Delivering Thousands of Tourism Visits through a Comprehensive Digital Campaign

By Cristen Bozeman, Victoria Belton

Discover how Stamp’s digital strategy drove more than 51K visitors to Columbus, GA. Read time: under 2 minutes

Delivering Thousands of Tourism Visits through a Comprehensive Digital Campaign

Background

Columbus, GA blends artsy energy with local history and a thriving food scene. Visitors enjoy the outdoors, including the longest urban whitewater rafting course in the world, listen to local bands and taste finely brewed beer.

In the summer of 2021, the client applied for and received an Explore Georgia Tourism Recovery Marketing Grant from the Georgia Department of Economic Development. This program was designed to provide relief to areas of the state most impacted by the drop in tourism due to the COVID-19 pandemic and to fund promotional efforts to aid selected destinations in their recovery efforts for the remainder of 2021.

Challenges

COVID-19 brought travel to a standstill. During 2021 travel began to pick back up, but due to budget cuts brought on by the COVID-related loss of bed tax revenue, the Columbus CVB had moved away from all paid advertising and was losing top-of-mind awareness of people who were looking to travel. The campaign launched in July 2021 as people were beginning to resume travel, but by September there was a new COVID variant (Delta). As travel once again became questionable, the decision was made to continue with the campaign – but with organic posts layered in about COVID protocols and safety measures for all who visited (and lived) in Columbus. And in December, yet another COVID variant (Omicron) emerged, further impacting potential travel.

Solution

In collaboration with our digital media partner, we developed a strategy to drive trackable foot traffic to Columbus and specific points of interest within the city and increase website traffic to establish consideration for future visits. Stamp built a campaign using Display and Mobile Device ID tactics to reach the following two target audiences:

  • Custom audience of visitors (non-resident) devices seen in Columbus from July - Dec 2020: Target individuals who visited Columbus in the same time period the year prior with messaging encouraging them to return
  • Travel Intenders: Reach individuals with travel intent who have visited sites like AirBnB, VRBO, Expedia and serve ads in content related to drive market trips

This two-pronged approach ensured that the client’s message would reach the appropriate audience across various mediums and deliver the greatest impact. We focused on 17 specific locations within the area during the campaign which included select hotels, museums, River Walk areas, gardens, and learning centers. The campaign was launched in July 2021 and ran through December 2021.

 

Quick Facts (Across All Segments)

Impressions Ordered

4,425,000

Impressions Delivered

4,450,712

   

Clicks

7,858

CTR

0.18%

Even with the introduction of two new COVID variants during the course of the campaign, it continued to resonate and bring visitors to Columbus.

A total of 18,296 unique visitors traveled to Columbus during the campaign resulting in a $0.61 Cost Per Visit. Of these, more than 450 visited the specific points of interest that were tracked to.

During the campaign, the client's website traffic increased by 119% (93k vs 42k) when compared with the previous timeframe. Total sessions increased by over 110% and organic and direct site visits both increased by over 40%.