Destination: Mid Wales

Change perceptions, raise awareness and promote what is unique. Three of the key objectives set by Mid Wales Tourism (MWT) when they approached us to deliver an authentic, destination focused marketing campaign.

With a host of social content in mind, MWT wanted an ad agency to highlight the real people, characters and culture of Mid Wales through an innovative, social media campaign – targeting millennials aged between 27 and 40, within a 2-4 hour journey time of the Mid Wales region.

The brand set three key performance indicators that were to be achieved through paid activity, this was to  gain a reach of 2,000,000 impressions, 30,000 video views, and 3,000 engagements for the brand..

We set out to refine the brand’s identity and reinforce it time and time again across a range of consistent content – leaving consumers in no doubt ‘who’ the Real Mid Wales brand truly is, as well as what Mid Wales can offer them as a travel destination. While strengthening the brand’s identity, we opted to be incredibly selective of content and so eradicated any items that simply didn’t work to support the desired adventurous look and feel of the brand.

This strategy complemented Visit Wales’ content approach, helping to maintain a clear look and feel for the Wales brand as a whole, via precise content choices.

We went on to develop an effective channel strategy for targeting the brand’s demographic, placing a focus on Facebook and Instagram as the key channels needed to engage with millennials and best suited to display ‘escapist’ tourism content. This thinking led to the launch of a brand new Visit Mid Wales Instagram account a first for MWT Cymru.

To enable the effective implementation of this strategy, we created a six-step content filter system that all proposed content had to adhere to – an ‘acid test’ of sorts to ensure each piece of content met brand standards and played its part in building the Mid Wales brand identity further. We developed this  by creating a nucleus for the brand, identifying its single minded proposition – the truly unbranded travel destination for escapism.

Further research on MWT’s audience revealed that they responded most to quirky, adventurous and otherworldly aspects of Mid Wales. With this in mind, we knew original content would be key to ensuring we could appeal to our millennial audience. Throughout the campaign period, we undertook three content shoots around Mid Wales, each time capturing a range of content from carefully selected locations.

We liaised with MWT Cymru partners to find the best possible sites for these shoots before plotting them across a map route, incorporating interviewees with a story to tell along the way – further showing the characteristics and culture of Mid Wales. We produced content across the newest and most interactive multimedia content types available, covering high quality stop-motion videos on Instagram, suite of drone content, time-lapse videos and poll style graphics which encouraged users to tag their friends and engage with the brand. One of our main objectives was to produce content that created a real Mid Wales experience for our users, for example, force touch videos that asked users to ‘press for sound’.

Finally, in addition to these shoots – we used Instagram stories as a ‘third channel’ to showcase captured content. It was used to broadcast our collated imagery but also to share high quality images taken by other users that had caught our eye while scrolling through relevant hashtags and the Instagram explore page.

Instagram Stories were also used for social takeovers, covering major Mid Wales events – a way in which Mid Wales could build relationships with influential content creators and bloggers. During Hay Festival 2018, we handed the reigns over  to Llio Angharad, a Cardiff based lifestyle and food blogger. Llio captured real time footage of the event and promoted the takeover on her own channel, meaning the newly formed MWT Instagram had exposure to over 1,2000 followers.

Overall the campaign exceeded every KPI, with  a reach of over a 2,700 ,000, 79,000+ video views, 22,000+ engagements and 1,600+ new followers delivered to audiences within 2-4 hours’ journey time of Mid Wales.  The campaign also achieved extended results such: as 1,000 pieces of original and on-brand content produced and provided to MWT Cymru for the use during and beyond the campaign; a feature of Visit Mid Wales’ content on Visit Wales’ Instagram, which enjoys a following of 128K; and newly created mutually beneficial relationships with five tourism accounts who now continuously support and engage Visit Mid Wales on social media.

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