Devin Graham, an American videographer who produces adventure and extreme sport videos under the name Devin Super Tramp, has become one of social media's biggest names, with more than 2.9 million YouTube subscribers and over 530 million total views. Tourism New Zealand got him to come for a visit and it ended up being the most successful social influencer work it has done to date.
"Devin's images, videos and posts attract huge levels of engagement from fans around the globe," says Tourism New Zealand director of marketing Andrew Fraser. "When the opportunity to work with Devin came about we jumped at the chance. He makes a great advocate for New Zealand and has a fan base that closely aligns with the youth segment we are working to target."
The two-week trip around the country saw the social media star undertake a range of adventure activities, from sand boarding in Northland, visiting Hobbiton Movie Set in the Waikato and white water rafting in Rotorua, through to bungy jumping and the canyon swing in Queenstown and heli mountain biking in Fiordland (we've asked if TNZ pays its high-profile visitors and we'll update the story if we hear back).
"Shared content to date has been viewed over 2.7 million times and with more posts and videos to be posted in the coming months we expect a total advertising value of close to $4 million, making it our most successful social influencer work to date."
Last year, TNZ used Chuck Berry to promote the 5X1ZNZ campaign.
Tourism New Zealand says "opinion leaders" such as these are an important channel in reaching the 18-25 sector, which accounts for 22 percent of total arrivals and is a priority sector for Tourism New Zealand to help drive higher value visitors to New Zealand. And a number of brands are seeing the potential of social media stars, with Jamie Curry recently being enlisted by Netflix and Coca-Cola.
"We know that word of mouth remains one of the most influential factors in helping people make travel decisions and when endorsement comes from popular and appealing influencers the impact is even stronger."
Tourism Wanaka also got a fair bit of social media love after its recent Instameet.
This activity strongly aligns with Tourism New Zealand's youth campaign 'Play More Every Day', which highlights the variety of amazing experiences all within such close proximity of one another in New Zealand.
Similar to print or broadcast coverage, Tourism New Zealand measures the value of bloggers' social media content by calculating the equivalent value of advertising in social media channels. Paid advertising on Facebook, Twitter and blogs is now common practice.
Tourism New Zealand brought a group of social media influencers from Australia out to explore the South Island recently, supporting the 'Every day a different journey' campaign live in market currently.
Correction: This story originally said advertising value was $25 million. Tourism New Zealand says a missing decimal point was to blame and projected advertising value was $2.5 million. This has since been updated to $4 million.