Tag: branding

InnovationStrategyTourism marketing

Developing destination’s emotional value: feelings

There are also many kinds of feelings that the destination atmosphere may create in the visitor. Such sensations can be created through adding several kinds of features or extras that provide feelings of life, authenticity & harmony, magic atmosphere, variety, fun, etc. Such extras may be, for every kind of feeling:

  • Harmony & authenticity: urban aesthetics, people /employees dressing in traditional costumes, architectural style, souvenirs, cultural monuments & sculptures, natural smells, open kitchen in a restaurant, religious ceremonies, artisans handcrafting products, etc. Charming destinations are famous for their identity reflected in their architectural style.
  • Life: wildlife (birds, butterflies, squirrels on trees, flying fish, ducks and swans on water canals or lakes, etc.), artists performing outdoors (human sculptures, musicians, painters, acrobats, etc.), street markets, water springs, liveliness of local population, plants and flowers on balconies, people performing traditional arts (dancing, Tai chi, etc.), and everything else that turns sightseeing into life-seeing and feeling.
  • Magic feelings: Night illumination with different colors, attractive smells, fireworks, inspiring music, dancing springs, permanent nice surprises, sophisticated street performances, etc. and the synchronicity between all these elements.
  • Variety: different kinds of shops in shopping streets, broad range of courses in a menu, facades of different colors, markets with wide variety of products, gardens with many types of plants and flowers, options for amusement, architecture, etc.
  • Hospitality: cleanliness, proper indoor temperature, kindness of the local population, proper condition of the cultural and natural heritage, interior design and materials, service customization, etc.
  • Relax: birds singing, water flowing, relaxation music, green areas, silence, etc.
  • Safety: cleanliness and good conservation of the urban landscape, kindness and honesty of the local population, peaceful atmosphere, lack of beggars in the streets, illumination at night, police in the streets, smooth traffic, good functioning of public services, etc.

Besides, there are some feelings closely related to Tourism 3.0:

  • Customization: making the tourist feel as a unique person, being called by one’s name by service suppliers, being able to tailor the service experiences, small personalized gifts, etc.
  • Contribution: letting people know how their contribution in the open innovation or content marketing system is useful for the destination, letting people visualize the result of their contribution, letting visitors provide ideas and opinions on as many issues as possible, etc.
  • Growth: learning new skills, opening one’s mind, gaining personal and social awareness, acquiring new good habits, and all that results from the life-changing experiences.
  • Recognition & reward: being mentioned in a public place or document for your contribution, receiving an award, receiving a tangible reward, etc. for your contributions.

Do you think of other ways to create positive feelings for the visitors?

StrategyStrategy planning & executionSustainability

Developing destination’s spiritual value

The programs or actions to neutralize or reduce the negative impacts of the tourism activity are nearly or exactly the same ones that eventually manage to create positive impacts. In most cases, it is just a matter of the initial state of the destination and the intensity and ambition of the program what makes the difference between neutralizing or reducing negative impacts, and creating positive ones. Such impacts may correspond to three different spheres of influence: social, economic and environmental impacts. The main factors that create spiritual value in a destination are the following:

