Visit Aberdeenshire, the DMO for one of Scotland’s main council areas, wanted more Norwegian explorers to visit their highland gems. Market research suggested Norwegians loved the UK, and they had some familiarity with Aberdeen from business trips. However, they weren’t aware it could be a true vacation destination. Visit Aberdeenshire wanted to shift this perception, and we set out to help them accomplish this.
We took a look at the market research and recommended Visit Aberdeenshire focus first on growing awareness — leveraging the already existing affections for the UK. We wanted to reframe Aberdeen as a quick weekend getaway via a micro-influencer story then amplified through a sequential messaging campaign using an immersive Facebook Canvas ad and retargeted contest ads.
The selected campaign concept was originally designed as “explore more happiness” to wink at Norway’s ranking as the happiest country in the world. Then, when Norway lost its No. 1 ranking in March 2018, we took the opportunity to modify the concept to “get your happiness back.” Under this theme, we challenged the Norwegian audience to go on a quick, easy and joyful vacation to Aberdeenshire, where beautiful sites, activities and local history and culture could help them regain some of their lost happiness. We selected an influencer who was adventurous, down-to-earth and confident to tell the story of Aberdeenshire to her 18,500 Norwegian followers. Then, using the influencer-provided imagery to create Facebook ads, we planted an idea in their heads, asking them to seek adventure. We offered a free trip for two, encouraging audiences to spend more time with the content and message.
Audiences loved Silvia Lawrence’s (@heartmybackpack) influencer posts. Her three photos received 4,000 engagements and 4,500 Instagram story views. In conjunction with the Facebook amplification, the campaign generated over 4 million impressions and reached over 1 million users in our target market (for context, the population of Norway is 5.2 million). The extremely positive comments from the influencers’ followers, as well as the strong engagement on the Canvas ad, reflected the growing affinity for Aberdeenshire. Plus, due to the success of this campaign, Visit Aberdeenshire is exploring ways to further incorporate influencer programming.