Skift Take

In this video, CrowdRiff CEO Dan Holowack sits down with Skift President Carolyn Kremins to discuss how user-generated visual stories created by locals, visitors, and partners can be used for destination storytelling to drive recovery as travel returns.

In this video:

  • The Power of Visual Stories: A chat about how Crowdriff’s Story Network platform, which hosts visual stories well-indexed by search engines, helps entice and lure travelers through powerful and accessible engagement.
  • Networked Differentiation: How Crowdriff’s platform functions like a ‘story ecosystem,’ transcending siloed social media platforms to further empower DMOs as they guide travelers back out into the world.
  • Scale and Data: How this user-generated content can be embedded in marketing campaigns at scale and how customer data can be leveraged for deeper insights, including real-world examples.
  • Destination Content: How visual stories can further catalyze the local and domestic leisure tourism boom.

As the leisure travel market reawakens, travelers are seeking out new inspirations for their upcoming adventures. User-generated visual story formats can be powerful catalysts for trip inspiration, helping travelers choose and book new experiences they might not have otherwise considered.

In this chat with Skift President Carolyn Kremins, Crowdriff CEO Dan Holowack unpacks how Crowdriff’s Story Network platform helps empower DMOs to lure travelers back into the world with authentic, accessible, and versatile visual content.

Through a series of example clips, Holowack highlights how Crowdriff’s Stories are easy to discover, effortless to embed across multiple platforms, and strongly indexed by search engines — a boon for DMOs and their partners worldwide.

The pandemic proved the power of building strong relationships with partners, locals, and visitors to create narratives through user generated content. It’s a trend that’s certain to blossom further as we chart through this current recovery era.

Watch as Dan Holowack dives deeper into some examples of how visual stories can come to life:

Fueling Engagement Through Discoverability: Holowack demonstrates how these visual stories can be easily discovered by travelers while researching destinations. By searching for “Things to do in San Diego” on a smartphone in Google, for example, a number of visual stories will appear in the mobile search results, providing users with a rich, interactive experience.


Creating Strong Narratives Through a Network: Holowack shows how partners and stakeholders throughout a region can weave together compelling stories under a unified theme. In this example, Visit California uses stories to celebrate Pet Month in the state, with destinations such as Sonoma County, Santa Clarita, Highway 1, San Luis Obispo, and many others, showcasing their pet friendly patios, beaches, and accommodations.


Empowering Small Teams to Tell Their Stories: Creating engaging visual stories doesn’t require a massive team or large budgets. Here, Holowack demonstrates how Louisiana Main Street — an association of commercial downtown districts working together to revitalize their communities — is leveraging visual storytelling to promote the antiquing scene in downtown Ponchatoula, with a small team of one.


Valuing the Viewpoints of Locals: Locals know the destinations they reside in better than anyone else. In this video, Holowack shows how Visit Estonia engaged with a local resident of Tartu to share her favorite aspects of the city through her unique perspective.

To read more about Crowdriff, check out some of Skift’s recent work.

This content was created collaboratively by Crowdriff and Skift’s branded content studio, SkiftX.