When do you think most people daydream about planning their next vacation?
According to Google, 37% of US travelers think about it once a month, and 17% think about it at least once a week.
We also know, based on a recent Outbrain report, that consumption of travel content in a variety of locations really heats up in April.
So, if you’re marketing the island of Ireland as Tourism Ireland does, you’ve got to strike and position yourself as a holiday destination when the iron is hot.
Because most don’t even know that you can go diving along the water of Cork coast.
And that’s exactly what they did.
A Shift From Display to Content Discovery
Even with the laundry list of unfortunate stats surfacing around banner ad effectiveness, making the switch from these types of traditional, interruption-based providers has been a difficult habit to break for many businesses.
But with a commitment to maintaining world-class marketing programmes in 23 different markets, it came as no surprise that Tourism Ireland would opt for a more credible advertising format.
One built off of trust.
And thus, a partnership was born.
Tourism Ireland in Germany worked with content discovery platform Outbrain to position Ireland as a holiday destination
Instead of hedging their bets with disruptive ad placements, they traded in accidental mobile clicks for high-quality users who were identified as having viewed at least two pages per visit for lower bounce rate and better dwell time.
The Future of Personalized Content Experiences
As Chad Pollitt touches on in his article about The Macroeconomics of Native Advertising, “We have entered or are about to enter an age of “Content Shock.”
The phrase, popularized by Mark Schaefer, describes an overly saturated content marketplace, a finite number of people to consume this content and a lot of competition for attention.
But it’s not all doom and gloom, as some trailblazers have successfully demonstrated.
In the case of Tourism Ireland, the quickest way to cut through the noise has been in personalizing their content to individual readers.
For them, it’s all about content based on the user’s interest.
Here’s how it works…
Users’ identified as being passionate about hiking through the Outbrain algorithms personal filtering options are sent content about backpacking activities in Ireland.
They’ve also been motivated and consistent in creating a plentiful amount of fresh content for those who have a broader but clear interest in visiting Ireland, and each month Tourism Ireland uploads new content to the site.
Depending on performance, that content is then optimised and earmarked for broader distribution.
What kinds of content?
Just to share a few:
- Key attractions
- People, arts, and culture
- Feature stories on St. Patrick’s Day
- The 2500km long ‘Wild Atlantic Way’ coastal road
- The original setting for the ‘Games of Thrones’
If the strategy was to engage potential tourists through a large variety of content relating to Ireland and its various regions, their results would indicate success.
They were able to anchor “Ireland as a tourist destination in the minds of hundreds of thousands of website visitors,” Donnerstag shared with the Outbrain team.
A Culture Dependent on Measurement
On the whole, content marketer’s haven’t always been effective in measuring the output of their content initiatives. In fact, only 13% of B2C marketers assess their level of content marketing maturity as sophisticated in terms of providing accurate measurement to the business.
Seeing as Tourism Ireland’s objective was to use content drive potential tourists back to the Ireland.com website at lower bounce rates and better dwell times, they knew they needed to bridge the measurement gap by setting a key metric to evaluate campaign performance.
And you can trust they didn’t disappoint, with a strategic key indicator of cost per sessions without a bounce.
After all, Ireland.com isn’t a sales portal, and they understood their main challenge for the campaign was around measurement, which is why dwell time became an important metric for them.
The Results-based Future
With a 33% drop in the bounce rate and a cost per session without bounce significantly reduced, new users clocking +335% longer dwell times and 67% more page views per session, the benchmark has been set.
“Tourism Ireland Germany has gained many insights into their users,” says Katarina Eres, Director of Sales in South Germany on the brands & agencies front for Outbrain.
Watching the time audiences spent engaging increase throughout Tourism Ireland’s campaign proved it’s about surfacing high-quality content for distribution across active networks like Outbrain in order to penetrate new and untapped target audiences.
An important take away that will help them continually improve on their objectives.
And, where does that leave the rest of us?
Opportunistically enough, travel agencies and brands alike can follow in Tourism Ireland’s footsteps, finding success in mirroring their strategy by:
- Monitoring and executing on content consumption trends
- Leveraging more trustworthy advertising formats
- Creating fresh and personalized content experiences for individual audiences
- Strategically defining campaign goals and engagement indicators
In the end, it boils down to catching the eye of our audiences with great content.
If you can figure out how to align yourself within the customer journey, you’ll be golden.
Click to read the full PDF case study on “How Tourism Ireland In Germany Significantly Increased Engagement On Ireland.com By Shifting From Display To Content Discovery.”