This one goes out to all the creative minds in the room. Those who see marketing trends changing and don’t know how to jump in. Those who have more content than they know what to do with. Does that sound like you? 

Odds are you’ve heard of CrowdRiff, aka the visual storytelling solution for destination marketers. It’s become the one stop shop for allowing your visitors to help tell the story of the place they're in, through their own lens. In most cases, DMOs used these features throughout their website or across social media channels keeping their brand as organic as possible. 

Well, CrowdRiff has done it again and expanded the playing field with a great new offering. It’s time to sit back, relax, and check another marketing tactic off your to-do list.

Allow me to introduce you to Localhood, the Google Web Story that allows users to discover destinations through immersive content right from Google’s Chrome browser. They can browse a collection of content such as photos, videos, and articles to get inspired, all from a single location. 

Simply put, CrowdRiff now allows destinations to have UGC assist in boosting their SEO — allowing the embedded images and videos that are already on a destination site appear from standard Google searches.

For a deeper look at ways DMOs have been able to utilize this new strategy, we talked with Visit Eau Claire, which has been testing the product since its beta release.

Afton Moline, Marketing Manager, Marketing Manager Afton Moline, Visit Eau Claire Demi Cimiaskaite, Senior Marketing Manager, Visit Eau Claire Kenzi Havelicek, Director of Sales & Marketing, Visit Eau Claire

Afton Moline
Marketing Manager

Demi Cimiaskaite
Senior Marketing Manager

Kenzi Havelicek
Director of Sales & Marketing

Q:How was your team introduced to CrowdRiff and, later, what encouraged your DMO to dive into Localhood? 

Visit Eau Claire was originally introduced to CrowdRiff at a conference in 2014 and became a client in 2015. There was a little break due to managing budgets, but in 2020, we decided to make the investment again after learning about the power of UGC. Being big fans of CrowdRiff and being super active with their platform, CrowdRiff invited us to be a part of their beta program when they first were creating Localhood. We were honored to be chosen and didn’t want to deny the opportunity to be a part of a new and cutting edge digital marketing product. The beta program was great — we were able to give CrowdRiff feedback on what worked well, what could be improved, etc. Once the beta program was wrapping up and the product was ready to launch, we knew we didn’t want to let this go after seeing what our total impressions and average CTR were for the year. We had more eyes on our content and partners than ever before. Signing on for the real-deal was a no-brainer after seeing our results!

Eau Claire's Visual Stories section on their website, highlighting UGC about the destination.
Localhood on the Visit Eau Claire website

Q:Describe your experience incorporating Localhood into Visit Eau Claire’s digital marketing strategy. How do you use Localhood in day-to-day operations? 

Our biggest KPI is engaged users to our website. To us, Localhood is a tool that helps us get more eyes on our website content and, most importantly, on our partners. When discussing what content needs to be updated or created seasonally, we discuss whether the content could also take shape in “webstory” format and ideally drive more visitors through our site from Google. Localhood stories are a separate category in our marketing team’s annual editorial calendar and our goal is to create or update four stories a month (or one per week) that match what we are focusing on to promote that respective season.

Q:What advice would you give DMOs that are on the fence about expanding the ways they utilize CrowdRiff? 

At Visit Eau Claire, we are very big on testing and embracing trial and error. Sometimes, we are completely shocked by our analytics. But there are times where we are wrong and have to go back to the drawing board and either make some tweaks or completely start over. There’s absolutely no shame in that at our organization. At the end of the day, our goal is to give our visitors and locals easily digestible and clear information that matches what they’re searching for. Localhood is a tool that has undoubtedly allowed us to do that.

Q:Has visitor engagement shifted since using Localhood? What other results have you seen?

Since using Localhood, we have had more eyes on our content (whether it’s on our website, Google, or the webstory itself) than ever before. With that being said, we have been able to increase users and partner referrals on our site. Not to mention, our partners are getting more exposure, too. We have been incredibly impressed with the amount of impressions we’ve gotten on Google, story click-through-rates, and completion rates. 

A screenshot of the Google search page featuring Localhood curated content for Visit Eau Claire.
Localhood on the Google search results page for Visit Eau Claire

Q:How have you met or needed to redefine digital engagement goals for Visit Eau Claire? 

Being that we are using Localhood to draw more traffic to our website, we have had to increase our benchmarks for users and partner referrals accordingly. Looking at Localhood in and of itself, we’ve created goals that specifically look at clicks, Google impressions, and CTR to help us gauge how customers are interacting with this format of content.

Images courtesy of Visit Eau Claire

Do you hear the creativity calling?

Eager to start your own experience with CrowdRiff? Reach out and we’ll get you started.

Let's Talk UGC