One of the biggest movements in destination marketing in recent years has been letting tourists experience a local’s way of life. From visiting bespoke retailers and hole-in-the-wall restaurants to finding the best tacos or craft beers, travellers these days are expressing more of a desire to do as the locals do, and this is providing some creative opportunities for marketers to pitch their destination in a more unique light. Here are some of our favourite tips for ensuring a more “local” feel to your next marketing campaign:
Make Sure You Are Connected to Locals In the Know
Though you may think you know your city well, you probably don’t earn your living or spend your waking hours experiencing and documenting the hippest night clubs, best food trucks or pop-up stores on a daily basis. Your destination likely has numerous online bloggers, Instagram stars and Snapchat-savvy socialites, all of whom are the first to do and document the coolest happenings going down in your area. Making connections with these folks, whether by following them on social media or inviting them to guest blog/curate on your website, will allow you to not only get the inside scoop on what’s trendy in town, but it will also widen your viewer base to whomever follows them already.
Harness the Regional Feel of Social Media Photos and Videos
There is no better way to capture a local’s way of life than by viewing it as it happens on social media. The general public can spot a staged photo or video from a mile away, and quite often they prefer the less polished, more realistic feel of posts and snaps taken by people who just experienced the best of the area on the fly. Sure their photos may be slightly off kilter, but to the interested traveller who actually wants to see what reality holds in store for their next potential pit-stop, these quick pics or videos are a gold mine. Better yet, they are often free (with a proper photo credit to the poster) and require far less work to prepare than conventional ad media.
Join the Online Conversation
What do you do when you don’t know the answer to a question? Nine times out of ten you go online and ask. From Facebook groups to Reddit threads, there are countless online venues that show what people want to know about your destination and what popular responses are too. Making sure you are up to date with the conversation accomplishes two important tasks, one, it helps highlight what many tourists are seeking to accomplish on their trip to your area, and two, it opens up an avenue for you to become part of the conversation and to promote or highlight events and activities as necessary.