During his keynote, Laurie, guided us through how local ambassadors and influencers can help us tell our brand story.
Local ambassadors, which can be seen as micro-influencers can work with macro-influencers to create content and help push the brand story. Laurie explained that locals have insider knowledge, which is what tourists are usually most interested in when visiting a destination, as people buy the experiences and memories, not products, when travelling.
During his keynote, Laurie Dempster, from Newfoundland and Labrador, guided us through how local ambassadors and influencers can help us tell our brand story.
Local ambassadors, which can be seen as micro-influencers can work with macro-influencers to create content and help push the brand story. Laurie explained that locals have insider knowledge, which is what tourists are usually most interested in when visiting a destination, as people buy the experiences and memories, not products, when travelling. He highlighted that influencers have the ability to provide value for people by helping them understand the destination.
What can we do to attract attention on Instagram?
Laurie explained there are a number of things that a destination can do to expand their following, increase engagement, reach their secondary markets, build awareness and learn best practices. He mentioned that using a unique hashtag for the destination can be helpful, as it can help collect user-generated content that can later help to fill content gaps. In addition, he stressed the importance of having a network of engaged local ambassadors, and the potential that creating campaign pages for individual tours poses to further support the work from influencers.
This model started off being based on their collaboration with macro-ambassadors, which helped them to create content on a large scale for large audiences. Their model has since then progressed to one with three different channels: macro-influencers, micro-influencers, who provide insider knowledge from the local residents; and owned content. Laurie explained they created an interactive map for travellers to see the areas that influencers create content about to attract more interest from prospect travellers.
He then guided us through the page of one of their projects: https://explorerswanted.ca/. After giving us insights about it, he explained that positive word of mouth leads to travel booking, and emphasised that digital tools allow influencers to share their experiences and generate this WOM.
Once his short film ended, Nick and Laura jumped into a conversation with Laurie to explore more details about what they do.
How have things moved forward?
Laurie explained that storytelling is key for them to differentiate themselves as a destination, because it is the people and the culture of the place what make it unique. He also highlighted that destination marketing has changed very quickly due to the impact of social media, which calls for the creation of immersive and experiential content to stand out. Furthermore, he mentioned the importance of being emotionally invested in customers and customising content for them by means of establishing relationships with them.
What is coming up in your strategy?
They will continue to build on their current objectives and to engage with the locals to build those relationships which they deem so important by means of completing their marketing puzzle.
1. It is crucial to be aware of who your audiences are and to establish partnerships to reach all of them appropriately.
2. Staying true to the destination's essence through the content used for marketing purposes will attract the right travellers.
Born in a meadow next to Iceberg Alley, and just like those icebergs, he is 90% more interesting beneath the surface.