The paramount idea behind every travel campaign on social media is to get the TG to sample the trip virtually, gradually pushing them towards end transaction – a tactic similar to the traditional retail marketing concept of ‘try before buy’.
Applying the concept yet again, HolidayIQ, an online travel community and holiday planning website recently concluded #VaranaSee, a crowd-sourced video campaign exploring the untold stories of Varanasi.
The campaign appears to behold multi-fold objectives, primary one being popularising the recently launched video reviews option on the HolidayIQ app. Second and the rather obvious objective would be rebranding reviews are reliable holiday planning elements for potential travellers.
HolidayIQ got 6000 Kashiyatra, IIT BHU students to participate in a treasure hunt and take videos through of the unexplored in Varanasi. Post the activity, over 1000 videos were submitted as reviews on the HolidayIQ app.
The best reviews were put together in a video which was later released across social media platforms. #VaranaSee gave users an opportunity to discover the serene place through the individual perspectives of the young IIT students.
The campaign was pushed on social media though pictorial content boasting of intriguing facts about the place. Twitter however, managed to create much more traction around #VaranaSee, with tweeples coming up with more facts and tips. Facebook on the other hand, mainly saw a few publications sharing #VaranaSee videos.
What worked well?
The campaign managed to seamlessly integrate social media with its mobile app – which is the source to heavy traction for HolidayIQ’s services. #VaranaSee further subtly drew attraction towards the latest video review future, without going the hard-sell route for it.
On Twitter, #VaranaSee acted as a bridge between loyal Benaras travellers and dwellers and potential tourists, thus creating organic and interesting conversations.
— Teja Jagarlamudi (@TejaShiv) February 22, 2016
— Jigar Patel (@jagira) February 19, 2016
What could have been better?
To increase the reach and volume of the campaign, HolidayIQ could have used social media to call out for video reviews around #VaranaSee. Including social media users would not only create a sense of active involvement but, would also magnify #VaranaSee’s reach as the participants would share it on their personal profiles.
HolidayIQ has 32k followers on Instagram and could have put the reach to a much better use with active engagement through the platform. Instead, the campaign saw a couple of posts which directed the users to the video.
#VaranaSee created the impact of try before buy with minimal resources. Nonetheless, the campaign would have been an exception one with a strategic push across platforms.