Stage 6. Content & Engagement

A deep strategic planning Methodology to draft, build and nurture the right content approach around the brand.

In a digital world, your destination brand hinges on incredible content at every stage of the visitor cycle.

In a digital world, your destination brand hinges on incredible content at every stage of the visitor cycle. From creating top-of-funnel awareness and inspiration through to generating word of mouth and repeated visits to the destination, content plays a key role and as a DMO you should act as coordinator for the creation of content.

Great content needs a deep strategic planning methodology to craft, build and nurture the right approach around the brand, targeting the right audience through the right channels, hence selecting the right content for the campaigns that will drive the action along with each phase of the visitor cycle.

In this course of the Transformation Series, we will cover the topic of content and engagement, one of the most important aspects of destination marketing. We will start from the definition of a few fundamental concepts that you need to know if you are involved in content marketing and we will explain the basics of content such as Hero, Hub, Hygiene, Storytelling and Always-on content.

We will provide some guidelines on how to carry out a content review, which is necessary to assess existing content, understand what can be repurposed in the future and where there may be gaps or room for improvement.

Since the variety of content is broad and every DMO creates content differently, in this report you will find a selection of more than 50 examples of great content in destination marketing divided by categories, such as interactive, influencers, Instagram, video, user-generated content, partnerships, and more.

In this course, you will...

  • Be able to conduct a content review on your own
  • Understand the fundamental concepts of content like the difference between hero hub hygiene and more.
  • Explore plenty of freshly produced content from the most innovative DMOs
  • Run Sprints and build your own strategies with a pack of Templates that will help you in the creation of content.

We also provide examples from our Case Studies and Talks of

  • Geneva Tourism
  • Visit California
  • Montreux Riviera
  • Brand USA
  • Switzerland Tourism
  • Visit Jersey
  • Australia Tourism
  • San Diego Tourism
  • Beautiful Destinations

With this pack, you will be able to;

  • Start a full digital transformation of your DMO
  • Carry out your own content review
  • Take inspiration from freshly-produced DMO content
  • Use templates for your content strategy

Content and Engagement - Sprint

The first step in the creation of a content strategy is a brainstorming Sprint. Gather your whole team and use the Content & Engagement - Sprint template to map out content opportunities, weaknesses, needs and ideas for new content as well as brainstorming new themes and opportunities to create always-on content to increase engagement. Think about how to use user-generated content and how to collaborate with a pool of creatives and influencers to build engaging content around your destination.

Use the sticky notes or write directly on each section of the template to gather data and answer these questions:

Content Opportunities

How can you craft, build and nurture the right content approach around the brand? Which content and formats could be worked in a better way as an opportunity to promote your destination through the website, social media and videos?

Content Weaknesses

Which content on your current channels should be improved or changed? Which content works well for your current audience, and what content doesn't seem to be working so well to reach your audience.

Content Needs

What are the things needed for a content strategy change? Which are the right stories to be told to consumers? What is necessary to create great content for your destination and differentiate it as a destination?

Ideas: Stories, Content, Innovation

Brainstorm and come up with ideas for great and innovative content. What could be the focus of a great destination story? What innovative messages or formats could be used to describe yours as a great tourism destination? How can your destination be more expressive and innovative with its content approach and attract more visitors to the city?

Always-on content planning

How can you plan a long-term communication and content strategy for your channels? Which events and activities could be the starting point for planning an always-on content strategy? How could content related to seasonal events be covered throughout the year to keep the interest alive? In which way is it useful to involve influencers, journalists and other PR channels to create and share effective and interesting content in the long run?

User-generated content

How can you include user-generated content within your storytelling approach? How could you exploit UGC to always have fresh and innovative content for your destination?

Talent Network

How can you work with content creators and influencers to communicate your brand? Are there creatives that could promote and create appealing content for your destination? Do you have a clear mapping of the creatives you could work with or a creative pool you could tap into? Can you foster relationships with influencers who could help build and develop the brand? Do you have a clear view of who could be part of the brand storytelling?

Get started with the sprint 🏃🏾‍♀️

A sprint is a great way to rally all your teammates around a big idea or produce great results by concentrating the team on a specific need over a short period.

