Terrence Voon's Photo
Terrence Voon


DMO Stories

Terrence Voon, Director, Digital and Content, at Singapore Tourism will be joining us on stage at #DTTT Campus on the 20th and 21st of September in Jersey. Terrence will be talking about how they made a shift in brand stories and content marketing. If you haven't done it yet, make sure you secure your place to #DTTT Campus!

Please introduce yourself and your organisation

I’m Terrence Voon, the Director for Digital and Content at the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), which champions the development of Singapore’s tourism sector and the promotion of Singapore as a destination. My job is to help tell a great Singapore story across our digital touchpoints and ensure that our content inspires our target audiences to visit Singapore.

What is the biggest content marketing challenge for Singapore Tourism?

Getting the right content in front of the right audience at the right time. We know that there is too much content out there, that the consumer journey in travel is complex and competitive. The key is to continually enhance our understanding of the consumer, gather actionable insights, and tailor our content and channel strategy to drive engagement and consideration of Singapore as a destination.

What is Singapore's biggest opportunity with content?

Without a doubt, it’s advocacy. We welcomed over 17 million visitors to Singapore last year, and each one of them is potentially a powerful advocate for our destination and our brand. Word-of-mouth is still gold, especially in the travel context, and the challenge is to figure out how to grow that in an organic way, and leverage it in an always-on manner.

How did Singapore Tourism make a shift to its brand?

We launched our new brand 'Passion Made Possible' in August last year – the first unified tourism and business brand for Singapore. It was premised on what our country stands for, as well as the spirit of our people.

For tourism, we feel the brand gives us a great platform to tell many stories about Singapore and our people, and allows us to build a stronger emotional connection with our audiences, and create affinity with consumers who may not even be thinking about travelling.

Passion Made Possible is a brand that positions Singapore as a place where passions meet and are made possible. We exhort our visitors to discover their interests, and deepen and share their passions in our country, whatever these may be. This shift – from ‘what we can offer you’ to ‘who we are’ – will give us a better chance in standing out in an increasingly competitive destination marketing landscape.

As an organisation, what content strategy do you follow and why?

Having a great brand that gives us a launchpad to tell the Singapore story through a global campaign is the first step. The next is to build upon that story and create more content around what we call ‘passion points’ or ‘tribes’. We identified seven of these tribes, which include foodies, collectors (shopping), explorers, action seekers and more. The idea is to continuously create content around these areas, with the message that you can come to Singapore to indulge and deepen your passions – and create new possibilities for yourself.

What shift has Singapore Tourism undergone to focus more on local stories and experiences?

People often see Singapore as a business city – safe, efficient and maybe just a little boring. We needed to counter these perceptions, which led to our new brand. This was the big shift, as we need a strong positioning that allows us to share stories about our people, our passions and the authentic local experiences we have to offer. As a result, our content has shifted from simply saying ‘this is what you can do’, to ‘this is who you can be’ in Singapore. Travel is no longer about checking off a laundry list of things to do. It must be emotive, immersive and transformational, and our content has to reflect that.

How do you identify and work with local ambassadors?

We call them Passion Ambassadors. The idea is that each ‘tribe’ which I spoke about earlier comprises of people who made their passions possible in Singapore. In selecting these ambassadors, we looked at a variety of factors, such as their fit with the brand, whether they had a compelling story to tell, as well as how accomplished they were in their respective fields.

How do these take shape on your website and communication across media?

We created a range of Passion Ambassador content for every platform – from online films and Instagram Stories to web editorials and itineraries curated by them. We also activated them globally, pairing them up with in-market personalities such as singers, bloggers and artists to create localised content and events, in areas such as food, art and entertainment. In short, they were integrated in every aspect of our communications, from owned and paid channels to PR efforts. If a visitor were to come to Singapore, they would even see out-of-home media at key tourist belts featuring our ambassadors.

What would you say are some key learnings from working with content?

Less is actually more. One pitfall that often afflicts destination marketers is to inundate our target audience – and we see that in bloated websites, cluttered social media calendars and A to Z guides that actually hinder our visitors, not help them. Focusing on the user journey, recognising the different roles that your content has to play at different junctures, and adding value to their trip planning process is key.

What will attendees be able to take away from your talk?

Actionable tips on how to create the right content at the right time, at scale and at speed. I will share our real-life experiences on what worked for us, from the smallest tweaks to fundamental shifts in content strategy and development that we are making.

What excites you the most about our 2018 Content | Campus?

Learning (and commiserating) with other destination marketers. Our business is unique in itself, and it is rare for us to get us in the same room to trade ideas, learnings and war stories. Can’t wait.


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