Reaching your audience in a digital world requires creativity and knowledge. This was provided in the SHAPE Conference workshop on Digital Approaches to Ecotourism focusing on how digital media and marketing approaches can help develop ecotourism in rural areas. The participants got inspired by creative use of digital marketing technology in Iceland, learned about the potential of 360 technologies and were reminded about the importance of capacity building activities though examples from several Finnish ventures.
By: Lasse Okkonen – Karelia University of Applied Sciences
Using digital technology still requires creativity. This was made clear through the presentation of Einar Ben, Partner and Owner at Tjarnargatan, who is an awarded digital media specialist from Iceland. Einar provided examples how to create impact – also a strong and emotional one – with creative personalized campaigns utilising social media contents.
One of the awarded cases, Hold Focus campaign, has reduced significantly the use of mobile phone when driving, and thus likely prevented accidents. Einar described how the principles and technologies for creating personalized creative campaigns could be applied to ecotourism.
360 presentations give you the full picture
Founders of 360 Finland, Rami Saarikorpi and Sami Vuomajoki create large 360 presentations of various companies, tourist attractions, industrial companies and other areas that need extensive introductions.
Rami is one of the pioneers in the 360 field. He has been involved in numerous 360 industry development projects and has over 20 years of experience in the photography business. Sami’s expertise is in aerial photography, videos, editing and publishing, he has become one of the 360 experts in aerial photography. Their forthcoming 360 project on Koli, NK Biosphere, provided an inspiring insight into opportunities of visualizing BR assets and facilities. This type of visualization could perhaps be the next step of marketing ecotourism initiatives developed within the Shape project.
Digital marketing for small businesses
Marja-Liisa Ruotsalainen, Senior Project Manager at Karelia UAS, presented Digi2Market – immersive technologies for SMEs. The project provides support for 50 SMEs utilising virtual and augmented reality technologies. AR (Zappar) – based animation and video content for Waahto Brewery, provided a tangible example how companies can market sustainability and quality properties of their products. The project creates an open-access digital service called Digital City, on digital marketing resources, networks and examples. The service is expected to be launched in the summer of 2020.
Don’t forget capacity building
Capacity building is an essential part of a digital approach to marketing. Tour Manager Joonatan Lämsä, Tamora Ltd, presented the community of about 20 specialists attending in a training and capacity building programme led by Tamora ltd. in Joensuu. This community can provide support and collaboration for SMEs and other stakeholders interested in digital marketing.
All in all the workshop showed the potential for using digital marketing in SHAs trough a variety of approaches. There are lots of ways to draw attention to your product and to create new impact, but they all require strategic thinking on how to manage and use the digital tools in responsible manner.