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The European NTO
digital benchmark
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
METHODOLOGY
THINK TANK INTRODUCTION
CONTENT - INTRODUCTION
CONTENT - INSPIRING & PRACTICAL
ENGAGING VIA PROMOTIONAL CAMPAIGNS
ENGAGING VIA USER GENERATED CONTENT
EXAMPLES OUTSIDE OUR SECTOR
MOBILE DEVICES
2
3
4
13
20
26
49
57
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METHODOLOGY
METHODOLOGY
In this report, we highlight NTOs and their effectiveness in the digital space. We aim to highlight some great examples of NTOs
and their various strategies, illustrated with some great examples. To add context, we also highlight external sector examples too.
To reach our key findings, a comprehensive audit and indexing exercise was carried out over the period of 1 month (March 2013).
Each variable (for example 'Local languages available') was analysed both;
qualitatively - using the Digital Think Tank/Last Exit benchmarking criteria.
quantitatively - a system was used in order to set 'scores' for analysis and indexing.
From the quantitative data, certain conclusions were made. These are highlighted throughout the benchmarking report.
NB: Due to the nature of the digital space, since publication, online and digital examples highlighted may have been updated.
All content within this report is valid at March-June 2013.
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THINK TANK INTRODUCTION
This report investigates the use of digital marketing by the European tourism sector, and benchmarks best practice. It takes an
in-depth look at how the European National Tourism Organisations are using digital; from strategy to content marketing and distribution.
The report examines the following key areas:
- Content
- Engagement
- Social Media
- Mobile Devices
These four areas represent key parts of a destination’s digital strategy. With the world becoming increasingly digitally connected,
and with new technologies quickly evolving, it is absolutely crucial to get these right. Marketers need to be ready for this evolution
and adapt quickly to the latest trends and developments taking place.
The best practice examples highlighted within the report indicate that while some destinations are quite advanced in digital,
many are lacking, making innovation necessary.
With the many new digital channels available, there are tremendous opportunities for destinations to differentiate themselves
amongst the competition, to create rich brand experiences.
The European NTO digital benchmark report is designed to help destination marketers to be more innovative, strategic
and savvy when navigating the digital marketing landscape.
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CONTENT: INTRODUCTION
Content is central to the 45 NTO websites that have been examined. The content contained and
offered to the user is considered of paramount importance, as it drives:
Trip itinerary inspiration
Engagement with the destination’s tourism organisations
Motivation to act, i.e. book a trip to that destination
Within the travel and tourism sector, there’s no shortage of opportunities to create rich content. However, it can be
difficult in selecting the right content and presenting this in the most effective way.
Within this section of the report we take a look at our audit findings regarding content, pick out our favourite
examples and also highlight how an organisation can take some simple steps in optimising their own content.
Let’s first highlight some simple tips and techniques for enhancing the usability and readability
of a website's content.
A good place to start is with the thoughts of expert web developer Jacob Gube. The following 'quick-tips' are our
summary of Gube’s thoughts and should be regarded as ‘sound advice’ for creating user-friendly web pages.
CONTENT:
INTRODUCTION
"Users often leave web pages in 10-20
seconds, but pages with a clear value
proposition can hold people's attention for
much longer”
Jakob Nielsen
Usability expert
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CONTENT: INTRODUCTION
For user-friendly web pages, these five principles, based on Gube’s thoughts, will aid the site visitor:
For example, research reveals that: Use of margins "lower levels of physical fatigue during
reading and creates greater satisfaction with the layout for the presentation of textbook,
leisure, and news material".
Keep it brief
Use images wisely
Make pages scannable
Think blocks and sections
Remember the white space
A study by Jakob Nielsen claims that by cutting roughly half the words
on a web page, a 58% increase in usability can be achieved.
Pictures engage users. Images are now one of the "default modes of sorting and
understanding" on the web. A 2012 study by ROI Research found that forty-four percent of
respondents are more likely to engage with brands if they post images, than any other media.
Users skim content. Research by Nielsen revealed that structuring your web
pages with skimming in mind (e.g. using bullet points, one idea per paragraph)
can improve usability by as much as 47%.
Nielsen's eyetracking visualizations show that users often read web pages in an
F-shaped pattern: two horizontal stripes followed by a vertical stripe.
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HOMEPAGE CONTENT
OUR FINDINGS
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HOMEPAGE CONTENT
KEY DETAIL
Very good HP content
Good HP content
Professional, room for optimisation
Imagery is fitting, ‘high quality’ pictures used (location shot, creative message conveyed, inspirational/iconic photography.
Image placement is balanced.
Video is engaging/informative. Video has been positioned well and content is of good informative/inspirational quality.
Interactive content. A good level of content such as maps, travel planner, video, itinerary which are useful and easy to use.
The website homepage is still considered to be an important “shop window”. It is generally the landing page for much of the site traffic and a place where first impressions can count. Users
arrive and when viewing content for the first time are asking themselves key questions, such as: is the content quality on this site going to meet my visiting requirements, will it
be trustworthy, easy to navigate and understand, to name but a few.
CRITERIA
• When evaluating the quality of NTO website homepage content, The Think Tank judged the use of: Hero images, images, video and interactive content, see a key below to help explain this.
• Seen on the following page, our chart highlights the quantity of audited websites which currently offer users a great homepage experience.
Imagery is fitting. Photography is well placed.
Some useful video content included.
Interactive content. Some content such as maps, travel planner, video, itinerary.
Some tools such as maps, but may not always be easy to use as industry leading plug-in tools, imagery
used but not always best placement/use of image. Interactive content is apparent but not always user
friendly. Room for improvement in some audited areas.
HOMEPAGE CONTENT
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HOMEPAGE CONTENT: THE FINDINGS
A good proportion of websites reached the ‘Very Good’ grade across all of the homepage sub-categories. Sites that reached the Good to Very Good grade for
their homepages, include: Austrian National Tourist Board, Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions, German National Tourist Board and Visit Greenland.
The chart, below, indicates the proportion of audited websites that currently offer ‘very good’ homepage content.
THE FINDINGS
Website homepages
rated on the quality of
their:
hero imagery,
video content, use of
photography and
interactive content.
HOMEPAGE CONTENT Very good HP Content
Good HP Content
Professional, room for optimisation
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HOMEPAGE CONTENT: EXAMPLES
The Austrian National Tourist Board homepage makes a clear,
compelling statement that addresses the target audience.
• It uses clear, empathetic, photos
• It demonstrates what makes Austria different, and validates that
message with additional content
• It allows the site visitor to educate themselves with easy access
to brochures, calendars and maps
• Has multipurpose interactive features, such as a map detailing a
wide range of activities together with travel information – localising
an information service feature
• Quick links to inspiring video features
• The website can be shared on social networks easily.
HIGHLIGHTING
A GREAT EXAMPLE
THE AUSTRIAN NATIONAL
TOURIST BOARD HOMEPAGE
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HOMEPAGE CONTENT: EXAMPLES
The Visit Greenland website homepage is another great example.
Iconic, fitting imagery is given ‘hero’ status on the homepage. Via
a timed carousel function, iconic imagery is switched. This makes
it even more engaging, while remaining appealing to a wide audience.
At least 5 hero images, each with different accompanying calls to action
are highlighted in this bold approach. Each aim to attract interest from
what is likely to be a varying audience.
VISIT
GREENLAND
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HOMEPAGE CONTENT: EXAMPLES
HIGHLIGHTING AN
EXTERNAL EXAMPLE
THE UK VOLKSWAGEN HOMEPAGE
http://www.volkswagen.co.uk
is much admired for its simplicity. It has the confidence, backed, no
doubt, by research, to segment its messaging to its key audiences.
In a similar way to the Austrian National Tourist Board example, it
highlights the brand simply and addresses user’s requirements via
the options available on the homepage.
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HOMEPAGE: CONCLUSIONS
NTO HOMEPAGE CONCLUSIONS
• Having an understanding of what visitors want from the web is important, in order to help them navigate to their desired destination
as easily and quickly as possible. It is important to understand their visit needs and to supply the information in an easy to digest,
engaging way.
• Interactive content can help users to start investigating quickly and build desire to discover other areas of the site.
• Balancing out the display of homepage content is important. It should be simple and not too overpowering, while conveying relevant
information to help guide a user through to the pages most relevant to their visit.
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CONTENT SECTION 2:
INSPIRING & PRACTICAL CONTENT
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INSPIRING & PRACTICAL CONTENT
Within the audit, The Think Tank looked at the NTO sites’ ability to cover off 'two key pillars of content. These are: 1. Inspiring content and 2. Practical content. See the key on
this page in order to understand the measure of 'what good looks like'.
KEY DETAIL
Very good inspirational
and practical content
Good inspirational
and practical content
Professional, room for optimisation
Very good inspirational content is judged by: Satisfying detailed content is provided consistently.
It should consistently cover a high standard across various subjects including but not limited to:
itineraries, events, seasonal content, blog, videos and games.
Very good practical content is judged by: Provides relevant and useful information in an easy to
digest and succinct way. Information gives a user extra insight, helpful for itinerary planning and is
easy to find and navigate. It should consistently offer this information in subjects including but not
limited to: 'how to get there', 'how to get around’, 'accommodation options', 'eating out', 'useful local
tips' and 'local regulations'.
CRITERIA
• When evaluating the quality of NTO website homepage content, The Think Tank judged the mixture of practical and inspirational content. See key below for full breakdown.
• A graph, on the next page, highlights the audited websites which currently offer users a good level of inspirational and practical content.
Offers some of the above, but not consistently. For example, some may well offer useful
practical content, but not always present inspirational content in an easy to digest format.
Some information presented, though not as inspiring as it perhaps could be with some
updates. Practical information not always easy to digest. Room for improvement in
some audited areas.
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INSPIRING & PRACTICAL CONTENT: THE FINDINGS
Nearly a quarter of audited websites offer consistently good practical and inspirational content. Over 50% remaining offer a good mixture of practical and inspirational content.
THE FINDINGS
The red and green
slices indicate the
proportion of audited
websites that offer
‘extensive’ and ‘good’
practical and
inspirational content
consistently
Very good inspirational
and practical content
Good inspirational
and practical content
Professional, room for optimisation
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INSPIRING & PRACTICAL CONTENT: EXAMPLES
• The German National Tourist Board website presents practical
information remarkably well and contains a satisfying number of events;
good functional interactive events calendar; detailed information on
events with photos/videos/links provided.
• Inspiration can be taken from the way in which they present activities to
appeal to all audiences. Colour categories / tiles take a user to their
chosen page and then imagery helps ‘sell the story’ of that topic. Often
use ‘headline tiles’ together with full bleed iconic imagery to great
aesthetic affect.
