Visit Philadelphia has worked with influencers and content creators for years. Traditionally, we’ve partnered with travel and lifestyle influencers to tell the Philadelphia story in their own creative ways and voices. In 2023, we decided to take a different approach, working with creators beyond the travel/lifestyle vertical who reached smaller but highly targeted and engaged audiences. Our goal was simple: Use edu-tainment to insert Philadelphia into the national conversation while also educating viewers about the city and reinvigorating civic pride.
In years past, Visit Philadelphia worked with an agency to secure content creators and influencers. This approach streamlined the initiative, putting the heavy lift on the agency’s plate. However, in 2023, we decided to bring the influencer strategy and management back in-house. With no agency fee to contend with, we’d have more money to create quality content.
The team also knew that by working with micro influencers, we could reap a much larger benefit. And that’s exactly what happened with @oliviaherman, also known as Philly Mom. Her content is all about connecting with her audience, bringing nostalgia to residents and former Philadelphians while also poking fun at them. The budding actress had just under 60K followers, but an extremely engaged audience. Media, influencers and other Philadelphia notables actively share her content.
We added another element to this project by collaborating with the Independence Visitor Center to help extend the reach of the series. By working with both the content creator and the visitor center, we were able to tell a larger story and connect the three videos that were part of our agreement.
Once we secured Philly Mom, we developed a storyline that served our goals while staying authentic to our influencer’s voice and style. We provided her with a couple of topics and priorities that were not overly salesly.
For the first video, the visitor center sent a box full of goodies, including a customer service representative shirt, which Philly Mom wore in the video as she bragged about her new job.
We flew Philly Mom to the city to create the last two videos of the series. The second one had various cut scenes of her in the actual visitor center, interacting with visitors and other colleagues on her first day at work.
Our third and final video took place at an Eagles’ tailgate.
Of course, creating good content often requires pivoting. That’s exactly what we had to do when the Eagles started to tank late in the season, making our tailgating video no longer appropriate. Instead of using the footage we shot with very optimistic fans, we switched up the script and filming location.
Philly Mom ended up shooting the third video at home, where she played the role of a fan stressed out about the team’s rapid demise yet still defending them to outsiders. (A totally Philly thing to do.) We released the video on the day of the Eagles’ only playoff game of the season to give fans hope–and a much-needed laugh.
By scheduling the first two videos around November/December, we were able to bring awareness to Philadelphia around the holiday season and show off the Independence Visitor Center as the perfect starting point for any visit.
Working with @OliviaHerman garnered some of the best results for Visit Philadelphia’s Instagram account and content creator work to date, including our first reel to receive 1 million+ views. In total, the three videos received over 1.6M+ views, 33K+ shares and 24K+ saves.
Overall, we were thrilled with the results of our micro-influencer partnership. We received a few messages from various stakeholders saying these were some of the best collaborations they’ve seen. The comments from the videos spoke to civic pride, which was our goal.