Spotlight: Louisiana Office of TourismDestinations facing challenge with resilience and creativity
Louisiana Travel’s Tiny Trips Social Video Campaign
Resilience and creativity have always been hallmarks of the travel industry. At Miles, we’ve been inspired by the innovative ways that destinations and organizations are exemplifying those qualities, adapting to meet the extraordinary challenges presented by COVID-19. We will be spotlighting those efforts here each week to help share that inspiration throughout the industry.
Read on to find out how the Louisiana Office of Tourism has been engaging their social media audience with short “Tiny Trips” videos that provide a moment of calm and escape from the chaos.
Challenge: Hot Spot
The state of Louisiana, and specifically the city of New Orleans, was hit especially hard by the COVID-19 health crisis. As the number of cases grew, the city became a news headline across the U.S. One of Louisiana’s biggest draws is its amazing array of celebrations and festivals year-round. (In fact, the state hosts more festivals than there are days in the year!) Knowing those festivals likely wouldn’t be returning soon, the Louisiana Office of Tourism wanted to remind people of another one of the state’s unique draws: incredible natural beauty. With so much uncertainty and worry, the Louisiana Office of Tourism also realized the growing need for a mental escape from noise and chaos.
Strategy: Phases of Positivity
The Louisiana Office of Tourism took an empathetic approach, developing a 3-phase social video campaign called “Tiny Trips,” produced in partnership with Miles, to bring a sense of calm and positivity to their followers and fans. The videos are being shared over phases of time that coincide with the loosening of government orders and increasing positive consumer sentiment around travel, progressively introducing elements like people and music. Each of the short videos were produced from existing b-roll as well as UGC.
The first phase of videos rolled out in April and displayed beautiful scenery from around Louisiana with soft, natural background sound and no narration. Phase 2 recently launched in anticipation of the state’s lifting of the stay-at-home order and is more aspirational in nature. Videos in the second phase still showcase Louisiana’s natural beauty, but add a single person, usually an influencer from their existing Bayou Krewe Ambassador program, as well as music. Videos in Phase 3 will include messaging from the Lt. Governor giving an update and encouraging travelers (who may have planned on visiting for a festival that is now canceled) to visit Louisiana for the beautiful scenery and many outdoor activities it offers.
Results: Virtual Calm
The Tiny Trip social video campaign has resonated deeply with the Louisiana Office of Tourism’s social media audience, as reflected by the high levels of engagement and video views. By taking this considerate and empathetic approach, the Louisiana Office of Tourism meets travelers where they are, providing an escape and keeping the destination at the forefront—without making a strong call-to-action. It’s also been a very effective way to leverage the strong existing network of Bayou Krewe Ambassadors to amplify the effort and present a united message about the destination through a complicated time. As the campaign unfolds, the Louisiana Office of Tourism will continue to track engagement and video views to measure the success of the campaign.
To learn more, we emailed the Director of Communications for Louisiana Office of Tourism, Jennifer Berthelot, to ask about the strategy behind their phased approach to their Tiny Trips social video campaign and how they are measuring the campaign’s success.
What are some of the overall goals/objectives for the COVID-19 response videos that are being shared on social media?
Keeping Louisiana in people’s hearts and minds when they cannot travel and doing so with a moment of calm. With social channels (even more-so now than when these were initially planned) deteriorating into negative news, fear-mongering, panic, and now political divisiveness, a moment of calm and beauty from Louisiana attracts attention in a positive way. Additionally, with the focus on outdoors and social distancing, it is a great opportunity for us to share the unique landscape of Louisiana. And finally, Phase 3’s goals are focused on reopening, and so they change from just top-of-mind to a call for in-state and out-of-state visitors to experience Louisiana.
What was the strategy behind the phased release of these social videos?
The idea behind the phases was to slowly reintroduce people and music as we moved toward a reopening and the crisis comes more under control. When much of the country was under complete lockdown (barring essential retail) and fear levels were high, the videos included only scenery and only natural sounds. As the country slowly begins to open and the population begins to feel hopeful as case numbers drop, the videos reincorporate people and music, sharing some outdoor adventures and experiences that allow for social distancing, like biking, fishing, etc. The final phase, Phase 3, is reserved for reopening of public spaces, finally scaling up to encourage in-state and out-of-state visitors to enjoy Louisiana.
How has the Bayou Krewe Ambassador influencer program supported this campaign/initiative?
Videos in Phase 2 feature some of our Bayou Krewe Ambassadors.
Are you seeing any content trends in the types of social videos users are interacting and engaging with most often?
Overall, users are reacting very positively to these beautiful shots of nature and calm. It’s been phenomenal, as we’ve seen both local pride of residents that follow our feed as well as out-of-state users proclaiming their desire to return to Louisiana as soon as possible. We just rolled out Phase 2 and I’m anxious to see the results and interactions with these now that people are included in the videos.
How are you measuring the success of the three phases of COVID-19 response social videos?
We’re measuring all engagements including video views (including view-throughs), reactions, sentiment of comments and shares.
Do you have any tips for other DMOs about engaging social media audiences during this uncertain time?
We’ve seen a lot of success with our strategies, which seem to fall in line a lot with what the rest of the industry is doing – virtual experiences and being mindful of keeping soft CTAs. People are anxious, frightened, and, of late, angry. We know it’s not the time to target them with demands to plan your trip. Messages that we are thinking of you provide more camaraderie, which I think speaks of Louisiana’s people and spirit.
Are there any future exciting things coming up for Louisiana that you’d like to share?
We are currently working on the strategic recovery plan we’ll be implementing as travel begins to show signs of return.
Take a Tiny Trip
Follow Louisiana Travel to enjoy these inspiring moments of calm and natural beauty.