Exodus Travels: Mobile-first, immersive story-telling, using Facebook

Exodus Travels

Digital Hybrid won an award in the 'Best use of Social Media on Mobile' category and the 'Travel/Leisure/Sports Mobile Strategy/Campaign' category at the 2017 MOMA Awards, for their work with Exodus Travels.

The innovative social media campaign delivered ROI of 3,712% overall and 2,848% via mobile devices alone.

Using mobile-first storytelling, leading adventure tour operator, Exodus Travels, targeted new audiences with the immersive new full-screen format, Facebook Canvas. By showcasing the personality and passion of Exodus Travels’ tour leaders’, potential clients were introduced to new destinations through the eyes of a local.

They explain the background, objectives, and strategy that made this an award winning campaign.

Background

As an adventure travel company specialising in cultural, walking, cycling, winter, wildlife and family holidays, Exodus has been developing their social media communities for almost ten years and Facebook has been a long-standing focus.

Previous campaigns had already explored the opportunity for a deep connection with clients through video content. High engagement with video posts on Facebook, particularly those characterising the brand/exploring client motivations, confirmed this. A content-led approach has since been adopted across all areas of marketing. This year, investment in video showcased Exodus leaders and their passion for their local region. Each video provides a compelling case for people to visit and find out for themselves. They highlight the destinations but also the exceptional personnel that make Exodus tours so enjoyable.

Strategy

Chris Barned, Managing Director of Digital Hybrid, Exodus Travels’ social media agency, explains:

“We developed a full-funnel strategy - entirely within Facebook. This allowed us to ensure brand awareness, engagement and subsequent re-targeting of what we already know is a key audience for Exodus. Combined with high-quality content, these tiers of activity all contributed towards our overall objective to deliver tangible purchases.

“This was achieved through a combination of high-quality video and informative editorial content all targeted to a variety of relevant audiences. Once driven to the Exodus website we were able to re-target people based on the type of trip they were viewing and serve them highly relevant content to help with their purchasing decision.”

Marquee video was produced for three key destinations – Italy, Iceland and Sri Lanka. Each main video centred on the leader’s passion for the destination accompanied by two shorter supporting videos. A phased delivery throughout the campaign allowed us to refresh our content on a regular basis.

Using mobile-first storytelling, we incorporated the videos and additional related imagery in to a series of Facebook Canvas posts. One Canvas was produced for each of the #ExodusHeroes, introducing the destination and supporting videos to further illustrate the region. Each Canvas provided multiple touchpoints, inviting viewers to visit the website. Users were able to browse an image gallery, request a brochure and immerse themselves in a spectacular 180-degree tilt-to-view panorama, illustrating the incredible scenery on offer. By allowing our content to inspire existing clients we could be confident of additional organic reach beyond our paid activity.

Results

As a result, over the two-month booking period, Exodus Travels saw:

  • Campaign ROI of 3,712% overall and 2,848% via mobile devices alone.
  • Increased unique views – especially via mobile which grew by 91%.
  • Increased brochure downloads – again, particularly via mobile which grew by 49%.
  • Increased brand awareness with more than a 10% rise in additional people able to remember our ads.
  • Increased bookings.
  • Increased revenue – especially via mobile which grew 62%.

Jae Hopkins, Director of Marketing at Exodus Travels said:

“The results of the campaign have been brilliant – we’re slightly astonished at how many purchases we can track directly back to Facebook. Ours is very definitely a considered purchase (average booking values range from c. £1,000 - £3,000) and although we know our customers engage with us when we get the content right on Facebook (i.e. not too salesy) we hadn’t seen before how directly it influenced sales.”

Digital Hybrid, an ambitious social media marketing agency based in London, places heavy emphasis on tailored campaigns which relate specifically to the objectives and audiences concerned.

Commenting on the reasons for the campaign’s success, Chris Barned said:

“For me, the best thing about this campaign is that it cherry-picks the best techniques from a variety of disciplines, but from a social-first perspective. I'm incredibly pleased to see this campaign do well - combining high quality content and innovative, creative, delivery is exactly what Digital Hybrid represents.

“Working with Jae Hopkins, Natasha Preston and the rest of the team at Exodus we've created something really quite special that delivered genuine results. It demonstrates perfectly the potential there is for creative, and most importantly – effective, social media marketing.”

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