  1. Print the attached worksheet in large format (A1 is best!)
  2. Find a great communal space, such as the canteen, to stick it up (double-sided tape!)
  3. Invite team members to scribble their thoughts and ideas on the wall
  4. Organise a stand-up session, where several members can express their thoughts
  5. Take a snap, keep it posted or even better 'scan the wall' and digitise into Mural

You'll be pleased with the results when you get everyone thinking collectively.

The Fundamentals of Content: The role of the DMO

The Fundamentals of Content: Singapore and the in-house content team

The Fundamentals of Content: Visit Denmark's 365 content team

The Fundamentals of Content: Hero, Hub, Hygiene & Storytelling

The Fundamentals of Content: San Diego Always-on content

The Fundamentals of Content: Montreux Riviera content team

The Fundamentals of Content: Content Planning - Template

Planning content requires a structure to follow because the elements to take into consideration are multiple. It also requires a lot of teamwork and brainstorming. For this reason, we created a template that you can use with your team as a board to design and plan your content very specifically, based on the objectives for the promotion of your destination.

This mural will help you plan single or multiple pieces of content strategically, following 7 steps:

  1. Define the audience you are creating the content for. Use the personas you already created in your audience strategy or, if you don't have identified personas yet, use the template in the mural to create them.
  2. Identify the subject of your content. It can be an experience offered in your destination, an event, a place you want to describe or a theme you want to use to build content around.
  3. Identify the channels you want to use to distribute the content. Consider your personas before choosing the channels, remember each market segment has a preference for specific channels.
  4. Think about who could be the content creator for this specific piece. Can the content be created in-house? Should you ask content creators such as writers, video makers, influencers? Which technology should they use to create the content? Which costs does the technology imply for your DMO?
  5. Think about who will manage the production and distribution of content and if it should be a hero/hub/hygiene type of content.
  6. Set clear rules for the content creators. Tell them who they should speak to, what tone of voice they should use in line with the destination identity, what is or is not allowed.
  7. Finally draft an editorial plan for the content to create, deciding timings to distribute it and once more confirming the format, the audience and the channels you want to use.

The Fundaments of Content: Creators, not Influencers

The Fundaments of Content: Australia Tourism and the 5 tips to become great content managers

The Fundamentals of Content: Storytelling Strategies - Template

Storytelling is an integral part of digital marketing, crafting unique stories that match a destination's DNA and help to convey key messages and stories. Destinations around the world have to become masters of multimedia storytelling, developing stories and messages that work using a range of formats available to inspire, engage and evoke emotions in consumers. While this sounds quite straightforward, it is actually easier said than done.

With the wealth of information and stories already out there about competing destinations but also your own, DMOs often find themselves having to find new and innovative ways to cut through the noise. One way of achieving this is to employ a strategic approach to storytelling. Once an approach and direction to take is set, it is much easier to develop quality stories and implement storytelling methods to help destination content perform better and drive success.

This template provides you with a framework to follow to create a story around your content.

The Fundamentals of Content: Beautiful Destinations on social-first content

The Fundamentals of Content: Switzerland's Influencer Strategy

The Fundamentals of Content: User-Generated Content Strategy - Template

Consumer behaviour is changing quickly and so are content preferences. The destination landscape has seen a huge shift in the importance that user-generated content now plays when inspiring and informing consumers about a destination. User-generated content has quickly become a core aspect of working on social media for any destination. This was brought about by the new desire for experiences when on holiday rather than thinking to select a place to visit based on the destination. Consumers no longer want to feel like a tourist but consider themselves as travellers wanting to explore destinations authentically.

While destinations were long considered the absolute authority on all things relating to the destination, it is now content and information that is shared by peers that are most trusted. In addition to that, consumers are increasingly sharing their experiences in the destination on social media, aggregating a large amount of user content across social channels.

Getting your user-generated content strategy in order is, therefore, a big priority for any destination wanting to succeed in digital. While user-generated content is already a big driver in tourism and for decision-making, destinations must adopt a long-term strategy to incorporate, leverage and promote user-generated content throughout their channels and platforms. This also includes the destination website that is often still a stronghold of destination content rather than user-generated content which is preferred and drives more engagement.

Out latest template aims to help in making key decisions on how to leverage user-generated content as a destination.