HIGHLIGHTING
A GREAT EXAMPLE
GERMAN NATIONAL
TOURIST BOARD
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INSPIRING & PRACTICAL CONTENT: EXAMPLES
INSPIRATIONAL CONTENT,
EXTERNAL EXAMPLE
• Red Bull are masters at inspirational content, that is: content that
is designed to inspire an action. Red Bull’s famous space jump,
told an exciting story with a clear beginning, middle, and end. Its
strong narrative led to massive audience engagement around
the Red Bull brand. For example, the Red Bull space jump
Facebook Page received more than 900,000 interactions on the
day of the jump, alone!
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www.redbull.com
CONTENT: INTRODUCTION
The award-winning site for Gentofte Kommune (local council)
is a great example of practical content presented in a user
friendly fashion.
This mobile-optimised site is task-oriented & employs a clear
and intuitive information architecture.
The internal search function is predictive and the results can
be filtered by type, date and relevance.
The site also has an accompanying app which citizens can
use to photograph and report location-specific issues in the
community.
PRACTICAL CONTENT,
EXTERNAL EXAMPLE
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http://www.gentofte.dk/
CONCLUSIONS
• The mix of both inspirational and practical
content being presented consistently is important.
• Use of iconic real life imagery, blogs, videos and games
helps users to investigate holiday destinations from their home
computers, and inspire them to find out more.
• Use of practical tools such as interactive maps, plus information at a
local level, such as ‘dining out’ helps users plan practically and can
help reassure.
• External links to events/recommended sites helps users plan on a
practical level.
CONCLUSIONS ON
CONTENT TYPES
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Screengrab from the Destination Germany website.
http://www.germany.travel/en/events/events/cologne-lights.html
CONTENT SECTION 3:
ENGAGING VIA
PROMOTIONAL CAMPAIGNS
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ENGAGING VIA PROMOTIONAL CAMPAIGNS
Within the audit, promotional content was also investigated. In this section of the report, we highlight the importance of promotional activity
and highlight great examples.
Marketing expert Roddy Mullin notes that most promotions are designed to meet common objectives. These include:
• Widen usage
• Create interest
• Raise/create awareness
• Aid brand perceptions
• Increase sales
We can use the above ‘promotional objectives’ and relate them to our audit. We know that creating interest and widening appeal/usage is at
the centre of many organisations’ remits. Raising awareness of what can be discovered in their destination, helps ‘sell’ their destination to users.
Brand perceptions can also be altered / strengthened by the type of promotion.
Why go promotional?
Promotions can help deliver against a number of variables.
For example:
• Data capture for future comms
• Branding of the site and destination
• Go viral and spread the word
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ENGAGING VIA PROMOTIONAL CAMPAIGNS
PROMOTIONAL OBJECTIVE PROMOTION CHECKLIST
Widen usage
Create interest
Raise/create awareness
User generated content approach encourages additional interaction with the brand/destination.
The Norway ‘Screams’ campaign has a great mix of promotional elements.
In addition to this, it is important to note that this promotion engages the audience additionally via the use and championing of, user generated content.
(User generated content is discussed further in the following section within ‘content 4’.)
A naturally ‘PR-able campaign’ via use of globally recognised art. Promotion uses social
media channels to help create interest around the globe.
The online channel and accompanying video, plus sharing options available on the site,
together with regular prize draws really helped push the awareness of the destination and the
site. They ‘promoted the promotion’ well.
Aid brand perceptions Brand perceptions were aided via the use video advertising the promotion. In this
video, a large range of desitinations and activities which engage with people
emotionally are highlighted. The ‘task’ within the promotion itself is also ‘lighthearted
fun’ also helping to aid perceptions of a visit to that destination.
Increase sales At time of publication: We have no data for visitor numbers around the peak and
following holiday periods of this promotion.
NORWAY ‘SCREAMS’ CAMPAIGN
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ENGAGING VIA PROMOTIONAL CAMPAIGNS: EXAMPLES
NORWAY ‘SCREAMS’ CAMPAIGN
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ENGAGING VIA PROMOTIONAL CAMPAIGNS: EXAMPLES
In order to highlight the impact a promotion can have for our NTOs, we have also chosen an example external to the sector. The (Unilever) Axe promotion is currently live
as of March 2013.
PROMOTIONAL OBJECTIVE PROMOTION CHECKLIST
Widen usage
Create interest
Raise/create awareness
Increased brand exposure via campaign is likely to have positive impact on sales.
The very nature of the incentive on offer in this promotion (after assumed research) should
resonate well with target consumers.
The innovative and single minded prize, together with an on-brand look and feel and national
through the line media spend will all make this campaign one of the biggest this year.
Aid brand perceptions Axe created their brand personality over time, however via the tone of voice and nature
of this promotion, they are strengthening their brand perceptions.
Increase sales
Promotion currently live. Data not available. Based on size of promotion, we anticipate
large increases in sales globally.
AXE APOLLO SPACE ACADEMY
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AXE APOLLO SPACE ACADEMY
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ENGAGING VIA PROMOTIONAL CAMPAIGNS: EXAMPLES
25
CONTENT SECTION 4:
ENGAGING VIA USER
GENERATED CONTENT
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ENGAGING VIA UGC
KEY DETAIL
Good use of UGC
Moderate use of UGC
None or Minimal
(Professional, with room
for development)
A variety of high-end, user friendly UGC tools and functions, including but not limited to
content comment space, blogs, user itineraries, video posts, image uploading, peer
recommendations, reviews, third party plug in usage (e.g trip advisor).
Some of the above, but in less quantity/quality.
Minimal to no use of UGC. Existing usage could be developed / optimised.
WHAT IS UGC IN 2013?
The BBC’s succinct definition of UGC:
• User generated content ("UGC"), also commonly known as 'citizen journalism', 'social media' or 'participatory media', refers to a wide variety of media content that is produced
by our audiences as opposed to content made by the organisation, independent production companies or individual contributors commissioned by the organisation.
• In recent years UGC has expanded due to developing technologies that are now readily available, including digital video and images, mobile text messages,
blogging, message boards, emails and audio submissions.
NTO’S AND USER GENERATED CONTENT
• UGC can take many forms within an NTO website. From TripAdvisor reviews and Facebook plugins through to user participation in promotions and individual uploads of content.
• NTOs and their use of UGC is evolving. In this section of the report, we look at the number of audited sites which currently use UGC, highlight good examples and note some
key findings.
• 93% of travellers are influenced by reviews in their travel planning and 90% of travellers rely on UG reviews when booking accommodation (Tripadvisor 2013, in Tripbarometer study)
CRITERIA
In order to help categorise the findings, the key below details how The Think Tank judged the performance of the audited websites. We then look at examples in further detail.
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ENGAGING VIA UGC: THE FINDINGS
Of the audited websites, we can see that a large proportion of sites are not yet employing user generated content within their campaigns.
This might be due to the cost of policing the UGC environment, other perhaps, are not yet ‘sold’ on its advantages.
THE FINDINGS
The black and
yellow slices of the
pie-chart indicate
audited websites
offer users ‘good’
and ‘moderate’
UGC. We identify
that some NTOs
could benefit from
implementation of
UGC.
None
Minimal
Moderate
Good
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ENGAGING VIA UGC: EXAMPLES
The Think Tank research highlights VisitBritain’s use
of “user-generated” style blog posts from UK bloggers.
Their blog posts add an authenticity and engaging
honesty to VisitBritain’s marketing efforts.
http://www.visitbritainsuperblog.com/
UGC CONTENT,
NTO EXAMPLE
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ENGAGING VIA UGC: EXAMPLES
GoPro cameras place “user generated” content at the
heart of their marketing campaigns. They feature the best
of the clips filmed by their customers on their massively
popular Facebook page. The best of their videos are often
picked up by the global news media. According to Unmetric
data, in “terms of Facebook fan growth, the consumer
electronics industry is growing by 12%, whereas GoPro
grew by 17% in the same period”.
https://www.facebook.com/gopro
UGC EXTERNAL EXAMPLE
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ENGAGING VIA UGC: THOUGHT-STARTERS
THOUGHT-STARTERS FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF UGC
The results of user generated campaigns can be impressive. It’s been reported that brand lift metrics can increase between 300 percent and 450 percent (VivaKi research
division, the Pool, 2012). However, across the board, online engagement rates are usually low, with “roughly one percent of people who "like" a Facebook page returning
to that page”. So, where to begin with UGC?
Make it easy for the audience to engage
Don’t set the bar impossibly high, in terms of contribution quality. The easier the user input, the higher the expected return rate.
Make it worthwhile
Know your customer, and make sure your campaign empowers them, by allowing self-expression.
Make it fun!
If the content-creation process is not enjoyable, submissions will be scarce. The appropriate use of gamification and social utility principles, can introduce
elements of sociability and competition into the campaign… making your campaigns more enjoyable to engage with.
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LANGUAGE USAGE
LANGUAGE USAGE: THE INTERNATIONAL OUTLOOK
As tourism source markets, China, Brazil and the Middle East are all growing in importance.
Facts and figures:
In 2012, 80 million Chinese travelled abroad, while 2.9 billion domestic trips were registered. UNWTO, 2013
China’s expenditure on travel abroad reached US$ 102 billion in 2012, making it the first tourism source market in the world in terms of spending. UNWTO, 2013
“… the Chinese Government, and particularly CNTA, will continue to promote the traveling of Chinese people abroad as we believe in the mutual benefits of
collaboration – by continuing to send Chinese travellers to Europe, the benefits will eventually flow back to China.”, Mr. Shao Qiwei, the Chairman of the China
National Tourism Administration (CNTA). UNWTO, 2013
With the 2012 surge, China surpassed both top spender Germany and second largest spender United States (both close to US$ 84 billion in 2012).
Brazil: In UNWTO’s list of the World's Top Tourism Spenders, Brazil, with an expenditure of US$ 22 billion in 2012, has risen to 12th place up from 29th place in 2005.
The Middle East region is one of the smallest, yet fast growing, tourist generating regions in the world. Outbound travel from the Middle East has more than
quadrupled from 8.2 million in 1990 to 36.2 million in 2010. With a rising population and increasing disposable incomes especially in the GCC countries, its outbound
travel market could top $20bn within the next 20 years, according to the UNWTO.
NTOS & EMERGING MARKETS
“All consumers face frustrations during the destination, shopping and booking process, however, those in emerging markets are more frustrated than their developed
counterparts” found a Amadeus-commissioned study, 2012, conducted by PhoCusWright Inc.
But are NTO websites catering for emerging markets?
