How DMOs Like Visit Jacksonville & Huntsville/Madison County CVB Are Using CrowdRiff for Recovery

June 8, 2020 Julia Manoukian

It's clear now that many destinations have started to reopen at the local and even regional level.

But what each phase of reopening means differs in every state and county, as well as the timelines. 

Regardless of what stage your destination is in, we've rounded up a few examples from our customers to help give you ideas as you continue to plan for the recovery at your DMO.

We've grouped these examples into two stages:

  1. Local travel phase: Hyperlocal campaigns ideas as communities slowly open up to locals
  2. Inspiration and recommendations from areas that are starting to open up to regional travel

If you have a campaign to share around how you're managing tourism recovery at your DMO, let us know in our Community Stories Hub

Local travel phase

In this phase, people are starting to explore their neighborhoods and businesses, then venturing out on small day trips, perhaps to local hiking trails. Many destinations across the United States and Canada are in this phase now. 

Frankenmuth Chamber of Commerce & CVB encourages people to order takeout and have a picnic

Michigan is in its third phase (out of six) of the recovery. In this stage, cases of COVID-19 have started to plateau and the health care system can meet public demand. Though the stay-at-home order has recently been lifted, social distancing is an important part of keeping the curve down.

Frankenmuth Chamber of Commerce & CVB published a blog post encouraging people to order takeout and have a picnic in a local park. They're using a CrowdRiff gallery combining user-generated and owned content to promote family-friendly experiences outside.

This is an effective way to show locals how to support businesses in the community while maintaining social distancing.

How to do it:

  1. Pull in relevant content using local hashtags
  2. Upload your own content to the platform
  3. Pull this content into a gallery and embed it on your blog or website

Visit Albuquerque is using Collector to gather UGC for puzzles

As much of New Mexico reopens, Visit Albuquerque is keepings its local engaged by asking them to share puzzle-worthy photos. They're asking followers on Facebook and Twitter, "Do you have an Albuquerque photo that you think is puzzle-worthy?” 

They're using Collector to gather UGC that they can use to turn into digital puzzles. The images should reflect anything that's #TrueABQ, like a sunset, skyline, outdoor adventure or plate of food. Four winning images were selected June 5.

How to do it: 

  1. For your contest, choose a goal, determine your rules, hashtag (if necessary), and timeline
  2. Create a public uploader link and customize it with your name, logo, and terms & conditions
  3. Share the link on your social media channels, in your blog, and in your newsletter
  4. Select winners and use an online tool like Jigsaw Explorer to create your puzzles and host them on your website.

Huntsville/Madison CVB launched the #ShowYourCoverHSV challenge to encourage protective face masks

In Huntsville, AL, the mayor issued a challenge to residents to encourage people to wear masks. Huntsville/Madison CVB is collaborating with the city to get the word out.

This #ShowYourCoverHsv blog post features a CrowdRiff gallery highlighting UGC of people sporting their protective face gear. People can upload their own photos using CrowdRiff's public uploader.

How to do it:

  1. Seek out partnerships with local government bodies as Huntsville did
  2. Use Public Uploader to gather contest entries
  3. Promote your hashtag on social media
  4. Pull the best entries into a CrowdRiff gallery and embed it on your site

Visit Jacksonville's video with UGC and user comments asks people what they miss most about the city

In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis recently announced more businesses can open up under phase two guidelines. This means many bars, pubs, and movie theatres will operate at 50% capacity.

As counties across the state reopen, Visit Jacksonville is doing a few things to keep locals informed and engaged while also speaking to outside travelers. 

  • They created a video featuring rights approved UGC and user comments about what people miss most in Jacksonville. 
  • They've started to show what's open with an "open" Instagram highlight.
  • They've moved their virtual hub under “travel tools” rather than on their homepage. They changed the language a bit as well to encourage visitors to use this a source of inspiration for planning their trip, rather than promoting staying home.

How to do it:

  1. Source content from local hashtags
  2. Get the rights to this content via a Hashtag Rights app
  3. Create a video using the UGC you sourced

Regional travel phase

In the early part of this phase, people are encouraged to explore their home state. People are taking road trips and exploring outdoor spaces. This is the phase we see a handful of DMOs in right now.

In the late stages of this phase, people are traveling across state borders. As you think about what this phase could look like at your destination, consider the campaigns and ideas from the following DMOs.

Visit Columbus Indiana created a page to support local businesses

The state of Indiana is in stage three of its five-stage plan. The stage permits social gatherings of up to 100 people, essential and non-essential travel, and has seen many businesses open given they are following the right guidelines. 

Visit Columbus Indiana created this new page to help support their local businesses. Click on any of the boxes to find a CrowdRiff gallery for each vendor, including restaurants, shopping, art, architecture, and things to do. 

As more people visit from around Indiana, the galleries show travelers everything the city has to offer while amplifying their partners and local businesses and driving traffic to them.   

How to do it:

  1. Pull your partners' content in using Connect or by tracking their business account
  2. Assemble the best photos in a CrowdRiff gallery and embed it on your site
  3. Add CTAs and Google Locations to each image in your gallery 
  4. Update the gallery as fresh content comes in 

Highway 1 Discovery Route promotes solo travel in a video campaign

California just entered stage two of recovery, where retail, outdoor museums, child care, and essential businesses can open with modifications.

Highway 1 Discovery Route published a video promoting solo travel, featuring a number of Advanced Rights Management (ARM) images approved through CrowdRiff.

More than ever, people are craving wide-open spaces, getting back to nature, and outdoor adventures. As you prepare for more travelers, promote these uncrowded areas of your destination like Highway 1 Discovery Route.  

How to do it:

  1. Set up an ARM hashtag rights app and request rights to your favorite photos
  2. When you have the rights, pull them into a video

The Arizona Office of Tourism launched a regional campaign promoting backyard experiences 

The Rediscover Arizona campaign is aimed at people in the state, encouraging them to discover their own backyard "in whatever way is most comfortable to them." The page features a CrowdRiff gallery that emphasizes outdoor adventures, road trips, and staycations.

The Arizona Office of Tourism says the campaign has already received some great media coverage. 

This campaign works well because it helps residents of Arizona plan their summer and fall vacations, while also providing inspiration for out-of-state travelers. 

How to do it:

  1. Collect content from hashtags, your partners, and local businesses
  2. Search for this content in your CrowdRiff library - remember to create a saved search so you can easily find and update your gallery as fresh content comes in

Image credit: @wesmoir

About the author

Julia Manoukian

Julia Manoukian is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at CrowdRiff. A former journalist, she has helped several Toronto startups raise their thought leadership profiles and scale their content efforts to influence revenue. She's passionate about storytelling, traveling, and tech.

Follow on Twitter Follow on Linkedin More posts by Julia Manoukian
Previous article
Announcing Collector: The Easiest Way to Get Visuals from Your Community into Your CrowdRiff Library
Announcing Collector: The Easiest Way to Get Visuals from Your Community into Your CrowdRiff Library

Collector allows you to get rights-approved, high-resolution content directly from your audience.

Next article
How This Social Media Manager Uses CrowdRiff for Road Trip Itineraries
How This Social Media Manager Uses CrowdRiff for Road Trip Itineraries

Melea Hames from Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association talks about their road trip blog series, how Cr...