The Waterloo Visitors and Convention Bureau (CVB) was looking for a way to differentiate the sites and sounds of their bustling community and highlight various attractions in a way that would engage individuals, and ultimately draw visitors to the area in an ongoing and consistent manner.
The CenterTable team quickly identified video as the biggest opportunity for a town the size of Waterloo to effectively (and visually) tell the stories of its restaurants, activities, attractions and – just as important as main attractions – the off-the-beaten path sites that needed a storytelling aspect to effectively bring them to life. While the CVB knew they needed to shift their focus from traditional TV ads to digital content, CenterTable helped CVB leadership develop and implement a content plan of videos during the summer months, their busiest time of year, that highlight a different aspect of the community each week.
CenterTable leveraged the organization’s existing 10,000 Facebook fans by identifying two familiar faces as hosts of the campaign – long-time community resident (and very energetic) Aaron Buzza, and Zay, a school-aged host who worked well for the more family or kid-themed episodes. The location and shot selections, scripts and video production aspects came to life with this “yin and yang” hosting strategy, and CenterTable produced a weekly #IDigWaterloo video episode throughout the summer on both Facebook and YouTube.
In two years CenterTable produced more than 70 video episodes, each averaging 10,000 views. Community impact was undeniable with restaurants and attractions citing increased foot traffic as a result of their business profiles. The most viewed episode (58,000 views) highlighted a food stand hosted out of a small building with a walk up window called Rodney’s Kitchen. Following Rodney’s episode, the business grew so fast that he now is in a building with a full dining room in downtown Waterloo. Ultimately, key Travel Waterloo metrics (number of visitors and tourism dollars) increased as a result of the campaign.