Last autumn, Visit Wales set out to promote Wales as a year-round travel destination. While travellers need little encouragement to visit Wales during the summer season, demand for visits during the cooler months (often referred to as “shoulder season”) typically saw dips. So, Visit Wales decided to launch a campaign that was dedicated to showcasing all that this country has to offer outside of peak season.
The brief to iX was to: “Change perceptions for the long-term, promoting responsible tourism that benefits our communities, our environment and offers a unique experience for visitors. Launch a brand-building campaign to create long-term perceptions of Wales as a year-round destination.”
We activated an influencer campaign to help achieve the core campaign objective of spotlighting key reasons to visit Wales during autumn/winter by creating influencer partnerships based on what was trending across interest and demand for the season, and that was most likely to convert core target audiences.
We profiled, reached out to, and executed partnerships with two social influencers, to send them on bespoke-made trips to Wales, which would help to promote Wales as a year-round travel destination and drive on-ward traffic to Visit Wales pages.
What set this campaign apart from competitors’ influencer activity, was the upfront audience research that we carried out in order to identify which audience segments should be targeted during this season to achieve the greatest impact – and to inform the types of trip itineraries and activities would engage best on social.
Leveraging our expertise in audience insight, our Audience Intelligence team carried out seasonal search & social listening to identify the two audience segments that offered the greatest potential for conversion during the autumn/winter period. Combining findings from search seasonality and social conversation trends, we were able to identify ‘Families’ and ‘Conscientious Travellers’ as the two audiences who had the highest propensity to convert. This insight fed directly into broader campaign planning, as well as the influencer profiling briefs for the influencer activity.
This audience-first approach enabled us to find and connect with the most relevant in-market and pre-emptive audiences and also informed the trip itineraries and content themes that went into the influencers’ content briefs. This ensured that all outputs would have the greatest potential to engage the right audiences, based on their current interests and demands – informed by real-time data.
To increase engagement further, we also took into consideration popular social trends that were gaining traction within the travel space. For instance, we identified a growing trend for ‘hidden gems’ content on TikTok, with travel influencers increasingly sharing videos about ‘secret’ or ‘unknown’ spots in the UK around the time of the campaign launch. We therefore made sure to include some ‘hidden gem’ activities in the itinerary for our TikTok influencer, and asked her to weave this into her content messaging.
Each influencer was briefed to capture and share their experiences in Wales via social and blog content across their own platforms. This included daily Stories on Instagram, plus wrap up feed posts, TikTok and Instagram videos, plus a blog post from the Family influencer.
We also briefed both influencers to pin the content to the top of their Instagram feeds and save all Stories into Highlights on their channels, to lengthen the content visibility and lifespan.
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