The Think Tank research reveals that of the 45 audited NTO websites, the most popular language used on NTO sites is English, with 40 sites recorded. As an aside…
more Indians speak English than any other language, with the sole exception of Hindi.
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LANGUAGE USAGE
% of audited NTOs currently offering language options to suit emerging markets
The language barrier is very real to potential tourists from the “emerging markets”.
The opportunity is so large, NTOs should be looking at how their messaging measures up for a new era, in which, for example: “some 200 million Chinese could
be travelling abroad annually by 2020, up from 82 million in 2012.” (Reuters)
As Martin Buck, from the ITB has said: "Forty years ago, when Germans and Brits first started coming to Spain and Greece, they were a strange race too,”
"But Spain and Greece used the chance to make those visitors into an important pillar of their economies…”
NTOs which do not offer Chinese, Portuguese and Arabic as language options should start to implement these to future-proof their sites.
0%
5%
10%
15%
20%
25%
30%
Arabic Chinese Portuguese
In conclusion
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SOCIAL MEDIA
SOCIAL MEDIA
It’s estimated that there are 2.8 billion social media profiles, enough for half of the Internet users worldwide.
For example…
And just to underline the point:
• According to ComScore, social media now captures most PC screen time in Europe.
• 47% of Americans agree that they follow or engage with at least one brand on a social networking site, according to a survey by Ipsos Open Thinking Exchange, 2013
• Social media continue to be the hottest internet story in China, with active users numbers fast approaching 600 million – almost twice the total population of the USA, reports Social
Media Today
• On the next page we’ll look at how our audited NTOs use social media…
Facebook
Sina Weibo
Twitter
Instagram
Pinterest
Youtube
1.06 billion monthly active users, 680 million mobile users, more than 50 million pages and 10 million apps
503 million users
48.7 million users
100 million users, 4 billion photos
1 billion users, 4 billion views per day
500 million total users, more than 200 million active users
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The chart, above, highlights the most common consumer-facing social media accounts used by our NTOs. Five is the average number of social media
platforms in use. Other social websites are also used, but not as consistently. These include: LinkedIn, Foursquare and Tumblr.
Social media platforms used by NTOs
0%
20%
40%
60%
80%
100%
FACEBOOK TWITTER YOUTUBE PINTEREST FLICKR GOOGLE + TRIP ADVISOR INSTAGRAM
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SOCIAL MEDIA
35
SOCIAL MEDIA
The world’s top brands are increasingly active on social media.
• Among Interbrand’s top 100 brands, Facebook is the most used platform, then in order of popularity: Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram.
• Pinterest and Instagram are the “rising star” mainstream social media platforms.
• Adoption of Pinterest by the Top 100 brands rose six percentage points (63% to 69%) from November 2012 to February 2013, according to analytics company
Simply Measured.
• Instagram is a social platform that’s worthy of investigation. Adoption of Instagram by the Top 100 brands rose five percentage points (54% to 59%) from November
2012 to February 2013, according to Simply Measured.
• Instagram is especially popular with the top brands that wish to connect with a younger audience. MTV (ranked as the No. 1 followed Instagram brand), Starbucks
Coffee, Nike, Burberry, Tiffany & Co., Gucci, Audi, GE, Ralph Lauren and Adidas all of have more than 100,000 Instagram followers.
• Pinterest, Google+, TripAdvisor and Instagram are of particular interest.
• As the audited NTOs operate a wide variety of social media profiles, it is important that they focus on quality, not just quantity.
• As newer social media brands look to take a larger chunk of the social media pie, their services and functionality will update and innovate.
• It is important to look at new developments and consider how an NTO can use them to their advantage to create cut-through communications and generate
further engagement.
THE NEXT 12 MONTHS: ADVICE FOR NTOs
USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA BY TOP BRANDS
Further insight:
From the audit, we are able to look at an NTO specifically and
compare types of profiles and usage. On a one-to-one basis,
further research can be carried out in order to establish a single
social media strategy.
POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) 36
SOCIAL MEDIA
SOCIAL:
MORE THAN NUMBERS
As we know, there’s more to social media than collecting large numbers
of “likes”. Social media, used strategically, allows NTOs to reach
business objectives, which may include:
• Understanding customer pains by monitoring conversations
• Educating customers, by participating in dialogue
• Build brand awareness, with conversation, content, promotions
• Improve brand reputation
• Incorporate user feedback to feed innovation
• Solicit calls to action that inspire action
“Some 80% of people about to make a
purchase will first ask a family or friend
whether it's a good idea or for a
recommendation… this is why social is
huge.”
"Social media is like going to a party,”.
"Give information, be funny at times,
engage, THEN talk about yourself.”
Duane Forrester
a senior product manager for Bing, talking to The Huffington Post.
Kristine Schachinger
searchenginewatch.com
Ultimately, it is important to have a presence in something which
is such a large piece of target consumers’ lives…
POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) 37
SOCIAL MEDIA: LEADERBOARDS
TOP 4 SOCIAL MEDIA LEADERBOARDS
FACEBOOK TOP 20 LEADERBOARD TWITTER TOP 10 LEADERBOARD
From the leaderboards, we picked a handful of examples for use as benchmarks.
The following slides run through these examples and are followed by some examples which are from outside of the sector.
Again, these highlight great use of particular social media.
POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) 38
PINTEREST TOP 10 LEADERBOARD YOUTUBE TOP 10 LEADERBOARD
TOP 4 SOCIAL MEDIA LEADERBOARDS
POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) 39
SOCIAL MEDIA: LEADERBOARDS
SOCIAL: EXAMPLES
• VisitBritain have continued to build on their
‘Share Your GREAT Britain’ campaign begun
in “Olympic year”. The Love UK Facebook
page, in March 2013, reached a milestone -
one million Likes.
• Its dialogue with ‘fans’ keeps the brand ‘front
of mind’.
NTO SOCIAL MEDIA:
FACEBOOK EXAMPLES
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POWERED BY LASTEXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels)
• The Love UK Facebook page (pictured)
consistently highlights
“the best of British” – from James Bond to
Premiership football. It engages audiences
with exciting and entertaining content.
In summary, a good example because:
• Capitalises on major events (Olympics etc)
• Highlights “the best of British”
NTO SOCIAL MEDIA:
FACEBOOK EXAMPLES
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SOCIAL: EXAMPLES
41
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• The Visit Norway Facebook page, pictured, has a
high level of visitor engagement (currently: 47,041
“talking about this”), they use daily competitions,
featuring high-quality photography, to provoke
conversation and pique interest.
In summary, a good example because:
• High level of visitor engagement
• Uses daily competitions to provoke engagement
NTO SOCIAL MEDIA:
FACEBOOK EXAMPLES
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SOCIAL: EXAMPLES
42
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• The Think Tank research reveals that with 133,343
followers, VisitBritain’s Twitter account is the most popular
of all the accounts audited. What’s notable about
@VisitBritain is its consistent stream of great travel ideas,
nearly always accompanied by links to high-quality content
(pictured)
• The screengrab shows a small sample of the high quality
photos and videos attached to @VisitBritain’s tweets.
In summary, a good example because:
• Consistent stream of great travel ideas and high quality
photography
• Links to high quality content
NTO SOCIAL MEDIA:
TWITTER EXAMPLES
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SOCIAL: EXAMPLES
43
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• With 8,342,607 video views, The Think Tank
research reveals that Discover Ireland’s
YouTube channel is the most watched of all
of the NTO channels. Discover Ireland uses
humour to engage viewers. The “Redhead
convention” video, pictured, being a good
example. Also notable is that with 433 videos,
Discover Ireland are delivering quantity as
well as quality.
In summary, a good example because:
• Campaigns use narrative, humour
• Discover Ireland produce quantity (433
videos), not just quality
NTO SOCIAL MEDIA:
YOUTUBE EXAMPLES
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SOCIAL: EXAMPLES
44
• VisitNorway’s Scream campaign has won them praise
and lots of press coverage. It has contributed to their
YouTube channel’s 2,326,844 video views
In summary, a good example because:
• Ambitious idea, using fun User Generated Content
• Barriers to entry are fairly low – all that
is required is a camera and a loud voice!
• With 2497 followers, Switzerland’s Pinterest page is the most
followed of the Pinterest pages in the study.
In summary, a good example because:
• Lots of activity, lots of pins, is updated often
• Showcases the best of what Switzerland has to offer
• Users make it viral
NTO SOCIAL MEDIA:
YOUTUBE EXAMPLES
NTO SOCIAL MEDIA :
PINTEREST EXAMPLES
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SOCIAL: EXAMPLES
45
SOCIAL MEDIA AND TOURISM IN AUSTRALIA
Before examining the use of social media outside of the travel industry, we cannot ignore the most popular destination page on Facebook - Tourism Australia and its 4.1 million fans.
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SOCIAL: EXAMPLES
46
Lessons to be learnt from Tourism Australia, include:
• Scale of ambition – they turned to fellow Australians to provide the content
for their social media pages. Australians uploaded 60,000 stories and photos
in 2010
• A small core social media team that facilitates conversation between users,
turning their social media fans and followers into brand ambassadors
• They use their social media pages as platforms for an infinite number of
conversations, not as a single message broadcast tool
• 95% of content on Tourism Australia’s social media platforms is created
by fans
• The majority of their fan photos come from Instagram
• Facebook Timeline turned over to fans, letting them claim their place in
Australia’s history with their family holiday photos
• The people that interact with Tourism Australia’s social media are considered
to be “Advocate Heroes”. The core social media team curate and support the
content uploaded by the advocates – which means that a small team can
have a big impact as they’re not having to create lots of content
• The social media team are ready and prepared to respond and capitalise on
Australian breaking news stories, both large and small
• They have good relationships with the “traditional” media outlets – allowing
them to amplify the impact of the UGC content that becomes popular on their
social media pages
• As always: Editorial judgement is important – the team look to highlight the
best UGC content – visual beauty being especially import
• Social media posts are created with sharing in mind – they’re designed to be
shared, to provoke conversation – which requires an understanding of their
“advocates” mindsets
• Social media posts are created with sharing in mind – they’re designed to be
shared, to provoke conversation – which requires an understanding of their
“advocates” mindsets
• They experiment with using social apps – eg their Facebook Discover
Australia app.
• Experimentation and “failing fast” is important. “Every platform has its own
rules” says Tourism Australia’s Nick Baker. The team measure the impact of,
and then tweak content, captions etc
• The social media team refer to the holiday booking process as being never-
ending, a circle with five stages
• The stages are: Dreaming, planning, booking, experiencing, sharing
• Tourism Australia use social media to influence the dreaming and sharing
stages, especially. Their research has shown that 24% of people who see their
peer group’s holiday photos are inspired to go on holiday, while 11% want to go
on exactly the same holiday enjoyed by their friends.
