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How Visit Greenland Reclaimed its Brand Through Visual Storytelling

Visit Greenland crafts a clear brand story with its visual media library.

  • 4k+ downloads every 90 days on average
  • 1.3k+ invited users on PhotoShelter
  • 12k+ assets housed in PhotoShelter

The Visuals Behind the World’s Largest Island

Visit Greenland is dedicated to showcasing the authentic beauty and diverse culture of Greenland. As the nation’s official tourism board and largest travel site, their goal is to tell engaging stories and drive travelers to the country.

The Challenge: A Beautiful Country Without A Clear Brand

“So few people have valid representations of Greenland in their heads,” says Mads Pihl, prior Head of Photography and Market Development for Visit Greenland. Pihl was driven by a clear vision: to reshape Greenland’s global reputation and attract more travelers. However, he encountered several significant challenges:

  • A broken content management system. Mads had a decentralized content system and was using a combination of Flickr and Dropbox. To make Flickr usable for his stakeholders and partners like Icelandair and Icelandic Mountain Guides, he had to upload the full-sized JPEG to Flickr, then add a corresponding TIF file to Dropbox, create a short link and paste the caption into Flickr, “Download the full-size TIF file here.” The process was time-consuming, and it didn’t offer enough ROI.
  • Dated content hurt the brand. Visit Greenland’s content in Flickr wasn’t easily searchable and finding a photo and following the link to the high-res file on Dropbox was tedious. Therefore, partners preferred to reuse the same images, rather than struggling to find and download new ones, which undermined the mission of fostering fresh storytelling.
  • Too many content requests. After investing considerable time and money into Flickr and Dropbox, Mads was still getting multiple requests for content and would still often have to package photos into zip files and send to partners. “I wasted so much time adding [content] to Flickr,” says Mads.

“My hope would be that there will be a longer tail on the images used in the database. The more diversity that we get through the database, the more diversity there will be in the representation of Greenland by our stakeholders.”


The Solution: A Stronger Visual Storytelling System with a High ROI

Mads moved his image database over to PhotoShelter for Brands, and the new platform has significantly streamlined his workflow. “[PhotoShelter] is formidable compared to Flickr, you can’t even compare,” says Mads. “It feels like it’s made for someone like us.” Here’s how PhotoShelter helped Visit Greenland succeed:

  • One centralized asset management system. Mads uses PhotoShelter’s Lightroom plugin to add everything to PhotoShelter. This process cuts out several steps because Mads can upload all of his high-resolution photos, and the metadata carries over automatically.. “The major difference has been that we don’t have this weird fragmented upload process,” says Mads. “It’s just one door into a platform that is PhotoShelter.”
  • Streamlined system for stakeholders. PhotoShelter’s streamlined system has attracted more than 200 people (and counting) who have signed up to use Visit Greenland’s image database. 97% of those signed up are international B2B partners and domestic stakeholders, who no longer have to ask Mads for help because the new system makes it easy for them to find and download images on their own
  • A clear, concise brand story. Potential clients are now engaging with content that portrays a more compelling, more accurate, more diverse representation of Greenland – exactly what Mads envisioned when he set up Visit Greenland’s visual media library.

“What really matters to us is that signups are spread across big international companies, small local operators, government offices, public institutions, NGOs, and private companies outside the tourism sector both at home and abroad. This tells us that there continues to be a wide range of user needs for quality images from Greenland.”


Visit Greenland’s Strong Travel Brand

Searching & Tagging

Now, Visit Greenland’s partners can search for a term like “sled dog” and find a diverse collection of results:

Mads uses descriptive titles that are rich in keywords. This photo, for example, is titled, “Drifting snow and a dog sled on the sea ice near Tasiilaq in East Greenland.”


Once partners choose a photo from Visit Greenland’s rich library, they can download it on the spot by entering Visit Greenland’s download password. They can download the high-res version, or select a smaller size, and the system will do the conversion for them. They can also access the photo’s license agreement, which is linked in the description of the photo.

Partner ROI

Greenland Brand Manager and Visit Greenland partner, Ella Grødem, for Icelandic Mountain Guides uses the photos Visit Greenland provides to entice travelers to book a tour: “We’re selling an experience. We’re selling an adventure,” says Ella. “And visuals are just more appealing. It’s easier to evoke these emotions with people through visuals than text. “What Visit Greenland has done here has been a huge help to us partners.”

Increased Engagement

Like many brand storytellers, Ella sees an uptick in engagement on social media when she posts photos and videos.

“It makes the potential clients closer to what they would experience – we’re trying to talk to the feelings more than rational arguments and visuals are perfect for that,” she says.

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