Eva Kwiecinska is the Senior Marketing Manager, responsible for all content at VisitScotland, Scotland’s National Tourist Board. She will join us on stage at #DTTTGlobal on 30th November and 1st December in Brussels, presenting on 'Shifting to Publisher: How VisitScotland are redefining their role'. We caught up with Eva to learn more about VisitScotland's changes and new process to content creation and distribution.
Biggest Challenge in digital, marketing, transformation or innovation
One of the biggest challenges that we currently find surround the successful identification and subsequent maintenance of the digital roadmap that the organisation requires. Keeping abreast of trends and technological innovation requires massive investment in both staff and technology and we strive to deliver on a basis of a combination of internal resources and external expertise. Other challenges include ensuring that all of our marketing efforts can be effectively measured in terms of data and conversion in terms of ROI. It is an ongoing programme of combining science with art – data insights and returns combined with inspiring and innovative content assets designed to inform and capture imagination to inspire to book.
Biggest opportunity in digital marketing
The biggest opportunities that we have in digital marketing are around the innovative approach that we take to multimedia content. We have a wealth of dramatic scenery and locations across Scotland, which when coupled with content topics which are truly unique to Scotland, allow for the true creativity that exists in the team to shine through. We can use innovative approaches to interactive videos and VR, for example, to be able to create content that other digital publishing houses see the value in and allows for a much wider promotional pool than before.
Changes made to transform the entire approach to digital
We have invested a great deal with Multimedia. From drone equipment to the combining of talents within video production, imagery and illustration, we have adapted processes and in-house resources to be able to react to real-time opportunities that we can promote through social specific channels at a minimum investment for outside resource.
Shifting to Publisher and redefining the role as a destination
The latest partnership venture that we have created this year has been with the International review site, TripAdvisor. This activity has seen content created and distributed through the TripAdvisor website based on visitors search and demand for regional and national content. We are able to track all industry referrals – a key KPI for VisitScotland – and demonstrate new bookings on a daily basis – both accommodation and attractions. It has massively redefined our role as a destination as we strive to promote our content to rented third party sites with demonstrable value instead of solely relying on our owned website with complementary digital advertising.
Impact on Content Approach and Communication
The biggest impact has been surrounding reporting and the actual data with new bookings that we can demonstrate and prove. Out with these types of publishing partnerships, we are free to create bespoke content assets that are specifically designed to be consumed and shared across multiple channels and housed in a variety of destinations. This way we can also monitor content consumption in terms of time and pages through targeting our digital personas. This approach to communication and through the investment that we have made internally to the team means that one asset can now have multiple edits and distribution points, all managed in-house and in real-time.
The VisitScotland marketing offering is still split between Global Brand – focusing on raising awareness through advertising and PR targeted trips – and Content Marketing – focusing on providing the content that drives inspiration, information, and ultimately bookings. Marketing to consumers is split into each audience through in-depth digital persona activity and all communication is created based on these insights and through the media, partner opportunities and lifestyles they consume.
Building an in-house content and digital team
The team is split across the content strengths of copywriting, videography, imagery and outreach. In addition to these skill sets, there are members of the team whose main remit is product knowledge and stakeholder management of key industry regions and bodies to ensure the effective communication between VisitScotland and partners. When combined together, the content offering is stronger than standalone agencies. The continuous enhancing of training and development, as well as ‘trying out new approaches’ to content creation and display has allowed for a fluid team that can grow together and a wider knowledge across all of the team, regardless of expertise in one particular area and field.
Changes and Impact on Activities
The main changes have been in terms of approach to the structure in skill sets and how we have then adapted these to best deliver projects and campaigns with the support of our digital agency. Whereas before, we would have briefed on projects for the agency to deliver, we are now in the fortunate position of being to work with the agency as a true additional arm of the internal team. From initial ideas and external storyboarding to internal copy creation and external digital design focusing entirely on the marketing piece, to external videography and internal editing and graphics and illustration; each brief and budget is now split to maximise the available budget for additional projects. It has proven to be an extremely cost effective approach that out with budgets, allows for all of the team – internal and external – to remain creative and enthused for all projects.
Campaigns and Projects
This is a very exciting year for the Content Team at VisitScotland. We are exploring new and exciting initiatives to target Millennials to visit Scotland – a market that we have not aggressively targeted previously. Working with our colleagues in Global Brand, we have teamed up with a digital tv channel to create a destination first for programmatic content that follows 6 ‘casted’ Millennials on a week-long tour of Scotland, experiencing the very best we, as a destination, have to offer. In addition to the ongoing Trip Advisor project, we are also working with other agencies to deliver the next in our Themed Years – the Year of Young People. This initiative will see a fresh approach to enticing the ‘visitors of tomorrow’ to Scotland, as well as showcasing the range of outdoor activities on offer in Scotland, as well as digital technology. In addition to this, we are continuing to focus on our ‘evergreen’ content within visitscotland.com and beyond that allows us to create and distribute more of the innovative offerings from before – such as the interactive ceilidh series, 360 Munro Bagging and more.
Why should your Talk at #DTTTGlobal not be missed?
Put very simply, the talk will highlight the process that VisitScotland has gone through to create this unique structure in content creation, and the creative and innovative outputs of content assets that this allows. The creative examples that will be presented will also demonstrate how creativity does not need to be an expensive route with a true split of skill sets between internal and external resources.
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