How a small startup made big waves with remarkable content and strong influencer partnerships.
INSPIRED ESCAPES is a startup adventure travel company doing innovative things in travel philanthropy, volunteering and experiential travel.
It’s a contested space dominated by well-established players and the team knew that to announce their arrival in a crowded scene they needed to produce content that was genuinely worth shouting about.
There were conversations already happening about the problem of voluntourism, the question was how we could tap in, make an impact, and grow audiences and bookings from zero.
But budgets were tight and they needed results fast.
- Create a piece of content that sparks conversations among an audience of ethically minded, millennial travellers; consumers who are among the most digitally active but often the most impervious to branded messages.
- Amplify and connect the content to our target audiences wherever they’re active online.
- Convert as many audiences as possible into prospects for follow-up marketing and lead generation.
Seizing the argument
We collected together the leading voices in the ongoing voluntourism debate, totalling some two-dozen professionals, activists and bloggers with unique expertise in responsible travel, many of which were active in the #MendNotEnd discussions on our travel community, Outbounding.org.
From this team of experts and influencers we commissioned an anthology of ultra high value writing on ethical volunteering abroad.
We compiled the content into a slick digital guide, producing a 107-page publication that exuded authority and credibility.
We published the guide as a downloadable ebook, allowing easy email capture.
We used PR and influencer outreach to earn dozens of reviews, articles and links:
Turning audiences into prospects
We used retargeting to recapture audiences who’d visited and downloaded the guide, bringing them back to the site to drive bookings:
In addition to the intangible value of being associated with this standard of content and expertise, the project was also a quantifiable success:
- Earned dozens of write-ups (and inbound links) in the mainstream travel media and blogs.
- Drove a 31% increase in visits.
- Increased email subscriptions by 33%
- Put tens of thousands of new users into audience lists for retargeting ads & lead generation.
- Assisted 28% of all new conversions.
Like all effective content marketing campaigns, the project’s success was based on two critical factors: Firstly, the creation of an extraordinary piece of content that drove explosive audience growth, and secondly the strategic conversion of audiences into prospects.
This is when “content” becomes content strategy.
How about your brand? What stories could we tell together?