Located in one of the most incredible landscapes of the country, Zmar is the largest eco-resort of Portugal. With the hope of reconnecting people with nature through unexpected places, we created a website and a digital marketing strategy inspired by the calmness and sustainability that are so deeply rooted in Zmar’s lifestyle.
Services: Digital Advertising; Social Media; Web Dev.; Digital Marketing.
Benchmark — Where does Zmar fit in Alentejo?
Early on it was very important to take a look at the competitors’ digital footprint and see how Zmar benchmarks with them. So we compared it with some different types of lodging websites in the area.
Website Funnel — Book, book, book.
Our main website was fully developed having into account the focus in booking rooms and booking events. Events are a big part of an eco-resort focused on families. The chatbot was key to help increase CRO, and the main featured hero banners were always updated according to each campaign.
Performance Marketing Takes Center Stage.
After verifying that conversions and website visits dropped during the low season, Zmar tasked us with creating a digital marketing strategy focused on performance. The main goal was to help them stand out on the shelf and drive brand awareness and sales through paid social and paid search ads.
Online Strategy Definition for Success
Since we didn’t start from scratch, we had to mind map every channel and asset to come up with the right strategy for Zmar. So, we studied and benchmarked their industry, competitors, and their positioning to identify gaps in performance and uncover opportunities to improve.
Zmar has over ten years of history, so our main goal was to find unique ways to recapture their audience’s interest and to distinguish the brand from the other players in their niche.
So, how did we stay ahead of the pack? We used the best content and copy through sponsored posts on Facebook, Instagram (feed and stories), and Facebook events to engage more audience.
This way, it was much easier to drive brand awareness and loyalty and to link Zmar to family-oriented vacations, memorable moments, and themed holidays.
Paid Social Ads to Reach a Targeted Audience — Fast.
To increase visits and sales it was required a deep understanding of Zmar’s target market and the kinds of content they would respond to. Considering these requirements, we launched Social Media Advertising campaigns to get higher click-through rates and increase bookings.
Youtube Ads with Engaging, Relevant Content.
On Youtube Ads, content is as important as strategy. So, we showed these ads to as many people as we could in our target audience at the most efficient price. Showcasing Zmar’s lodges in action through YouTube ads was the single best way to make an impact.
We interpreted the consideration stage as the moment when a new audience triggers a response to content and seeks to know more about the resort. So, here we considered the main channels to be: organic search, direct traffic, and paid search.
After a while, we started to notice that users from these channels were browsing more and staying more time on the website. And that was a big step for conversion.
Getting the Most Out of Our Paid Social Ads.
Facebook and Instagram were the most popular networks with our target audience. So, we dove into two paid social ads strategies: retargeting website visitors and lookalike audiences — to push new visitors. Thankfully, we had great content from Zmar seasonal offers to promote with social ads, which was crucial to driving traffic and conversion.
Paid Seach Advertising with a Plot Twist.
It’s very common in accommodation businesses to launch “branded keywords” campaigns, so competitors and marketplaces won’t outreach you. But we decided to take a different approach by starting to target medium and long-tail keywords, focused on expressions and questions. With the same investment, we got back on the horse with an 80% top page rate on SERPs.
Since Zmar is a premium lodge, it is usual to perform below the average conversion rate on new users as they need more time and information to decide their upcoming holidays.
But we were prepared for that.
Remarketing campaigns became our biggest allies as we pinpointed high-quality prospects that visited the website and used retarget paid ads (Facebook Ads and Google Display) to promote events and services, like the indoor heated pool, the Kidz experience, and the restaurant.
Luckily checkout abandonment rate started to decrease, as we showed ads with more precision and in the right time window to these prospects.
Here we have two campaign examples where we saw the most promising results:
Science4You — An Ecological Event for Kids.
At the beginning of the year, Zmar organized a special event for kids in partnership with Science4You. With a broad offer, we promoted posts and Instagram Stories, created events, and target ads to Zmar’s followers’ friends on Facebook.
The Perfect Resort for a Family Break.
We knew our target audience would be parents and big families. So, we created special campaigns to promote resort features that would be relevant to our audience. As we ensured that our ads were shown to people most likely to convert, we had our best click-through rate — 15%.
After a 3-month learning period, we’re able to optimize results with the same budget, resulting in increased bookings and sales in February — the best growth we registered.
All campaigns were in sync in the marketing funnel, and every channel, particularly organic search displayed a big increase.
Bottom line, in 6 months of low season, we increased 50% in overall website sessions, and at the same time, we reduced the bounce rate and brought new users: +70% to be precise.