Tourism Victoria invites Indibloggers to share their Melbourne experience and win an all-expense paid vacation in Melbourne, tailor-made just for them.
It’s raining contests at the popular Indian blogger community, Indiblogger. From FMCG brands to TV serials, fashion labels, travel companies and now tourism, every sector wants a piece of the blogger pie. Brands are getting increasingly open to the idea of associating with bloggers to spread their message.
Tourism Victoria in association with Indiblogger is offering two bloggers the chance to visit Melbourne through the ‘Melbourne NOW‘ contest. Bloggers have been invited to submit their stories on the places they’d like to visit in Victoria and two winners would be picked on the basis of relevance, creativity and interaction. But the notable feature about the paid vacation is that it will be customised as per the winning blogger’s stories!
And that is not all. There are 5 gift vouchers worth Rs. 5000/- to be won apart from a limited edition Melbourne pen drive for every participant!
The contest allows for fresh entries alone and needs the blogger to embed a link into her post that leads to the ‘Visit Melbourne’ site India page. Also she needs to weave a sentence into her story that goes like “…it’s your time to visit Melbourne NOW!” As is the tradition, the contest can be discussed at the Indiblogger forum but do read the terms & conditions page before you do that.
Additionally, the blogging contest also displays the official Twitter page of Tourism Victoria in India and the hashtag that is to be associated while sharing the stories on Twitter - ‘#MelbourneNOW’. The Facebook page has also been displayed although I do not find any immediate use of it in the blogging contest, other than providing more information and tidbits about Melbourne.
How cool is the blogging contest?
A blogging contest is an excellent approach towards creating awareness about a place. The story-telling skills of bloggers combined with an awesome incentive to tell the Melbourne story helps build the required equity for the brand. In addition to promotions, the brand has the benefit of content being generated for it.
Besides, the introduction of ‘interaction’ as a basis of judgement adds to the conversations created around the subject, thus helping spread the word. This mode of judgement expels any sort of bias as Indivine votes are not being considered. Indivine votes are an internal voting system within the blogger community and can lead to friends voting for friends rather than a good story. However, the term ‘interactions’ needs to be clarified.
By associating the hashtag ‘#MelbourneNOW’, the brand can not only keep a track of the conversations around the contest but also help build awareness for its cause – to promote tourism at Melbourne. Besides, it is good to see an India-specific Twitter handle that completes the Twitter cycle for the brand. It is upto the brand to continue with its conversations on Twitter and promote stories around the hashtag.
However, I was disappointed to not find a blog at the Visit Melbourne website. As I mentioned earlier, blogs are the best medium to share stories on social media and in this case a blog could have helped the tourism brand immensely. May be as a start, the stories generated through the Indiblogger contest though imaginary, could be displayed in a blog, as an additional incentive for the bloggers.
Also on the Facebook page, I was quite fascinated by an app that displayed Shilpa Arora’s travelogue in Melbourne. Perhaps, linking this with the contest would be a good idea for the brand. Like the two winning bloggers could then share their Melbourne travelogue on this app!
Businesses seem to be opening up to co-create stories along with its community. I am quite excited to see this story-creation aspect to be a growing trend in Facebook campaigns as well. What do you think about brands engaging bloggers to create stories?