Tourisme Montreal evolves 100% digi strategy

The organization moved to an all-digital media strategy in 2009, and is now using a new SEM technique to engage its US target audience for its summer campaign.

Last year, facing a bleak tourism market and a tight budget, Tourisme Montreal turned to an all-digital strategy in order to maximize reach and dollars invested.

It worked so well – generating a 51% increase in promotional-offer conversions and a 19.5% increase in unique visits to the Tourisme Montreal website – that it decided to again pursue the digital strategy in 2010.

With planning and buying by Magnet Search Marketing, a division of Cossette, the organization’s recently launched summer campaign is focused on a strictly SEM strategy, utilizing the Sid Lee video creative launched last year.

The SEM campaign is two-pronged, Dany Pedneault, account director, Magnet Search Marketing, tells MiC. Targeting the northeastern US and California markets, the SEM strategy focuses on broad travel keywords, targeting potential American vacationers searching for a destination (i.e. search terms such as ‘travel ideas’ or ‘destinations’) at the beginning of their search, and uses a new Google product called Video Extensions.

Still in beta and only available in the US market, Video Extensions is a small tag on the traditional Google text ads that, when clicked, activates a video player that opens up right on the search page. The user can then view the video without having to click all the way through to the website. If the user does want to click through, it drives them to the Tourisme Montreal YouTube brand channel.

As of last week, the campaign had helped to generate 80,000 new views on the brand’s YouTube channel (out of a total of over 600,000 since the channel was first launched in 2008).

‘This is a way to directly engage the user on the Google page,’ Pedneault explains. ‘Right now we’re getting around 8,000 to 10,000 on the video per day in the US. Since we are live only in the Northeast and California, that’s pretty impressive; this is only for broad travel keywords.’