LOS ANGELES: Visit California, the tourism body for the Golden State, has effectively built out a content strategy that engages younger consumers around their passions and answers questions that people have about certain destinations.

Lynn Carpenter, vice president/marketing for Visit California, discussed this subject at the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) 2018 Digital & Social Media Conference.

A core component of the organisation’s strategy, she explained, has involved reaching younger consumers looking for “authenticity and connection” around their interests – a goal that encouraged adopting a more granular approach.

“We’ve got to get more surgical ... We’ve got to get more specific, and we’ve got to speak to people’s passion points,” said Carpenter. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: California Tourism gets “surgical” with focus on shorter messages to younger audiences.)

These changes have been facilitated by digital channels, with expanded online content that was much more tailored for a younger audience.

“If you are a culinary traveler, we are going to create content for you,” Carpenter said. “We’re going to get off the [generic] ‘Visit California’ brand platform and create [material] around specific travel desires and formulations.”

Another example of turning this philosophy into practice involved crafting expanded online travel guides for certain locations, as Google query data indicated that potential visitors were asking questions on a very deep level.

“They aren’t saying, ‘Give me five amazing things to do in Anza-Borrego [Desert State Park],’” Carpenter said. “They’re saying, ‘What five things should I do in June with kids on a budget in Anza-Borrego.’”

The analysis of keyword searches, both by traffic volume and topic, looked to see how the nonprofit’s website could provide the best travel information. It ultimately honed in on 35 subjects, two with alternates.

And the concept driver was not to respond to the most common queries, but to focus on ones where Visit California could be uniquely helpful.

“Our metric was could we create increased relevance for our own assets through content that people were looking for,” Carpenter said.

And the result was “Visit California 101”, a series of quick, two-minute-or-less video guides to locations such as Venice Beach or Yosemite National Park that provide a short list of things to see and do.

“This is very insight-driven information, (put together) under a predictive model,” Carpenter said. “It’s been a huge game-changer for us in terms of relevance of our website.”

Sourced from WARC