Figaro Digital Marketing Conference: Content really is still king - Joe Griffiths & David Crawford

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This session and case study details the benefits of developing a content-led strategy for one of Branded3’s major clients in the travel sector; a worldwide leading tour operator. The session shows how …

This session and case study details the benefits of developing a content-led strategy for one of Branded3’s major clients in the travel sector; a worldwide leading tour operator. The session shows how the implementation of user-focused content can drive business from acquisition right through to engagement and critically, conversion.

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  • 1. Content really is still king
  • 2. David Crawford Managing Director + Joseph Griffiths Senior Search Strategist
  • 3. “Content is king” Bill Gates, CEO, Microsoft
  • 4. “Content is king” Bill Gates, CEO, Microsoft
  • 5. “Content is king” Bill Gates, CEO, Microsoft “Those who succeed will propel the Internet forward as a marketplace of ideas, experiences, and products – a marketplace of content.”
  • 6. The Zero Moment of Truth 38% Of people are ready to comparison shop and seek educational content 10.2 The average number of online resources used before making a purchase in the travel sector
  • 7. A User-Driven Content Strategy Our study of MoneySupermarket.com found that users who engaged with content before moving to a product page were 5x more valuable than those who landed directly on a product page The focus of an effective content strategy needs to be on content that genuinely helps the target audience Content that helps your audience is content that will inevitably help you Google Analytics Social Listening Market Research Customer Database Existing Contacts
  • 8. Low quality of on-site content Struggling to rank for generic keywords within Google due to this quality issue Not generating the level of traffic needed to meet objectives Background
  • 9. Objectives
  • 10. Increase traffic to the site#1 Engage a target audience from acquisition through to conversion#2 #3 Show Google that Virgin Holidays Cruises is a great resource and should rank higher for generic keywords
  • 11. Acquisition
  • 12. A new target audience An emerging audience of younger cruisers – compared to the traditional target market Relatively new to cruising Looking to find out more about cruising before they made their decisions
  • 13. Consumer Decision Making Process Need Recognition & Problem Awareness Information Search Evaluation of Alternatives Purchase Post-Purchase Evaluation We want to engage with this audience at the Information Search stage of their decision making process This search almost always starts with a search engine, especially with younger, tech savvy audiences In order to achieve this we need highly informative content
  • 14. How do people use search engines? 70% of all searches are ‘long tail searches’ These are question related searches and are searched for less than 100 times per month 15% of searches are brand new searches
  • 15. Why do you need long tail? Answering questions such as who|what|where|when|why drives quality content Google ranks websites based on engagement Quality content drives engagement An audience that is new to cruises will be asking questions like this • Solve problems • Build affinity • Convert • Repeat visits
  • 16. What are the benefits of this approach? More valuable visitors on the website Greater exposure for the brand Increased visibility on key products Higher rankings and higher CTRs
  • 17. A Content Marketing User Model “I want to go on a cruise, but I don’t know what I want.” “I know what I want, but I don’t know where to go.” “I know what I want and I want to find the best deal.” Intrigued Engaged Committed £ ££ £££ Keywords: ‘family cruises’ ‘where to go in September’ ‘cruises for couples’ Keywords: ‘best family cruises in America’ ‘best cruises for couples’ ‘where to go cruising in Europe’ Keywords: ‘cheap Mediterranean cruises’ ‘things to do in Disneyland’
  • 18. The research phase – content opportunities? Analytics – internal site search Q&A sites Google suggest Cruise forums Social media
  • 19. The Ultimate Guide to Cruising A one stop resource for cruise information An answer to every question a customer or potential customer will think of (and use Google to search for). For example: “What should I wear on the ship?” “How long do Cruise ships stop on shore for?” Informative content that answers these questions and a whole lot more
  • 20. Engagement
  • 21. How long do you have to engage a user? 3.8 seconds Jacob Nielson – useit.com
  • 22. Or else… The user returned to search. You did not satisfy their objectives.
  • 23. Return to Search You have a few seconds to get the visitors attention and persuade them that they have arrived at a site that will answer their query If they go back to Google that’s a negative signal
  • 24. Not just about acquisition As well as influencing new customers, we aimed to give existing visitors an outlet to find out more on their cruises by reaching the guide via the main navigation
  • 25. Engaging two stages of consumer journey 1. Consideration 2. Post-Purchase Influencing both of these people will be highly beneficial, either the first sub set of customers will convert in a relatively short timescale and be back around to book their cruise again the year after… Or the second sub set will think of VHC when they are at the informational gathering stage of their consumer journey when they want to book a cruise in the future
  • 26. Output
  • 27. Building the functionality
  • 28. Fully researched
  • 29. 121 articles written
  • 30. Results
  • 31. Impact on overall visibility
  • 32. Acquisition Launched 20/12/13 5th For “cruises” and “cruise” – previously on the second page 4th For “cruise deals” – up from the second page, saving thousands in PPC 46% Increase in YoY Organic Traffic
  • 33. Engagement Launched 20/12/13 17:03 Average visit duration – compared to a site average of 5:48 13.97 Average pages / visit compared to the site average of 5.12 10.22% Average bounce rate – compared to a site average of 24.26%
  • 34. Summary
  • 35. Complex creative isn’t always best Sometimes ‘boring’ content is what your target audience is looking for Content marketing at its core is around creating content that fulfils a genuine purpose Getting this foundation content in place is absolutely key to increasing acquisition through search and engaging users to move them towards conversion
  • 36. Thank you! @davecrawford david@branded3.com @B3Joseph joseph.griffiths@branded3.com