After the successful launch of a global digital campaign in 2016, this year, the Slovenian Tourist Board (STO) is upgrading and extending one of its most important projects since it became independent in August 2015. By means of the global digital campaign prepared in close collaboration with business, it will improve the recognisability and reputation of Slovenia in key foreign markets as a boutique green, active, and healthy tourist destination, and it will promote attractive tourist products, thus increasing the competitiveness of Slovenian tourism.
After last year’s success of the global digital campaign with the creative solution SLOVENIA. Make New Memories, STO is continuing this year with a string of digital advertising activities in 13 foreign markets or market groups.
This year, the STO’s digital campaign will be carried out in no fewer than 21 countries. In Europe, we will be present in key markets, i.e. in Germany, Italy, Austria, the UK and Ireland, in Benelux countries, in Russia and in other European markets, such as Hungary, the Czech Republic, and in Poland, in France, Switzerland, and in the Scandinavian markets (Finland, Denmark, and Sweden). Digital communication will also take place in overseas markets in the USA, Canada, and in China. This year, digital promotion will for the first time also take place in the Spanish, Finnish, and Chinese markets.
“The biggest change in the STO’s promotional activities since it once again became independent in 2015 has been the strong focus on digital marketing. Last year, the most extensive global digital campaign, entitled Slovenia. Make New Memories was carried out, by means of which more than 42 million unique consumers were reached in foreign markets, and the results of the campaign have fully exceeded its objectives. The excellent results of last year’s digital campaign prove that the focus on promoting and marketing Slovenian tourism is a step in the right direction. We’ve upgraded this year’s campaign with an even more targeted communication to our selected target tourist groups, additional advertising activities on the BBC and CNN digital platforms, and by carrying out activities in additional markets, i.e. in Spain, Finland, and China. The international digital campaign is, in its substance and visually, coordinated with other marketing communication tools of the Slovenian Tourist Board, which will provide additional synergies for the effective promotion and marketing of Slovenia as an active, green, and healthy boutique destination for five-star experiences,” says Maja Pak, Director of the Slovenian Tourist Board.
The common goal of the campaign is to reach at least 80 million ad displays on all web and mobile portals and at least 50 million Facebook users, 1.5 million Instagram users, 5 million VKontakte users, and 800,000 LinkedIn users. By means of this campaign, the STO wishes to acquire at least 100,000 new likes on its Facebook page and at least 10,000 new followers on Instagram’s Feel Slovenia profile. Furthermore, the goal is to achieve at least 300,000 unique visits through the Google and Yandex search engines. At least three million video ad displays are planned on YouTube.
The STO follows the most modern digital advertising trends, so this year’s digital campaign focuses on advertising through programmatic advertising platforms, which enable targeted communication to the STO’s target groups, resulting in a greater advertising impact. The other important new development is advertising through content packages as a part of native advertising, which globally represents an increasing share in all other advertising activities. Similarly to previous years, the digital campaign will also be carried out on various standard digital platforms: on general, yet most important news platforms, such as Spiegel.de on the German market or Corriere.it on the Italian, and on the specialised tourist portal Tripadvisor. The significant new development this year is advertising on the digital platforms of two of the most influential media outlets in the world, BBC and CNN (the UK and US markets). Furthermore, digital advertising is continually carried out through social networks, mainly through Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
The launch of the new campaign takes place today and it will be carried out in six equal 30-day intervals and in the final seventh interval, which will be shorter, until 15 November 2017. The budget for media buying this year amounts to €3,020,000 (incl. VAT).
The main target groups for this digital campaign are families with children, active individuals, couples, senior citizens, and sustainably active individuals who care about sustainable activities. Personas of Slovenian tourism, who were identified last year with the help of representatives from the Slovenian tourist industry, were also included in the definition and pitching. The features of 12 different personas or target groups of Slovenian tourism indicate that guests can be distinguished based on their attitude towards spending their free time, the motivations and expectations that inspire them to visit a particular destination, amount of expenditures, shopping habits, etc. These distinguishing characteristics have also been taken into consideration when preparing the creative advertising features of the campaign. This year, the SLOVENIA. Make New Memories creative solution received the The Golden City Gate award at the largest travel trade show, ITB Berlin. The concept of this solution is to share stories about Slovenia as a land for five-star experiences. Their authenticity is emphasised by testimonials in the form of quotes and statements, through which messages are conveyed, and by arousing people’s attention and curiosity.
The key goals of the SLOVENIA. Make New Memories campaign are to increase the level of Slovenia’s recognisability and reputation as a first-class travel destination for green, active, and healthy experiences among target groups and on target markets, and to enhance opportunities to choose Slovenia as a preferential travel destination. Furthermore, the global digital campaign is focused on promoting attractive tourist products, which are based on the principles of sustainable development, increasing the number of foreign tourists and their overnight stays, and expanding the reach and enhancing interactions and various forms of conversion.
Clicks on ads, which also highlight the icons of Slovenian tourism, such as Ljubljana, Postojna Cave, Piran, Lake Bled, and Lipica, and other key tourist products, will bring people to the landing page of one of the umbrella topics stressed by the Slovenian Tourist Board in accordance with its strategy for marketing the tourist products of Slovenia and coordinated with the Slovenian business sector: Health and Well-Being, Active Holidays, Experiences in Nature, Gastronomy, Cities and Culture and, before the winter season, Winter Activities as well.
When visitors come to these landing pages, the last virtual experience of our country will await them. In early April, the Slovenian Tourist Board published a call to tender in the field of promoting tourist packages of the Slovenian tourist industry.
With the purpose of ensuring improved digital presence, the Slovenian Tourist Board will in the future organise a number of workshops for representatives from the Slovenian tourist industry, also focusing on digital marketing. For now, it is still coordinating advertising media plans with them.