Throughout the summer of 2019 HMI, Travel Manitoba and Inn at the Forks joined together to present the Creator House concept and invite creators to experience the heart of Canada: the vibrant capital city of Manitoba, Winnipeg.
From the end of June to the beginning of September, participating influencers had the opportunity to independently explore and experience the city. They created their own itinerary and organically shared their personal experiences with Winnipeg and Manitoba. HMI facilitated invitations to thirteen creators who rotated through the Creator House room located at Inn at the Forks. Each stayed for five days and had the freedom to explore Winnipeg and the surrounding area.
As a participant in Creator House Winnipeg, creators were given a wide range of options to experience the city. Experience passes were given to a variety of attractions including the Assiniboine Park Zoo, the Manitoba Museum, Thermea Nordic Spa and Winnipeg Folk Festival. In addition, there were a variety of tours and other experiences available including general city tours, art & architecture tours, food & drink tours, and indigenous focused tours.
The intention of the campaign was to:
- Showcase Winnipeg and the surrounding area through the eyes of artistic creators/influencers.
- Give creators the freedom to experience the Winnipeg that they want to experience.
- Enable experiences that drive online conversation and interest in the destination.
- Create an authentic conversation about the destination with the influencer’s audience.
- Produce a continuous stream of shareable and original content from Winnipeg.
- Generate digital assets for use by Travel Manitoba.
Creators/influencers were invited to apply and selected based not just on the size of their audience, but on the authenticity of their following. From invitation to each trip’s completion, HMI, Travel Manitoba, and Inn at the Forks worked with the influencers to ensure they had the tools and activities necessary to catapult their content. Through this process, unique and breathtaking content was produced across multiple mediums and channels.
The strategy included:
- Vetting applicants deeply to only select creators with an authentic and engaged audience.
- Selecting creatives that would appreciate the offerings found in Winnipeg and surrounding area while also spreading awareness to Travel Manitoba’s target audiences.
- Utilizing the unique talents of each creator to devise fresh content for their in-kind experiences. No influencers were compensated for their coverage of the journey.
- Working closely with local operators to give the creators once-in-a-lifetime (but replicable) experiences.
The content produced crossed over multiple genres and beyond travel, including festivals, attractions, photography, and exploration. Thousands of people were organically reached across all major social media platforms and several blogs.
- 740 thousand+ total organic reach via influencer channels
- 108 thousand+ total engagement on influencer channels
Instagram: Over 64 posts generated 46 thousand+ engagements.
Instagram Stories: 893 stories generated 690 thousand+ views.
YouTube: 1 video garnered 7 thousand+ views.
Facebook: 64 posts attracted 89 thousand+ views and 4 thousand+ engagements.
Twitter: 88 tweets reached 239 thousand+, and received 22 thousand+ engagement.
Blogs: 18 unique posts attracted 20 thousand+ visitors and 19 thousand+ pageviews.
“While we had hosted content creators on individual, customized campaigns to Manitoba, Creator House Winnipeg was our first time doing a multi-week, group influencer campaign. Having this steady stream of Winnipeg content during summer – all through each creator’s unique perspective – was very effective in raising Winnipeg’s profile to the online travel community. We could not have executed Creative House Winnipeg without the trip planning and project management expertise of Hecktic Media. They were able to balance both the needs of each individual creator and meet all our goals as a destination marketing organizations to very impressive results.” – Jillian Recksiedler of Travel Manitoba
“We had an absolute blast in Winnipeg and appreciate you sending us back to Canada for the second time this year! We hope to continue working together in the future.” – James & Anna of Leave The Map (creators)
“Thanks again for having us – we had a blast exploring Winnipeg (still so much we want to see and do there, what a cool city!)” – Ashlyn George of The Lost Girl’s Guide (creator)
“I had such a great time in Winnipeg! My husband and I are actually talking about maybe taking a trip up to see the Elton John concert! Thank you so much. The trip was wonderful and it was the most well-organized press trip I have been on!” – Kit Graham of The Kittchen (creator)
“We had an absolute blast in Manitoba. It definitely opened our eyes to the travel potential of the province.” – Kevin Wagar of the Wandering Wagars (creator)