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Sheneller Beats NASDaily in Organic Reach for Sri Lanka Tourism in 2023

NASDaily’s recent SLTPB collaboration reached 21 Million viewers whilst Sheneller’s “This is Sri Lanka” series reached 23.8 Million viewers indicating a clear trend in why niche marketing is more important than we think.

Last year the Sri Lanka Tourism & Promotion Bureau brought down a number of Influencers to help Sri Lanka tourism bounce back to its pre-pandemic glory. For the most part, this campaign has been extremely successful, but at what cost? And more importantly, what lessons are we taking into 2024 and beyond?

Having spent the last 5 years as full-time travel creators based out of Sri Lanka, here’s our hot take on why Niche Influencers might be more efficient and more cost-effective than mass international influencers.

NASDaily’s Campaign for the SLTPB

Sri Lanka Tourism Partners with NAS DAILY for a 3-part video series on Sri Lanka (Total Reach 21 Million Views)

The internet sensation Nuseir Yassin (NAS Daily) spent 5 days in Sri Lanka filming three videos on the theme of tea, real estate & the world’s best train ride. The campaign created a buzz across the island and garnered quite a bit of local attention. 

View NasDaily''s campaign Stats here

But at its conclusion, the total reach of the campaign and the fact that the budget for the three videos is yet to be disclosed leaves room for a number of questions.

Whilst the SLTPB and the Minister of Tourism, Harin Fernando, must be applauded for their effort to break out of the traditional marketing approach taken by Sri Lanka Tourism over the past decade, the tides have already begun to change. Today, what is more powerful than blanket mass influencer reach is Niche Influencer reach and Team Sheneller has proven it with receipts.

NASDaily may have been successful in piquing the interest of a new audience for destination Sri Lanka but is there enough depth to influence a decision?

Sheneller’s This is Sri Lanka Campaign

The team at Sheneller doubled down on their efforts to promote Sri Lanka after being named the local YouTube social media ambassador by the SLTPB in November 2022. Although the campaign was focused on 12 videos to be posted monthly, the duo took it a few notches higher and focused on a multi-pronged, multi-themed nation branding campaign on social media that looked at building more depth into the perception of Sri Lanka on all social platforms. It is noteworthy that this campaign was self-funded, and executed in collaboration with private-sector stakeholders).

In the past years, the team at Sheneller has created content around 6 major themes which they aim to continue going into 2024:

  1. Industries of Sri Lanka - A first-of-its-kind social media campaign that focuses on promoting all of the well-known as well as lesser-known export industries of Sri Lanka.

  2. National Parks of Sri Lanka - An initiative in collaboration with the SLTPB to showcase the diverse wildlife offerings found all around the island with an aim to reduce the burden on the Yala National Park by distributing wildlife lovers to other parts of Sri Lanka.

  3. Exploring Colombo - A series focused on repositioning Colombo to the modern traveller. From places to eat to things to do and much more, this series is focused on providing a plethora of activities to entice travellers to spend more than just a transit night in Colombo.

  4. Culture & Heritage of Sri Lanka - A series focused on sharing the beauty of multi-cultural communities found in Sri Lanka aimed at building depth into who and what the Sri Lankan people really comprise of.

  5. Sri Lanka, The Island of Regeneration - A Series focusing on the island’s many bio-diversity hotspots and the innovative conservation efforts seen all around the country. Whilst tourism is on the rise, it is equally as important that we as a nation identify the challenges that come with it. This series is focused on showcasing, supporting, and encouraging those efforts seen all around the island.

  6. Wellness Tourism in Sri Lanka - Sri Lanka boasts a diverse array of wellness and holistic tourism offerings including traditional ayurvedic treatments, yoga and meditation sessions, spa therapies, and healthy eating options. However, despite the richness of these offerings, they remain relatively unknown and underpromoted internationally. Through this series, we hope to shine a light on the many unique and high-quality products and services available in Sri Lanka and help to promote the country as a premier destination for wellness and holistic tourism.

From April 1st, 2023 - March 31st, 2024, This is Sri Lanka garnered rave reviews from a range of target markets, including tourists, expats, locals both rural and urban, entrepreneurs, investors, wildlife enthusiasts, travelers, well-wishers, and so many more.

Global Influencers vs. Niche Influencers

Whilst @sheneller (500k subscribers across all socials) speaks to a much smaller audience than NASDaily (30 Million+ across all socials), consistent content on a destination/theme is proving to be more impactful in communicating with authentic audiences that are interested in visiting and experiencing a destination.

Whilst both approaches are needed, the lack of more content creators who are consistently creating content in and about Sri Lanka is a massive missed opportunity to effectively market the island and its many blessings to the modern world through Social Media.

Sheneller’s success this past year should be seen as a clear indicator as to why both government organisations and the private sector should be investing as much, if not more, in developing local content creators and helping ease the burden of marketing Sri Lanka online.

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Good article..

Gefällt mir

The article lacks the demographics of their subsequent audiences. The conclusions could be very different if we have that data. Safe to assume NAS’s reach is more global and Shanelle’s is more local and perhaps diaspora. Yes, we need both! But without the demographics, this article is moot at best and all we can do is assume.

Gefällt mir

Interesting comparison Shehan. Whilst it you can't really make an apple-to-apple comparison here, I see you are making a point. As you have rightly pointed out we need both these types of creators because they serve two purposes. Despite international mass scale influencers may be expensive, they provide far-reaching attention, including for some who didn't consider traveling to Sri Lanka in the first place. And once the attention is secured and they start researching they will come across Sheneller videos for more details to boost their interest. AIDA is play. I really liked the strategy you have put in place, with six themes and longterm orientation. Impressive! Also, if you split the views of these campaigns between local and overseas, that will…

Gefällt mir

It needs the both sides. There's no arguments here. While I'm applauding Sheneller's success, I don't disregard the need of big influencers from with different reaches.

What this analysis lack is, what kind of audiences you and NAS covered, in which areas. Also this comparison is not fair because of the time span these videos were released and the number of videos that are in comparison.

That doesn't mean we don't need you. We need you. What you do is incredible and we support your effort.

What I wanted to say is that you don't need to compete your campaign with something entirely different and make it look like a worthless comparison.

Instead, you can do the best in your…

Gefällt mir

I love the way the Data displayed which elaborates how significant impact a local creator can bring into the table. I do not criticize SLTPB’s efforts. But the cost involved may not have shared and we may never know, but I’m certain that for the fraction of the cost this can replicate by few good local creators. Also we need to understand viral content can give you a push for a short period of time, but consistency will always give more results in the long run.

Well written article.

Good job guys

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