We’ve been successfully partnering with Expedia Group Media Solutions for many years and this year was no exception. Expedia Group Media Solutions has been a great partner for re-igniting travel, providing useful insights and solutions to implement in the campaign, for example turning to Vrbo to target the vacation rental market – an audience that we identified as being key to our campaign strategy – Matt Borud, Marketing & Innovation Administrator, Visit Idaho
Following a drop in travel demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Visit Idaho wanted to raise awareness and reignite traveler interest by keeping Idaho front and center in travelers’ minds as they prepared to travel again. The campaign targeted domestic travelers and ran across several Expedia Group brands that have a strong US presence – including Vrbo, which enabled Visit Idaho to tap into a new travel audience geared towards the vacation rental market.
Located in the Northwest of the United States, the state of Idaho is well-known for its mountainous landscapes, protected wilderness, and outdoor recreational areas. With travel trends shifting during the pandemic, many travelers turned to domestic holidays and started swapping urban getaways for less-crowded spaces.
Visit Idaho saw this as an opportunity to attract domestic travelers looking to connect with nature and discover open spaces, leveraging its positioning as “the gem of the northwest” and its reputation as a great place to explore the outdoors to draw new travelers to the destination.
Visit Idaho worked closely with Expedia Group Media Solutions to make sure the campaign plan aligned to their campaign objectives of growing brand awareness and reigniting travel interest in Idaho among U.S. travelers.
Part of the strategy included running the campaign across the Expedia Group brands with the strongest domestic presence, including Vrbo, Travelocity, Orbitz and Expedia. The Media Solutions team identified the top US locations searching for Idaho by using Expedia Group first-party data and insights. They then used geographical targeting to ensure Visit Idaho’s ad placements would be seen by the most qualified travel shoppers.
The rise in popularity of vacation rental getaways was one of the major shifts in traveler behavior in 2020 as travelers sought more socially distanced spaces where they could feel more comfortable. The Vrbo traveler tends to stay three times longer than other travelers and spend five times more per booking. Visit Idaho identified this as a key audience for their campaign and engaged with them by running part of their campaign on Vrbo and targeting the vacation rental audience.
Showing the right travelers the right messaging and imagery was also instrumental to the success of the campaign. The campaign focused on seasonal and outdoors creative, highlighting Idaho’s open and uncrowded spaces through powerful imagery that was changed with the seasons.
Visit Idaho’s recovery campaign generated great results across several metrics. The average click through rate was 0.15%, and the ROAS was 29:1.
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*Expedia Group, TravelAds and Accelerator incrementality data, 2022