  • Fostering entrepreneurship at the base of the pyramid and training the poorer layers of the local community to integrate in the labor market not only reduces poverty but also enhances social cohesion, and creates a spirit of social harmony as a result of the integration of these groups of people in the community. This is very likely to be perceived by the visitors and appreciated by their human spirit.
  • Encouraging community members to contribute through the open innovation system in creating stories, co-creating products and bringing in ideas to enhance competitiveness is also a powerful social impact generator. Leveraging people’s talents, rewarding and giving them recognition for their contribution makes them feel like valuable protagonists within the tourism industry system, and helps them grow personally, eventually shifting their attitude towards tourists, being more hospitable and helping them have a memorable experience.
  • Preserving the natural environment and fostering the growth of the local endemic species helps the destination boost its uniqueness and character. Creating green spaces both in the public and private areas with typically local trees, plants and flowers conveys a spirit of healthy environment. Furthermore, in the cases where there are typically local animal species, it is also good to make them be part of the destination experience. Both lush animal and vegetable life provide positive impacts to the visitors’ human spirit.
  • Enhancing the attractiveness of the destination also makes it a pleasant living place for its inhabitants. Improving cleanliness, heritage restoration, developing cultural entertainment –events, museums, etc.-, creating green spaces, clearing pollution, making the urban areas more human friendly, harmonizing urban aesthetics and enhancing other aspects of the landscape are appealing to all community stakeholders.
  • Boosting economic development and wealth creation is one of the main goals of tourism development. The tourism 3.0 approach intends to spread the generation of wealth among all types of stakeholders. A clear indicator of success is therefore the increase of disposable income throughout all layers of society. The extent to which the destination collaborative model expands is one of the main key success factors to make it happen.

The key idea behind the creation of spiritual value is the balanced development and shared growth, considering tourism businesses, employees and micro-entrepreneurs, local inhabitants not related to the tourism activity, non-tourism businesses, and the cultural and natural heritage. Tourism development should be a win-win activity for all elements that are part of the destination life to make it appealing to the visitors’ human spirit.

Do you think of other factors which contribute to create spiritual value?

Marketing 3.0Storytelling training & case studies

Storytelling training process: identifying the key insights

The storytelling training is a journey that may encompass many phases depending on the nature of the story and the purpose of the story itself. However, according to Joe Lambert from the Center for Digital Storytelling, this process may be standardized in a set of steps, each of which has its own goals. However, there is a set of goals of the whole process to be understood from the beginning of the workshop.

These main goals are to help storytellers in:

  • Finding the story they want to tell and visualize it from the outset
  • Defining that story in a written form
  • Identifying the emotions that the story generates in them and to the audience
  • Envisioning how the audience will perceive their story through digital platforms

First of all, it is necessary to reflect upon what the story means to you, what it is about, and what messages it intends to convey. To gain deeper understanding of your wish to tell the story, you should also ask yourself why you want to tell this story now, the people you are thinking about when recounting the story and whether the story shows you the way you really are or the reason why you are the way you are.

All these reflections may enlighten you with a better view on who you were, who you are and who are you going to become. It is all about examining your personal process of change from the past to identify the direction you are taking in your future and why you are taking this direction. Then, when you raise awareness of the reasons you are going in a certain direction, you get a much clearer view and give yourself the opportunity to reconsider if this is what you really want. Change stories may have two different drivers: change may be forced from outside or may be driven from inside, as a result of your free will. There are however many shades of grey to consider in this point. Reality is almost never black or white.

Storytelling is a learning process for both tellers and listeners. When listening to stories people search for answers related to their lives, and those may end up inspiring listeners to make changes in their lives. But tellers also have the opportunity to learn so long as they listen to the audiences’ comments and stories in contrast with their views, and this way may eventually fill some gaps of the initial story and upgrade the story to a new version with deeper meaning.

What other key insights do you think that should be identified?

Marketing 3.0StrategyStrategy planning & executionTourism marketing

Monitoring results

As for all strategies, storytelling results need to be monitored to evaluate its effectiveness in terms of the marketing goals. The success of storytelling marketing is mainly measured by the extent to which stories become the focus of conversations. However, so long as the new technologies offer new possibilities, there are new metrics to consider. In accordance with Latitude’s method, we suggest that storytelling marketing performance should be measured through four main categories of metrics: Impact, integration, interactivity and immersion.

Impact: does the story inspire one to take action offline, such as purchasing, supporting a cause, inspiring one to discover more, to better oneself, etc.

  • Mindset shifting: to what extent does the story make the audience consider a new point of view or even change their attitudes in relation to a certain issue?
  • Heart shaking: does the story move the audience to support a good cause?
  • Acquired knowledge: does the audience learn anything new about the destination experiences and services? Does it boost the number of enquiries or information searches?
  • Conversion: does the call to action move the audience to take the intended action?
  • Coverage & impression: what reach, viewership and positive sentiment does it achieve? Does it generate positive publicity? Does it increase the recommendation rate?

