Spots such as Los Angeles, New Orleans and Las Vegas have taken to social media to create experienced-based campaigns that have proven to lure travelers in to their cities to see for themselves.
These campaigns all have the same principle: use content created by real consumers in order to showcase the best experiences of the destination. The Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board asked “What’s Your L.A. Story?,” encouraging consumers to share their story at discoverlosangeles.com, then using the stories to inspire a 15-second video spot. They are also using photos with the #LAStory created by Instagram influencers for both print and digital ads. New Orleans has taken a similar approach with their “Follow Your NOLA” campaign, having influencers represent defining demographics within the city.
This type of trend toward consumer-generated content is big within the travel industry, because as Nan Marchand Beauvois, Senior Director of Councils at the U.S. Travel Association says, “The most successful destinations make you feel something, something visceral, in their advertising.” With vacation destinations, you are selling the experience, and people want to see something they can actually experience rather than some over-dramatized version of it. Ultimately, it is important that companies realize people trust other people these days, that word-of-mouth is crucial, and that the closer you can get to real the better.