After successfully experimenting with a basic blog on WordPress, Tourism Vancouver wanted to explore building a more powerful tool for marketing the city year-round. They knew growth was limited by the blog's current state, which wasn't showcasing editorial content or encouraging social activity as effectively as it could. They also wanted to tap an authentic view of Vancouver by providing a local perspective that would appeal to both visitors and residents.more
As part of a truncated Discovery process, we reviewed other online tourism blogs and publications to gain a better feel for how to build a powerful editorial venue. We quickly realized developing an adaptable visual system would be critical for accommodating widely varying content types.
This was followed by an iterative design process, in which our goal was to create a distinctive look that could stand alone, while remaining aligned with Tourism Vancouver's visual identity system.
The new blog is a powerful digital marketing tool that effectively conveys the spirit of the city. In the first 6 months, site traffic increased by 73% with more than 400,000 visits. Readers are also actively engaged within the site: a recent post generated 120 tweets, 388 Facebook likes, and 141 comments. In addition to providing an insider's point of view, a large part of the blog's success is due to Tourism Vancouver's relentless approach to keeping the blog populated with topical and well-crafted content, alongside constant social media support. Enjoy the stories at insidevancouver.ca.
Inside Vancouver started as a very basic blog that grew organically. By the time that we became involved, this growth had become a little messy, resulting in a great deal of content that needed to be surveyed, reconsidered, and organized.
The new property takes on a more magazine like approach, in which tags are entirely discarded, in favor of categories that work like sections within a publication. The core page structure accommodates anything from standard blog posts, to contributor profiles.
One key layout is employed through the majority of the blog, in order to work with the varying content requirements of the site’s many contributors. All pages utilize the same navigation system and sidebar content and calls to action.
Photos and videos are featured prominently throughout the property, allowing Tourism Vancouver to work with keen locals who wish to contribute great content. This content comes from regular contributors, video bloggers, and the Inside Vancouver flickr photo pool members.
Pictured (from top left, clockwise): commenting areas are kept free of clutter; contributors are prominently featured, in recognition of their efforts; the top of each post allows the reader to skip back, forth, or, to the parent category; posts end with a few relevant recommended articles.
"The Inside Vancouver blog has become a highly effective and useful online tool for our organization. It allows us to showcase a variety of content that highlights the city's reputation as a fun, friendly, and diverse travel destination."