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Travel Brands That Are Doing Social Right: How we utilized Social Media to Drive Visitation to the OBX

Our travel & tourism client, Visit the Outer Banks of North Carolina (OBX) came to us looking for a partner who could leverage social media to drive visitation to the destination during the off-season. We worked with them to create a comprehensive paid social media strategy that utilized different social media targeting, ad units and optimizations.

In the spirit of testing and learning, we tried many different tactics to drive conversions of their travel guide and sign ups for their newsletter. We focused on those two lower-funnel actions because they indicate a user’s intent to travel to the destination and to stay connected with the OBX via their inbox.

We developed our strategy by first looking at our audience and planning how we would target them. We created social personas, built by visitor data. With extensive research into the target’s psychographics and behavior trends, we were able to identify where our visitors engaged and interact on social.

After finding that they were engaging on Facebook and Instagram, we used dual-placement ads and optimized the ads towards the more efficient channel. Along with dual-placements, we utilized the Facebook pixel and retargeted visitors. With the Pixel data, we also created lookalike audiences to convert more users who behaved similarly. In just 2018 alone, we created over 429 ad sets with varying targets.

Additionally, we tested different creative concepts for our conversion ads and ultimately found that user-generated content (UGC) was the most effective at converting users to download or sign up for the newsletter.

With our refined targeting, daily optimization and top creative, we successfully increased intent to visit the Outer Banks, year-round. 

In 2018 alone, we generated a:

·       106% increase in newsletter sign-ups

·       19% increase in overall intent to visit actions Y-o-Y

·       17% increase in site traffic Y-o-Y

By being nimble and testing new paid media tactics, we were able to find the most efficient way to drive conversions and ultimately double our conversions from the previous year. 

If curious how we’ve successfully used social media to drive conversions for other travel destinations or other industries, check out our case study page here.

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