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Louisiana Travel crafted a paid strategy to fill in the gaps of its historically slow months and to kick off its campaign year focused on culinary journeys. Kyle Edmiston, Assistant Secretary at Louisiana Office of Tourism said, “November and December are much slower because we’re not in broadcast at that time, and we’re more dependent on social.”

In November 2014, the tourism board partnered with Louisiana State University (LSU) football team on a promoted tweet that was published through LSU’s community to tell its fans to follow Louisiana Travel’s Twitter account for a chance to win a signed football.

Once that acquisition strategy was in motion, the team crafted a blog post about seven locations in the state where the HBO drama True Detective was filmed. This content was part of a tweet that was served during airtime of the cable series, in hopes to capture a captive audience willing to click-through its website.

“We had preliminary results from [shows filmed in Louisiana] Swamp People and Duck Dynasty. During the [past] Facebook promotion, we saw that it drove viewership of those shows to our pages. True Detective is a truly popular show, and being able to tie into that interest of people, drives content, and engages users, [a greenlight for Twitter’s TV targeting]” said Edmiston.

For the entire month of January 2015, the promoted tweets focused on food and drink in form of drool-worthy photos and one video. Edmiston explained that Louisiana has four distinct experiences that sets it apart. “Under our current Lt. governor, each year we narrowed down the focus to music in 2013, culture in 2014, and food in 2015,” he said.

Louisiana Travel varied the types of tweets, including a photo of Jambalaya with a link to the recipe on a Louisiana culinary trails website and a tantalizing video about barbecue shrimp.

The approach of having different types of tweets was a campaign and a study in itself. “General consensus was having the clickthrough to get more content or a recipe worked better than just the photo,” said Edmiston.

For the one promoted video tweet — a shorter version of one of four of its food-related television commercials — he claimed that it was the most successful. “We saw a significant lift [from the 1.57 million promoted video impressions] during the campaign running this one ad, even though there wasn’t a direct link to YouTube page,” said Edmiston.

It is unclear as to how this is being tracked because the video was uploaded directly to Twitter and it does not clickthrough to its YouTube channel. The hunch is that people wanted to see more video, so they deferred to Louisiana Travel’s YouTube.

When asked why the promoted video did the best, Edmiston said, “I think it’s a combination: The build up of the [paid] campaign that put us in front of the consumer and video enhancing the senses.”

From November 2014 to January 2015, Louisiana Travel implemented six Twitter ad products that resulted in 23,500 new followers and a 2,593% increase in Twitter-referred website traffic.

Overall, Louisiana Travel was pleased with the partnership. For them, they reached the KPIs that they set in the beginning of the campaign and after 30 days, he claimed that, “We have lost very little [from paid acquisition], a 1.4% unfollow rate. One of the best things that we were able to takeaway from this campaign, is that the people who interacted with that content are staying with us. We will be checking again in six months time.”

Photo Credit: A promoted tweet about Jambalaya with photo and a link to its recipe. Louisiana Travel / Twitter