The digital environment has provided the backbone for Promotur Turismo de Canarias in its attempts to reposition the Islas Canarias brand and strengthen its presence in the market, making it the preferred destination for some 16 million tourists in 2017.
One of the pilllars it has based its marketing strategy on is highlighting the value of the brand’s main basic attraction: the best climate in the world. Accordingly, the year-round fine weather and its benefits have been identified as its top attribute by travellers themselves, both from their homeland and here on the islands, which goes to show it has the sufficient strength to make it a differentiating element against other competitor destinations.
To underpin this value, a free-standing digital identity has been created which has enabled impacts by the seven destination islands to reach a high percentage of the travelling community, especially in Europe. Sara Sánchez-Romo, project manager at Turismo de Canarias, points out that “digital identity is what we are for others online. The Islas Canarias brand has a high presence in the traditional media. But we are now making the most of online platforms and the internet to achieve a more exponential impact. The important factors of the digital ecosystem are what users say about our brand, and to have them prescribe to our holiday destination. In this sense we have really connected with our audience because we have learned from them. Technology allows us to find out exactly what they are looking for when travelling, and what motivates them to come to the islands for their holidays. The market break-down we have implemented, both in terms of product and tourists, has led us to record visitor numbers. The Canaries go far beyond just sun and beach. We offer culture, cuisine, history, natural surroundings, the chance to do all kinds of outdoor sports, astronomy… By knowing what motivates each particular type of tourist, we have the opportunity to adapt our messages and grow in efficiency”.
Work carried out on different platforms and on digital media, according to Sánchez-Romo, “means we have struck a level of maturity in the digital world, moving on from a standarized and generic communication model to another, more individualized one, designed in terms of the preferences of those coming to visit us, as well as those who still haven’t been here. The image of the islands used to be the one offered by the tour operators, so we ourselves didn’t really know what the real perception of tourists was. But now, on the other hand, we are the owners of our message, and we decide what we want to say, and to whom”.
The brand talks
Digital media, both its own and ones it pays for, provide unrivalled support to reach wide international audiences. Despite it being a continually changing environment, along with all the difficulties that arise to adapt to them, they allow a segmented kind of communication at a lower investment cost. For this reason, Turismo de Canarias has boosted online advertising campaigns, which also allows it to monitor their impact and the real conversions of these impacts. The different webs that make up the Islas Canarias brand have accumulated over 8.5 million visits in 2017. They boast one million followers on Facebook and hundreds of thousands on social media sites elsewhere, including in Russia and China. In the case of videos, they have topped 100 million viewings.
Our hellocanaryislands.com website, the principle site for its own stategy means, received 7 million visits in 2017, up by 61,29 % compared to the previous year, when it registered 4.3 million visitors. According to Sara Sánchez-Romo “this increase is yet furter proof that our public are emminently online. To this end we are strengthening organic traffic thanks to the production of our own contents that generates interest. In real terms it has risen by 59 %, with 1.2 million more visits than in 2016. We believe this amount of online traffic, which is not caused by direct advertising campaigns, is down to a greater knowledge of our brand by people making searches directely related to it, together of course with the quality and diversity of its content, along with intense work that goes into constantly enriching them, and improving our SEO positioning”.
One of the most important advances it has achieved with the online environment is knowing where its visits come from. In terms of countries the list is headed by Spain with 1,674,421 users, followed for the first time by Germany, with 860,461 users. Germany is followed by Italy, France, the United Kingdom, Poland, Holland, the United States, Sweden, Belgium, Switzerland, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Austria, Russia and Portugal.
Specific sites for specific visitors
“As a complement to our main website, there are other specific webs aimed at a range of differenciated segments –continues Sánchez-Romo– and which correspond to specific target audiences, including for example, the LGTBI collective www.bringyourholidaysoutofthecloset.com; www.voydebelingo.com aimed at the internal Canary market; www.idocanaryislands.com for romantic breaks and weddings; and www.trainingnonstop.com/en dedicated to sports, among others. These different communication platforms have been designed so that each one reaches different types of tourists that share the same interests and motivations. We currently have 20 active plataforms which allow us to reach out to collectives that are searching for family holidays, active tourism, LGTB, congresses, natural surroundings, weddings, cruises, the inside of the island, sports and cuisine, among others”.
Social media, an important support mechanism
In the case of social media sites, Sánchez-Romo states they “are a fundamental backbone to any digital strategy, and in our case specifically, allow us to transmit our core brand values in a non-intrusive and pleasant way, generating ties to our seven destination islands and fostering a more emotional relationship with travellers. Last year we broke the pyschological barrier of one million followers on Facebook. Our profile on this media site is run in 9 different languages, and the increase compared to the previous year was 350,000 new followers, which is a sign of the strength of the digital identity of Islas Canarias”. It is also present on Instagram in three different languages, and is growing rapidly with over 98,000 followers and 192,000 publications on its #latituddevida hashtag.