You might think Las Vegas sells itself as a destination, but a lot of work goes into its promotion.
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority knows the power of social influencers, and recently tapped the talents of Vine stars to show off what makes the city shine.
In an effort to appeal to Millennials, the LVCVA worked with Twitter’s Niche network, partnering with influencers such as Matt Cutshall and Robby Ayala to generate great content through Vine.
It definitely worked. The LVCVA told SocialTimes that the campaign generated:
- 79 million total Tweet impressions
- 32 percent average Promoted Tweet engagement rate
- 13.5 million Vine loops
- 400,000 Vine engagements
Here’s a look at one of the entertaining clips:
— Robby Ayala (@robbyjayala) June 28, 2015
SocialTimes talked with LVCVA’s Nick Mattera, the senior director of digital engagement, about how Vegas uses influencer marketing.
SocialTimes: How can you partner with influencers in a way that feels authentic? With Vegas, it’s a little easier since it’s a super popular destination, but what are some ways to make it not seem like product placement?
Nick Mattera: From our perspective, it really is about having a collaborative ideation process and understanding how the influencer best fits in with Las Vegas as a destination. We not only look at the influencers content, but work with them to understand their audience, the content that resonates and we put the influencers in a position that sets both them and Las Vegas up for success. If the influencer focuses on adventure tourism, we will align experiences such as Grand Canyon Helicopter trips, or the Slotzilla Zipline on Fremont Street, while a culinary-focused influencer will be paired with a celebrity chef or a unique dining experience. We truly look to set individual itineraries for the influencers.
ST: How can you find the right ambassadors/influencers for your brand?
Mattera: This is one of the most challenging and important considerations as it relates to identifying and selecting influencers to partner with, as the selected influencers essentially become an extension of the Las Vegas brand.
This process varies as well domestically when compared to internationally. In international markets, we tend to look at partnering with airlines that offer direct service to Las Vegas, as this helps us extend the reach through the airlines’ social media channels, but also allows us to collaborate with key experts to identify influencers in their respective markets. The LVCVA has recently partnered with Norwegian Airlines (direct flights from Stockholm and Copenhagen), Volaris (direct flights from Mexico City) and Virgin Holidays on influencer campaigns where the airline and Las Vegas work collaboratively to identify the best influencers to share the Las Vegas experience.
Domestically, we strive to build 1-to-1 relationships with influencers who are creating unique and authentic content, but as the influencer space becomes more crowded, we also look to partner with industry-leading companies like Niche or Matador Networks to support us in identifying the best travel influencers for our brand.
ST: What should a brand consider before working with an influencer?
Mattera: I think it is important to ensure that the influencers Las Vegas is working with are producing content that feels authentic. That word “authentic” gets thrown around a lot by marketers, but if you create a positive experience for influencers that allows them to create content around things they are passionate about, the end product will be meaningful and impactful to the consumer.
Also, we think it is key that brands don’t focus primarily on an influencer’s reach, but take equal consideration in the perspective that the influencer has. With content in Las Vegas, specifically, you will see hundreds if not thousands of photos of our iconic landmarks – Bellagio Fountains, the Las Vegas Strip, The High Roller – but when we bring in the right influencers, they can really bring out magic in the content that they are creating.
ST: How can influencer marketing really connect with Millennials/younger consumers?
Mattera: We know millennials are spending more time with Instagram and Twitter—the platforms Las Vegas has prioritized when working with influencers – and we also know that millennials are following individuals and brands that inspire them, or that create an emotional connection for them on those channels. Influencer marketing allows us to reach millennials in a way that does not feel like it is a forced brand advertisement.
ST: How did you plan for Vine content, since it’s time-constrained, unlike video on Facebook/YouTube?
Mattera: Short-form videos require more pre-production and planning to ensure we are focused in the field when shooting with multiple influencers. It mirrors live-streaming in that matter more so than traditional video production. We also dial-in on exactly what we’re trying to communicate, be it an individual emotion or experience, so that our message can be easily understood and enjoyed by consumers.
With our Vegas Season campaign, we wanted to leverage high-profile content creators to create authentic content that not only fit their brand/audience affinity, but also provided a natural connection to the destination. The creative collaboration process was vital to the success of the campaign, and putting our trust in the influencers was paramount.