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How YesMilano Uses CrowdRiff to Tell The Story of Its Neighborhoods

This year put DMOs and NTOs in the unique position of serving both locals and visitors. YesMilano, the tourism brand responsible for promoting the municipality of Milan and its partners, is no exception.

Martina Badiali, Marketing Editor, YesMilano, says before COVID-19, they focused their marketing on a predominately international audience. For example, she wrote their Instagram posts in English. Now, most of their posts are in Italian and English.

Learn how destination marketers from Visit Luxembourg, Marketing Greece, and  more use CrowdRiff and UGC to support local marketing initiatives.


A post shared by YesMilano (@visit_milano)

Badiali says the shift has been embraced by the organization. “It’s our duty to speak to our city and the community that is around our city, our region, and our country.” 

Even if the two audiences sometimes feel different, the content for locals also applies to their international audiences. With both audiences, they strive to “give a vision of the city in its most authentic flavor.”

“We want people to feel like a local, even if at this moment you only dream to visit. It’s the same for locals because you can’t tell them a story that is not true about the city they live in.”

The Neighborhoods Campaign

One of YesMilano’s biggest initiatives to support their local-first tourism mission is ‘The Neighborhoods Campaign’. The campaign seeks to draw attention and drum up businesses support for one new neighborhood every month by:

  • Creating evergreen content on landmarks and hidden gems for each neighborhood on YesMilano’s website
  • Using locals to tell the neighborhood’s story through content, events, and networking opportunities 
  • Promote the neighborhood on Instagram and Facebook (using both paid and organic posts), their website, in their newsletter to locals, and with out-of-home marketing materials around the city and at local businesses 

In September, the first neighborhood they covered was NoLo, aka North of Loreto

Badiali says it was a success. “A lot of locals and tourists when possible went there and really had the chance to experience NoLo. People were happy, and we had a lot of participation from the citizens.” 

Right now the campaign is on hold since Milan is in lockdown again, but they will pick up when they are able to and cover the eight other neighborhoods planned.

Using CrowdRiff to discover and publish local-first content

YesMilano has been using CrowdRiff since the start of the year to source and get the rights to user-generated content (UGC) to power their social media channels, including content they use for ‘The Neighborhoods Campaign.’


A post shared by YesMilano (@visit_milano)

Badiali discovered she could also use CrowdRiff to measure the organic success of the campaign. NoLo is a suburban area that people don’t typically take photos of, but during September she noticed her CrowdRiff feed changing.

“People were going to NoLo and capturing their experiences and sharing them with their friends and family.”

The increased popularity on social media gave her qualitative feedback that the campaign was working. 

One of the reasons why Badiali loves CrowdRiff is that it doesn’t just track hashtags or where YesMilano has been tagged, it does image tagging and categorizing for you. “I found pictures I could not find in any other way,” she says of CrowdRiff’s DAM and Intelligent Search.

These images have helped her ‘give life’ to different areas and angles of Milano by showcasing their unique personality, characteristics, and allure.

YesMilano has over 175,000 images and videos in their CrowdRiff library that they bring in through various hashtags and local business accounts. Of those, they have the rights to use almost 700. Badiali says the rights-approved wall is her favorite part of the platform because it's so eye-catching. 

She uses Social Publisher to post rights-approved content straight from her CrowdRiff library to Instagram and soon, Facebook. 

“I’m a big fan of Social Publisher because I can skip a step. I don’t have to download the image and reupload it. I just post it.”

Content efficiency, rights certainty, and maintaining connections with creators

Before using CrowdRiff, Badiali, who has been at the organization since May 2019, says she sourced content for social media manually. She DMed creators asking for rights to every photo she wanted to use. The biggest downside to this process was the fogginess around acquiring rights to the content. “With CrowdRiff it’s very clear.”

It was also time-consuming. Not only did she have to find the content herself, she also had to organize it—something that would fill her entire mornings. Organizing the content, she says, was a job in itself. 

“Now, I can solve the programming for one week of Instagram in one morning.”

The team is excited about their continued use of CrowdRiff to tell the story of their neighborhoods. For Badiali, a big part of that is also maintaining connections with local creators. 

“CrowdRiff makes my job of sourcing pictures easy and smooth, without losing the human contact with the community creating them."

Header image credit: @freiburgermax

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About the author

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.

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