Unlock the Authentic Stories of a Destination Through Content Marketing

October 28, 2019

It’s no wonder that one of the oldest pieces of Western literature — “The Odyssey” — is a story about travel.

Ever since Greeks gathered around their bards nearly 3,000 years ago to hear about the journeys of Odysseus, stories about travel have been closely intertwined with the experience itself. After all, what’s the fun of travel if you can’t talk about it with your friends?

Story-telling content remains a cornerstone of a successful destination-marketing program today. Even though destination marketing is complex, and even though the challenges faced by destination-marketing organizations continue to grow, a well-told story remains a powerful tool.

Stories begin in the imaginations of travelers long before they take the first step on their vacation journey.

The North Lake Tahoe Ale Trail developed by The Abbi Agency for the destination marketing team at North Lake Tahoe inspires travelers to see themselves hiking through Sierra forests, paddling across crystal blue waters, and wrapping up the day with a handcrafted ale at one of watering holes that are among the favorites of local residents.

The campaign has won top honors in marketing competitions. Far more important, it created stories that resonated with consumers and turned dreamers into visitors.

Stories become even more powerful when they incorporate social-media influencers.

Recent campaigns developed by The Abbi Agency have delivered strong results for destination marketing and management organizations through the use of the authentic voices of micro-influencers.

As we prepared a destination-marketing plan for Goleta, a down-to-earth destination along California’s Central Coast, we worked with four micro-influencers who are highly engaged with their followers.

We invited them to town, helped them experience a wide range of activities and followed them with a video crew to capture their reactions.

Our micro-influencers generated more than 80 social media posts about their visits.  Those posts drew readership estimated at 420,000. And followers took time to engage with the posts about 22,000 times.

We provided good value to our destination-marketing partners in Goleta.  Rather than a one-off post by a micro-influencer, we created stories with long lives on the destination’s pages.

Best of all, the stories the influencers told in their posts were authentic.

Authenticity is the watchword, too, in a series of stories we called “Luminaries” that The Abbi Agency created for the destination-marketing organization at North Lake Tahoe.

Six local luminaries ranging from mountain athletes to a beloved local historian visit about their lives at Lake Tahoe in short-form documentaries and blog posts. The expertise and insights they share through their stories resonate strongly with audiences.

Professional fiddler Jenni Charles, for instance, shares her favorite spots to see live music at North Lake Tahoe — and her favorite activities with kids as well.

And who could be a better guide for visitors in search of fresh organic produce than renowned North Lake Tahoe chef Douglas Dale?

Their stories build a personal bond with potential visitors, encouraging visitors to stay longer, experience more deeply and build their own stories for a lifetime.

No other marketing tool can stir the imagination like a powerful, well-told story.  The best stories are all about journeys of discovery — just like the most meaningful travel experiences.

If your destination is ready to share its journey of discovery with the world, give us a call at The Abbi Agency. We’d love helping you shape your stories.