Wild About Ar­gyll cam­paign suc­cess speaks for it­self

The Oban Times - - Front Page -

THE BUSINESS co- op­er­a­tive set up five years ago to pro­mote the growth of tourism in Ar­gyll and the Isles has ex­pressed dis­ap­point­ment fol­low­ing pub­li­ca­tion of claims that it has wasted pub­lic fund­ing, say­ing its cam­paign statis­tics speak for them­selves and gov­ern­ment fig­ures demon­strate that Ar­gyll and the Isles has com­pre­hen­sively out­per­formed Scot­land as a whole in tourism growth.

An in­di­vid­ual claimed the group was not per­form­ing in a so­cial me­dia world. How­ever, Ar­gyll and the Isles Tourism Co-op­er­a­tive (AITC) is con­fi­dent statis­tics and lev­els of en­gage­ment tell a dif­fer­ent story.

In Jan­uary, AITC launched its multi-level, year-long £100,000 mar­ket­ing cam­paign, Wild About Ar­gyll, funded by Visit-Scot­land Growth Fund, Ar­gyll and Bute Coun­cil and AITC.

Pri­mar­ily a dig­i­tal cam­paign, it is aimed at rais­ing aware­ness of Ar­gyll and the Isles, tar­get­ing a much younger, more ac­tive mar­ket and po­si­tion­ing the re­gion as Scot­land’s Ad­ven­ture Coast.

Seven main videos and 24 sports and lo­cal videos have been pro­duced and are be­ing shared on­line. So far the short cam­paign video alone has had 326,657 com­pleted views since the cam­paign launched in Jan­uary.

The main Wild About Ar­gyll videos, fea­tur­ing Scot­tish ad­ven­turer and en­durance ath­lete Mark Beau­mont, and fol­low­ing a 12-day ad­ven­ture and film­ing project, led by AITC, were pro­duced in 2016. The pro­mo­tional Wild About Ar­gyll ad­vert was screened in cen­tral belt cin­e­mas and viewed by al­most 200,000 peo­ple over three weeks, in­clud­ing Easter. Through­out March, dig­i­tal pan­els with short Wild About-Ar­gyll films were on dis­play on all Glas­gow’s sub­way es­ca­la­tors with pas­sen­ger fig­ures over 1.1 mil­lion. The dig­i­tal cam­paign has reached more than one mil­lion peo­ple in the tar­get au­di­ence and has gen­er­ated more than two mil­lion im­pres­sions on Face­book and In­sta­gram.

On top of this, from March to July, the Wild About Ar­gyll films have been viewed more than 276,000 times via Mark Beau­mont’s chan­nels and the Live

Forever mu­sic video over 146,000 times via Sk­er­ryvore’s chan­nels.

AITC says there is also sig­nif­i­cant and grow­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion with key lo­cal busi­nesses and mar­ket­ing groups. More than 40 busi­nesses have pro­vided over £4,000 worth of prizes for the on­line Wild About Ar­gyll prize give­away. Three of AITC’s lo­cal mar­ket­ing groups have worked to­gether to put Wild About Ar­gyll brand­ing on 10 Glas­gow taxis through­out the sum­mer.

Car­ron Tobin, AITC de­vel­op­ment man­ager, said: ‘AITC is a reg­is­tered co-op­er­a­tive and its board of di­rec­tors are all vol­un­teers.

‘It cur­rently op­er­ates with a free­lance de­vel­op­ment team con­sist­ing of a de­vel­op­ment man­ager, PR and me­dia man­ager, web edi­tor and up to nine de­vel­op­ment agents.

‘As part of our en­gage­ment strat­egy, we iden­ti­fied Mark as a key in­flu­encer for ad­ven­ture seek­ers and our Glas­gow launch in Jan­uary saw the re­lease of the award-win­ning Sk­er­ryvore’s mu­sic video Live Forever with our Wild About Ar­gyll footage. Both have ac­tively shared this con­tent on their own chan­nels to their au­di­ences – our tar­get au­di­ences – with sig­nif­i­cant en­gage­ment.

‘AITC has em­ployed a dig­i­tal agency with ex­ten­sive ex­pe­ri­ence to pro­vide strate­gic ad­vice and to de­liver the Wild About Ar­gyll dig­i­tal cam­paign.

‘The dig­i­tal ac­tiv­ity they are de­liv­er­ing is largely not vis­i­ble in the re­gion. We are seek­ing to en­gage ad­ven­ture seek­ers, both wild and mild, who have yet to ex­pe­ri­ence what we have to offer – and peo­ple are ac­tively en­gag­ing.

‘As this is a year-long cam­paign and we have gen­er­ated a lot of con­tent, over and above the dig­i­tal cam­paign, new con­tent is be­ing re­leased in a phased way with the films be­ing a sig­nif­i­cant part of this. We want Wild About Ar­gyll to be fresh and en­gag­ing through­out the year.’

Ms Tobin con­tin­ued: ‘We re­port to our fun­ders every quar­ter us­ing statis­tics and ac­tiv­ity up­dates. Our dig­i­tal cam­paign and other on­line ac­tiv­ity with the agency we have em­ployed forms part of this – and we are achiev­ing re­sults.

‘A full eval­u­a­tion of the £100,000 cam­paign will be un­der­taken and made avail­able later this year. The rec­om­men­da­tions from the re­view and assess­ment of our ad­ven­ture tourism offer last year will be avail­able soon as we an­nounce our next steps.

‘An in­de­pen­dent assess­ment of AITC and tourism growth over the pre­vi­ous five years was un­der­taken in De­cem­ber 2016 and con­cluded that tourism in Ar­gyll and the Isles has out­per­formed the rest of Scot­land in re­cent years and the lat­est gov­ern­ment fig­ures demon­strate growth in spend from £270m to £310m per an­num for the lat­est year.

‘Fifteen per cent of all em­ploy­ment in Ar­gyll is in tourism and the des­ti­na­tion has earned the rep­u­ta­tion of be­ing an ex­em­plar of col­lab­o­ra­tion, with grow­ing business con­fi­dence and sig­nif­i­cant in­dige­nous and in­ward in­vest­ment in the tourism offer. This, com­bined with AITC’s clearly ar­tic­u­lated strat­egy agreed by its mem­ber­ship, which fo­cuses on de­vel­op­ing the sec­tor through its assets and our ca­pa­bil­i­ties, has been the ba­sis for on-go­ing fi­nan­cial sup­port for the ac­tiv­i­ties of the AITC.’

The AITC is a dy­namic mem­ber­ship or­gan­i­sa­tion – open and ac­ces­si­ble through its de­vel­op­ment agents and di­rec­tors. For more in­for­ma­tion visit ex­plore­ar­gyll.co.uk.

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