Create curiosity and connection through storytelling. Embrace user-made content and make use of the vast amount of content made by experienced travelers.
Creating curiosity and placing less emphasis on popular touristic icons has become the new criterion within destination marketing. This is where storytelling comes into play. It’s not about dragging, but inviting the traveler to your destination. Storytelling and destination marketing are made for each other. However, you will still find that Destination Marketing Organisations (DMO’s) are using marketing material with good old sales pitches and slogans.
The competition within the tourist industry is as fierce as it ever has been. Just about every destination in the world has something people can come to see and do. Nonetheless, a destination must find its unique identity. Thus, if you focus on why to do this and to see that, instead of just what, you will connect easier with your audience. Social Media and Content Marketing has offered travelers a more personal connection in the way they accrue information about potential travel destinations. Many destinations have embraced content marketing and storytelling and are working together with travel writers. As most travel writers have their perspective and frames of references to build their stories on, new aspects often appear. Not only giving the DMO’s valuable content, but also facets to explore in their marketing efforts.
Furthermore, storytelling should not be limited to DMO staff or travel writers, but also include the visitors. Content marketing is a fast-changing landscape that is heavily influenced by digital innovations. Moreover, people are connected as never before and DMO’s have an unprecedented large crowd of “marketers” available. Hence, encouraging people that have visited your destination share their experience in your different channels is crucial. Branding is not what you say to your audience, but what your audience is saying about you. User-generated content often tells better stories about a destination than DMO’s can do themselves. If people can identify with the story, they will share it.
Furthermore, DMO’s should also welcome the fact that many of your visitors have adequate experience to determine what content offers the best information and greatest relevance for their travel-planning. Stories that help travelers to understand and get a sense of what a destination has to offer are powerful tools that DMO’s should embrace. Consequently, it’s crucial that destinations have found a unique identity and focus on showcasing this.