by David Kirkpatrick
, Senior Reporter
Innovation Norway is a state-owned company that focuses on the promotion and development of Norway. Beate Gran, Project Manager, Online and New Media, Innovation Norway, said the company had previous experience using Facebook for travel promotions.
Because of this, when Innovation Norway decided to begin promoting a new destination -- Northern Norway -- in the U.S. market, Facebook was an easy choice.
Gran stated Innovation Norway already had a large U.S. audience on Facebook, and determined a Facebook app, which leveraged that audience, would best promote the new travel campaign.
This case study covers how Innovation Norway utilized Facebook to gain more than 23,000 new Facebook fans and a more than 6,500% lift in daily "likes" of page content. See how it also created a user base that continued to grow even after the promotion had run its course.
Gran said, "We decided on this very cool daily challenge app that we use to feature all those great selling points the destination has."
Although the heart of the effort was the Facebook app, the marketing team also provided budget dollars to a paid media element in the form of sponsored stories and "like" ads.
Step #1. Define the user experience
The app was a daily contest that ran for 45 days. It featured questions about Norway
, along with a strong visual element. Each daily question was posted at 8 a.m. Eastern Time.
The overall goal of the user experience was to drive engagement. Gran said the idea was to create something "fun and light, and not too overly difficult for people to join."
"Norway is a very little known destination, still, in the U.S.," she added. "So, we didn’t want to make it too challenging for users to answer those questions."
With this in mind, app users were provided the correct answer right away. They were also presented with a "learn more about this" link to make the overall experience more educational, provide them with a clear takeaway from the app, and to drive traffic to the Innovation Norway website.
The visual element was seen as very important to the success of the Facebook app. Innovation Norway has spent a lot of effort developing its brand. A major part of that development was rich imagery that represents the destinations and experiences of travelers to Norway.
This focus on imagery helped promote the overall goal of engagement by providing an additional element to the content to encourage users to share that Facebook experience with their social media friends.
Step #2. Include an incentive
Compelling visuals and the fun of a daily challenge can make for an interesting social media experience, but to gain more traction with the users, the marketing team added an incentive in the form of a daily prize
Innovation Norway had a previous relationship with a Norwegian clothing company.
Gran said, "They are very keen on doing joint tourism-related promotional campaigns, and they also used beautiful visuals of Norway in the marketing campaign here in the U.S."
For users of the app, each day they had the opportunity to answer a new question, and then enter the contest for the daily prize.
Step #3. Promote the Facebook app
Gran said the marketing team used a variety of channels to promote the Facebook app:
- Daily posts on the Innovation Norway Facebook page
- Articles and banner ads on the Innovation Norway website
- Social media ads
She added, "We did a lot to support the app, but I think the most successful element here was the social ads."
The social media ads helped the team reach users in the target demographic and interest profile that Innovation Norway sought for the effort.
Another promotional element was encouraging the daily challenge participants to share the app with their friends to bring in more users.
Use survey data to uncover target audience
Innovation Norway used a previous survey to determine the target demographic and interest profile for the Facebook app.
Several years ago, Innovation Norway partnered with a company that owned numerous airports in Norway to find its target market in the United States. This survey led to an overall marketing strategy that Gran said will take Innovation Norway into 2013.
She explained that the entire population of the U.S. is not in their target market, and the survey sought to find demographic and geographic areas to focus its marketing efforts.
"We narrowed it down to some 30 million U.S. travelers with Scandinavian interest, and even that is a huge market for us. We have to work very targeted toward certain states and age brackets."
Step #4. Follow-up after the campaign ends
Just because a marketing effort has a built-in shelf life -- 45 days in this case -- it doesn’t mean everything just shuts down once that end-point is reached.
Innovation Norway found the daily challenge Facebook app helped to create a very engaged audience. So much that even though the campaign has run its course, the marketing team continues to post on the app’s site.
Gran explained, "There is a demand there now that wasn’t so obvious before."
She added, "We feel more of a responsibility to keep it up now because we got such a great response from our audience on that Facebook page. A few of them actually said that they missed the daily challenge once it ended after 45 days."
The marketing team has found the audience has continued to grow at a "rapid pace" since the daily challenge effort ended, adding more than 10,000 additional "likes" to the page.
Gran said this result surprised the team because previous Facebook app campaigns saw an understandable drop-off in engagement once the actual effort ended.
Because the goal of the daily challenge Facebook app was to drive engagement, Innovation Norway did not attempt to track any actual travel tied to the effort.
But, in terms of engagement, this campaign proved successful:
- 195% lift in new Facebook fans (more than 23,000 new fans)
- 6,500% increase in daily "likes" of page content
- 1,400% increase in daily users engaged with the "Visit Norway USA" Facebook page
- The increased engagement generated a 202% lift in daily organic impressions
- The number of people "talking about" the page each day increased 1,101% over pre-campaign engagement
The effort also increased traffic to the Innovation Norway U.S. website by 40% year-over-year, along with a 238% lift in referral traffic from Facebook to the website.
"We are trying to reach customers at different stages of their purchasing cycles," explained Gran. "This app, by providing [users] with actual travel offers, and more information in between the questions that we posted every day, is something that I think worked really well. We might consider doing [this] again because of how successful it was."
The marketing team also believed the conversational, lightweight and fun tone of the campaign contributed to its success, and that this type of social interaction is geared to the way people naturally behave on Facebook.
- "Daily challenge" question
- Screenshot of daily prize sign-up
- Social media ad
– United StatesFriend2Friend
– Innovation Norway’s social media marketing vendor
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