• “Holidays are a cherished part of life where people reconnect and make
important decisions.” says Mr Baker. “There’s a virtuous circle at work where
post-holiday sharing steers the next wave of visitors to Australia who are at
the dreaming stage.”
• Measurement is important – the social media team analyse “Likes”, shares
etc, but front of mind is incorporating user feedback to feed innovation “…
the real value often in social is what the consumer is telling us and how it can
influence everything else that we do.
THE SECRETS OF TOURISM AUSTRALIA
“One of the best outcomes of our social media
efforts is that we now globally have access to an
incredible focus group who continue to inspire us
every day.”
Nick Baker
Executive General Manager of Consumer Marketing for Tourism Australia
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SOCIAL: EXAMPLES
47
• With social media it’s the pages and apps that anticipate
and leverage our emotional needs that often do well.
• With an estimated 10,000,000+ monthly active users
TripAdvisor’s social travel guide app is ranked as the third
most popular of all Facebook apps.
• It’s no accident that TripAdvisor promotes it as letting the
user “show off all your adventures” and “then compare
your travels to all your friends”. TripAdvisor are aware that
users’ self esteem, friends and family are important.
SOCIAL MEDIA APP:
TRIPADVISOR
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SOCIAL: EXAMPLES
48
GREAT EXAMPLES OF SOCIAL MEDIA
OUTSIDE OUR SECTOR
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• Nike has multiple Facebook pages, for various
sports – these pages tend to be updated daily
• The central corporate account, pictured,
has 12,661,999 likes and 68,400 “talking about
this” and is usually updated weekly
• Nike uses big stars and high quality content to
connect with its fans – it’s striking how they
employ the power of personality to convey
their messages
NIKE SOCIAL MEDIA:
FACEBOOK
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SOCIAL: EXAMPLES
50
• Coca-Cola’s main Twitter feed is one of
the more active of the major brands. It
has more than 705,497 followers and has
tweeted 76,236 times.
• This Twitter account is used as a
conversational tool – its timeline is packed
with re-tweets and responses to fans and
customers. It doesn’t just push the latest
campaign message.
COCA-COLA
SOCIAL MEDIA:
TWITTER
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SOCIAL: EXAMPLES
51
• With 4.4 million followers Nordstrom
are ranked as having the most popular
Pinterest brand page.
• Inspirational collections of photos, be
they fashion, homewares, food or
holidays work well on Pinterest.
NORDSTROM SOCIAL
MEDIA:
PINTEREST
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SOCIAL: EXAMPLES
52
• With 1,278,947 followers, MTV’s Instagram
account is ranked as the top followed
Instagram brand account
• Its popularity is easy to explain: It gives fans
a truly ‘behind-the-scenes’ look at musicians
and celebrities. The power of celebrity and
glamour is not be underestimated, especially
among a younger audience.
MTV SOCIAL
MEDIA:
INSTAGRAM
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SOCIAL: EXAMPLES
53
SOCIAL MEDIA: EMERGING MARKETS
• Among social platforms in the emerging markets Sina Weibo deserves a
mention, as it’s China’s most popular microblogging site and many NTOs
are already exploring its possibilities.
• Other social platforms popular in China, include: RenRen, DianDian.
Orkut is popular in Brazil.
• An estimated 2.1 million users mention outbound (foreign) travelling on
Sina Weibo per day. Estimate via Sijie Sheila Liu.
• Sina Weibo is expanding - it has just opened Weibo Thailand, which will
provide a platform for Thai businesses to reach out to Chinese tourists
planning to visit their country.
• Rumours have been circulating for months that Sina Weibo is preparing to
launch in the US market, with an international version in English and other
languages.
• Coca-Cola, Unilever, Burberry, Louis Vuitton and even Tom Cruise, Paris
Hilton, Justin Bieber, Emma Watson and Radiohead have Sina Weibo
accounts.
• Burberry have 521274 Sina Weibo fans, McDonald’s - 264665, Tourism
Australia – 226837, Nike 82794.
• VisitBritain now (2013) have 300068 fans on Sina Weibo, Discover Ireland
– 41917 fans.
SOCIAL MEDIA:
EMERGING MARKETS
"There was a strong surge of social media engagement
through VisitBritain's Weibo feed on Sina…”
"VisitBritain's Weibo account has over 150,000 active
followers, the most of all government official
accounts.”
Travis Qian
Travis Qian, manager of VisitBritain's operations
on the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong.
December 2011:
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SOCIAL MEDIA: EMERGING MARKETS
BURBERRY’S SINA WEIBO PAGE
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SOCIAL MEDIA: EMERGING MARKETS
TOURISM AUSTRALIA’S SINA WEIBO PAGE
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MOBILE DEVICES
SECTION 3:
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MOBILE DEVICES
• Handheld computers, be they smartphones, “phablets” or tablets are becoming increasingly popular. Their popularity is at the expense of the desktop PC market,
which is shrinking.
• Gartner predict that tablet sales will outpace the PC market sometime between 2014 and and 2017. By 2017 it’s predicted that manufacturers will sell 468 million
tablets, almost double that of the PC market.
• By 2017 it’s predicted that phone sales will top 2 billion units.
• In 2012, 695 million smartphones were sold (almost twice the number of all types of PCs, and about four out of every ten mobile phones sold overall).
Source: TomiAhonen Consulting
• In 2013 we will see about 1 billion new smartphones sold.
• Why is this important? “Today’s marketers face the increasing challenge of a winding ‘path to purchase,’ requiring strategic engagements with customers across
multiple channels and ensuring content is portable across many devices.” reported Experian Marketing Services recently.
• Research by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB, 2012), for example, has found that mobile optimised websites increase visitor dwell time by two crucial minutes.
• In the US, 13 percent of business respondents cited mobile as the most important communication channel, reports Experian.
• Mobile channels are growing more important for information collection too. Half of US businesses surveyed are capturing information entered on mobile devices
and another 11 percent are currently implementing a mobile application that will collect data.
THE IMPORTANCE OF MOBILE DEVICES
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The Think Tank research has found that…
In the following pages, we highlight some good examples of optimisation for mobile devices...
NTOs & MOBILE OPTIMISATION
Only 20% of NTO websites use a separate
mobile site or responsive design, to
optimise their sites for multiple devices
The takeaway: NTOs’ use of digital
technology is falling behind customer
behaviour. Optimisation of websites for
multiple devices should be a priority
42% of NTOs are offering
smartphone mobile apps
16% of NTOs are offering tablet apps
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MOBILE DEVICES
59
• MySwitzerland.com is among the 20% of NTOs that offer separate
mobile websites.
• Its mobile website is worthy of note because it has been designed
specifically for mobile devices, with:
• Mobile screen size design. E.g. Single column layout
• Navigation simplification
• Carefully chosen content
• Touchscreen functionality - large buttons, large search boxes
• My Switzerland.com offer a number of mobile apps
• Its mobile apps are good because…
• They perform offline (ideal on the ski slopes!)
• Well designed, stylish
• Carefully curated, relevant content
• Available for both iTunes & Android
NTO MOBILE SITES NTO MOBILE APP EXAMPLE
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MOBILE DEVICES
60
• The BBC uses both responsive design and separate
mobile websites.
• Their mobile site for News, pictured, is even more radically simple
than MySwitzerland.com’s mobile site
• m.bbc.co.uk/news is very clear about the content that it offers.
Based on careful research into their users’ needs, they’ve chosen
“top stories” and “most read” content to be given prominence.
• Important to note: For delivering purely informational web content
on a tight budget, NTOs should carefully consider whether the
creation of separate mobile apps is a good use of their resources.
Gov.uk recently won the UK Design Museum’s international,
prestigious, Design of the Year award. Their attitude to creating
separate “native”, mobile and tablet apps is this: Native apps are
rarely justified.
• Tom Loosemore, from Gov.uk, says: “… we believe the benefits of
developing and maintaining apps will very rarely justify their costs,
especially if the underlying service design is sub-optimal.
• “Departments should focus on improving the quality of the core
web service.”
• However, it is also important to note that, resource allowing, the
creation of apps in the areas of gaming, social media or dedicated
tasks (especially when they give access to information when users
are offline), holds a massive amount of potential for NTOs. In the
future we’ll see these apps being connected to CRM systems,
and becoming contextually aware, which will allow NTOs to
personalise the service they give to tourists -
an important advance.
NON NTO MOBILE
SITE EXAMPLE
NATIVE APP OR
RESPONSIVE DESIGN?
Based on careful research into their users’ needs, they’ve chosen
“top stories” and “most read” content to be given prominence.
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MOBILE DEVICES
61
NTO RESPONSIVE SITE EXAMPLE
The Visit Norway website is one of the few NTO sites to use responsive design. The site resizes images and re-structures its pages to adapt to the different screen sizes
of the devices it is viewed upon.
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MOBILE DEVICES
62
NTO RESPONSIVE SITE EXAMPLE
Visitfinland.com is one of the few other NTO sites to use responsive design.
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MOBILE DEVICES
63
Time.com use responsive design to reach audiences across
multiple devices.
The results:
• Mobile and tablet traffic has risen from 15% to almost 25%.
• Pages per visit (PPV), across mobile, tablet and desktop are up
“considerably” - for example, mobile PPV increased 23%.
• On the homepage, unique visits increased 15%, and time spent
went up 7.5%, with the mobile bounce rate decreasing by 26%.
Source: econsultancy.com
Skinny Ties use responsive eCommerce to reach audiences across
multiple devices.
The results:
• Revenue from all devices increased by 42.4%.
• The conversion rate improved by 13.6%.
• Revenue from iPhone grew by 377.6%.
• The conversion rate for iPhone increased by 71.9%. The site’s
bounce rate fell by 23.2%.
• Visit duration increased by 44.6%.
Source: econsultancy.com
GOOD EXAMPLES OF
NON NTO RESPONSIVE DESIGN
GOOD EXAMPLES OF
NON NTO RESPONSIVE DESIGN
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MOBILE DEVICES
64
• In conclusion, big brands know that they have to embrace the adoption of smartphones and multiple devices.
• Technology “best practice” is still not firmly established. Nike, for example, use a separate mobile site. Red Bull, pictured, use responsive design
• The reality is that users are carrying their mobile phones with them everywhere they go, using them to consume content along the way. As a result, many
users are spending more time with a mobile screen than they do on traditional media.
THE MOBILE REVOLUTION
Sheryl Sandberg
CEO of Facebook
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MOBILE DEVICES
65
"The size of the audience makes
this - the phone - a mass medium.