Content Planning: Always-on / 365 Planning

Content Planning: Geneva Tourism on engaging visitors at every stage of the visitor cycle

Content Planning: How to make a content review

Content Planning: Developing Stories - Template

Developing stories is something that many content teams are spending significant time and resources to produce content for the destination website, blog and social media channels. However, with the wealth of destination information being available online, it is critical for destinations to think in line with what stories consumers are actually interested in, enabling the destination to stand out with its story-based content. This is often easier said than done, as destination ambassadors and your competitors are also communicating great stories online. So what is it that makes your destination unique, what are some of the authentic and untold stories that make your destination unique?

Developing Stories that Resonate

Our template is designed to provide a blank canvas for your team when developing stories. Think about how your destination could develop a story hub carefully considering what content and stories need to be developed and produced in the future. It is absolutely critical to interlink stories and thinks about where the stories will live on your website and social channels. Consider also how these stories can drive engagement and what stories are worth investing in.

The idea is to brainstorm ideas on what shareable moments and experiences have standout value in your destination. It is important to highlight those unique experiences, events or moments that you think are authentic to the destination and also unique when marketing these stories. While it is good to collect a range of story ideas, it is important to focus on quality rather than quantity when developing unique moments into stories. Outline how key moments can be developed into stories and how stories and experiences interlink. Once a story concept is mapped out, consider how you will market the stories and what you should consider when producing the story content. This is an important step, as you are considering all aspects of marketing the story, ensuring the story works for you and delivers results.

Content Planning: 365 Days of Storytelling - Template

Your DMO should focus on year-round storytelling, empowering the destination to engage key audiences year-round, contributing to the constant growth of the destination's content and social media performance. Good content that is shared and distributed year-round across channels can make a massive difference to your overall digital performance. Those destinations that are strategically planning content, taking into consideration brand aspects, shareability, working with influencers and partners can see it all coming together. For destinations, it is no longer a luxury to do storytelling, it is a must and has to be done right or it won't deliver the results your organisation is looking for.

To get started with filling in the framework, we have listed 5 components on the left-hand side that need to be worked through and space for 12 columns, representing 12 months. As we are halfway through the year already, we thought it is best not to box you in by naming each month. Feel free to get started planning your 12-month calendar or start planning for January 2020.

In a digital world, your destination brand hinges on incredible content at every stage of the visitor cycle.

In a digital world, your destination brand hinges on incredible content at every stage of the visitor cycle. From creating top-of-funnel awareness and inspiration through to generating word of mouth and repeated visits to the destination, content plays a key role and as a DMO you should act as coordinator for the creation of content.

Great content needs a deep strategic planning methodology to craft, build and nurture the right approach around the brand, targeting the right audience through the right channels, hence selecting the right content for the campaigns that will drive the action along with each phase of the visitor cycle.

In this course of the Transformation Series, we will cover the topic of content and engagement, one of the most important aspects of destination marketing. We will start from the definition of a few fundamental concepts that you need to know if you are involved in content marketing and we will explain the basics of content such as Hero, Hub, Hygiene, Storytelling and Always-on content.

We will provide some guidelines on how to carry out a content review, which is necessary to assess existing content, understand what can be repurposed in the future and where there may be gaps or room for improvement.

Since the variety of content is broad and every DMO creates content differently, in this report you will find a selection of more than 50 examples of great content in destination marketing divided by categories, such as interactive, influencers, Instagram, video, user-generated content, partnerships, and more.

In this course, you will...

  • Be able to conduct a content review on your own
  • Understand the fundamental concepts of content like the difference between hero hub hygiene and more.
  • Explore plenty of freshly produced content from the most innovative DMOs
  • Run Sprints and build your own strategies with a pack of Templates that will help you in the creation of content.

We also provide examples from our Case Studies and Talks of

  • Geneva Tourism
  • Visit California
  • Montreux Riviera
  • Brand USA
  • Switzerland Tourism
  • Visit Jersey
  • Australia Tourism
  • San Diego Tourism
  • Beautiful Destinations

With this pack, you will be able to;

  • Start a full digital transformation of your DMO
  • Carry out your own content review
  • Take inspiration from freshly-produced DMO content
  • Use templates for your content strategy

Content and Engagement - Sprint

The first step in the creation of a content strategy is a brainstorming Sprint. Gather your whole team and use the Content & Engagement - Sprint template to map out content opportunities, weaknesses, needs and ideas for new content as well as brainstorming new themes and opportunities to create always-on content to increase engagement. Think about how to use user-generated content and how to collaborate with a pool of creatives and influencers to build engaging content around your destination.

