Namibia Online Marketing Campaign Reaches 6 Million People

The MCC-funded “Conservation Destination” campaign reaches over 6 million people through social media, education and a sweepstakes to raise awareness for Namibia’s exceptional conservation-based tourism assetsFour animated characters were used as ambassadors for the campaign.

Launched on Earth Day 2012, “Conservation Destination” wasdesigned and implemented by Solimar International for the Namibia Tourism Board  as an innovative social media and inbound marketing campaign to raise awareness of the country’s diverse tourism products – specifically wildlife-oriented travel opportunities.

For six weeks, a high-profile sweepstakes and rich educational content about Namibia’s conservation activities and the role they play in creating exciting travel opportunities were pushed through Facebook Twitter , and the Namibia Tourism Board’s blog.

The campaign led to significant growth in the size of the NTB’s online communities, over 6 million global impressions, and nearly 3,000 new sales leads.

Namibia’s excellent conservation record offered a competitive advantage when considering destination branding. Market research indicated that travelers are more likely to select a destination that preserves its natural, historic and cultural sites. Highlighting “wildlife conservation” rather than just “wildlife observation” as a travel activity also allowed for broader outreach to communities in non-traditional tourism marketing audiences such as zoos, wildlife conservation and non-profit organizations.

In order to strengthen the of the campaign, Solimar enlisted the support of four groundbreaking Namibian conservation organizations: Cheetah Conservation Fund Nambian Coast Conservation and Management Project Namib Desert Environmental Educational Trust  and the Save the Rhino Trust . These organizations added significant global credentials and supported the development of unique content for the two elements of the campaign: a conservation-focused sweepstakes and cross-platform educational engagement activities.

The unique content, contest and conversation were promoted through several online channels:

    • “Conservation ambassador” characters were created on Facebook and Twitter to represent each partner and highlight real-life conservation issues while driving traffic to the NTB Facebook page and sweepstakes.
    • Over 30 blog entries, 100 Facebook posts and 200 tweets were created to ensure that the country remains the world’s “greatest conservation story ever told.”
    • 53 campaign distribution partners such as international tour operators, environmental non-profit organizations, world-renowned zoos, were enlisted to help spread the “Conservation Destination” message.
    • Facebook advertising was used to target specific groups and interests within the Facebook community such as wildlife conservation and safaris.

Needless to say, wildlife conservation is a topic that inspires people all around the world. Namibia’s commitment to conservation and the tangible results that enhance the visitor experience have inspired a new global audience interested in traveling to the country.

    • The tourism board’s Facebook community size grew nearly 3000% over the duration of the campaign – welcoming nearly 3,000 new members into Namibia Tourism Board’s online family.
    • The number of individuals interacting with the Facebook page – those stopping by to read an article or watch a video – was over 8,000.
    • The campaign’s reach – the number of people exposed to the campaign as a result of the NTB’s Facebook activities, was 1.6 million.
    • Including the community reach of the conservation partners, the campaign’s total reach was over 6.4 million.
    • More than 2,700 new “leads” were created from individuals who registered on the website, allowing the NTB to continue to supply the new online community with targeted messages about Namibia – driving them from interest to bookings.
“We rely confidently on Solimar's deep technical experience and professionalism as tourism consultants. You always are exceeding our expectations.”
Leila Calnan, Senior Manager, Tourism Services Cardno Emerging Markets

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