It's as important to a marketer as
TV. This is as important - if not
more important - than television.”
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The European NTO Digital Benchmark

  • 1. The European NTO digital benchmark POWERED BY 1
  • 2. TABLE OF CONTENTS METHODOLOGY THINK TANK INTRODUCTION CONTENT - INTRODUCTION CONTENT - INSPIRING & PRACTICAL ENGAGING VIA PROMOTIONAL CAMPAIGNS ENGAGING VIA USER GENERATED CONTENT EXAMPLES OUTSIDE OUR SECTOR MOBILE DEVICES 2 3 4 13 20 26 49 57 POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) 11
  • 3. METHODOLOGY METHODOLOGY In this report, we highlight NTOs and their effectiveness in the digital space. We aim to highlight some great examples of NTOs and their various strategies, illustrated with some great examples. To add context, we also highlight external sector examples too. To reach our key findings, a comprehensive audit and indexing exercise was carried out over the period of 1 month (March 2013). Each variable (for example 'Local languages available') was analysed both; qualitatively - using the Digital Think Tank/Last Exit benchmarking criteria. quantitatively - a system was used in order to set 'scores' for analysis and indexing. From the quantitative data, certain conclusions were made. These are highlighted throughout the benchmarking report. NB: Due to the nature of the digital space, since publication, online and digital examples highlighted may have been updated. All content within this report is valid at March-June 2013. POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) 2
  • 4. THINK TANK INTRODUCTION This report investigates the use of digital marketing by the European tourism sector, and benchmarks best practice. It takes an in-depth look at how the European National Tourism Organisations are using digital; from strategy to content marketing and distribution. The report examines the following key areas: - Content - Engagement - Social Media - Mobile Devices These four areas represent key parts of a destination’s digital strategy. With the world becoming increasingly digitally connected, and with new technologies quickly evolving, it is absolutely crucial to get these right. Marketers need to be ready for this evolution and adapt quickly to the latest trends and developments taking place. The best practice examples highlighted within the report indicate that while some destinations are quite advanced in digital, many are lacking, making innovation necessary. With the many new digital channels available, there are tremendous opportunities for destinations to differentiate themselves amongst the competition, to create rich brand experiences. The European NTO digital benchmark report is designed to help destination marketers to be more innovative, strategic and savvy when navigating the digital marketing landscape. POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) 3
  • 5. CONTENT: INTRODUCTION Content is central to the 45 NTO websites that have been examined. The content contained and offered to the user is considered of paramount importance, as it drives: Trip itinerary inspiration Engagement with the destination’s tourism organisations Motivation to act, i.e. book a trip to that destination Within the travel and tourism sector, there’s no shortage of opportunities to create rich content. However, it can be difficult in selecting the right content and presenting this in the most effective way. Within this section of the report we take a look at our audit findings regarding content, pick out our favourite examples and also highlight how an organisation can take some simple steps in optimising their own content. Let’s first highlight some simple tips and techniques for enhancing the usability and readability of a website's content. A good place to start is with the thoughts of expert web developer Jacob Gube. The following 'quick-tips' are our summary of Gube’s thoughts and should be regarded as ‘sound advice’ for creating user-friendly web pages. CONTENT: INTRODUCTION "Users often leave web pages in 10-20 seconds, but pages with a clear value proposition can hold people's attention for much longer” Jakob Nielsen Usability expert POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) 4
  • 6. CONTENT: INTRODUCTION For user-friendly web pages, these five principles, based on Gube’s thoughts, will aid the site visitor: For example, research reveals that: Use of margins "lower levels of physical fatigue during reading and creates greater satisfaction with the layout for the presentation of textbook, leisure, and news material". Keep it brief Use images wisely Make pages scannable Think blocks and sections Remember the white space A study by Jakob Nielsen claims that by cutting roughly half the words on a web page, a 58% increase in usability can be achieved. Pictures engage users. Images are now one of the "default modes of sorting and understanding" on the web. A 2012 study by ROI Research found that forty-four percent of respondents are more likely to engage with brands if they post images, than any other media. Users skim content. Research by Nielsen revealed that structuring your web pages with skimming in mind (e.g. using bullet points, one idea per paragraph) can improve usability by as much as 47%. Nielsen's eyetracking visualizations show that users often read web pages in an F-shaped pattern: two horizontal stripes followed by a vertical stripe. POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) 5
  • 7. HOMEPAGE CONTENT OUR FINDINGS POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) 6
  • 8. HOMEPAGE CONTENT KEY DETAIL Very good HP content Good HP content Professional, room for optimisation Imagery is fitting, ‘high quality’ pictures used (location shot, creative message conveyed, inspirational/iconic photography. Image placement is balanced. Video is engaging/informative. Video has been positioned well and content is of good informative/inspirational quality. Interactive content. A good level of content such as maps, travel planner, video, itinerary which are useful and easy to use. The website homepage is still considered to be an important “shop window”. It is generally the landing page for much of the site traffic and a place where first impressions can count. Users arrive and when viewing content for the first time are asking themselves key questions, such as: is the content quality on this site going to meet my visiting requirements, will it be trustworthy, easy to navigate and understand, to name but a few. CRITERIA • When evaluating the quality of NTO website homepage content, The Think Tank judged the use of: Hero images, images, video and interactive content, see a key below to help explain this. • Seen on the following page, our chart highlights the quantity of audited websites which currently offer users a great homepage experience. Imagery is fitting. Photography is well placed. Some useful video content included. Interactive content. Some content such as maps, travel planner, video, itinerary. Some tools such as maps, but may not always be easy to use as industry leading plug-in tools, imagery used but not always best placement/use of image. Interactive content is apparent but not always user friendly. Room for improvement in some audited areas. HOMEPAGE CONTENT POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) 7
  • 9. HOMEPAGE CONTENT: THE FINDINGS A good proportion of websites reached the ‘Very Good’ grade across all of the homepage sub-categories. Sites that reached the Good to Very Good grade for their homepages, include: Austrian National Tourist Board, Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions, German National Tourist Board and Visit Greenland. The chart, below, indicates the proportion of audited websites that currently offer ‘very good’ homepage content. THE FINDINGS Website homepages rated on the quality of their: hero imagery, video content, use of photography and interactive content. HOMEPAGE CONTENT Very good HP Content Good HP Content Professional, room for optimisation POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) 8
  • 10. HOMEPAGE CONTENT: EXAMPLES The Austrian National Tourist Board homepage makes a clear, compelling statement that addresses the target audience. • It uses clear, empathetic, photos • It demonstrates what makes Austria different, and validates that message with additional content • It allows the site visitor to educate themselves with easy access to brochures, calendars and maps • Has multipurpose interactive features, such as a map detailing a wide range of activities together with travel information – localising an information service feature • Quick links to inspiring video features • The website can be shared on social networks easily. HIGHLIGHTING A GREAT EXAMPLE THE AUSTRIAN NATIONAL TOURIST BOARD HOMEPAGE POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) 9
  • 11. HOMEPAGE CONTENT: EXAMPLES The Visit Greenland website homepage is another great example. Iconic, fitting imagery is given ‘hero’ status on the homepage. Via a timed carousel function, iconic imagery is switched. This makes it even more engaging, while remaining appealing to a wide audience. At least 5 hero images, each with different accompanying calls to action are highlighted in this bold approach. Each aim to attract interest from what is likely to be a varying audience. VISIT GREENLAND POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) 10
  • 12. HOMEPAGE CONTENT: EXAMPLES HIGHLIGHTING AN EXTERNAL EXAMPLE THE UK VOLKSWAGEN HOMEPAGE http://www.volkswagen.co.uk is much admired for its simplicity. It has the confidence, backed, no doubt, by research, to segment its messaging to its key audiences. In a similar way to the Austrian National Tourist Board example, it highlights the brand simply and addresses user’s requirements via the options available on the homepage. POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) 11
  • 13. HOMEPAGE: CONCLUSIONS NTO HOMEPAGE CONCLUSIONS • Having an understanding of what visitors want from the web is important, in order to help them navigate to their desired destination as easily and quickly as possible. It is important to understand their visit needs and to supply the information in an easy to digest, engaging way. • Interactive content can help users to start investigating quickly and build desire to discover other areas of the site. • Balancing out the display of homepage content is important. It should be simple and not too overpowering, while conveying relevant information to help guide a user through to the pages most relevant to their visit. POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) 12
  • 14. CONTENT SECTION 2: INSPIRING & PRACTICAL CONTENT POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) 13
  • 15. INSPIRING & PRACTICAL CONTENT Within the audit, The Think Tank looked at the NTO sites’ ability to cover off 'two key pillars of content. These are: 1. Inspiring content and 2. Practical content. See the key on this page in order to understand the measure of 'what good looks like'. KEY DETAIL Very good inspirational and practical content Good inspirational and practical content Professional, room for optimisation Very good inspirational content is judged by: Satisfying detailed content is provided consistently. It should consistently cover a high standard across various subjects including but not limited to: itineraries, events, seasonal content, blog, videos and games. Very good practical content is judged by: Provides relevant and useful information in an easy to digest and succinct way. Information gives a user extra insight, helpful for itinerary planning and is easy to find and navigate. It should consistently offer this information in subjects including but not limited to: 'how to get there', 'how to get around’, 'accommodation options', 'eating out', 'useful local tips' and 'local regulations'. CRITERIA • When evaluating the quality of NTO website homepage content, The Think Tank judged the mixture of practical and inspirational content. See key below for full breakdown. • A graph, on the next page, highlights the audited websites which currently offer users a good level of inspirational and practical content. Offers some of the above, but not consistently. For example, some may well offer useful practical content, but not always present inspirational content in an easy to digest format. Some information presented, though not as inspiring as it perhaps could be with some updates. Practical information not always easy to digest. Room for improvement in some audited areas. POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) 14
