Case Study

Nassau Paradise Island: Kick Back, Relax, and Let Your Visitors Choose You

the rundown

Nestled in the sunny Bahamas, Nassau Paradise Island is just a short plane ride away for U.S. travelers. In fact, New York and South Florida are home to one-third of Nassau vacationers.To give potential travelers a taste of Nassau’s beauty, the island’s promotion board rolled out YouTube TrueView in-stream ads in ten key markets east of the Mississippi to accompany its TV campaigns. After initial success, the campaign was scaled nationally. The result: Each of the five national campaigns delivered an average lift of 33% to 56% while maintaining site conversion rate and cost-per-view decreased from 15 cents to 11 cents due to bid optimization.

The Goals

  • Promote travel to Nassau Paradise Island in top ten U.S. domestic markets
  • Generate leads from top U.S. markets without incurring high upfront fees such as buying TV ads
  • Share the island experience through the allure of video

The Approach

  • Initiated ongoing YouTube TrueView in-stream campaigns in ten targeted markets
  • Leveraged analytics to maximize campaign effectiveness
  • Based on success, expanded campaign nationally

The Results

  • Engaged viewers of 30-second video for as little as 11 cents
  • Delivered video to major markets previously unaffordable via television
  • Increased total website traffic by 33-56% while maintaining site conversion rate

With today’s busy lifestyles, people often need a getaway. A popular option is to flock to the Bahamas, where Nassau Paradise Island (NPI) is one of the most restful island destinations. Just a few air hours away from most major U.S. metropolitan markets, the sugary beaches and shimmering waters of NPI attract many vacationers for a picture-perfect and easy-to-reach Bahamas holiday.

There’s no question that video is among the best ways to influence travel decisions, says Kim Andersen, vice president of marketing for the NPI Promotion Board. “Our destination is stunningly beautiful, and there is no way words or even photos can tell the story the way video can,” says Andersen.

Efficiently reaching its audience

When Andersen first joined the board, much of the marketing effort was funneled through brick-and-mortar tour operators and more traditional print channels, with limited broadcast support when budgets permitted. Andersen, aware of the evolution of technology and new opportunities, turned to the travel industry digital marketing experts at Net Conversion. The agency’s two principals, Frank Vertolli and Ryan Fitzgerald, have set their agency apart with a laser focus on measurable analytics. They don’t build websites, design brochures, or create print ads—instead, measurable digital advertising is their stock-in-trade.

Knowing that one-third of Nassau’s vacationers live in New York and south Florida, Net Conversion had to concentrate on those two markets while also finding a way to affordably reach the other two-thirds of visitors from a diverse set of areas.

As a result, the team decided to supplement its traditional television ads with YouTube TrueView in-stream video ads in ten key markets east of the Mississippi. Because viewers have the option to skip TrueView ads, advertisers only pay when viewers watch 30 seconds of the ad or to completion. This helped present the right content to the right audience through an extremely affordable format, and website visitors from NPI’s target markets jumped from 38% growth to 68% while the TrueView campaigns were live.

“When I talk about the amazing value TrueView delivers, people think the kind of ROI we are achieving is impossible,” says Vertolli. “Analytics show it can cost as little as 15 cents to get a qualified lead living in an important key market like Boston to engage with an entire 30-second video. There is simply no other way to do that, especially across platforms and devices for online as well as mobile consumption.”

Taking it national

Based on the success of the first TrueView campaign, NPI wanted to see if these video ads could efficiently scale to bring a slice of the Bahamas to travelers across the United States. In the year following the original campaign, NPI expanded its video targeting from the top ten designated market areas (DMAs) to reach travelers nationwide.

The results were staggering. Of the five campaigns that ran over the course of the following year, each delivered an average lift of 33-56% in website visitations while TrueView ads were active. At the same time, cost-per-view decreased from 15 cents to 11 cents due to bid optimizations. Although NPI was concerned about the ROI of expanding nationally, conversion rates (links to partner properties) actually held steady. “We found that travelers west of the Mississippi were just as interested in visiting Nassau as were those in our top feeder markets,” Fitzgerald explains.

Spot-on messaging

The flexibility of YouTube and Google ads makes it possible for the board to rapidly adapt to timely opportunities. Net Conversion continuously tweaks its targets, messaging, and auction-based budgets accordingly. “Ultimately, we know that a certain profile will pay attention to attractive, uninterrupted content delivered in an uncluttered space. Data derived from TrueView enables us to pinpoint relevant messaging and constantly refine targeting to make sure we are presenting video to a customer who really wants to watch it,” says Vertolli.

In addition, the ability to integrate content across social outlets adds an invaluable dimension to the hospitality of NPI. Hundreds of thousands of viewers visit NPI’s YouTube channel, where guests comment about how excited they are about their upcoming trips, and their comments are concurrently displayed across multiple social media outlets.

Moving forward

What’s more is that these results mean big changes for NPI’s media plans. Next year, digital will be the dominant channel as a direct result of the success and efficiency of TrueView. In summarizing NPI’s TrueView strategy, Fitzgerald outlines, “We can heavy up using national buys during key travel planning seasons but also make sure we consistently reach the people more likely to visit Nassau throughout the year. If it’s not relevant, they’ll just skip it.”


SOURCES
[1] Nassau Paradise Island internal data

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