Case: how we with the help of content marketing increased airline ticket sales 10 times /Habr
A brief description of the project promoted by
A project for the sale of travel services, airline tickets and train tickets.
The goal set by the customer
Increase in the number of airline ticket orders.
Start of work
The contract was signed at the end of the summer of 201? and we started to work, namely, to develop a strategy for promoting the project.
Problems of the project
Before starting any work, we usually collect information about the project and its competitors, and then analyze it. This project was no exception. Acted on the established scheme.
During the audit, a number of problems that were to be addressed were identified:
Very much competition (however, as everywhere else now).
A little-known and untwisted brand.
Paid advertising, in spite of all efforts, was expensive, it paid off badly.
The conversion of the project was very low, sales were small.
The traffic to the site is small.
SEO: according to high-frequency, commercial words, it is very difficult and expensive to promote a site because of great competition.
Why did we rely oncontent marketing?
We thought for a long time about different options for promoting the project, studied all the opportunities and experience of competitors in the market. As a result, we decided to abandon the standard methods like annoying banner and contextual advertising, where all competitors were already present, and focused on content marketing.
People trust information more than a call to buy.
Standard types of advertising mostly impose a product or service on a person, and the content tells about them. The main goal of content marketing is not selling, but informing users, building some trusting relationships with them. People are looking for information that will help answer their questions - there can be a lot of problems when preparing any trip: where to go, where to stop, how to draw up documents and, finally, how and where to buy tickets Therefore, we decided to provide users with high-quality, unique and mandatory useful materials.
The hypothesis was this:
A person comes to the site for information, gets what he needs, and unobtrusively and gradually remembers the brand and services that the site provides.
Over time, more and more people who have gone through all the stages of informing have a positive brand image. And when there is a need of the form “buy a plane ticket”, they more and more often recall the client’s site.
In addition, unique content is essential for SEO because:
a natural increase in reference mass occurs,
search engine rankings are improving,
behavioral factors 3–3–3544 improve.
increased traffic from search engines.
Content Requirements: The basic principles that we followed
Requirements for texts
Only high-quality, original and unique texts.
No politics and negativity.
Not only a thorough study of the texts, but also special attention to their design.
Banned all materials that promote smoking, alcohol or drug use, gambling.
The minimum amount of "water" - all texts should be only on the case, saturated with facts and useful information.
In-depth study of topics, study of terminology, immersion in the client’s business.
High literacy texts.
Making changes to the texts until they satisfy the issuing editor and proofreader.
Requirements for illustrations
Texts must contain at least one image.
The previews and illustrations within the article should reflect the essence of the title and the text and not be misleading regarding the content of the material.
Ban unpleasant, disgusting images.
It is allowed to use either unique photographs taken with one's own hand, or the source must be indicated at them.
The photograph must be aesthetically pleasing and of high quality: images with poor sharpness, inverted, darkened or overexposed are not allowed.
It is advisable to use horizontal photos with a size of at least 800x450 pixels.
Photos of people in underwear or completely naked are prohibited if they have a pronounced sexual nature - even when the images are partially or completely blurred or censored.
Photos with scenes of smoking, drinking alcohol or drugs are prohibited.
At the very beginning, we planned to write only about airplanes and airline tickets, but a little later it was decided to expand the content theme to trains, rail, travel and tourism.
Formats of the content that we produced for the customer project
Articles (review, with instructions for travelers and useful tips, collections of interesting facts, seo-articles, etc.).
Photoreports, photo galleries.
Each content format solves its own problems, for example:
Frankly popular materials are necessary for traffic from social networks and recommendation systems.
Complex, analytical materials are interesting for a serious and sophisticated audience.
News is necessary for a change, in order to show the relevance of the site.
Surveys are needed to generate material for writing analytical articles.
Tests are useful for increasing page depth.
SEO articles (based on collected key queries and AY) are important for traffic from search engines.
The problems that we encountered during the work of
Our staff did not have enough free copywriters to implement the tasks to reach the agreed volumes of content. I had to start searching for them.
Problems finding copywriters are usually the following:
It is very difficult to find a good copywriter, because everyone considers themselves to be such - even if they are completely unable to write.
There are those who write interestingly, but make a huge number of mistakes, thereby creating a lot of work for the editor and corrector.
There are those who, although they write correctly, are uninteresting and boring.
Few people know how to structure and format texts.
Some write very slowly, with low productivity.
Good copywriters are expensive.
Search for copywriters for the project was non-stop.
We received a lot of feedback for each vacancy: during the first days after its placement, on average about 300 people responded. But in the end, 99% of them were eliminated.
At the moment, we still managed to assemble a good team specifically for this project - at the moment we have enough good copywriters, a separate typesetter and proofreader.
2. Selection of illustrations for articles and news
The customer categorically refused to buy photos for articles and news on paid stocks. Therefore, it was necessary to figure out where to get illustrations for articles so that there would be nothing for us? ;) It was decided to use free photobanks and stocks, illustrations from open sources with the obligatory indication of the source, as well as our own photographs brought from travel.
