Destination Canada uses authentic content to inspire travellers

Authenticity was key in the launch of Destination Canada’s latest suite of rich content. The ‘Explore Canada’ campaign is focused on bringing to life the amazing sights, wonders and experiences that Canada has to offer.

There are over 6 million European travellers considering Canada as a future holiday destination. Despite being on people’s travel list, there was no urgency to book Canada as their next holiday destination. Our goal was to change Canada from a ‘might visit at some point’ destination to a ‘must see’ and next on the list.

Destination Canada is Canada’s national tourism marketing organisation. They promote Canada’s extraordinary experiences in 11 countries around the world. Their key markets include Germany, UK, Australia and France.

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Research shows that consumers are increasingly moving away from traditional media. Instead, they are turning towards more personalised and trusted sources – such as friends, family and key influencers – to research and plan their travels.

Traditional marketing campaigns with sponsored banners or branded social posts are no longer enough to convince consumers to buy a big-ticket item like an international holiday. Our content marketing approach needed to reach and entice consumers at key points along their decision-making journey. We wanted to use more novel, innovative marketing ideas to engage these travellers emotionally.

Based on this, our focus is content like videos, photos and articles. Rather than a traditional branded campaign, the idea was to have viewers come into contact with the content naturally in relevant environments they typically visit for travel planning and purchase.

Over 500 pieces of high-quality content were developed across passion points and locations in Canada. Because authenticity is integral to this strategy, we didn’t include any branding on this content.

For the video content, we are leveraging a high-profile YouTuber from each of our key markets. Each influencer uses their typical filming style to highlight Canada as the perfect vacation setting. Influencers share and promote the content directly with their YouTube followers, allowing the material to seed organically. Many also promote their Canada videos on their Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram accounts.

You can currently view the latest influencer content tailored for the UK and Germany, with France and Australia content coming soon.

We then use data to align consumers with unbranded content that caters to their individual interests, passions and travel purchase behaviours. Once viewers engage with multiple pieces of unbranded content, we then serve them a personalised message from a local tourism partner who can offer them a great deal for the location or experience they’d viewed.

We are in the second exciting year of this campaign. The tremendous success of last year’s efforts included over 50 million content views and over 190K content viewers booked a holiday to Canada, with over $231 in additional tourism revenue generated for a 67:1 ROI.

Want to keep exploring? Visit Destination Canada’s key market websites – UK, France, Germany and Australia.

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OMD and Destination Canada were recently awarded two M&M Global Awards for Smart Use of Data and International Growth Strategy. Our work has also been featured on the Think with Google blog.

For more information, please contact us at emea@omd.com.

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Brooke Steinberg

Digital Account Director, International

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