Idaho Tourism: Visitors Are the Stars of Promo Movies

Richard Moor - Oct 28, 2013
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The Idaho Tourism Department successfully ran the summer 2013 marketing campaign using the power of networking via social media. The new campaign followed previous campaigns based on digital media.

Due to the limited budget of the Idaho Tourism, the head of Idaho’s tourism department adopted a digital campaign few years ago to attract tourist. It was in the news in 2008 that Idaho Tourism office had only $3 million which is not enough to the average tourism state budget of $14 million. It was the idea of Karen Ballard to try another way of marketing campaigns and to launch a digital campaign. The campaign was about nominating a family member to go for a trip to Idaho. The winning representatives were filmed by the Idaho tourism office and the spots were compiled as a 30 minute documentary. The footage was posted to the Idaho Tourism website and shared with social media sites.

Majority of people around the world are exposed to social networking sites and travelers are no exception. They use social media channels to record their route of adventures, review places and hotels, suggest accommodations, and post personal photos. When it comes to traveling, everyone talks about where to go and about the wonders of the given destination.

This is where the idea of summer 2013 marketing campaign started. To manage digital campaigns, it must be leveraged enough to use the essence of social media - to connect with potential travelers and invite them in real time.

Idaho Tourism has teamed up with PixFusion, the leader of personalized apps, to create entertainment from the combined images in all media formats. This utilized the innovation of patented personalized photos.

The launch of 2013 spring/summer marketing campaign called “MY ID” was successful. The campaign allowed everyone to access the website associated with MY ID. This was intended to display Idaho’s scenic beauty and its tourist spots in a more interactive and entertaining way.

The idea of MY ID allowed visitors of the website to create a video or postcard featuring themselves in one of the Idaho adventures. The users went to visitidaho.org/My-ID/ and created a movie or postcard. There were several options of background (Idaho’s beautiful scenery) that featured in a video and postcard. The users uploaded their own photo and thus became part of the spot.

The adventure invited everyone to feel the difference of being a star during a trip around Idaho. After the video was created, the user was invited to share it with Facebook and Twitter. Customizable postcards allowed visitors to add message to friends and send them through email or social media accounts.

The innovative campaign shared unlimited vacation possibilities. Videos shared to friends and families allowed others to see the pleasures of Idaho vacation. The beautiful sceneries and activities displayed in videos and postcards explained easily what makes Idaho special.

Part of the MY ID campaign was also a chance to win an overnight stay including a whitewater rafting trip, or a trip to popular Idaho destinations.

The past digital campaigns had amazing results. The site recorded 80,000 visitors with over 9000 sweepstakes entries. From October 2011- February 2012, the site received almost 30 million impressions from Facebook page with 14,000 clicks. After the launching of MY ID campaign, it is estimated that the number of site users tripled with even more clicks.

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