Top Tips for Travel Photography

Travel photography has changed drastically over the past few decades. Long gone are the days of film and dark rooms and here now are endless options for software and digital technology to take, edit and store our best pictures. Moreover, smartphone advancements have allowed the light-traveller to nix heavy DSLR, SLR or digital camera gear in favour of on-the-go mobile cameras, apps, attachments and lenses.

For those looking to optimize their travel photography in 2019, here are our best tips below: Read More

Barberstock + Simpleview CMS Integration

Simplifying workflows is our main objective at Barberstock. From creating tools to make sharing, receiving and organizing content easier to integrating with other systems to eliminate the download and re-upload of assets.

The major integration that has saved DMO clients countless hours of re-downloading and uploading content is Barberstock’s integration with the Simpleview CMS. This integration allows users of both systems to directly import assets from their Barberstock library into their CMS to be used on their website. Here’s an overview of how it works: Read More

Understanding Your Key DMO Digital Channels in 2019

If there is one constant truth in digital marketing, it’s the fact that nothing remains constant in digital marketing.

Only a few years ago Snapchat was the darling social media disruptor that threatened to dethrone reigning platforms, and then with one horribly offensive marketing ad and the swift movement of Rihanna’s social influence, it was no longer a contender, losing roughly 800 million dollars in the week following the fiasco.

Meanwhile, slick websites that used up large chunks of the marketing budget were once the golden egg for attracting consumers, until people switched gears and focused their interests on mobile convenience.

The list of changes goes on and on, begging the question: How do you know where to focus your efforts in an ever-changing digital landscape? Take a look at our list of key channels for 2019 below to get a better idea: Read More

Using Your DAM to Build Your Asset Library

A Digital Asset Management system goes well beyond simply storing assets. In addition to distribution and organization, it can be an effective tool to collect new content and grow your library.

This is where Barberstock’s Contributor Upload Portal comes into play. The Upload Portal gives Contributor Users the ability to upload content without having any other Administrator/back-end function. The files uploaded by Contributors will not automatically be added to the library, but will go through an approval process to ensure only quality, on-brand content is added. Here’s a breakdown of how it works: Read More

2019 Travel Trends and Statistics for DMOs

A new year has arrived and we are already seeing destination marketing and travel and tourism predictions that point to an exciting year of AI, micro-trips, micro-moments, mobile dominance and more. For those looking to get the scoop on what to expect in the industry during 2019, look no further than our list below: Read More

2018 DMO Trends in Review

Videos and UGC Dominate, Smartphones and Apps Get Smarter, while Millennials Open Up New Market Segments

2018 welcomed many trends for destination marketing organizations; some of these trends continued movements from previous years, such as the rise of video and user-generated content (UGC), while newer ones like bleisure travel, sustainable tourism and experiential travel broadened customer segments and interests. Though there is no one-size-fits-all approach to marketing in our day and age, powerful statistics back up the trends on this list, giving food for thought on how to run a successful destination marketing strategy in our current era. Read More

The Science behind Storytelling for DMOs

Storytelling: The word has been trending for a few years now, and its popularity highlights the importance of well-structured narratives in an era where authenticity and transparency are highly valued by consumers.

What Is Storytelling in Destination Marketing?

More than just facts and history about a locale, a good story will set the mood for your destination, spurring the imagination of readers and users. It will inspire travellers to dream up their own tale of excitement from the scene that you’ve set for them, or it will create a plot so memorable that individuals will be able to recount the details with complete ease.

The Science that Supports It

And this isn’t just fancy marketing jargon either; there is scientific evidence that supports the strength of a good story. Studies have found that good stories activate both the primary sensory areas (sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch) and Broca’s (speech production) and Wernicke’s (written and spoken language) areas in your brain.

In one of the studies by Emory University, subjects were given metaphors such as ‘the singer had a velvet voice,’ which activated the sensory cortex, and sentences like ‘Pablo kicked the ball,’ which activated the motor cortex. These were in addition to the activated Broca’s and Wernicke’s sections of the brain.

