New Outer Banks Travel Guide Bridges Print and Digital
For the first time ever, the 2014 Outer Banks Official Travel Guide is illustrated exclusively in smart phone photography, employing a style and technology that staff of the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau hope visitors find both familiar and compelling.
“With cellular phone camera technology advancing to the point where image quality is now fit for high quality print publication, together with the widespread adoption by travelers as the default social media snapshot device,” explains Executive Director Lee Nettles, “it just made sense to take the leap and bring the two worlds of print and digital together, and we believe we’re the first destination marketing organization to do it on such a wide-spread scale.”
Peruse the pages of the Guide, both in print form and available online as a downloadable PDF file, and potential travel customers will discover photos that introduce new places on the Outer Banks, perhaps, and new perspectives and vantage points for enjoying some OBX timeless icons.
“Taken over the course of a year by staff, these photos were inspired by the very real world of the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau’s online social media communities,” says Aaron Tuell, Public Relations Manager.
“Our organization is always looking for ways to push the limits of convention, and we take risks in the interest of connecting with our customer base. Our 2011 Guide was the first-ever DMO fulfillment piece we know of to be illustrated with the public’s submitted vacation photos, which inspired a big industry trend, but it, like the new book, was created to connect with and inspire travelers.”
Nettles says it’s a challenge faced by all marketers today, to stay relevant and mindful of how your audience engages with the brand, in this case a popular North Carolina barrier island chain known for open spaces, family adventure and the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
“An ever-growing number of consumers are putting their trust in social media and often, complete strangers’ opinions, when deciding where to spend their leisure dollars,” he said. “We at the Bureau think that there’s an intimacy and authenticity that permeates the 2014 Official Outer Banks Travel Guide, because it was inspired from the bottom up by the way people engage their surroundings today and share their lives through photos. These pictures don’t need captions. You feel the emotion behind all of them.”
From cover to cover, with the exception of the sponsored ads and merchandise, every picture was produced by a smart phone camera, edited and enhanced by various popular apps.
“We’ve seen similar efforts in printed magazine ads, etc., but to our knowledge, the 2014 Official Outer Banks Travel Guide is the first primary fulfillment piece in the country to take this approach,” continued Nettles. “While we think that’s pretty cool, the real goal is simply to be there for our visitors, however and whenever they’re interested in connecting with us. We’ve been mailing people all over the world daily with the new guide since November and the response has been really positive.”