In addition, there are a number of problems that we usually encounter when working on all projects:
There are very few people who feel which photo to choose, how to crop and process it. To explain this is also a difficult task, since there is a lot of subjective.
Sometimes in articles there are a lot of images, for each you need to specify the source. This work only seems simple, in fact it is quite laborious.
We reveal a few small secrets of
Here are a few secrets from the working document that are given to our specialists at the beginning of work and help them to choose more winning photos:
Photos should be of the highest quality, bright. Less gray and faded shades.
It is better if there are large details on the photo - especially if it concerns the photo for announcements.
Photo announcements for different articles should be different, heterogeneous. You need to select them especially carefully, because 90 percent of the photo depends on how many people click on the article and read it.
The red or pink image is sometimes very blurry due to compression - you need to monitor this moment on the site.
It may seem that this list of recommendations has a lot of incomprehensible things. However, in our working paper there are specific examples taken from the customer’s website that we do not publish here and which help the copywriter quickly understand the essence of each item from the list of recommendations.
3. The limited functionality of the site
In the course of work, we were faced with the fact that not all of our ideas could be embodied in the project due to the limited functionality of the customer’s site. But, fortunately, the client easily agreed to the improvements.
As a result, we expanded the site’s functionality by adding:
1. The ability to use in articles:
2. Multiple RSS feeds for broadcasting content announcements to different sites.
3. Setting up auto-publishing of content on the social network.
It is irrational to publish quality content on only one site. To share articles, there are many services and thematic sites. Due to this, you can increase audience reach, increase brand awareness on the Web, get additional traffic to the site and find new customers.
Therefore, we made a plan for sharing content and a list of sites.
The latter connected and developed gradually. Currently, the list of sites where the project content is broadcast is as follows:
3-3r3543. Apple Podcasts.
All platforms work in different ways, the effect and benefits of each are different. But about this we want to write a separate case.
Budget for content production
We started with about a budget of 6?000 rubles. per month (produced about 20 articles).
Now the budget for the content of the project is about 20?000 rubles. per month (produced 50-60 units of content per month).
Someone will say: expensive. But don't let this amount scare you;)
Read on and understand why the customer easily parted with this amount for the production of content.
The result of content promotion is
There will not be many words in this paragraph, we just show screenshots of statistics from Yandex. Metrics. The conclusions, we think, are obvious.
Screenshots of widgets from Yandex.Market
According to them, we constantly monitor the effectiveness of our work.
The widgets clearly show the positive dynamics of the project.
The dynamics of total traffic
Brand traffic dynamics
Content marketing has led to an increase in brand awareness and, accordingly, traffic for brand requests has increased.
The dynamics of direct approaches
What about SEO?
According to high-frequency commercial words, although there has been a steady increase in positions, we have not yet achieved the first pages of search results. But the carefully developed semantic core, the analysis of low-frequency queries and the production of relevant content made it possible to obtain excellent traffic dynamics from search engines. (For SEO, we also plan to write a separate case).
Dynamics of traffic from search engines
The graph shows steady growth, and the best traffic has grown from Google.
Good and quality content is often reprinted by other sites. And our work on tracking the affixing of direct links to the customer’s website also gave excellent results and led to a significant increase in the link mass.
At the very beginning of work on the domain of the customer’s site, there were approximately 1 thousand external links, currently there are already about 28 thousand (!)
This screen graph of the growth in the number of external links made from the webmaster at the moment. Unfortunately, there is no way to set a period of 2 years.
And what about the sales of airline tickets?
The dynamics of airline ticket purchases from direct calls
The dynamics of airline ticket purchases from search engines
Dynamics of airline ticket purchases with branded queries
Ticket sales on the customer’s website have grown many times over 2 years.
Along with the growth of ticket sales from search, from direct and brand visits, the conversion to ticket sales from other traffic sources, for example, from paid ones, has also increased. Thus, the cost of attracting customers decreased tenfold.
Conversion growth at the same time on all traffic channels was clearly facilitated by the growth of brand trust and increased user loyalty to the brand.
The pandemic crisis hit the tourism segment painfully. But we are not used to giving up, for us the crisis is - these are, first of all, new opportunities.
In March 202? traffic began to plummet. We had to take emergency measures. As a result of the brainstorming, a number of actions were taken to restore traffic to the client’s site. We decided to expand the list of topics, NL, connect new platforms for sharing announcements of published materials and hire new copywriters. The result exceeded all our expectations
And although air tickets are currently selling very poorly, look at the dynamics of traffic to the site.
Cherry on the cake;)
A side effect is traffic monetization and return on investment incontent.
Content marketing has a nice side effect - earning from selling ads.
Monetization of traffic was also entrusted to us. As a result, at present, the client covers all of his expenses for our services with revenue from traffic monetization. That is why he did not even stop the production of content during the crisis and did not break the contract with us.
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