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How CrowdRiff Creators Helps Galena Streamline and Expand Their Short-Form Video Strategy

“Thanks to CrowdRiff Creators, I was able to quickly and efficiently create engaging short-form video content for all of my social media channels. I can take the raw video footage, quickly edit it together with a trending sound, and seamlessly publish the same video amongst all channels – TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and even YouTube Shorts. The engagement results are almost always higher than photo content, and the creators capture the footage I need at my destination’s hot spots. This is especially important for me, as I work remotely from Chicago and am not always able to go onsite to certain locations. This way I have the footage on deck and ready to go when I need it. – Emily Tepper, Content Marketing Manager, Galena Country Tourism

Top performing Reel thanks to CrowdRiff Creators:

Length: 0:10

Views: 43,821

Likes: 2,214

Comments: 31

Shares: 1,333

Saves: 855

The 24/7 need for content in all its forms — especially short-form video — is something many destination marketing organizations (DMOs) big and small are contending with today. But when you’re a smaller DMO and your marketing team consists of just two, those challenges become even greater.

That’s been the case for Galena Country Tourism, a convention and visitor’s bureau located in northwestern Illinois that includes the city of Galena and its surrounding towns. Galena Country, which has a population of roughly 22,000, welcomes nearly a million annual visitors who come for its abundance of outdoor activities, thriving arts and culture scene, and local festivals. In fact, it’s the second most-popular tourism destination in Illinois after Chicago in terms of visitor numbers, and it attracts couples, families, history buffs, wine enthusiasts, and art lovers.

For Galena Country Tourism Marketing Content Manager Emily Tepper, the need for fresh content to promote the region is constant, and it involves juggling social media platforms, content creators, videographers, photographers, project management, and so much more.   

“Creating high-quality content can be time consuming, especially for our small team of two,” Tepper says. “By outsourcing CrowdRiff Creators, I can save time and focus on other important aspects of operations.”

CrowdRiff Creators helps DMOs create original short-form videos at scale by handling all of the logistics from finding, onboarding, training, managing, and compensating creators. “It acts like a middleman for creators and it streamlines the process so much; it’s like a little gift whenever I receive new content from the CrowdRiff Creators team,” she notes.

Tepper finds that using CrowdRiff Creators to source content for distribution on Galena Country Tourism’s social media platforms and website not only saves her time and makes things easier, but has also improved the impact that the DMO’s video content has in terms of attracting visitors to the region. Here’s a look at all the benefits she and the DMO have seen since they started using CrowdRiff Creators.

It adds authenticity in the form of user-generated content (UGC) sourced from creators. “User-generated content is more relatable to people,” says Tepper. “It feels more like a recommendation, whereas when we use professionally shot content, it looks so good that people know it’s marketing.” 

It helps the DMO connect with local creators. Prior to using CrowdRiff Creators, Tepper would engage in lengthy and often time-consuming outreach to creators, finding them and crafting press trips and itineraries for them herself. 

“We didn’t have a clear-cut process for our influencers, so each situation was handled differently based on their number of followers, etc. It was typically a lot of back-and-forth communication and, quite often, the results were not worth the effort; the content wasn’t what we were expecting or engagement wasn’t very high for their content.”

CrowdRiff Creators, however, simplifies that process, and it’s also introduced her more to local creators who really know Galena Country inside and out, versus other creators who might be visiting from out of town and not as familiar with the destination. Content from local creators yields local tips and hidden gems that’s “not the regular tourist stuff.”

“Before, I didn’t even think of local creators,” she says, “but looking back now, I realize I definitely should have been. Back then, we were looking for creators or influencers with a larger audience than our own, but now I’ve realized that it’s not as important what reach they have because if they’re making quality content, that’s the most important.”

It helps target specific, niche audiences. To that end, Tepper says the ability to work with the CrowdRiff Creators team to find short-form video content that appeals to the DMO’s target audiences is a huge help.

“We want to capture as much content as possible, work with a diverse community of creators, and follow the sounds and trends to the best of our ability,” Tepper says. “We’re hoping this will attract a variety of audiences that we weren’t able to reach with more traditional forms of marketing.”

She adds: “The CrowdRiff Creators team has been incredible to work with. They’ve also found a variety of wonderful creators who have made some awesome content for our area.”

It provides what visitors want: short-form video content. Marketing via short-form video content on platforms like Instagram, YouTube Shorts, and TikTok is, Tepper says, “perfect for our industry.” She adds, “It’s the most effective tool for visual storytelling, and by showcasing a destination’s unique features and attractions, these videos give potential visitors a sense of what they can expect to see and experience when they visit.”

For Galena Country Tourism, the goal is to grow their followings on Instagram and TikTok, and to stand out with their short-form video content to “capture a more diversified audience.”

It serves multiple purposes. The short-form video content that CrowdRiff Creators delivers to Galena Country Tourism serves multiple purposes and formats —  something Tepper values and appreciates for its flexibility.

“The B roll or raw video content or footage is a lifesaver,” she says, since she sometimes supplements the UGC from CrowdRiff Creators with professionally shot content. “I like to chop things up and make them shorter because I feel like shorter videos are a little bit more digestible for the consumers.”

She says that having the raw footage is “repurposable in so many different ways, and I can keep all that content stored on our server and go back to it at a later date and use it again.” She adds, “Previously, when I would receive videos from content creators [outside of CrowdRiff Creators] I would get the full video already put together, but then I couldn’t do anything with that one video, whereas with the CrowdRiff Creators content, I can use it in so many different ways, whether it’s for social media, our website, or even print promotion.”

Simply put, CrowdRiff Creators has helped Tepper and Galena Country Tourism grow their library of UGC and short-form video presence and to create what Tepper says is “the best content possible.”

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