  • 16. INSPIRING & PRACTICAL CONTENT: THE FINDINGS Nearly a quarter of audited websites offer consistently good practical and inspirational content. Over 50% remaining offer a good mixture of practical and inspirational content. THE FINDINGS The red and green slices indicate the proportion of audited websites that offer ‘extensive’ and ‘good’ practical and inspirational content consistently Very good inspirational and practical content Good inspirational and practical content Professional, room for optimisation POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) 15
  • 17. INSPIRING & PRACTICAL CONTENT: EXAMPLES • The German National Tourist Board website presents practical information remarkably well and contains a satisfying number of events; good functional interactive events calendar; detailed information on events with photos/videos/links provided. • Inspiration can be taken from the way in which they present activities to appeal to all audiences. Colour categories / tiles take a user to their chosen page and then imagery helps ‘sell the story’ of that topic. Often use ‘headline tiles’ together with full bleed iconic imagery to great aesthetic affect. HIGHLIGHTING A GREAT EXAMPLE GERMAN NATIONAL TOURIST BOARD POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) 16
  • 18. INSPIRING & PRACTICAL CONTENT: EXAMPLES INSPIRATIONAL CONTENT, EXTERNAL EXAMPLE • Red Bull are masters at inspirational content, that is: content that is designed to inspire an action. Red Bull’s famous space jump, told an exciting story with a clear beginning, middle, and end. Its strong narrative led to massive audience engagement around the Red Bull brand. For example, the Red Bull space jump Facebook Page received more than 900,000 interactions on the day of the jump, alone! POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) 17 www.redbull.com
  • 19. CONTENT: INTRODUCTION The award-winning site for Gentofte Kommune (local council) is a great example of practical content presented in a user friendly fashion. This mobile-optimised site is task-oriented & employs a clear and intuitive information architecture. The internal search function is predictive and the results can be filtered by type, date and relevance. The site also has an accompanying app which citizens can use to photograph and report location-specific issues in the community. PRACTICAL CONTENT, EXTERNAL EXAMPLE POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) 18 http://www.gentofte.dk/
  • 20. CONCLUSIONS • The mix of both inspirational and practical content being presented consistently is important. • Use of iconic real life imagery, blogs, videos and games helps users to investigate holiday destinations from their home computers, and inspire them to find out more. • Use of practical tools such as interactive maps, plus information at a local level, such as ‘dining out’ helps users plan practically and can help reassure. • External links to events/recommended sites helps users plan on a practical level. CONCLUSIONS ON CONTENT TYPES POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) 19 Screengrab from the Destination Germany website. http://www.germany.travel/en/events/events/cologne-lights.html
  • 21. CONTENT SECTION 3: ENGAGING VIA PROMOTIONAL CAMPAIGNS POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) 20
  • 22. ENGAGING VIA PROMOTIONAL CAMPAIGNS Within the audit, promotional content was also investigated. In this section of the report, we highlight the importance of promotional activity and highlight great examples. Marketing expert Roddy Mullin notes that most promotions are designed to meet common objectives. These include: • Widen usage • Create interest • Raise/create awareness • Aid brand perceptions • Increase sales We can use the above ‘promotional objectives’ and relate them to our audit. We know that creating interest and widening appeal/usage is at the centre of many organisations’ remits. Raising awareness of what can be discovered in their destination, helps ‘sell’ their destination to users. Brand perceptions can also be altered / strengthened by the type of promotion. Why go promotional? Promotions can help deliver against a number of variables. For example: • Data capture for future comms • Branding of the site and destination • Go viral and spread the word POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) 21
  • 23. ENGAGING VIA PROMOTIONAL CAMPAIGNS PROMOTIONAL OBJECTIVE PROMOTION CHECKLIST Widen usage Create interest Raise/create awareness User generated content approach encourages additional interaction with the brand/destination. The Norway ‘Screams’ campaign has a great mix of promotional elements. In addition to this, it is important to note that this promotion engages the audience additionally via the use and championing of, user generated content. (User generated content is discussed further in the following section within ‘content 4’.) A naturally ‘PR-able campaign’ via use of globally recognised art. Promotion uses social media channels to help create interest around the globe. The online channel and accompanying video, plus sharing options available on the site, together with regular prize draws really helped push the awareness of the destination and the site. They ‘promoted the promotion’ well. Aid brand perceptions Brand perceptions were aided via the use video advertising the promotion. In this video, a large range of desitinations and activities which engage with people emotionally are highlighted. The ‘task’ within the promotion itself is also ‘lighthearted fun’ also helping to aid perceptions of a visit to that destination. Increase sales At time of publication: We have no data for visitor numbers around the peak and following holiday periods of this promotion. NORWAY ‘SCREAMS’ CAMPAIGN POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) 22
  • 24. ENGAGING VIA PROMOTIONAL CAMPAIGNS: EXAMPLES NORWAY ‘SCREAMS’ CAMPAIGN POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) 23
  • 25. ENGAGING VIA PROMOTIONAL CAMPAIGNS: EXAMPLES In order to highlight the impact a promotion can have for our NTOs, we have also chosen an example external to the sector. The (Unilever) Axe promotion is currently live as of March 2013. PROMOTIONAL OBJECTIVE PROMOTION CHECKLIST Widen usage Create interest Raise/create awareness Increased brand exposure via campaign is likely to have positive impact on sales. The very nature of the incentive on offer in this promotion (after assumed research) should resonate well with target consumers. The innovative and single minded prize, together with an on-brand look and feel and national through the line media spend will all make this campaign one of the biggest this year. Aid brand perceptions Axe created their brand personality over time, however via the tone of voice and nature of this promotion, they are strengthening their brand perceptions. Increase sales Promotion currently live. Data not available. Based on size of promotion, we anticipate large increases in sales globally. AXE APOLLO SPACE ACADEMY POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) 24
  • 26. AXE APOLLO SPACE ACADEMY POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) ENGAGING VIA PROMOTIONAL CAMPAIGNS: EXAMPLES 25
  • 27. CONTENT SECTION 4: ENGAGING VIA USER GENERATED CONTENT POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) 26
  • 28. ENGAGING VIA UGC KEY DETAIL Good use of UGC Moderate use of UGC None or Minimal (Professional, with room for development) A variety of high-end, user friendly UGC tools and functions, including but not limited to content comment space, blogs, user itineraries, video posts, image uploading, peer recommendations, reviews, third party plug in usage (e.g trip advisor). Some of the above, but in less quantity/quality. Minimal to no use of UGC. Existing usage could be developed / optimised. WHAT IS UGC IN 2013? The BBC’s succinct definition of UGC: • User generated content ("UGC"), also commonly known as 'citizen journalism', 'social media' or 'participatory media', refers to a wide variety of media content that is produced by our audiences as opposed to content made by the organisation, independent production companies or individual contributors commissioned by the organisation. • In recent years UGC has expanded due to developing technologies that are now readily available, including digital video and images, mobile text messages, blogging, message boards, emails and audio submissions. NTO’S AND USER GENERATED CONTENT • UGC can take many forms within an NTO website. From TripAdvisor reviews and Facebook plugins through to user participation in promotions and individual uploads of content. • NTOs and their use of UGC is evolving. In this section of the report, we look at the number of audited sites which currently use UGC, highlight good examples and note some key findings. • 93% of travellers are influenced by reviews in their travel planning and 90% of travellers rely on UG reviews when booking accommodation (Tripadvisor 2013, in Tripbarometer study) CRITERIA In order to help categorise the findings, the key below details how The Think Tank judged the performance of the audited websites. We then look at examples in further detail. POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) 27
  • 29. ENGAGING VIA UGC: THE FINDINGS Of the audited websites, we can see that a large proportion of sites are not yet employing user generated content within their campaigns. This might be due to the cost of policing the UGC environment, other perhaps, are not yet ‘sold’ on its advantages. THE FINDINGS The black and yellow slices of the pie-chart indicate audited websites offer users ‘good’ and ‘moderate’ UGC. We identify that some NTOs could benefit from implementation of UGC. None Minimal Moderate Good POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) 28
  • 30. ENGAGING VIA UGC: EXAMPLES The Think Tank research highlights VisitBritain’s use of “user-generated” style blog posts from UK bloggers. Their blog posts add an authenticity and engaging honesty to VisitBritain’s marketing efforts. http://www.visitbritainsuperblog.com/ UGC CONTENT, NTO EXAMPLE POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) 29
  • 31. ENGAGING VIA UGC: EXAMPLES GoPro cameras place “user generated” content at the heart of their marketing campaigns. They feature the best of the clips filmed by their customers on their massively popular Facebook page. The best of their videos are often picked up by the global news media. According to Unmetric data, in “terms of Facebook fan growth, the consumer electronics industry is growing by 12%, whereas GoPro grew by 17% in the same period”. https://www.facebook.com/gopro UGC EXTERNAL EXAMPLE POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) 30
  • 32. ENGAGING VIA UGC: THOUGHT-STARTERS THOUGHT-STARTERS FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF UGC The results of user generated campaigns can be impressive. It’s been reported that brand lift metrics can increase between 300 percent and 450 percent (VivaKi research division, the Pool, 2012). However, across the board, online engagement rates are usually low, with “roughly one percent of people who "like" a Facebook page returning to that page”. So, where to begin with UGC? Make it easy for the audience to engage Don’t set the bar impossibly high, in terms of contribution quality. The easier the user input, the higher the expected return rate. Make it worthwhile Know your customer, and make sure your campaign empowers them, by allowing self-expression. Make it fun! If the content-creation process is not enjoyable, submissions will be scarce. The appropriate use of gamification and social utility principles, can introduce elements of sociability and competition into the campaign… making your campaigns more enjoyable to engage with. POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) 31
  • 33. LANGUAGE USAGE LANGUAGE USAGE: THE INTERNATIONAL OUTLOOK As tourism source markets, China, Brazil and the Middle East are all growing in importance. Facts and figures: In 2012, 80 million Chinese travelled abroad, while 2.9 billion domestic trips were registered. UNWTO, 2013 China’s expenditure on travel abroad reached US$ 102 billion in 2012, making it the first tourism source market in the world in terms of spending. UNWTO, 2013 “… the Chinese Government, and particularly CNTA, will continue to promote the traveling of Chinese people abroad as we believe in the mutual benefits of collaboration – by continuing to send Chinese travellers to Europe, the benefits will eventually flow back to China.”, Mr. Shao Qiwei, the Chairman of the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA). UNWTO, 2013 With the 2012 surge, China surpassed both top spender Germany and second largest spender United States (both close to US$ 84 billion in 2012). Brazil: In UNWTO’s list of the World's Top Tourism Spenders, Brazil, with an expenditure of US$ 22 billion in 2012, has risen to 12th place up from 29th place in 2005. The Middle East region is one of the smallest, yet fast growing, tourist generating regions in the world. Outbound travel from the Middle East has more than quadrupled from 8.2 million in 1990 to 36.2 million in 2010. With a rising population and increasing disposable incomes especially in the GCC countries, its outbound travel market could top $20bn within the next 20 years, according to the UNWTO. NTOS & EMERGING MARKETS “All consumers face frustrations during the destination, shopping and booking process, however, those in emerging markets are more frustrated than their developed counterparts” found a Amadeus-commissioned study, 2012, conducted by PhoCusWright Inc. But are NTO websites catering for emerging markets? The Think Tank research reveals that of the 45 audited NTO websites, the most popular language used on NTO sites is English, with 40 sites recorded. As an aside… more Indians speak English than any other language, with the sole exception of Hindi. POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) 32