Integration: is the story cohesive across platforms? Can it interface with the real world?

  • Cross-platform usage: how many devices and platforms are the followers using?
  • Cross-platform engagement: how engaged is the audience with each platform and device?
  • Offline integration: does the story integrate real world experiences?

Interactivity: can the audience somehow influence the elements of the story? Can they interact with other followers or with characters?

  • Plot building: how much does the audience participate in shaping the story plot (voting, providing ideas, etc.)?
  • Engagement: apart from sharing the content, how active is the audience in discussing, participating, collaborating, and competing with other followers?

Immersion: to what extent is it possible to go deeper in the story world, learn more about the context and the character’s lives, and have sensory experiences about it?

  • Information searching: how active is the audience in seeking further information about the story context and characters?
  • Extended following: to what extent does the audience look for stories related to this one?

Such metrics are to be revised and new metrics are to be created for as long as new strategies are developed in accordance with new media technologies that allow new ways of interacting, immersing, integrating online with offline experiences, and generating new kinds of impacts.

What other indicators would you consider to track the story performance?

Marketing 3.0Tourism marketing

Controlling the story content quality

As professional writers do when editing their works, content creators should also follow a protocol to ensure a minimum quality standard of the branded content. This protocol consists of a check list to ensure that the content complies with certain requirements. Some of the check points to evaluate the narrative should be the following:

Is it compelling?

  • Is it original or surprising?
  • Is it related to the interests of the target audience?
  • Are the title and headers compelling, interesting and clear to motivate reading?
  • Are the images, infographics or videos clear, compelling and located in the right place?
  • Are there bold ideas and facts to catch the reader’s attention?
  • Does it convey emotions or have some practical value?
  • Does the introduction motivate you to keep on reading?

Is it adjusted to the content strategy?

  • Does the content tell a story?
  • Is the content aligned with the destination’s mission and values?
  • Is the format adequate for the channels and devices it is to be delivered on?
  • Does the content tone go in accordance with the destination contents’?
  • Does it contain any controversial information or opinions that may offend or be harmful to any of the destination stakeholders?
  • Are the tone and words used adequate for the audience and purpose of the content?

Is it readable and written correctly?

  • Are there any grammatical flaws?
  • Are there any spelling mistakes?
  • Is the narrative smooth and easy to read?
  • Is the flow of the story coherent and logical?
  • Do the chapter titles and headers help in following the story? Do they create any confusion?

These and some more points are to help the writers revise their drafts before continuing on writing the story, or at the end, before sending the narrative to be edited.

What other points would you consider to control the content quality?

Marketing 3.0Tourism marketing

Setting the story style

As for all the marketing materials, brand storytelling has to follow certain guidelines that are usually detailed in the corporate content marketing style guide.

In the case of destinations, where many amateur writers are to participate, this style guide plays an especially important role. First, it has to be explained in the storytelling training workshops for the new storytellers, but it has to be easily available to all of them on the corporate site. The style guide is like a basic road map that orientates writers on how to create high-quality content. There are some key recommendations to take into consideration when crafting the destination’s content marketing style guide:

Clearly define your goals and audience targets. Think about writers with different skill levels, providing not only guidelines for advanced writers but also for average and inexperienced ones.  Focus on the most common flaws and main style guidelines.

Create a logical framework that makes it user friendly. Facilitate the understanding about how to use the guide to make it easy for the new writers who are not familiar with that kind of document. Using simple language and visual aids is likely to help them out.

Use reputable sources of guidance. So long as the Style Guide cannot include guidelines for all the possible mistakes, it is convenient to use a few selected sources of style guidance that users can access in case of doubt.

Promote its usage. Apart from the digital version uploaded in the corporate website, it would be convenient to all contributors to have a paper copy of the Guide in the storytelling training workshop. Then it is the moment to explain the importance of using it.

