Leveraging Micro Influencers and Vertical Video Content to Help Your DMO Stand Out
Destination marketing and tourism professionals often wear a lot of hats, ranging from sales and marketing to community and economic development. Those responsibilities can take up a significant amount of time, resulting in fewer opportunities to browse the latest trends and ideate for the future. And, with expectations of a busy spring and summer travel season ahead for U.S. consumers, marketers are competing for attention in an increasingly noisy moment.
Below, we’ve highlighted our most successful marketing tactics for hospitality and tourism clients to break through and drive greater consideration among audiences.
Involve Influencers in an Impactful Way
Influencer marketing is here to stay as more content creators build careers around their digital presence. Often, full-time influencers boast a significant number of followers, and thus can require a significant investment by brands who want to collaborate with them. Stretch your budget by partnering with niche micro influencers, defined as a following of less than 100K. Micro Influencers are often seen as “up-and-coming” and thus can more easily fit within your marketing budget.
Work with the influencer to curate a custom itinerary and a specific story about your destination’s offerings. For example, identify a fishing influencer (yes, they exist) to highlight the best spots for fishing and outdoor recreation in your area. Or, build a visit around a signature event related to an influencer’s niche, such as an annual foodie festival.
Want to take it to the next level? Pair influencer marketing efforts with paid media to create a cohesive strategy—and a bigger splash. For example, find influencers with a local following in your key travel markets to bolster your paid efforts. You can also pay the content creator and secure usage rights to high-quality photos and videos for use in other channels and marketing collateral.
To make the most of your partnership, establish a clear agreement that includes your brand guidelines to ensure it’s mutually beneficial for both parties. Some important considerations include:
- What content is the influencer producing?
- What is the DMO providing in return?
- What specific requests do both parties have for this agreement?
- Who approves content and how quickly?
- Is there a timeframe or limit around content ownership - in perpetuity?
- What channels will be included in this effort?
A smart, well-planned micro influencer partnership can generate awareness for your destination, drive traffic to your social channels and website, boost your follower count, and be the start of a continued relationship with the content creator.
Invest in Short-Form Video Content
Video content has always been a visual, engaging way for DMOs to tell the story of their destination and showcase their offerings to consumers. Now, it’s more important than ever to invest in video content, particularly short-form video content tailored for Instagram Reels, TikTok, and YouTube Shorts.
TikTok is rapidly becoming the search engine of choice for travel enthusiasts, as around 40 percent of travelers over the age of 30 prefer the social media platform over Google as a search tool (Source). What’s more, in a TikTok for Business report, a whopping 77 percent of TikTok users said they plan to travel internationally and 93 percent plan to travel domestically in the next six months.
When you capture video content, create a vertical :6s or :15s in addition to the standard horizontal; then, use that content across multiple platforms like Facebook, Instagram Stories and Reels, TikTok, and even YouTube Shorts. Keep an eye on that last one: YouTube boasts 2.5x more monthly active users than TikTok and YouTube Shorts get an average of 50 billion views per day.
And don’t be afraid to participate in viral trends, too - as appropriate for your brand. Since trends tend to fade out just as quickly as they appear, it’s important to jump on the trend right away so you don’t miss the moment.
To learn more about the Basement’s services, including creative, media planning and buying, and strategic communications, get in touch. We’d love to talk.
About the Author
Katie Utken is an Account Executive at The Basement. She joined the agency in 2021 after more than five years on the marketing team at Hamilton County (Indiana) Tourism, and currently serves tourism clients including Discover Southern Indiana, Visit Dubois County and Visit South Bend Mishawaka.
In addition, The Basement is fortunate to work with other clients related to the tourism industry, including the Indianapolis Airport Authority and Indiana Repertory Theatre.SHARE: