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Creative advertising strategies help small cities capitalize on remote work tourism potential

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The rise of remote work and digital nomads presents opportunities for smaller cities to boost their local economies. By employing targeted and immersive video advertising strategies, these cities can attract digital nomads and capitalize on their interest in unique experiences, providing a significant boost to tourism.

Remote work has given rise to a new trend known as “digital nomads,” who have the flexibility to work from various locations around the world while traveling. According to LinkedIn‘s Workforce Confidence Index, remote work has grown in popularity, with 28% of professionals working remotely, 18% engaged in hybrid work, and 50% still working onsite. This contrasts with
data from November 2022, where the majority of professionals worked onsite.

This shift has brought about opportunities for rural and small cities, as they have experienced an influx of young professionals who contribute to the local economies. The hotels these digital nomads stay in benefit from increased convention and visitor bureau budgets, while independent businesses tap into this new customer segment, boosting their profits. To capitalize on this demand, these smaller locations can employ creative advertising strategies to raise awareness and drive engagement toward their less traditional destinations.

Why digital nomads are flocking to smaller cities

Digital nomads are attracted to smaller cities for their affordability, relaxed atmosphere, and opportunities for outdoor activities, all while providing networking and community-building opportunities. Data reveals that digital nomads show a higher interest in yoga retreats, Apple products, laptops, culture, festivals, inflation, and adventure travel compared to the general population. They are typically college-educated millennials or Gen X-ers working full-time with an annual household income ranging from $75,000 to $250,000, making them an attractive audience for destination marketing organizations (DMOs) looking to target travelers with significant disposable income.

Digital nomads respond well to video advertising

Video advertising is a highly effective medium for building brand awareness, especially for the travel and tourism industry. Millennials and Gen X-ers, who form the majority of digital nomads, prefer short-form video content, with 61% of them favoring videos under one minute. To reach digital nomads, video content must be optimized for both desktop and mobile environments, as these age groups spend the most time on mobile devices.

Statistics show that a significant percentage of millennials and Gen X-ers have connected TVs, and most viewers prefer ad-supported streaming platforms. The rise of immersive experiences, gaming, social commerce, and the metaverse among millennials and Gen Z has contributed to the need for high-impact, short-form, and immersive video units across various devices.

Tips for attracting digital nomads to your small city

To attract digital nomads to smaller cities, it is crucial to utilize deep audience insights to create relevant profiles targeting those who work while traveling. Multi-tab video units can allow viewers to virtually explore a city’s attractions, activities, and amenities, providing a comprehensive picture of the location.

Lean-forward interaction, where viewers control the flow of information, has proven to boost engagement rates. Dynamically customizing video messaging and serving ads at a regular cadence helps maintain brand awareness. Increasing ad frequency to target audiences’ digital devices, including those within the same household, can also enhance brand impact. QR code technology and additional impressions served to the same household enable better interaction with ads.

How high-impact, short-form, immersive video helped one DMO

An example of the success of high-impact, short-form, immersive video advertising is seen in a midwestern state’s tourism board. By targeting digital nomads and employing video advertising across CTV, mobile, and desktop platforms, the campaign achieved a 4.2x lift in awareness and a 3.2x lift in consideration, demonstrating the effectiveness of this approach.

The rise of remote work and digital nomads presents opportunities for smaller cities to boost their local economies. By employing targeted and immersive video advertising strategies, these cities can attract digital nomads and capitalize on their interest in unique experiences, providing a significant boost to tourism.

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As Lead of Industry Solutions, Whitney works with VDX.tv’s Travel vertical team to develop strategic CTV and digital advertising solutions for Travel and Tourism brands. Prior to joining VDX.tv (formerly Exponential), Whitney worked in brand marketing roles in consumer goods and technology, as well as consulting. Whitney graduated from Boston University with a degree in Journalism and earned her MBA from The NYU Stern School of Business.

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