The importance of social media as a digital marketing tool is now acknowledged by diverse industries all over the world. But it has been especially valuable to the tourism industry in particular. The ability to convey ideas, material and an overall impression of a destination or travel-related product via social media has offered the tourism industry something that other forms of media simply haven’t been capable of providing.
And with the wealth of social media sites now available, there is always a wide variety of different opportunities available for digital marketers. In particular, tourism marketing is extremely well suited to visual forms of social media, in which absorbing pictorial and video marketing can be transmitted to consumers on a mass scale.
Can Do in Christchurch
Thus, it is not surprising that New Zealand tourism officials have recently turned to Instagram in order to showcase the region of Christchurch. Instagram is one of the fastest growing social media sites in the world, and is particularly popular with the key millenial demographic.
This social media platform which enables users to share photographs and captions with Instagram users from all over the world has really captured the imagination of people in the last couple of years. And this latest campaign to boost tourism in Christchurch aims to use the particular qualities of Instagram to its fullest potential.
Personnel from the New Zealand tourist board have recently become bloggers and Instagramers in a digital campaign which is particularly aimed at Australians. The message behind this marketing push is to entice Australians to cross the Tasman and spend a winter weekend in Christchurch and Canterbury; two important cities in neighbouring New Zealand.
In order to promote this idea, the South Island region has launched a month-long ‘Can Do in Canterbury’ campaign using imagery from social sites. This project particularly illustrates the unique experiences which are available in Christchurch and Canterbury by utilising videos and images from bloggers and Instagramers who have recently visited this attractive region of New Zealand.
This campaign is yet another example of something which the Digital Tourism Think Tank has reported on previously on numerous occasions. It is becoming increasingly valuable, and indeed important, to utilise authentic content produced by bloggers and other genuine local voices in order to convey something about a region that outsiders may not inherently understand, or even be aware of.
And communicating these views via social media is particularly effective due to the interactive platform that it presents. Increasingly, digital marketers in the tourism industry are moving away from traditional methods of merely promoting a region, and producing absorbing and genuinely interesting content which focuses on authentic human experiences and content.
Thus, the New Zealand tourist board is also engaging in a facet of marketing which is always advisable; they are offering people something of real value. As part of this overall campaign, a competition will be held which offers the opportunity to win a weekend in Canterbury with two $500 Jetstar vouchers and a five-day car hire. This is exactly the sort of eye-catching opportunity which will really capture the imagination of potential tourists.
Additionally, the New Zealand tourist board has utilised a very wise format for this competition which enables them to generate yet more content for their future campaigns. People intending to enter the competition are requested to describe in 150 words what activities they would engage in during their short break in Canterbury. Thus, the DMO can publish selected content from this competition as a means of promoting all of the exciting activities one can indulge in while staying in the region. This is effectively marketing for free, and also authentic marketing into the bargain.
Finally, once a winning entry has been selected, the plan of the tourist board is to then transform this into a personalised speed reading video. This will then be published throughout the tourism board's social media channels, thus creating yet more absorbing and interesting content for potential travellers and tourists.
To underline the importance of plurality in social media platforms, the Christchurch campaign is also being distributed among several different social media sites. Thus, Can Do in Canterbury will include YouTube pre-rolls, paid advertising on Instagram and Facebook and placement across the Google and Yahoo networks. No stone must be left unturned in modern social media marketing and advertising.
The Can Do in Canterbury campaign provides an interesting and informative example of how to market to tourists without seeming pushy or intrusive. Increasingly, it is valuable to market tourism via social media platforms, but in such a way as the audience feels as if they are participating in an enjoyable process, rather than being passive observers of general hectoring.
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