The Gold Coast is Australia’s most popular tourism destination, and while millions travel from far and wide every year to experience its beauty, they aren’t always as keen to return.
The Australian city—just a short drive south of Brisbane—welcomes nearly four million visitors each year. Travelers arrive from all over Australia as well as China, New Zealand, Japan and elsewhere around the world to enjoy its pristine beaches, iconic theme parks and outdoor activities.
The challenge: encouraging visitors to return
Jake Cosmai, Destination Gold Coast's Community & Engagement Specialist, says the main challenge is to get visitors to come back for a second, third or even fourth visit.
“While the Gold Coast is seen as a ‘must-visit’ destination, research shows that once our visitors have made the journey, it tends not to be as prominent on their radars for a return trip,” he says. “It's often we hear ‘we've done the Gold Coast and the theme parks,’ but our response is: how about a trip out to our hinterland, or unearthing waterfalls and cascades, a 20 minute drive from the beach?”
“Furthermore, despite our consistent year-round weather, we also experience some level of seasonality, and strive to better spread visitations across periods where hotel inventory is a little higher.”
Using UGC to promote everyday experiences
Through large-scale marketing campaigns that promote new theme park offerings and lesser-known experiences—such as their World Heritage listed rainforest walking trails and tours—Destination Gold Coast is giving families more reason to come back. At the same time, competitive accommodation deals are gradually helping to smooth out the curves from peak to shoulder seasons.
In recent months, Destination Gold Coast has also heightened their focus on user-generated content (UGC) in order to showcase these new experiences to prospective visitors.
“We’re now using our owned social media channels to advertise offerings at our theme parks, our under the radar attractions, and consistent climate. Using UGC gives us the opportunity to promote travelers’ everyday experiences to a broader audience, ensuring our followers see an authentic and uncontrived view of the destination,” said Cosmai.
Making the switch to CrowdRiff
Prior to using CrowdRiff, Destination Gold Coast was using different providers for their digital asset manager (DAM) and social media aggregator. But in October 2018, the team decided to trade in two platforms for one: CrowdRiff.
The team now uses CrowdRiff to easily source, store, aggregate and filter UGC, as well as evaluate and repost to their social media channels.
Reposting content allows Destination Gold Coast to strengthen their relationship with the creator community. “These relationships are mutually beneficial and vital for both parties, as we are better able to showcase their content to a more extensive audience, while providing our audience with authentic, relevant, and timely content,” said Cosmai.
‘Safeguarded against any copyright issues’
In signing up with CrowdRiff, the DMO was also looking for assurance when it came to getting the rights to visuals. CrowdRiff’s hashtag rights approval and explicit consent processes were key factors in making the decision to switch.
By using CrowdRiff to request rights, Cosmai says they are “safeguarded against any potential copyright issues that might arise from the current, ambiguous landscape of social media content sharing,”
“CrowdRiff has enabled us to positively seek consent for images; a function we were previously unable to do,” he says.
It’s the middle of winter, yet this is where you’ll find us all day. 🏊♀️ Coming to you from the @qtgoldcoast, it’s just a short walk from the beach, Cavill Avenue and the light rail, that’s if you want to leave the abode of the pool however. 😎 Care to join us? #WeAreGoldCoast 📸 @mytravelation
CrowdRiff’s rights management process has also allowed Destination Gold Coast to broadcast messages to their creator community when explicitly seeking consent to repost at scale. “This spans across both English and Japanese consumer-facing social media channels, allowing us to reach a more diverse audience,” says Cosmai.
Cosmai explains that through multiple streams, he can see exactly what content is in their ‘bank,’ what is yet to be approved, and which pieces are approved when it comes to sharing on their own social media channels.
“CrowdRiff ultimately removes the need for a drive or a reliance on the archived section of Instagram to view particular pieces of content that are approved to repost,” he says.
UGC now a central part of their marketing
Ultimately, Cosmai says using more UGC in their marketing has allowed them to ”convey the beauty of our destination through the eyes of those who know and experience it best: our locals and visitors.”
“We have plenty of work to do, but we know UGC will remain a central part of our marketing efforts moving forward. It continues to allow us to market the destination with fresh, authentic and visually appealing imagery, and ultimately fulfil our promise to ‘create a better Gold Coast’ through recurring, consistent and improved visitation experiences.”