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How CrowdRiff Creators Helps This DMO Create Short-Form Video Content That Appeals to Visitors and Locals Alike

Destination Cleveland, the convention and visitors bureau for Cleveland, Ohio, is unique in its approach to destination marketing. While many destination marketing organizations (DMOs) are focused on appealing to travelers from out of town, the northern Ohio DMO is just as concerned about reaching locals and potential future residents as it is with visitors.

“Our biggest goal here is to showcase Cleveland through different angles, from living here to working here,” says Gabe Waysylko, Destination Cleveland’s social media manager. “We want to showcase the diversity, the food, the arts, the music, the culture — everything about Cleveland that supports the people who live here, or might live here in the future, in any way we can.”

And to do that, the DMO is utilizing short-form video content in creative and effective ways that show exactly how “Cleveland is a place for all.”

But creating short-form video that’s engaging, compelling, and authentic to multiple audiences – and taps into local voices – doesn’t come easily. That’s why Destination Cleveland turned to CrowdRiff Creators to help them source and create short-form video content that can be distributed on multiple platforms, from YouTube Shorts and TikTok to Instagram Reels and Google Web Stories. 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.

“Cleveland does have a personality, and being able to utilize short-form video, as well as photos (that’s not going away, either) helps us showcase Cleveland’s voice as a community, as a city as best as we can,” he adds.

Here’s a closer look at why and how Destination Cleveland uses short-form video to appeal to locals and visitors alike.

Why Short-Form Video?

For Destination Cleveland, short-form video has become an increasingly effective way to reach many different audiences where they’re at: on their phones, and on platforms like YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, or Google.  And they’ve found it to be an excellent extension of the broader marketing messages they’re trying to convey, just in a slightly different format.

“Short-form video has allowed us to think outside the box and be unique, but also still share the same messaging we’ve always had, but to think about it in a different way,” says Wasylko. The dynamic and immersive nature of short-form video is “extremely effective” and “a great way to see an attraction or a destination in a different way,” he adds.

“Short-form video has allowed us to showcase what they can experience in their own backyard in a more authentic and dynamic way than ever before. I’m starting to hear a lot of feedback from people saying ‘I saw this video on your social media,’ or ‘I go to your social media to plan my itinerary for the weekend or this event or that event.’”

And it’s not going anywhere anytime soon, either. “I think short-form video is going to be a very impactful part of everybody’s marketing techniques, and we hope to be at the forefront of it as we move forward,” says Wasylko.

How Destination Cleveland Uses Short-Form Video

“We don’t take ourselves too seriously,” Wasylko adds. “We’re authentic. We’re unique in the sense that we just go along with the flow and we’re not too pretentious. … So being able to capture that in our digital marketing efforts, especially in short-form video has been able to help us tell our story a little bit better and be able to capture that and reach the audience better.”

Destination Cleveland has a digital marketing team who work on a variety of areas, from social media and the blog to the official visitors guide and website updates. So they needed to find a way to produce short-form video content in a streamlined, effective way, especially when it comes to working with content creators.

Prior to using CrowdRiff Creators to help them source and manage their work with content creators, the DMO sought out “local influencers who created content that resonated with an audience in Cleveland, no matter the size,” says Wasylko. “We found that locals are our biggest advocates.”

“So when we saw that CrowdRiff Creators had an approach to content creators that wasn’t necessarily a big change from what we were doing, but was more about efficiency and streamlining those efforts, that was extremely promising,” Wasylko notes. “We saw this as an asset to be able to connect with creators, and showcase their messaging in the best and most effective way.”

With CrowdRiff Creators, DMOs have support in all aspects of short-form video content creation. As well as handling all of the logistics of finding, managing, and paying creators, our ready-to-go videos that are delivered to DMOs are made up of individual clips grouped together into a narrative. This gives you the flexibility to use the video as-is or or chop and change the individual clips to suit your needs. All clips also have extra info like Google Maps locations to make them easier for your team to work with.

CrowdRiff Creators also brings unique voices into the mix, allowing you to target a diverse mix of potential travelers. Working with CrowdRiff Creators is collaborative, too, with the DMO and CrowdRiff Creators teams working closely to figure out what works best in terms of content and creators.

Another benefit of using CrowdRiff Creators is its multi-channel approach; the content can just as easily live on TikTok and Instagram Reels as it does on YouTube Shorts or on Google.

“We don’t want any barriers to be seen when it comes to consuming content. We want to meet people where they’re at, and meet people how they best consume content.”

Utilizing User-Generated Content, Too

In addition to using CrowdRiff Creators, Destination Cleveland also uses CrowdRiff’s UGC Platform to source user-generated content (UGC) for its social media marketing — and it’s seen success in promoting Cleveland as a destination for all, but in a slightly different way.

Whereas the short-form video content being produced by creators is meant to have a personality or focus on specific attractions and events, UGC is truly authentic and organic. “It’s not predetermined or pre-organized, but it’s a great way to capture in that moment where they’re experiencing it for the first time … whether they’re visiting Cleveland for the first time and sharing UGC from their trip and their explorations, or going to different attractions, sports events, and restaurants.”

UGC helps Destination Cleveland reach travelers as well as locals.

“UGC is that way of touching someone in a unique way … and we find those experiences not only resonate with people who live in Cleveland, but people who are looking to visit Cleveland.”

Wasylko is a firm believer that UGC and short-form video are here to stay when it comes to destination marketing but he also acknowledges it’s never going to be a one-size-fits-all approach. But having resources like CrowdRiff UGC and CrowdRiff Creators to help with both can only make the process easier and more effective.

“CrowdRiff Creators has helped us continue to push forward to continue to think bigger and think better each and every day. And even though we might be doing similar things [that we’re doing in other areas of marketing], we’re able to make that unique to Cleveland and to our audiences, and to do that in an effective and authentic way. Being able to effectively have CrowdRiff Creators as part of your approach is something we’ve found extremely successful.”

Want to learn more about how CrowdRiff Creators can help you authentically reach more travelers? Get in touch with our team today.