How a Travel Company Used Facebook and Their Website to Crowdsource Their Next Destination Offering

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Posted by Sara on 27 May 2015 / 0 Comment

Crowdsourcing is a tactic businesses can use to find out what kinds of products or services their customers wish they’d offer. It can save a business time and money because it helps make clear what customers want.

In this case study, we’ll show you how Tusker Trail used Facebook and their website to determine their next Tusker Trail Trek destination. We’ve laid out the steps they took to plan and execute a crowdsourcing Campaign that resulted in 16,174 Campaign views and 4,622 votes.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

• Why Tusker Trail decided to let their customers determine the location of their next trek.
• How they determined which online outlet to use to promote their Campaign.
• How they motivated their followers to vote.
• How Tusker Trail continued communicating with their entrants once the Campaign had ended.

Let’s get started.

Step #1: Pick a Goal

Setting defined goals is key to running a successful Campaign. Decide: What are the top one or two things (three at the most) you want to achieve?

Here are some common goals we see among ShortStack users:

• Increase brand awareness.
• Promote a new product or service.
• Boost user engagement.
• Gather user feedback.
• Gather user content (photos, video, etc.).
• Develop brand advocates.
• Convert followers into leads.
• Convert followers into sales.
• Grow a social media presence.

Tusker Trail’s primary goal was to generate emails to be used for future marketing efforts.

Their secondary goals were to increase the exposure of the Tusker Trail brand to a relevant audience, and to position the company on social media as an innovative leader in the adventure travel category.

Tusker Trail decided to use a crowdsourcing contest to meet their goals because it allowed them to interact with their followers and collect email addresses. There was also a valuable prize: a trek to one of four destinations.

“We decided to see where people would want to go on a trek rather than creating a destination they may not be interested in,” said Milena Regos, a digital marketing strategist for Out and About Marketing who works with Tusker Trail. “We wanted to save ourselves a potential headache down the road with trying to sell a destination that people may not want.”

The takeaway: Keeping your customers and fans in mind when creating goals will ensure you’re running a meaningful and relevant promotion.


Tusker Trail Crowdsourcing Campaign


Step #2: Determine Where to Place Your Campaign

Once you’ve narrowed down your goals, it’s time to determine where you should host your promotion in order for the widest audience possible to see it. Social networks and software companies have opened the door for a variety of opportunities for placing a campaign. Businesses have the option of hosting a promotion in a single place, such as an individual social network or their website, or they can combine these two strategies.

When Tusker Trail considered the best place to host their promotion, they determined that the more places they could place the promotion the wider an audience they could reach.

Using ShortStack’s publishing features Tusker Trail was able to place their Campaign on their Facebook Page and embed it on their website, essentially doubling the reach of the Campaign.

“If you only put your promotion on Facebook you’re not reaching all of the people that are coming to your website,” said Regos. “If someone is looking to book a trip with Tusker Trail and they go to the website they can see the potential to win a free trip, so why not give them that opportunity?”

The takeaway: Make it easy for visitors to find and enter your promotion from multiple channels.

Step #3: Pick a Promotion Strategy

The most important step in executing a Campaign is promoting it. The “build it and they will come” theory does not work for most marketing campaigns.

Tusker Trail drove all of their Facebook-generated traffic to their Facebook app. This included organic reach from status updates and a small investment in sponsored posts and Facebook ads. It’s smart to only send Facebook fans and users to the Facebook hosted Campaign so that entrants are not limited by whether or not they have a Facebook profile.  All other online followers should be directed to a website or landing page to ensure a user-friendly experience.


Tusker Trail Facebook Sponsored Post


To drive traffic to Campaign Tusker Trail embedded on their website, Tusker Trail purchased banner and display ads using a Google AdWords campaign. These ads led visitors to the homepage of their website where they could access the Campaign.


Tusker Trail Ad


To further their promotions and ensure they reached their entire online audience, Tusker Trail posted about their promotion on their blog, sent an email newsletter to past customers in their email database and posted on Twitter and Google+, directing users on those platforms to Tusker.com.

Finally, Tusker Trail implemented a public relations strategy that included reaching out to industry and local media.

The takeaway: Have a well-rounded promotion strategy that places your campaign in the eyes of as many people as possible.

Step #4: Collect the Results

Analyzing the results of a crowdsourced Campaign are a crucial step in the process. Results determine whether goals were met and help shape a follow-up marketing strategy.

Tusker Trail received 16,174 views to their Campaign, and 4,622 votes. Tusker Trail collected 1,817 new email addresses and, although they weren’t requiring Likes, the contest also resulted in 353 new Facebook fans.

