Visit Mechelen: Boosting local tourism

The way the “Maneblussers” speak with chauvinistic pride about their beloved city of Mechelen sounds even more pleasant to the ears than Romeo and Juliet. And they are right. The world should know how much this city has to offer, from learning about its rich history to shopping in many charming boutiques, there is something for everyone.

To ensure that the world continues to discover Mechelen, Visit Mechelen (the tourist organization that aims to promote Mechelen as a cultural and historical destination) has partnered with Adman Agency. This partnership consisted of two parts:

  • Attracting more visitors to the city
  • Showcasing the charming shopping routes

To increase the online presence of Visit Mechelen and attract more visitors to the city, we created a well-thought-out strategy that utilized facets such as Facebook and Instagram for brand awareness and retargeting ads, combined with YouTube pre-roll ads to provide an additional relevant touchpoint in the customer journey.

Objective 1: Attract more visitors to the city

The goal of Visit Mechelen was very clear: “Attract more tourism to the city.” To achieve this, we started by working with them on their end-of-year campaign. This campaign translated into the “Mechelenbon” (Mechelen voucher). When booking a city trip of more than 2 nights (including breakfast) at one of the participating lodgings, you received a Mechelenbon worth €100 that you could use at local shops, restaurants, and attractions.

Reaching the right target audience through social media advertising

City trippers who like to visit with friends and city trippers who love visiting the sights. These are the ideal people when it comes to fun trips to a historic city that has so much to offer. How do you reach these people ideally? Through a well-chosen mix of Meta (Facebook and Instagram) and YouTube. After extensive research combined with historical data that Visit Mechelen already had, it quickly became clear that these platforms would be our starting point for the campaign.

And that turned out to be a good choice indeed. In the 2.5 months that the campaign was active, we reached no less than 1,073,387 unique individuals in the Netherlands and Belgium. (That’s almost 10% of the Belgian population – maybe you also saw the ads at some point 😉).

But it didn’t stop there: of all these people who saw the ads, we convinced 2,325 families, couples, groups of friends, and individuals to consider taking a trip to Mechelen and explore the city to the fullest. Talk about a powerful awareness campaign.

Objective 2: mapping out the shopping routes

Phase 1 was a success. It was time to launch phase 2. So, as planned, around the Easter period, the second part of our plan started. This time with a focus on highlighting the charming shopping routes the city has to offer.

How did we accomplish this?

By collaborating with social media micro-influencers in a very natural and subtle way. We carefully selected a few influencers that matched the brand of Visit Mechelen. Who were these ideal matches?

Each influencer was matched to one of the revamped shopping routes. Their mission was clear: to showcase the routes on their social media channels and share their genuine experiences.

Appealing to a loyal community of followers

And this was a success as well. The loyal community (followers) of the influencers were introduced to what beautiful Mechelen has to offer. A whopping 27,312 people within the Mechelen target group saw their favorite influencer wandering around the city and enjoying the nicely mapped out shopping routes. The influencers’ content had an average engagement rate of 14%.

A combination of advertisements and organic reach: SUCCESS!

The result of the collaboration between Visit Mechelen and Adman Agency was a stronger online presence of the tourist organization and a significant increase in the number of visitors to the city.

By combining influencer marketing and social media advertising on various channels, we were able to develop a successful digital marketing strategy that resulted in a fun and fruitful partnership.

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