Use the sticky notes or write directly on each section of the template to gather data and answer these questions:

Content Opportunities

How can you craft, build and nurture the right content approach around the brand? Which content and formats could be worked in a better way as an opportunity to promote your destination through the website, social media and videos?

Content Weaknesses

Which content on your current channels should be improved or changed? Which content works well for your current audience, and what content doesn't seem to be working so well to reach your audience.

Content Needs

What are the things needed for a content strategy change? Which are the right stories to be told to consumers? What is necessary to create great content for your destination and differentiate it as a destination?

Ideas: Stories, Content, Innovation

Brainstorm and come up with ideas for great and innovative content. What could be the focus of a great destination story? What innovative messages or formats could be used to describe yours as a great tourism destination? How can your destination be more expressive and innovative with its content approach and attract more visitors to the city?

Always-on content planning

How can you plan a long-term communication and content strategy for your channels? Which events and activities could be the starting point for planning an always-on content strategy? How could content related to seasonal events be covered throughout the year to keep the interest alive? In which way is it useful to involve influencers, journalists and other PR channels to create and share effective and interesting content in the long run?

User-generated content

How can you include user-generated content within your storytelling approach? How could you exploit UGC to always have fresh and innovative content for your destination?

Talent Network

How can you work with content creators and influencers to communicate your brand? Are there creatives that could promote and create appealing content for your destination? Do you have a clear mapping of the creatives you could work with or a creative pool you could tap into? Can you foster relationships with influencers who could help build and develop the brand? Do you have a clear view of who could be part of the brand storytelling?

Get started with the sprint 🏃🏾‍♀️

A sprint is a great way to rally all your teammates around a big idea or produce great results by concentrating the team on a specific need over a short period.

  1. Print the attached worksheet in large format (A1 is best!)
  2. Find a great communal space, such as the canteen, to stick it up (double-sided tape!)
  3. Invite team members to scribble their thoughts and ideas on the wall
  4. Organise a stand-up session, where several members can express their thoughts
  5. Take a snap, keep it posted or even better 'scan the wall' and digitise into Mural

You'll be pleased with the results when you get everyone thinking collectively.

The Fundamentals of Content: The role of the DMO

The Fundamentals of Content: Singapore and the in-house content team

The Fundamentals of Content: Visit Denmark's 365 content team

The Fundamentals of Content: Hero, Hub, Hygiene & Storytelling

The Fundamentals of Content: San Diego Always-on content

The Fundamentals of Content: Montreux Riviera content team

The Fundamentals of Content: Content Planning - Template

Planning content requires a structure to follow because the elements to take into consideration are multiple. It also requires a lot of teamwork and brainstorming. For this reason, we created a template that you can use with your team as a board to design and plan your content very specifically, based on the objectives for the promotion of your destination.

This mural will help you plan single or multiple pieces of content strategically, following 7 steps:

  1. Define the audience you are creating the content for. Use the personas you already created in your audience strategy or, if you don't have identified personas yet, use the template in the mural to create them.
  2. Identify the subject of your content. It can be an experience offered in your destination, an event, a place you want to describe or a theme you want to use to build content around.
  3. Identify the channels you want to use to distribute the content. Consider your personas before choosing the channels, remember each market segment has a preference for specific channels.
  4. Think about who could be the content creator for this specific piece. Can the content be created in-house? Should you ask content creators such as writers, video makers, influencers? Which technology should they use to create the content? Which costs does the technology imply for your DMO?
  5. Think about who will manage the production and distribution of content and if it should be a hero/hub/hygiene type of content.
  6. Set clear rules for the content creators. Tell them who they should speak to, what tone of voice they should use in line with the destination identity, what is or is not allowed.
  7. Finally draft an editorial plan for the content to create, deciding timings to distribute it and once more confirming the format, the audience and the channels you want to use.

