How does Explore Georgia, the tourism division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, retain share of mind and inspire future travel when COVID-19 keeps everyone home? Quarantine, stay-at-home orders, and social distancing guidelines aren’t exactly conducive to travel experiences. There was no example or best practice to follow. Everyone was in uncharted waters and we needed to find ways to keep our brand afloat.
Explore Georgia knew right away that we couldn’t just maintain the status quo. We paused paid media and focused on listening and engaging on our social channels. This gave us insight into how consumers were feeling and what they wanted to know. Our mission became clear: to inspire future trips by bringing the joy of travel to them. In addition to providing timely information, we focused on providing a spark of escapism to a socially distant world. The “Explore Georgia from Home” campaign shared virtual experiences, playlists, Zoom backgrounds, cooking lessons with Georgia chefs, digital puzzles, coloring book pages of Georgia destinations, and more. Our audience relished the positivity and were able to see more of what Georgia has to explore. This not only helped potential visitors plan future travel but provided a respite from stressful times and built brand affinity.
Explore Georgia was able to rebound quickly, recovering faster than other state tourism boards. We also drove significant traffic and engagement with our .com, social media and local Georgia communities. Best of all? For $0 in paid media, we delivered over 9.5MM earned media impressions!