How a specialist tour operator used smart content strategy to achieve a 97% saving on digital ads costs.
LOST WORLD ADVENTURES is a boutique tour operator specialising in small group trips to Latin America. Like many operators they’re keen to expand their direct business and have been cautiously navigating the minefield that is direct-to-consumer travel marketing.
As every small travel business knows, direct marketing can quickly turn into a black hole for cash.
Adwords, the most common channel, has a punishingly high cost-per-click, in the $7 to $8 range for keywords targeting Machu Picchu and Galapagos. With industry average conversion rates that could work out at a cost-per-acquisition of $190 for a single enquiry!
Not liking those numbers, LWA got in touch with us to find a different approach.
- We had to find a way of capturing targeted traffic–i.e. people who were demonstrating an interest in the destinations–without paying top dollar for Adwords clicks.
- With content creation costs at an all time high, we had to find a solution to make high quality content more affordable and accessible.
What we did
We started out by putting ourselves in the audience’s shoes. What are they looking for when they research and plan a trip to these destinations? From that exercise we commissioned a team of expert travel writers to create an ultra-high quality, 65-page travel guide.
The guide gave us the raw material to start generating new audiences. Instead of paying $7 for an Adwords click we were able to acquire traffic at much lower cost using SEO, social media ads, display advertising, and more.
Using our hyper-optimised landing pages we achieved download conversion rates of 80%+. Virtually unheard of and surpassing even our own expectations!
With each download users were invited to request direct follow up, sending enquiries straight to the sales team.
In addition we were also able to use email and remarketing to bring even more people into the funnel. Each new user was a qualified lead with a demonstrated interest in the destination and product.
- The campaign started to generate new leads immediately, working out roughly at $6 per lead. That’s an incredible 97% saving on comparable Adwords costs.
Many small travel tour operators find direct marketing and sales a daunting prospect, preferring instead to rely on other referral channels. Indeed, it can be a horrendously expensive waste of money! But when done right, a combination of good content and smart strategy can produce incredible results.
Does a 97% saving on ad costs sound good to you? Give us a call to discuss your options!