Update it regularly. The content marketing style is likely to evolve in the same way as all the marketing strategies evolve. The Guide is therefore to be updated incorporating the new social language and other communication trends.

Some of the key components of a Content Marketing Style Guide would be:

  • List of stylistic guidelines on what to do and what not to do
  • Punctuation guidelines on when to use colons and semicolons
  • Corporate guidelines regarding some words and phrases that are part of its culture
  • Guidelines on confusing words to let the writers know the differences
  • Writer’s checklist to evaluate drafts and correct mistakes

How would you foster the adoption of the Style Guide by the non-professional contributors?

Marketing 3.0Tourism marketing

Strategies to foster story virality

Based on the factors that have proved to foster virality, there are three main strategy recommendations:

Design your content to provoke an emotional reaction. Arousing a sense of amusement, surprise, anger, solidarity or affection is likely to foster sharing among the audience. However, to make it effective, you should consider the following points:

  • Support the story with visual content, either photos or videos. Good visual content communicates much faster and is more engaging than written.
  • Make it entertaining by presenting your story in a humorous or original way. Make it stand out with an original plot or a more engaging tone or language.
  • Make the content personal by showing the faces of the people working in the organization. This helps by creating emotional connection and humanizing the stories.

Create content that provides real value. As aforementioned, stories may address some of the audience’s needs, challenges or aspirations, providing know how and inspiration for their personal lives. You may create and enhance the value provided by:

  • Inspirational stories work like case studies showing how others overcame a specific challenge or difficult situation, that are at least partially applicable to other people’s cases.
  • Stories related to other destinations with similar mission purpose provide a sense of authenticity to the audience and may eventually lead to cross-marketing alliances.
  • Invite thought leaders in the issues related to the audience concerns to write stories or participate in a story creation with the added value of reputable advice and know-how.

Embed features that facilitate virality. Incorporating interactive features in the content is likely to foster more engagement, and engagement is the first step towards virality. There are many possible ways to do so:

  • Incorporate social sharing tools throughout the site so that readers need only to click once to share it with their connections.
  • Encourage people to make comments so as to spur discussion among the story. Ask questions at the end of the content to provoke people into giving their opinions.
  • Create contents calling for participation and interactivity, like contests, sweepstakes, polls, etc. They are great engagement drivers and are also likely to go viral.

Finally, there are some common mistakes you should avoid if you want to boost engagement and virality: being offensive, asking for likes, talking about yourself and being too obscure.

Do you envision other strategies to make stories go viral?

Marketing 3.0Tourism marketing

What makes stories go viral?

One of the most desired effects of content creation and delivery is to make it go viral. Despite the fact there is not any magical formula to do so, there are many strategies and tactics that increase the chances of stories going viral. The main key factors fostering virality are:

Promise of practical value inspires people to share knowledge that may be useful to others. Either it is a matter of generosity or a matter of a desire to be perceived as smart and helpful, inherent practical value works as a social currency that fosters relationships among people. For some people, it makes them feel like insiders having privileged information.

Specific topics related to the dreams, aspirations and challenges of specific audience segments, inspiring them and spurring discussion among their community. These may encompass warnings, inspirational stories, advice, special deals and opportunities.

Inspiring strong emotions of laughter, amusement, anger, surprise, inspiring solidarity or uniting people for a common cause are powerful drivers of virality. The stronger the emotion is, the more likely the content is to go viral.

According to a survey carried out by The New York Times, the top motivators for sharing were:

  • 75% said that sharing helped them better understand news they were interested in
  • 85% said that the comments they got from sharing provided them with more thought
  • 94% considered how helpful a link would be to another user
  • 68% shared as an advertisement for themselves, to give others a sense of who they are
  • 73% said it helped them find people with common interests

Do you think of other factors that make stories go viral?