  • 34. LANGUAGE USAGE % of audited NTOs currently offering language options to suit emerging markets The language barrier is very real to potential tourists from the “emerging markets”. The opportunity is so large, NTOs should be looking at how their messaging measures up for a new era, in which, for example: “some 200 million Chinese could be travelling abroad annually by 2020, up from 82 million in 2012.” (Reuters) As Martin Buck, from the ITB has said: "Forty years ago, when Germans and Brits first started coming to Spain and Greece, they were a strange race too,” "But Spain and Greece used the chance to make those visitors into an important pillar of their economies…” NTOs which do not offer Chinese, Portuguese and Arabic as language options should start to implement these to future-proof their sites. 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% Arabic Chinese Portuguese In conclusion POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) 33
  • 35. SOCIAL MEDIA SOCIAL MEDIA It’s estimated that there are 2.8 billion social media profiles, enough for half of the Internet users worldwide. For example… And just to underline the point: • According to ComScore, social media now captures most PC screen time in Europe. • 47% of Americans agree that they follow or engage with at least one brand on a social networking site, according to a survey by Ipsos Open Thinking Exchange, 2013 • Social media continue to be the hottest internet story in China, with active users numbers fast approaching 600 million – almost twice the total population of the USA, reports Social Media Today • On the next page we’ll look at how our audited NTOs use social media… Facebook Sina Weibo Twitter Instagram Pinterest Youtube 1.06 billion monthly active users, 680 million mobile users, more than 50 million pages and 10 million apps 503 million users 48.7 million users 100 million users, 4 billion photos 1 billion users, 4 billion views per day 500 million total users, more than 200 million active users POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) 34
  • 36. The chart, above, highlights the most common consumer-facing social media accounts used by our NTOs. Five is the average number of social media platforms in use. Other social websites are also used, but not as consistently. These include: LinkedIn, Foursquare and Tumblr. Social media platforms used by NTOs 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% FACEBOOK TWITTER YOUTUBE PINTEREST FLICKR GOOGLE + TRIP ADVISOR INSTAGRAM POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) SOCIAL MEDIA 35
  • 37. SOCIAL MEDIA The world’s top brands are increasingly active on social media. • Among Interbrand’s top 100 brands, Facebook is the most used platform, then in order of popularity: Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram. • Pinterest and Instagram are the “rising star” mainstream social media platforms. • Adoption of Pinterest by the Top 100 brands rose six percentage points (63% to 69%) from November 2012 to February 2013, according to analytics company Simply Measured. • Instagram is a social platform that’s worthy of investigation. Adoption of Instagram by the Top 100 brands rose five percentage points (54% to 59%) from November 2012 to February 2013, according to Simply Measured. • Instagram is especially popular with the top brands that wish to connect with a younger audience. MTV (ranked as the No. 1 followed Instagram brand), Starbucks Coffee, Nike, Burberry, Tiffany & Co., Gucci, Audi, GE, Ralph Lauren and Adidas all of have more than 100,000 Instagram followers. • Pinterest, Google+, TripAdvisor and Instagram are of particular interest. • As the audited NTOs operate a wide variety of social media profiles, it is important that they focus on quality, not just quantity. • As newer social media brands look to take a larger chunk of the social media pie, their services and functionality will update and innovate. • It is important to look at new developments and consider how an NTO can use them to their advantage to create cut-through communications and generate further engagement. THE NEXT 12 MONTHS: ADVICE FOR NTOs USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA BY TOP BRANDS Further insight: From the audit, we are able to look at an NTO specifically and compare types of profiles and usage. On a one-to-one basis, further research can be carried out in order to establish a single social media strategy. POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) 36
  • 38. SOCIAL MEDIA SOCIAL: MORE THAN NUMBERS As we know, there’s more to social media than collecting large numbers of “likes”. Social media, used strategically, allows NTOs to reach business objectives, which may include: • Understanding customer pains by monitoring conversations • Educating customers, by participating in dialogue • Build brand awareness, with conversation, content, promotions • Improve brand reputation • Incorporate user feedback to feed innovation • Solicit calls to action that inspire action “Some 80% of people about to make a purchase will first ask a family or friend whether it's a good idea or for a recommendation… this is why social is huge.” "Social media is like going to a party,”. "Give information, be funny at times, engage, THEN talk about yourself.” Duane Forrester a senior product manager for Bing, talking to The Huffington Post. Kristine Schachinger searchenginewatch.com Ultimately, it is important to have a presence in something which is such a large piece of target consumers’ lives… POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) 37
  • 39. SOCIAL MEDIA: LEADERBOARDS TOP 4 SOCIAL MEDIA LEADERBOARDS FACEBOOK TOP 20 LEADERBOARD TWITTER TOP 10 LEADERBOARD From the leaderboards, we picked a handful of examples for use as benchmarks. The following slides run through these examples and are followed by some examples which are from outside of the sector. Again, these highlight great use of particular social media. POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) 38
  • 40. PINTEREST TOP 10 LEADERBOARD YOUTUBE TOP 10 LEADERBOARD TOP 4 SOCIAL MEDIA LEADERBOARDS POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) 39 SOCIAL MEDIA: LEADERBOARDS
  • 41. SOCIAL: EXAMPLES • VisitBritain have continued to build on their ‘Share Your GREAT Britain’ campaign begun in “Olympic year”. The Love UK Facebook page, in March 2013, reached a milestone - one million Likes. • Its dialogue with ‘fans’ keeps the brand ‘front of mind’. NTO SOCIAL MEDIA: FACEBOOK EXAMPLES POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) 40
  • 42. POWERED BY LASTEXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) • The Love UK Facebook page (pictured) consistently highlights “the best of British” – from James Bond to Premiership football. It engages audiences with exciting and entertaining content. In summary, a good example because: • Capitalises on major events (Olympics etc) • Highlights “the best of British” NTO SOCIAL MEDIA: FACEBOOK EXAMPLES POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) SOCIAL: EXAMPLES 41
  • 43. POWERED BY LASTEXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) • The Visit Norway Facebook page, pictured, has a high level of visitor engagement (currently: 47,041 “talking about this”), they use daily competitions, featuring high-quality photography, to provoke conversation and pique interest. In summary, a good example because: • High level of visitor engagement • Uses daily competitions to provoke engagement NTO SOCIAL MEDIA: FACEBOOK EXAMPLES POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) SOCIAL: EXAMPLES 42
  • 44. POWERED BY LASTEXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) • The Think Tank research reveals that with 133,343 followers, VisitBritain’s Twitter account is the most popular of all the accounts audited. What’s notable about @VisitBritain is its consistent stream of great travel ideas, nearly always accompanied by links to high-quality content (pictured) • The screengrab shows a small sample of the high quality photos and videos attached to @VisitBritain’s tweets. In summary, a good example because: • Consistent stream of great travel ideas and high quality photography • Links to high quality content NTO SOCIAL MEDIA: TWITTER EXAMPLES POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) SOCIAL: EXAMPLES 43
  • 45. POWERED BY LASTEXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) • With 8,342,607 video views, The Think Tank research reveals that Discover Ireland’s YouTube channel is the most watched of all of the NTO channels. Discover Ireland uses humour to engage viewers. The “Redhead convention” video, pictured, being a good example. Also notable is that with 433 videos, Discover Ireland are delivering quantity as well as quality. In summary, a good example because: • Campaigns use narrative, humour • Discover Ireland produce quantity (433 videos), not just quality NTO SOCIAL MEDIA: YOUTUBE EXAMPLES POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) SOCIAL: EXAMPLES 44
  • 46. • VisitNorway’s Scream campaign has won them praise and lots of press coverage. It has contributed to their YouTube channel’s 2,326,844 video views In summary, a good example because: • Ambitious idea, using fun User Generated Content • Barriers to entry are fairly low – all that is required is a camera and a loud voice! • With 2497 followers, Switzerland’s Pinterest page is the most followed of the Pinterest pages in the study. In summary, a good example because: • Lots of activity, lots of pins, is updated often • Showcases the best of what Switzerland has to offer • Users make it viral NTO SOCIAL MEDIA: YOUTUBE EXAMPLES NTO SOCIAL MEDIA : PINTEREST EXAMPLES POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) SOCIAL: EXAMPLES 45
  • 47. SOCIAL MEDIA AND TOURISM IN AUSTRALIA Before examining the use of social media outside of the travel industry, we cannot ignore the most popular destination page on Facebook - Tourism Australia and its 4.1 million fans. POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) SOCIAL: EXAMPLES 46
  • 48. Lessons to be learnt from Tourism Australia, include: • Scale of ambition – they turned to fellow Australians to provide the content for their social media pages. Australians uploaded 60,000 stories and photos in 2010 • A small core social media team that facilitates conversation between users, turning their social media fans and followers into brand ambassadors • They use their social media pages as platforms for an infinite number of conversations, not as a single message broadcast tool • 95% of content on Tourism Australia’s social media platforms is created by fans • The majority of their fan photos come from Instagram • Facebook Timeline turned over to fans, letting them claim their place in Australia’s history with their family holiday photos • The people that interact with Tourism Australia’s social media are considered to be “Advocate Heroes”. The core social media team curate and support the content uploaded by the advocates – which means that a small team can have a big impact as they’re not having to create lots of content • The social media team are ready and prepared to respond and capitalise on Australian breaking news stories, both large and small • They have good relationships with the “traditional” media outlets – allowing them to amplify the impact of the UGC content that becomes popular on their social media pages • As always: Editorial judgement is important – the team look to highlight the best UGC content – visual beauty being especially import • Social media posts are created with sharing in mind – they’re designed to be shared, to provoke conversation – which requires an understanding of their “advocates” mindsets • Social media posts are created with sharing in mind – they’re designed to be shared, to provoke conversation – which requires an understanding of their “advocates” mindsets • They experiment with using social apps – eg their Facebook Discover Australia app. • Experimentation and “failing fast” is important. “Every platform has its own rules” says Tourism Australia’s Nick Baker. The team measure the impact of, and then tweak content, captions etc • The social media team refer to the holiday booking process as being never- ending, a circle with five stages • The stages are: Dreaming, planning, booking, experiencing, sharing • Tourism Australia use social media to influence the dreaming and sharing stages, especially. Their research has shown that 24% of people who see their peer group’s holiday photos are inspired to go on holiday, while 11% want to go on exactly the same holiday enjoyed by their friends. • “Holidays are a cherished part of life where people reconnect and make important decisions.” says Mr Baker. “There’s a virtuous circle at work where post-holiday sharing steers the next wave of visitors to Australia who are at the dreaming stage.” • Measurement is important – the social media team analyse “Likes”, shares etc, but front of mind is incorporating user feedback to feed innovation “… the real value often in social is what the consumer is telling us and how it can influence everything else that we do. THE SECRETS OF TOURISM AUSTRALIA “One of the best outcomes of our social media efforts is that we now globally have access to an incredible focus group who continue to inspire us every day.” Nick Baker Executive General Manager of Consumer Marketing for Tourism Australia POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) SOCIAL: EXAMPLES 47
