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How CrowdRiff Helps This Australian DMO Build Awareness With UGC

Townsville in North Queensland is a coastal destination in the Northeastern part of Australia, and while the town itself is relatively small, its destination management organization (DMO) spans a territory that encompasses five regions — Townsville and Magnetic Island, Burdekin, Charters Towers, Hinchinbrook, and Palm Island — rich in natural beauty, history, and culture. It’s an ideal destination for couples seeking romance, for families yearning for a picturesque place to unwind together, for students, especially those studying marine science, and for curious explorers in search of new experiences. 

But drumming up awareness of the destination is no small feat, and the task falls to a three-person marketing team (out of a total team of 12) from the local DMO, Townsville Enterprise. 

“A major challenge of our destination is actually awareness from across our domestic and international markets,” says Simone Sullivan, a marketing manager with Townsville Enterprise. 

The DMO recently completed comprehensive research about their destination that informed a major brand relaunch, but also showed them where their strengths and opportunities are as a destination. 

“Destination awareness is quite low for our region, and we know that off the back of our research,” Simone notes, adding, “So being able to leverage shared stories of people who have been to our region to use throughout our marketing strategy is really key.”

To help them boost brand awareness of the destination, Townsville Enterprise turned to CrowdRiff for solutions that would help them harness user-generated content(UGC) in their various marketing and social media channels.

UGC, in particular, appeals to the DMO precisely because it aligns with the destination’s “sense of identity,” says Simone.

“Being authentic and organic is another key component to how we are building the brand of Townsville North Queensland. We want to be real and organic and raw and that’s where social media content and sharing the experiences that visitors have had in real terms comes in.” 

She says the DMO looks for UGC that “showcases the beauty of our destination and the things there are to do, but also captures the moments or the essence of the experience that people are having.”  It’s more about the human element, she adds.

One major way that CrowdRiff helps Townsville Enterprise is with finding quality UGC, as well as securing the rights to use that content. “CrowdRiff enables us to reach out and see the content that’s coming through from our region and then use best-practice formats to request that content to share,” says Simone.

Galleries that pull UGC from CrowdRiff that the DMO can use on its website have also had a major impact in terms of conversions, says Simone. “The results were amazing,” she says. “They blew me away, by leaning into the fact that we can share those experiences in this way. The placement at the top of the page is vibrant and what’s great about it is that it’s not a hard sell. Being able to share organic content in a way that complements how we as locals see the region works hand in hand.” She also loves how CrowdRiff lets the DMO easily pull different pieces of content together and share them as a suite, too.

The UGC that Townsville North Queensland obtains via CrowdRiff also includes video content, something particularly useful for the DMO since they do not have an in-house videographer. 

Simone says having the full breadth of content made available to the DMO via CrowdRiff means the DMO can launch full, holistic UGC campaigns, too, and it’s something they are eager to run with two major events coming to the destination in 2024. The first involves two concerts featuring the American singer P!nk, which sold out in just 20 minutes, and the second is the World Triathlon and Multisport Championships in August 2024. 

“We’re thinking of ways we can leverage the ability of what the event will bring in and the tools we have to capture that as well,” Simone says. She adds that she feels optimistic about the future of tourism in Townsville North Queensland, especially because, “There’s an appetite for consumers to try something new.”

Since launching their rebrand, the DMO has seen incredible results from a recent paid marketing campaign, too: a 70% increase of consumers taking action to book a holiday in Townsville North Queensland, and a 116% boost in destination awareness, says Simone:  “It’s setting us up on a really strong trajectory forward to really lean into this new essence of the brand and leverage some of the cool things that are coming for 2024.”

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