From September 12 through October 31, 2014, Tusker Trail ran Facebook ad campaigns and were able to garner 298,255 impressions and 12,848 clicks at $ 0.26 per click.

When it comes to promoting a campaign, traditional efforts are still valuable. Tusker Trail’s local PR efforts landed them stories in a variety of travel outlets including About.com, Adventure Travel News and The Adventure Travel. These placements allowed their promotion to be tweeted out to an audience well beyond their existing followers.


Tusker Trail Coverage


Ultimately Tusker Trail’s audience voted (in a landslide) for the company to add Patagonia to its lineup.


Tusker Trail Results


The takeaway: A thorough analysis of results can assist in adjusting your strategy for your next promotion.

Step #5: Use the Data

Once a promotion is over there is still more work to do. A significant part of a promotion’s success is using the information and data collected for future marketing efforts.

Tusker Trail prepared a specific follow-up email strategy to target the 1,817 entrants they had on their promotion. They set up a newsletter series that included five emails which were sent out over a period of several months after the promotion ended. The emails included travel tips, guides and information about new treks. Once the series ended the 1,817 people were added to Tusker Trail’s regular email schedule.

“The purpose of the emails is to keep the engagement with the database we’ve collected,” said Regos. “We’re continuing the conversation with our entrants and providing them value at the same time. The emails are not salesy, they’re just informative. Because of this we’re seeing really good open rates and click through rates.”

The takeaway: Have a follow-up marketing strategy in place to continue communicating with entrants and converting them into sales.

**Photo Credit: Out and About Marketing



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How to Crowdsource Blog Content to Increase Website Traffic

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How to Crowdsource Blog Content to Increase Website Traffic image crowdsourcing blog content.jpg

Increasingly, Fortune 500 companies are embracing enterprise crowdsourcing in a big way. For example, when Lays wants to find a new flavor for its brand potato chips, it doesn’t turn to food scientists to mix flavorings. It turns to its Facebook followers for their “Do Us a Flavor” campaign — and offers $ 1 million reward for the best idea. Although this is an extreme example, the approach taken by Lays is one that content marketers can learn from.

Most companies have the ability and network to leverage crowdsourcing for content curation. This is an excellent strategy to gather content ideas for your company’s blog that are not only original but relevant to your customers. Blogging is a powerful tool that will help you become a trusted resource in your niche, and ultimately attract more prospects to your website. Some other positives of this tactic include brand engagement, product development, and overall reputation.

Here are 4 examples on how you can crowdsource blog content ideas:

  1. Leverage comments – With every piece of content you publish, it is important to encourage prospects to comment and share their input. Some ways to encourage this engagement are asking questions at the end of a blog article or sharing the blog with a relevant LinkedIn group. Make sure to monitor the comments and go back with responses and follow-up questions. You may be inspired to write a follow up post or walk away with a new point of view based on what someone has to share.
  2. Ask for feedback with surveys and polls – There are two main advantages of using survey tools and plug-ins for feedback from your customers. One is that you are creating another way for people to engage with your content and the second reason is you are also gathering useful data in the process. Ask your customers for their feedback about your product(s), customer service, and overall experience.
  3. Work with industry influencers – Working with industry influencers and leveraging their expertise is a great way to amplify your content strategy. Try to solicit the opinions and ideas of analysts and thought leaders via publications, LinkedIn, or through business relationships. When compiling tips or advice for a blog post, wouldn’t it be great to create a multi-contributor post with new perspectives for readers? Try sending an email asking thought leaders to contribute to an idea or question within 1 – 2 sentences, they may be more likely to respond, especially if they understand that their contribution will receive attribution.
  4. Take full advantage of social media – Social media is an extremely effective network for crowdsourcing content ideas. This tactic gets your target audience invested and with popular social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, the opportunities for engagement are endless. For instance, you could start a contest on Facebook to gain insights about your product or join LinkedIn groups that are relevant to your industry.

As you can see, there are lots of ways that crowdsourcing your blog content can make your job easier – not to mention more effective. A recent blog article by the Social Media Examiner points out, “The better you can match a consumer’s needs, the more likely they will be to buy from you. The better you can engage them and show that you listen to their needs, the more likely they’ll become loyal customers.”

Crowdsourcing is a content generation tactic worth exploring because any company can turn to their customers and prospects for continued relevancy in their industry and/or on-going development.

Recommended for YouWebcast: The Art of Growth Hacking: Gaining Early Traction by Doing Things that Don’t Scale

Have you tried crowdsourcing before? Where did you see the most success?

How to Crowdsource Blog Content to Increase Website Traffic image 50665518 78ff 4196 96ba bab1f52e9b3c5.png5

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