  • 49. • With social media it’s the pages and apps that anticipate and leverage our emotional needs that often do well. • With an estimated 10,000,000+ monthly active users TripAdvisor’s social travel guide app is ranked as the third most popular of all Facebook apps. • It’s no accident that TripAdvisor promotes it as letting the user “show off all your adventures” and “then compare your travels to all your friends”. TripAdvisor are aware that users’ self esteem, friends and family are important. SOCIAL MEDIA APP: TRIPADVISOR POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) SOCIAL: EXAMPLES 48
  • 50. GREAT EXAMPLES OF SOCIAL MEDIA OUTSIDE OUR SECTOR POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) 49
  • 51. • Nike has multiple Facebook pages, for various sports – these pages tend to be updated daily • The central corporate account, pictured, has 12,661,999 likes and 68,400 “talking about this” and is usually updated weekly • Nike uses big stars and high quality content to connect with its fans – it’s striking how they employ the power of personality to convey their messages NIKE SOCIAL MEDIA: FACEBOOK POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) SOCIAL: EXAMPLES 50
  • 52. • Coca-Cola’s main Twitter feed is one of the more active of the major brands. It has more than 705,497 followers and has tweeted 76,236 times. • This Twitter account is used as a conversational tool – its timeline is packed with re-tweets and responses to fans and customers. It doesn’t just push the latest campaign message. COCA-COLA SOCIAL MEDIA: TWITTER POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) SOCIAL: EXAMPLES 51
  • 53. • With 4.4 million followers Nordstrom are ranked as having the most popular Pinterest brand page. • Inspirational collections of photos, be they fashion, homewares, food or holidays work well on Pinterest. NORDSTROM SOCIAL MEDIA: PINTEREST POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) SOCIAL: EXAMPLES 52
  • 54. • With 1,278,947 followers, MTV’s Instagram account is ranked as the top followed Instagram brand account • Its popularity is easy to explain: It gives fans a truly ‘behind-the-scenes’ look at musicians and celebrities. The power of celebrity and glamour is not be underestimated, especially among a younger audience. MTV SOCIAL MEDIA: INSTAGRAM POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) SOCIAL: EXAMPLES 53
  • 55. SOCIAL MEDIA: EMERGING MARKETS • Among social platforms in the emerging markets Sina Weibo deserves a mention, as it’s China’s most popular microblogging site and many NTOs are already exploring its possibilities. • Other social platforms popular in China, include: RenRen, DianDian. Orkut is popular in Brazil. • An estimated 2.1 million users mention outbound (foreign) travelling on Sina Weibo per day. Estimate via Sijie Sheila Liu. • Sina Weibo is expanding - it has just opened Weibo Thailand, which will provide a platform for Thai businesses to reach out to Chinese tourists planning to visit their country. • Rumours have been circulating for months that Sina Weibo is preparing to launch in the US market, with an international version in English and other languages. • Coca-Cola, Unilever, Burberry, Louis Vuitton and even Tom Cruise, Paris Hilton, Justin Bieber, Emma Watson and Radiohead have Sina Weibo accounts. • Burberry have 521274 Sina Weibo fans, McDonald’s - 264665, Tourism Australia – 226837, Nike 82794. • VisitBritain now (2013) have 300068 fans on Sina Weibo, Discover Ireland – 41917 fans. SOCIAL MEDIA: EMERGING MARKETS "There was a strong surge of social media engagement through VisitBritain's Weibo feed on Sina…” "VisitBritain's Weibo account has over 150,000 active followers, the most of all government official accounts.” Travis Qian Travis Qian, manager of VisitBritain's operations on the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong. December 2011: POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) 54
  • 56. SOCIAL MEDIA: EMERGING MARKETS BURBERRY’S SINA WEIBO PAGE POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) 55
  • 57. SOCIAL MEDIA: EMERGING MARKETS TOURISM AUSTRALIA’S SINA WEIBO PAGE POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) 56
  • 58. MOBILE DEVICES SECTION 3: POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) 57
  • 59. MOBILE DEVICES • Handheld computers, be they smartphones, “phablets” or tablets are becoming increasingly popular. Their popularity is at the expense of the desktop PC market, which is shrinking. • Gartner predict that tablet sales will outpace the PC market sometime between 2014 and and 2017. By 2017 it’s predicted that manufacturers will sell 468 million tablets, almost double that of the PC market. • By 2017 it’s predicted that phone sales will top 2 billion units. • In 2012, 695 million smartphones were sold (almost twice the number of all types of PCs, and about four out of every ten mobile phones sold overall). Source: TomiAhonen Consulting • In 2013 we will see about 1 billion new smartphones sold. • Why is this important? “Today’s marketers face the increasing challenge of a winding ‘path to purchase,’ requiring strategic engagements with customers across multiple channels and ensuring content is portable across many devices.” reported Experian Marketing Services recently. • Research by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB, 2012), for example, has found that mobile optimised websites increase visitor dwell time by two crucial minutes. • In the US, 13 percent of business respondents cited mobile as the most important communication channel, reports Experian. • Mobile channels are growing more important for information collection too. Half of US businesses surveyed are capturing information entered on mobile devices and another 11 percent are currently implementing a mobile application that will collect data. THE IMPORTANCE OF MOBILE DEVICES POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) 58
  • 60. The Think Tank research has found that… In the following pages, we highlight some good examples of optimisation for mobile devices... NTOs & MOBILE OPTIMISATION Only 20% of NTO websites use a separate mobile site or responsive design, to optimise their sites for multiple devices The takeaway: NTOs’ use of digital technology is falling behind customer behaviour. Optimisation of websites for multiple devices should be a priority 42% of NTOs are offering smartphone mobile apps 16% of NTOs are offering tablet apps POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) MOBILE DEVICES 59
  • 61. • MySwitzerland.com is among the 20% of NTOs that offer separate mobile websites. • Its mobile website is worthy of note because it has been designed specifically for mobile devices, with: • Mobile screen size design. E.g. Single column layout • Navigation simplification • Carefully chosen content • Touchscreen functionality - large buttons, large search boxes • My Switzerland.com offer a number of mobile apps • Its mobile apps are good because… • They perform offline (ideal on the ski slopes!) • Well designed, stylish • Carefully curated, relevant content • Available for both iTunes & Android NTO MOBILE SITES NTO MOBILE APP EXAMPLE POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) MOBILE DEVICES 60
  • 62. • The BBC uses both responsive design and separate mobile websites. • Their mobile site for News, pictured, is even more radically simple than MySwitzerland.com’s mobile site • m.bbc.co.uk/news is very clear about the content that it offers. Based on careful research into their users’ needs, they’ve chosen “top stories” and “most read” content to be given prominence. • Important to note: For delivering purely informational web content on a tight budget, NTOs should carefully consider whether the creation of separate mobile apps is a good use of their resources. Gov.uk recently won the UK Design Museum’s international, prestigious, Design of the Year award. Their attitude to creating separate “native”, mobile and tablet apps is this: Native apps are rarely justified. • Tom Loosemore, from Gov.uk, says: “… we believe the benefits of developing and maintaining apps will very rarely justify their costs, especially if the underlying service design is sub-optimal. • “Departments should focus on improving the quality of the core web service.” • However, it is also important to note that, resource allowing, the creation of apps in the areas of gaming, social media or dedicated tasks (especially when they give access to information when users are offline), holds a massive amount of potential for NTOs. In the future we’ll see these apps being connected to CRM systems, and becoming contextually aware, which will allow NTOs to personalise the service they give to tourists - an important advance. NON NTO MOBILE SITE EXAMPLE NATIVE APP OR RESPONSIVE DESIGN? Based on careful research into their users’ needs, they’ve chosen “top stories” and “most read” content to be given prominence. POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) MOBILE DEVICES 61
  • 63. NTO RESPONSIVE SITE EXAMPLE The Visit Norway website is one of the few NTO sites to use responsive design. The site resizes images and re-structures its pages to adapt to the different screen sizes of the devices it is viewed upon. POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) MOBILE DEVICES 62
  • 64. NTO RESPONSIVE SITE EXAMPLE Visitfinland.com is one of the few other NTO sites to use responsive design. POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) MOBILE DEVICES 63
  • 65. Time.com use responsive design to reach audiences across multiple devices. The results: • Mobile and tablet traffic has risen from 15% to almost 25%. • Pages per visit (PPV), across mobile, tablet and desktop are up “considerably” - for example, mobile PPV increased 23%. • On the homepage, unique visits increased 15%, and time spent went up 7.5%, with the mobile bounce rate decreasing by 26%. Source: econsultancy.com Skinny Ties use responsive eCommerce to reach audiences across multiple devices. The results: • Revenue from all devices increased by 42.4%. • The conversion rate improved by 13.6%. • Revenue from iPhone grew by 377.6%. • The conversion rate for iPhone increased by 71.9%. The site’s bounce rate fell by 23.2%. • Visit duration increased by 44.6%. Source: econsultancy.com GOOD EXAMPLES OF NON NTO RESPONSIVE DESIGN GOOD EXAMPLES OF NON NTO RESPONSIVE DESIGN POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) MOBILE DEVICES 64
  • 66. • In conclusion, big brands know that they have to embrace the adoption of smartphones and multiple devices. • Technology “best practice” is still not firmly established. Nike, for example, use a separate mobile site. Red Bull, pictured, use responsive design • The reality is that users are carrying their mobile phones with them everywhere they go, using them to consume content along the way. As a result, many users are spending more time with a mobile screen than they do on traditional media. THE MOBILE REVOLUTION Sheryl Sandberg CEO of Facebook POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) MOBILE DEVICES 65 "The size of the audience makes this - the phone - a mass medium. It's as important to a marketer as TV. This is as important - if not more important - than television.”
  • 67. POWERED BY LAST EXITemail: reports@thinkdigital.travel phone +44 20 7193 1003 (London and Brussels) 66