It Activates Emotions Too

But more than fully engaging your brain, stories appeal to your emotions too. That movie that made you cry didn’t achieve an epic reaction because of its special effects; it did so because it was character driven.

Research by Paul J. Zak,  the founding director of the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies and a professor of economics, psychology, and management at Claremont Graduate University, found that character-driven stories consistently cause oxytocin synthesis in the body. Moreover, the level of oxytocin released also projected the helpful actions of others after the stories. For instance, those with higher levels of oxytocin were more willing to donate to causes associated with the narrative.

In business settings, similar experiments have found that character-driven stories featuring emotional content enable individuals to better understand and recall key points that the speaker has made.

“We discovered that, in order to motivate a desire to help others, a story must first sustain attention—a scarce resource in the brain—by developing tension during the narrative. If the story is able to create that tension then it is likely that attentive viewers/listeners will come to share the emotions of the characters in it, and after it ends, likely to continue mimicking the feelings and behaviours of those characters. This explains the feeling of dominance you have after James Bond saves the world, and your motivation to work out after watching the Spartans fight in 300,” says Zak in an article for Harvard Business Review.

How to Use Storytelling: Create Compelling Characters and Narratives

So, how can all this scientific information help a DMO tell its story? First, think of your destination’s narrative and characters. Are you simply naming the restaurants and activities people can experience while visiting your area? Or, are you telling them the tale of Shawn, a twenty-five-year-old banker who travelled to your location’s famed farmers’ market for the first time, only to find that one taste of artisanal spices unleashed his passion for cooking and started him on a culinary adventure of a lifetime?

Are you creating tales of romance, adventure or bravery that people can connect to? Or, are you letting people know that the monument in your city attracts thousands of visitors each year?

Get Creative and Tell Stories on Every Channel

Of course, there is always a time and place for a well-told story, but, overall, DMOs should strive to incorporate storytelling into as many areas as they can, from Facebook and brochures to IG TV, television commercials and beyond.  Even the way a website is designed can carefully incorporate elements of storytelling.

Travel Oregon, for example, goes beyond generic DMO language to create a setting that potential visitors can immerse themselves in. “When you hike the autumn forests, breathe the crisp air, and are humbled by the snowy mountains. The magic is intangible, but you’ll swear it was there all around you,” reads an introduction on their website, exemplifying how language can evoke an atmosphere and mood that readers can latch onto—and better yet, aspire to.

Similarly, the way they’ve labelled their experiences strays from the standard ‘activities,’ ‘dining,’ and ‘entertainment’ segmentation. Instead, they have moods and feelings to reflect the type of trip visitors can experience, ranging from ‘relaxed’ and ‘magical’ to ‘silly’ and ‘nostalgic.’

Other DMOs, like Visit Phoenix and Travel Wyoming, have dedicated story sections on their websites, appropriately labelled ‘PHX Stories’ and ‘Wyoming Stories.’ The purpose of both is to reveal the narratives of locals, thus highlighting the experiences available in each destination. This ‘point of view’ perspective allows website users to understand the regions on a personal and emotional level—activating all the areas of the brain, as scientists would say—creating memorable impressions with lasting value.


3 Profound Ways Social Media Has Impacted Destination Marketing

Social media has changed the destination marketing game significantly over the past decade. It has revamped the rewards program structure, changed how customers give feedback and reviews, and become its own channel for marketing opportunities. In short, it is now a critical feature of any successful marketing organization, offering many benefits for those who use it wisely. Here are three ways social media has impacted destination marketing along with examples of organizations who are making the most of these transformations.

Read More

Barberstock: A Full-Service DAM

At Barberstock, we pride ourselves on being the only Full-Service DAM on the market. But what does that really mean?

It means that after working with tourism brands for 10 years, we realized many of them needed additional help uploading and organizing their files into Barberstock. It’s one thing to provide a place for all of this content, but it’s another to make sure the files are searchable, organized and easily accessible. As their digital libraries grew, their need for extra assistance grew. Read More