What does a successful destination marketing campaign look like? In the following article, I will walk you through a recent video assignment with ta hotel on Usedom Island, Northern Germany.
To keep a simple structure, I will be using the template from my last article The Importance of Information Gathering. Each step is important for the desirable outcome of a successful marketing campaign, so lets start from the beginning.
After landing a campaign, it is key to invest some time in research on your client. Try to find as much information as possible about the destination, service or place you are promoting. Make sure you know what your client expects you to deliver.
I have summarized our experience with the Strandhotel Heringsdorf on Usedom in Northern Germany. Our research previous to the content creation challenged us to find answers to the following questions:
Who is the client and what does he stand for?
Our client on Usedom was not the Tourism board of the island, but a local 5-star hotel called Strandhotel Heringsdorf. Of course, this played to our advantage, as we got to enjoy the facilities while creating the content.
As we learned upon arrival, the hotel wanted a promotion video highlighting not only their own facilities, but visualizing all the touristic activities the island has to offer. To be able to create that, they would give us a free hand in the execution. The manager also asked us to let her know whatever we needed to get the footage – basically a jackpot. Clients like this are rare and you should do everything to keep them once you find them.
The hotel’s request to create a video of the overall experience instead of the hotel facilities also played to our advantage. Simply because filming activities instead of static objects like rooms, buildings or food is way more fun.
Where does the client stand and where would he like to be in the future?
Arriving at the Strandhotel, we immediately took notice of the relatively high average age of the visitors. The manager confirmed that their customers are generally returning visitors. Most of them are retired Germans who have been coming to Usedom for years, if not centuries.
On that matter, the destination marketing goal was set to attract a new clientele. Especially younger couples and families from all over Europe should be amongst the future visitors of the hotel.
Who is your client’s target group?
Due to the intended repositioning of the Strandhotel, out target group were young and active travelers. To be promoted activities included food & lifestyle, outdoors activities, maritime sports, wellness and recreation.
What are the destination’s strengths (and weaknesses)?
The Strandhotel Heringsdorf is situated right on the beach front and offers sea views from most rooms. The panoramic sauna and complementing spa facilities are amongst the hotels strongest values. Guests can choose to use a number of in-house facilities, including a saltwater indoor and outdoor swimming pool, a steam room, several massage chairs, water beds and a panoramic sauna with daily infusions.
Additionally, massages and other comprehensive spa treatments can be booked. The food in the restaurant is excellent and serves seasonally adapted menu every day. It comes with a variety of local dishes and excellent German wines.
Filming and shooting these facilities alone could have filled a nice promotional clip for our client. However, as it was not wished to focus the content primarily on the hotel, but on the island’s beauty and hidden gems, we needed to increase our level of creativity a bit. That being said, both Greg and I were more than happy to be able to explore more of the island and to try the different activities on offer.
The island of Usedom has far more to offer than beautiful beaches and stable weather. Over 200 km of biking paths connect small towns and characteristic villages. Lush green, perfectly kept golf courses animate golf fanatics and beginners to play.
For those who are into wind- and watersports, Usedom has kayaking, kite-, windsurfing and sailing. The variety of things to do on Usedom is impressive and makes it an attractive holiday destination for people of all ages.
How do I put my knowledge into practise?
After a first briefing with the client, we usually start planning the production. It is important to stay realistic about the amount of activities and locations you want to cover in one day. You also want to consider that you might have to reschedule or reshoot due to weather conditions.
A promotional video for the Strandhotel Heringsdorf had to be (eye-)catching and different. More than anything we wanted to highlight the variety of activities available on the island. Convincing primarily young people and families to come to Usedom was the ultimate goal.
Luckily, our client on Usedom gave us absolute creative freedom during the campaign and in post production. This trust is unique and amazing, because it gives you the opportunity to capture moments as they come. The least expected content is usually the best one.
Iconic natural or cultural elements like the German Strandkörbe make viewer’s recognize a place or culture. Including them in your pictures is therefore always a safe bet for destination marketing. On Usedom the beach chairs stand for the islands trump to be one of Germany’s sunniest regions.
Respect the Local Community and Environment
Despite the relative freedom given by the client, we had to make sure to respect the local community & environment. Especially the creation of drone footage in destination marketing usually comes with a lot of paperwork. Administrative process can take a while, which is why it is important to get permission to fly in certain areas prior to your arrival.
Getting this permission was one of the bigger challenges, because the island of Usedom is basically one giant nature reserve. Thanks to the support by our client however, we eventually obtained permission to create some beautiful drone footage of the hotel.
If you are curious to see how we put the final piece into practice, click on the video on your right. Also check out Greg’s Vlog for behind-the-scenes updates and follow our next destination marketing campaign on Juist in the North Sea!
Last but not least, thank you for reading. We are always happy about your feedback, comments, critique and questions. Stay tuned!
Nellie and Greg