can be incorporated in the answers generated.  

Almost half of the roundtable participants have paid for AI tools.

The Austrian National Tourist Office shared how they developed Company GPT for the tourism industry. The organisation hosted in Frankfurt, with no data transfer outside of the EU. The DMO created a prompt design canvas to advise the sector about how to write good prompts. Prompt libraries can be shared internally with different prompt guidelines for different tasks. There is an ambition to create a synthetic customer to pretest campaigns so that the programme could respond to the behaviour of different target groups and optimise the effectiveness of campaigns.

Nick shared how there is an abundance of use cases of AI, with the tool being a great time saver across a wide range of tasks, with each organisation having a different entry point.

AppleVision Pro

Nick shared that while VR and AR are used in specific cases, there is potential for a broader scope. The Apple VisionPro is likely to be a game-changer as XR becomes more important and disrupts the market as devices become cheaper.

The Aruba Tourism Authority shared its two targets of attracting tourists and increasing visitor spend. XR is seen as a value-adder that captures visitors' attention and helps to encourage them to spend more.

This is Athens mentioned that they have discussed XR with a couple of development companies. However, the concept is viewed as abstract due to the lack of real-life use cases, preventing the necessary mindset shift to invest in this new technology within the tourism sector.

Visit Greenland mentioned Meta Quest 3 as a cheaper version of XR technology. Using hand gestures to simplify user experiences, the technology is seen as a product that the industry should seriously consider implementing, especially given the attention given to the technology on TikTok. Using XR will gamify the travel experience to improve visitor experiences.

This is Athens shared a rumour that Katy Perry filmed an extra gig for Apple's VisionPro launch and that the potential of XR is likely to be seen from musical performances.

Nick shared that there is great potential at a product level to improve experiences. However, with improved affordability of devices, it might become a game-changer to create top-of-funnel inspiration beyond niche uses. With the iPhone 15 having a 3D camera, it is already possible for destinations to create content for these devices.

To summarise these are our key takeaways we picked out from the EmergingDigital Content for 2024.

Key Takeaways

  • While TikTok is a popular channel, it requires a completely different approach for DMOs. Content needs to start with the hook and showcase fun and humour; not just inspirational visuals. Such an approach necessitates the production of lots of content, making it a resource-intensive channel. Serialised content works well, but experimentation is essential for creating a viral video. This is supported by using data about the trends on the platform to maximise the potential reach of content. Despite these challenges, having a presence on the channel helps to position the brand of each destination in the minds of younger travellers and therefore has a long-term benefit in terms of destination awareness, while it also can be influential for family trips. Nevertheless, the ban on the platform by many governments presents bureaucratic challenges for DMOs in getting approval to use the platform, with YouTube Shorts seen as a strong alternative.
  • YouTube Shorts benefit from Google's strong reach, with this format likely to be incorporated more extensively into the consumer search process. As the world's second-largest search engine, YouTube content inspires visitors and makes the investment in content development worthwhile. Generating subscribers is not seen as an effective strategy. Instead, the opportunity is in the form of ads, despite being expensive and alongside concerns that viewers won't be in the right frame of mind to be receptive to them. Nevertheless, long-form videos can be repurposed into shorter snippets to be shared across other social channels.
  • Twitter is seen as a platform that remains relevant for the MICE sector and for generating conversations during major events. However, concerns around brand safety have also deterred some DMOs from the channel.
  • Overall, despite the importance of social media platforms, the variety of performance metrics used and the specific nuances of each channel means that DMOs need to specify different KPIs for each channel.
  • Marketers need to be ready to support visitors through every user interface, with AI an important tool to aid consumer searches. AI models must be provided with structured data from trustworthy sources. Nevertheless, AI is seen as helping users search for practical information, however, it doesn't help with driving inspiration. On the other hand, SEO will remain relevant, but will increasingly become supported by AI tools.
  • There are some authenticity concerns about using AI for marketing campaigns, with local knowledge deemed more important. However, AI does help to refine and improve content to make it more engaging. Meanwhile, paid AI tools are also viewed as being more accurate. Nevertheless, the benefits of AI are predicated on using well-worded prompts.
  • In general, there are some cultural differences between European and North American DMOs, notably in terms of their interest in connected TV as a marketing channel. This is seeing growth across the tourism sector in the US, while not seen as an opportunity within Europe.
  • An opportunity to increase the value of tourism is presented by XR, with gamification improving visitor experiences. However, as an abstract concept with few real-life applications, the tourism sector is not currently ready to invest in this technology.
Published on:
December 2023
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