Monthly Marketing Spotlight

May 2019

santa barbara vacationist influencer program

With sun-soaked beaches, one-of-a-kind architecture, breathtaking landscapes and wine tasting rooms aplenty, the Santa Barbara South Coast has long been a top destination for social media influencers looking for digital bragging rights. This year, Visit Santa Barbara used a non-traditional approach to reach influencer and creator communities for its social media influencer program. Instead of a typical recruiting process, VSB put together the “Santa Barbara Vacationist” influencer contest for a chance to win one of three trips to the Santa Barbara South Coast. To entice entries, the contest was promoted with eye-catching social ads directing contestants to a landing page that outlined details of each customized itinerary. After a selection process, three influencers were paired with a pillar-specific (Wellness, Food & Libations and Outdoor Recreation) itinerary to explore and discover the destination. During the trip, influencers shared content to their followers, while a video team captured video and photo content. Recap videos were leveraged based on each influencer’s itinerary, highlighting specific trip pillars and participating local partners. Long-form articles were created for, shared across Visit Santa Barbara and Visit California’s social platforms and distributed to 805 Living’s opt-in subscriber database.

Results included:

  • 560 entries
  • 5,784,488 Impressions
  • 25,170 completed video views
  • 260 image and video assets

Click the links to view itineraries for Wellness, Food & Libations, and Outdoor Recreation.


In partnership with Visit Santa Barbara’s U.K. agency Black Diamond, Brand USA, American Airlines and British Airways, VSB’s Travel Trade team hosted a FAM in Santa Barbara for 15 agents and product managers from top agencies and tour operators in the U.K. and Ireland including USAirtours, Flight Centre, Thomas Cook, The American Road Trip Company, Travelbag and many more. This FAM was part of an incentive-based MegaFAM for 100 agents who earned the right to participate based on the volume of sales of American Airlines and British Airways flights booked into the U.S. Attendees were divided into multiple FAM groups, visiting select cities across the U.S. before convening in Phoenix/Scottsdale for final events. Santa Barbara was part of the “Western Wonders” itinerary (one of seven different itineraries) and the only California destination to be included. While in The American Riviera, Visit Santa Barbara hosted unique destination experiences including sailing, painting with wine and a guided Funk Zone food tour.