Destination Marketing Organization Uses Targeted Videos to Attract Tourists

Gold Country

The Gold Country Communities Society is a non-profit destination marketing organization that works with the municipalities of Ashcroft, Cache Creek, Clinton, Lillooet, Lytton, Merritt and Thompson-Nicola Regional District Areas E, I, J, M and N. These communities, in the heart of British Columbia’s interior, are rich with stories of First Nations culture and Gold Rush adventures.

Gold Country was incorporated as a society in 1991 and created a five-year tourism plan in 2013 with the help of Destination BC and the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association. The five-year plan highlighted marketing and partnerships as key strategies to increase visitor traffic and develop unique themed travel experiences.

An Opportunity to Use Tourism Data

Cyclist riding along woodland trails

Who goes on holiday to Gold Country, and how can we get more of them coming our way? To find the answer to these questions, Gold Country turned to the Explorer Quotient program, developed by Destination Canada and offered to tourism stakeholders in B.C. under license agreements.

Explorer Quotient is a marketing segmentation program based on demographics, social values and behavioural research to identify nine traveller types, and then help match travellers to suitable products and experiences. Gold Country has been able to access the program’s tools and resources at a modest cost through the Tourism Association.

ExploreGoldCountry.com invites visitors to “Take Our Travel Quiz” – a five-minute online questionnaire that asks people to think about what kind of travel experiences they seek (or avoid!). The visitor is then given their results which include links to Gold Country’s site highlighting travel experiences that match their travel style. The data from this quiz is collected and shared with the Gold Country marketing team, giving them aggregate data on what types of visitors have found their way to the Gold Country website.

The technology has helped Gold Country understand the two market segments most likely to travel to the Gold Country area: cultural explorers and authentic experiencers. The next challenge was how to reach out and tell the Gold Country story to those people.

Making Videos to Bring Travel to Life

With stunning landscapes and fascinating historical sites, Gold Country has many stories to tell and words can hardly do justice to the region. But what stories will fit best for each traveller type? Gold Country has built up a library of videos that appeal to visitors most likely to plan trips in the area.

Landscape of rolling hills

Local production companies were hired to create the videos, creating economic development benefits and building the local workforce for the film industry. Casting residents in the videos and using favourite locations creates buzz among locals who are keen to then share the videos. The local governments in Gold Country’s area also post the videos on their social media channels. All this activity from within the Gold Country network makes the videos appear more often on social media, providing a free boost to their small online advertising budget.

Video production is not a low-cost endeavour, so Gold Country developed partnerships with several of its member municipalities and has received support from the BC Rural Dividend Fund, Northern Development Initiative Trust and the Thompson-Nicola Film Commission.

Successes

  • The Gold Country Communities Society (GCCS) celebrated 25 years of incorporation in 2016.
  • GCCS’s YouTube channel has over 60 videos – quick snapshots with engaging visuals highlighting locations and businesses – and tens of thousands of views.
  • Member municipalities and businesses can post the video vignettes on their websites to enhance their marketing communications.

Two women smiling and drinking coffee in a cafe

Lessons Learned

  • Flexibility is important: filming schedules can get interrupted by wildfire smoke, floods and all the other things that make B.C. life interesting.
  • Using partnerships wherever possible brings people together making your marketing campaign successful for everyone.

March 22, 2019