Back to blog

Engaging locals as Brand Advocates

Written on: Feb 25, 2018

By: Hannah Paramore Breen

Locals impact more than the day-to- day experience your visitors are having; they play an important role in influencingvisitation as well, particularly in the group-travel market. With all of the sophistication and experience we have creatingbrands and marketing campaigns that tug on people’s heartstrings, the power of the oldest tactic in the world—word ofmouth and personal recommendations—is still unmatched.

One city realized how important locals were to the growth of tourism when they lost a chance at having a major corporate meeting in town because a resident, who was on the board of directors of the potential client, voted against it. That’s not what you want from someone who lives in your community.

Small communities have a great opportunity to inspire loyalty and generate excitement about their brand from the people who live there. Visit Central Florida is very intentional about engaging their employees through Rotary Clubs and other groups to spread positive word of mouth and bring business back to the county through their Backyard Campaign. Any resident who is influential in bringing a meeting to town has their name entered into a drawing to win a weekend stay at a resort plus attraction tickets.

Do you have similar strategies in your market? Tell us about it and we’ll share it here. If you’d like tips on how to get started engaging locals as brand advocates, contact us.