Just twenty years ago, destination marketing was mainly about mass advertising and PR, using content created centrally by tourist authorities and channels controlled by conventional media. Today, that's all changed. Jersey's hospitality industry is grabbing the bull by the horns in a great example of an organic content strategy.
At Webreality we've been struck in the past 12 months by the explosive growth in great content being created by businesses involved in Jersey's reviving tourism industry, and the effective ways in which much of it has been distributed.
Businesses are publishers now. The social web has opened the door for brands to manage the content and the media, and even more excitingly, the digital communities that evolve around the content.
Jersey is blessed with so much raw material for the development of exciting content strategies.
Beautiful countryside, amazing beaches, extreme tidal ranges exposing stunning offshore reefs, an intriguing human history with well-preserved monuments, a world-class conservation park, exciting outdoor activities, world-famous produce, and a burgeoning reputation as a foodie's paradise.
To illustrate the diverse ways in which enterprising local businesses are translating this wealth of assets into great content, we thought we'd collate some of the very best examples we've seen in recent months.
With this shared content at our disposal, we can all contribute actively to the marketing of our favourite destinations. And we do, because travel and the content it creates exert a powerful emotional pull. Citizen media at its most powerful.
Jersey Seafaris - action trips on the water
Jersey Seafaris is a young businesses that has done a lot to open up Jersey's wonderful offshore reefs to more people. They carry hundreds of visitors to the Ecrehous and Minquiers reefs each year aboard their fast RIB, often showing them dolphins or seals along the way.
They are actively engaged in social media marketing for their own business, having recognised the strong sharability of their adrenaline-fuelled photos and video clips.
The Lonely Dodo
Jersey's incomparable Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust has recently deservedly won the "Best Use of Digital Media" category at the 2013 Third Sector Awards for Excellence in London. This short film, employing the talents of both Aardman and Stephen Fry, created a stir when it was launched earlier this year. It was a particularly bold example of content marketing originating in Jersey.
Try watching it without getting a lump in your throat! Poor dodo...
Jersey's huge tidal range means that the reefs located to the north east (Les Ecrehous) and south (Les Minquiers) expand and shrink dramatically between tidal extremes.
At low tide, enormous expanses of sand, rock and lagoon are exposed, creating a very special playground. This gives Jersey's talented photographers the chance to show off their skills, as shown in the two beautiful examples below.
Firstly, "Perfect Day", by Matt Hotton (Les Minquiers)
Second, a stunning aerial pic of Les Ecrehous by Andy Le Gresley
The Story of Jersey
Here's a stunning video that's doing the rounds of the social web. It was commissioned by Jersey Heritage, who are proving themselves masters of content marketing.
As a concise and accessible video history of Jersey, this is as good as it gets.
2013 was an exciting year for Jersey, as it saw the emergence of the island's first global movie star of the modern age.
Henry Cavill, who plays Superman in "Man of Steel", was born and raised in Jersey. In June, he visited Jersey with his co-stars Russell Crowe and Amy Adams to attend a special Jersey premiere of the new movie.
Local content marketers were quick to jump on the opportunity for some viral content.
45 square miles and 4 Michelin-starred restaurants
There are few places in the world that can boast four Michelin stars across four different establishments in such a small patch of land.
With the announcement in September that newly-opened restaurant Ormer had joined Bohemia, Tassili and Ocean as recipients of the coveted award, Jersey's ever-growing reputation as a serious "foodie" destination was enhanced once again.
A website that is leading the way in content marketing that reinforces Jersey's foodie credentials is Luxury Jersey Hotels. Read their August recipe of the month here, and feel your taste buds tingle!
Finally, and stepping up the sensory appeal, here's Shaun Rankin, chef proprietor of the newly-starred Ormer, in an episode of his "Island Feast" series, showcasing all that's great about Jersey produce and cooking.
These are some of our favourite examples of excellent destination content marketing from Jersey.
Do you have any other examples to share? Please tell us in the comments.