The Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism defined three main objectives for the 2015 Spring/Summer campaign:
- Enhance the Arkansas Brand Position
- Increase Occupancy and Visitation
- Strengthen Tourism Industry Partnerships
Using research, the Department developed a comprehensive, integrated marketing campaign based in research to deliver results based on these objectives.
As communication methods change, so do advertising options. Social Media is an undeniable and primary form of communication. Methods to advertise on social media are continually developing and changing. CJRW developed three new social media engagement campaigns for the Department: promoted pins on Pinterest, embedded video ads on Twitter and a blogger engagement campaign. Pinterest and Twitter approached the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism to participate in beta test groups for promoted pins and embedded video ads, respectively. In addition to the beta group opportunity, CJRW proposed leveraging a partnership with P. Allen Smith to develop a unique national blogger engagement campaign. Utilizing research and experience with different social media and content distribution methods, CJRW developed platform-specific social media plans for the Department to achieve campaign objectives.
CJRW’s digital department specializes in platform-specific social media and content approaches based in research and business objectives. Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism’s Spring/Summer campaign objectives already included a comprehensive campaign content support strategy, which translated the paid media campaign, dates, creative themes and messaging to social media. Having already developed short videos, like point-of-views, and campaign photography, CJRW developed a strategy for Pinterest and Twitter that utilized existing assets, and could extend on other social media, like Facebook, to maximize reach.
Pinterest Promoted Pins
After researching and identifying what content yields the most engagement, CJRW developed long-format pins aimed at increasing the Arkansas brand position (objective one) by promoting recent Arkansas accolades and niche activities.
Working with the media department, CJRW’s digital team promoted the pins to highly targeted audiences, drilling down on demographic areas, interests and keywords.
Embedded Video Ads on Twitter and Facebook
While embedded videos are not relatively new on Facebook, Twitter recently unveiled embedded video ads and is currently releasing functionality on a request basis through the ads manager. Knowing users are compelled by authentic and real experiences, CJRW repurposed existing point-of-view videos to make short videos to use on Twitter and Facebook.
The videos communicated that authentic, real experiences can be discovered on Arkansas.com, focusing on increasing occupancy and visitation (objective two).
#ARStory Blogger Engagement Campaign
Capitalizing on an opportunity through the Department’s partnership with P. Allen Smith, CJRW organized an engagement campaign with national bloggers that would be in Arkansas attending Smith’s Garden-to-Blog event. After the event, CJRW coordinated trips to specific DMAs utilizing industry partners. The campaign aimed to enhance the Arkansas brand position (objective one) by leveraging audiences and fans of the national bloggers with positive Arkansas messages. The campaign also aimed to increase occupancy and visitation (objective two) and strengthen tourism industry partnerships (objective three) by sending the bloggers on overnight trips with itineraries that showcased popular DMA attractions, lodging and dining.
CJRW created an Instagram “website” and curated all posts from the bloggers’ trips tagged with #ARStory. The Instagram “website” serves to organize user-generated photos into specific DMA Instagram accounts. CJRW continues to curate user photos in the Instagram “website.”
The new social media campaigns received 14,480,106 impressions total. This number does not include impressions received by the main campaign plan. During the campaign, Pinterest referrals to Arkansas. com were up 458 percent. Notably, Pinterest pins are not dated and continue to spread, oftentimes growing in popularity after they are posted. Pinterest quantifies this spread and designates it using “downstream.” Twitter referrals to Arkansas.com were up 180 percent. Social media campaign results details are as follows: