With today’s busy lifestyles, people often need a getaway. A popular option is to flock to the Bahamas, where Nassau Paradise Island is one of the most restful island destinations. Just a few air hours away from most major US metropolitan markets, the sugary beaches and shimmering waters of Nassau Paradise Island attract many vacationers, who opt into the picture-perfect and easy-to-reach Bahamas getaway.
Actually, make that video-perfect, because, in the tourism industry, it’s all about sharing the experience. When busy urbanites seek surf and sun, it is increasingly more likely that they will opt to watch an alluring, destination-specific YouTube video.
There’s no question that video is among the best ways to influence travel decisions, according to Kim Andersen, vice president of marketing for the Nassau Paradise Island 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.
In terms of video advertising, the hardest working part of any media plan is TrueView in-stream video ads, which provide tourism executives like Andersen with the ideal way to showcase destinations to the greatest number of leads who live in very expensive television markets – all without breaking the bank.
“Three years ago, nobody was talking about YouTube as a consumer advertising vehicle. Now, it’s evolved from shaky handmade videos to a foundational medium that no advertiser – or consumer – can afford to ignore,” says Andersen. More than a dozen tantalizing, high-production-value videos grace the Nassau Paradise Island YouTube channel, affording an ideal marketing platform that drives guests to Nassau Paradise Island where vacation dreams come true.
Need an example? Check out “Beaches of Nassau Paradise Island, Bahamas.”
Counting On Numbers
When Andersen first joined the Board, much of the marketing effort was funneled to more traditional channels, with limited broadcast support when budgets permitted. With the evolution of technology, an entire new world of digital advertising emerged that was effective, cost-efficient, and most importantly, measurable.
To power the shift, Anderson 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, they don’t design brochures, and they don’t do 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 come up with a way to keep concentrating on those two markets, but also find a way to reach the other two-thirds of the travel audience originating from widespread metropolitan areas affordably. They were excited about using YouTube to maximize conversions.
Supplementing traditional television ads with YouTube video ads, the team invested in TrueView in-stream video ads to get the most out of every advertising dollar spent. Since viewers have the option to skip TrueView in-stream video 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 in the most compelling way, and website visitors from NPI’s target markets jumped from a 38 percent increase versus the prior year to a 68 percent increase 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 market like Boston to engage with an entire: 30 video. There is simply no other way to do that, especially across platforms and devices for online as well as mobile consumption.”
Net Conversion now sees TrueView in-stream video ads as an ideal advertising tactic because it delivers relevant video at a fraction the cost of broadcast media. Rather than spray a wide area with diluted impressions, it gives viewers total control over what advertising message they want to watch and when they choose to consume it. From the advertiser’s standpoint, TrueView makes optimal sense because they pay only when an ad is watched, not just when an impression is served.
The flexibility of YouTube and Google ads makes it possible for the Board to rapidly adapt to timely opportunities. For example, when one airline recently added new daily, nonstop flights from New York to Paradise Island, the Board implemented banner ads specifically served to the New York market segment. At other times, the Nassau Paradise Island Tourism Ministry provides destination-wide package offers, promoted via YouTube.
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 target audiences by keyword search to make sure we are presenting video to a customer who really wants to watch it,” says Vertolli.
Data shows that branded messaging is also an important of the overall ad mix for the Board. When two banner campaigns run in each market, Net Conversion can test effectiveness and refine buys and creative messages, refining them depending on seasonality peaks and current incentive programs.
Hospitable Social Mix
In today’s digital world, no man is an island – not even in the Bahamas. The ability to integrate content across social outlets adds an invaluable dimension to the hospitality of Nassau Paradise Island. More than 154,000 viewers have already visited Nassau Paradise Island’s YouTube channel, where guests comment about how excited they are about their upcoming trips and then relive their recent vacations through video – which is concurrently displayed across multiple social media outlets. Visitors can sign up for special offers, keeping people informed about time-sensitive programs such as “back by popular demand,” and “offer expires today.”
“Video is a cornerstone across all our touch points,” notes Andersen. “And it’s YouTube TrueView Video Ads that have enabled us to engage prospective visitors across platforms. We now can reach targeted prospects in metropolitan markets that we couldn’t afford to even touch with television advertising, and potential visitors in these important markets are now exposed to our destination.”