Marketing 3.0Tourism marketing

Content media strategy in transmedia storytelling

The media mix for storytelling marketing is likely to be different for every campaign. There are three main categories of media channels to consider: paid channels (advertisements and sponsorships), own channels (website and own social media pages) and followers’ channels (content created by followers, journalists, bloggers).

 Among them, the most effective ones are the followers’ channels, whereas the paid and owned play a supportive role to reach some specific segments and also at the beginning of the campaigns. The followers’ channels are not only those that hold the most trust, but also the ones that have the most reach, and their reach is likely to keep on increasing.

  • Paid channels are particularly interesting for reaching new audience segments that neither search for information related to the destination nor even know the destination. It is recommendable to combine print, digital and broadcast channels according to the reach and impact of every channel in relation to the target audience. It is convenient to include a call to action driving them to visit own or followers’ channels for further information.
  • Own channels are usually visited by people driven from paid channels, and are the first opportunity to learn about them and start engaging them. These channels are useful for educating the audience about the destination and build a community of followers to start delivering the brand stories. Take advantage of the opportunity to provide a good first impression and build emotional connection and trust from the very beginning.
  • Followers’ channels become important so long as the destination becomes popular in the market and inspires stories and discussions. Influencing these channels contents and discussions is the biggest challenge of marketers 3.0: they have to listen and understand the followers’ passions and concerns to connect with them and ultimately influence them.

Content & media strategies are developed in the Whitepaper “The Marketing Plan 3.0”.

Would you add other considerations to the content media strategy?

Marketing 3.0Tourism marketing

New rules for story marketing in the digital era: transmedia storytelling

Beyond the generic story marketing principles, the digital era brings in new opportunities to deliver stories and interact with the audience in many ways, but the competition for the audience is tougher than ever before. Consumers nowadays view contents through many different channels and devices. The rise of the social media platforms has turned the marketing systems upside down, and so the strategies have to adapt.

Transmedia storytelling is the technique to deliver a story experience through many different platforms and formats, using digital technologies and adapting to various devices. Every platform and device has unique characteristics that make it necessary to develop unique contents adapted to these characteristics. The challenge of transmedia storytelling is to create all these different contents but to make them complementary in order to deliver a consistent storytelling experience.

Furthermore, thanks to the new technologies and social media platforms storytelling turns into a multi-directional conversation where everybody is entitled to participate, and therefore marketers have to shift their role into conversation enablers and facilitators. Marketers still have a say in these conversations, but no longer control the brand reputation.

They have turned from Brand Managers into storytellers, or more precisely, story conveyors. Now the branded content is no longer fully created by the marketing departments, it is developed through co-creation with consumers and other stakeholders.

With transmedia storytelling many marketing strategies need to be reviewed:

Content format strategy. The brand story has to adapt to various platforms and devices, and so needs to be produced in many formats such as video, podcast, e-book, micro-blogging, etc. delivering unique content experiences in every platform, but properly coordinated to deliver a consistent story experience for the followers using two or more different channels.

Content creation strategy. As aforementioned, stories in marketing 3.0 are primarily created by consumers and other stakeholders rather than by marketers. Marketing departments enable and facilitate the content co-creation among stakeholders. Stories have to come from consumers to be more authentic, meaningful and credible.

Content delivery strategy. In the new marketing paradigm stories are mostly delivered by the consumers themselves, who share the content they like and trust with their friends and relatives. Consumers mostly pay attention to the content received from their trusted acquaintances, and so the brand followers become the main story deliverers.

Content purpose strategy. Every piece of content should have just one purpose and so only one call to action. When creating the content piece marketers should clearly know what type of action they want the audience members to take, and communicate it clearly. Intending to drive multiple actions is likely to create confusion and end up with a passive reaction.

Content SEO strategy. Even if the strength of the content strategy is the desire of the followers to share their favorite stories, it is also convenient to take into account the SEO strategy. As long as we want to attract audience targets searching for specific topics, we have to consider the keywords they use in their searches to include them in our content.

Would you consider other strategy adaptations –apart from content media strategy-?