The Fundaments of Content: Creators, not Influencers

The Fundaments of Content: Australia Tourism and the 5 tips to become great content managers

The Fundamentals of Content: Storytelling Strategies - Template

Storytelling is an integral part of digital marketing, crafting unique stories that match a destination's DNA and help to convey key messages and stories. Destinations around the world have to become masters of multimedia storytelling, developing stories and messages that work using a range of formats available to inspire, engage and evoke emotions in consumers. While this sounds quite straightforward, it is actually easier said than done.

With the wealth of information and stories already out there about competing destinations but also your own, DMOs often find themselves having to find new and innovative ways to cut through the noise. One way of achieving this is to employ a strategic approach to storytelling. Once an approach and direction to take is set, it is much easier to develop quality stories and implement storytelling methods to help destination content perform better and drive success.

This template provides you with a framework to follow to create a story around your content.

The Fundamentals of Content: Beautiful Destinations on social-first content

The Fundamentals of Content: Switzerland's Influencer Strategy

The Fundamentals of Content: User-Generated Content Strategy - Template

Consumer behaviour is changing quickly and so are content preferences. The destination landscape has seen a huge shift in the importance that user-generated content now plays when inspiring and informing consumers about a destination. User-generated content has quickly become a core aspect of working on social media for any destination. This was brought about by the new desire for experiences when on holiday rather than thinking to select a place to visit based on the destination. Consumers no longer want to feel like a tourist but consider themselves as travellers wanting to explore destinations authentically.

While destinations were long considered the absolute authority on all things relating to the destination, it is now content and information that is shared by peers that are most trusted. In addition to that, consumers are increasingly sharing their experiences in the destination on social media, aggregating a large amount of user content across social channels.

Getting your user-generated content strategy in order is, therefore, a big priority for any destination wanting to succeed in digital. While user-generated content is already a big driver in tourism and for decision-making, destinations must adopt a long-term strategy to incorporate, leverage and promote user-generated content throughout their channels and platforms. This also includes the destination website that is often still a stronghold of destination content rather than user-generated content which is preferred and drives more engagement.

Out latest template aims to help in making key decisions on how to leverage user-generated content as a destination.

Content Planning: Always-on / 365 Planning

Content Planning: Geneva Tourism on engaging visitors at every stage of the visitor cycle

Content Planning: How to make a content review

Content Planning: Developing Stories - Template

Developing stories is something that many content teams are spending significant time and resources to produce content for the destination website, blog and social media channels. However, with the wealth of destination information being available online, it is critical for destinations to think in line with what stories consumers are actually interested in, enabling the destination to stand out with its story-based content. This is often easier said than done, as destination ambassadors and your competitors are also communicating great stories online. So what is it that makes your destination unique, what are some of the authentic and untold stories that make your destination unique?

Developing Stories that Resonate

Our template is designed to provide a blank canvas for your team when developing stories. Think about how your destination could develop a story hub carefully considering what content and stories need to be developed and produced in the future. It is absolutely critical to interlink stories and thinks about where the stories will live on your website and social channels. Consider also how these stories can drive engagement and what stories are worth investing in.

The idea is to brainstorm ideas on what shareable moments and experiences have standout value in your destination. It is important to highlight those unique experiences, events or moments that you think are authentic to the destination and also unique when marketing these stories. While it is good to collect a range of story ideas, it is important to focus on quality rather than quantity when developing unique moments into stories. Outline how key moments can be developed into stories and how stories and experiences interlink. Once a story concept is mapped out, consider how you will market the stories and what you should consider when producing the story content. This is an important step, as you are considering all aspects of marketing the story, ensuring the story works for you and delivers results.

Content Planning: 365 Days of Storytelling - Template

Your DMO should focus on year-round storytelling, empowering the destination to engage key audiences year-round, contributing to the constant growth of the destination's content and social media performance. Good content that is shared and distributed year-round across channels can make a massive difference to your overall digital performance. Those destinations that are strategically planning content, taking into consideration brand aspects, shareability, working with influencers and partners can see it all coming together. For destinations, it is no longer a luxury to do storytelling, it is a must and has to be done right or it won't deliver the results your organisation is looking for.

To get started with filling in the framework, we have listed 5 components on the left-hand side that need to be worked through and space for 12 columns, representing 12 months. As we are halfway through the year already, we thought it is best not to box you in by naming each month. Feel free to get started planning your 12-month calendar or start planning for January 2020.