In 2018 we set out to achieve one primary goal: Introduce the magic of Prince Rupert to fellow British Columbians, Albertans, and Pacific Northwesterners in Washington State. Having reached hundreds of thousands of people, giving each of them an amazing look into Northern BC’s coastal gem, we followed up in 2019 by continuing to share its unique experiences and aimed to capture intent to travel by creating an opportunity for visitors to personally tailor their own dream holiday, whether that was on the ocean with pods of whales or in the skies, taking in the idyllic landscapes from above.
The collective goal of both campaigns: make it easy for travellers to imagine themselves visiting the small town with a lot to offer.
Here you’ll see how we developed a social media strategy to take people from awareness to intent, how each is benefitted by the other, and how it creates opportunity to develop relationships, drive visits, and create real opportunities.
A social media campaign was developed and executed in 2018 to build awareness of Prince Rupert as a vacation destination by poking fun at the notion that there’s “nothing to see” in Prince Rupert – a fact that anyone who has visited or lives there knows to be the exact opposite of the real world experience.
The strategy was to plant a seed in travellers’ minds that there is a gem tucked away on BC’s northern coast and to invite them to get a chance to see it for themselves. The content plan included stunning images (and tongue-in-cheek messaging) that showed off all of the “nothing” that Prince Rupert has to offer, from groups of humpback whales to families of bears, to wilderness hikes and fresh, local cuisine. It became clear that, in reality, Prince Rupert contains a wealth of so many things that are only seen on TV in most other places in BC, or the world.
Finally, travellers were offered a chance to win trips and experiences in town by engaging with social media posts and entering their emails.
With hundreds of thousands of impressions and tens of thousands of engagements at the end of the campaign, we began setting the course to capitalize on this awareness by moving people towards conversion in 2019’s follow-on campaign.
Prince Rupert is best in person. Photos, videos, and secondhand accounts are amazing, and can’t possibly do justice to the natural beauty and connection experienced when travellers see it with their own eyes. The locals really have it best. “For Your Eyes Only” messaging was shared to have fun with the idea that there are both hidden gems and big spectacles that need to be seen in real life to be truly appreciated, spinning off of 2018’s “Nothing to See Here” messaging.
To encourage visits in peak and shoulder seasons, Prince Rupert welcomed everyone along Highway 16 in BC and Alberta as an honorary local by inviting them over for the weekend. The Highway 16 corridor was targeted with tailored ads that speak directly to them, giving them an “exclusive” invitation to the party (sorry not sorry, Vancouver).
As with “Nothing to See Here”, travellers were again invited to enter to win an all-inclusive vacation, this time with an important twist. Each entrant was asked to build their own dream trip by choosing their ideal accommodation, daily activities including whale and grizzly bear watching, and even where they’d like to dine each night. The goal here was two-fold:
By first creating awareness and interest in Prince Rupert, people were primed for the next times they were exposed to it – leading to intent to learn more and explore the experiences, possibilities, and logistics of trip planning.
The opportunities that this has opened up include a deeper understanding of the visitor profile, which can be used to tailor future messaging, create vacation packages, and even inform stakeholders of new business development opportunities. It also means that Prince Rupert now has tens of thousands of people in its sales funnel, with many of those just one encouraging nudge away from booking their next holiday.
Interested in learning about how Junction’s Digital Destination Development program could work for your brand? We’d love to have a chat.