Video's Multimedia Marketing Appeal

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The Strategy: Visitors to the sprawling Biltmore Estate, tucked in the Great Smoky Mountains of Ashville, North Carolina, are treated to the finer things in life upon arrival: blooming colorful gardens, wine tastings, and 8,000 lush acres. But, while already a popular destination—Biltmore brings in roughly one million tourists a year—the still privately owned National Historic Landmark, originally built as a family retreat by George Washington Vanderbilt between 1889 and 1895, is always looking to drive more awareness and more traffic, says Keith Campbell, online marketing strategist at Biltmore Estate.

The answer: A seasonal, geo-targeted branding campaign centered on the smooth integration of broadcast television and digital video.

“Video's been a very flexible medium for us, obviously on TV, but online, as well,” says Campbell. “The Biltmore is definitely a very visual place, so any way we can incorporate video to try and explain that story and the depth and breadth of experience we offer is good.”

The Channel: The Richards Group, Biltmore's agency, called on integrated digital ad services company MediaMind, a division of DG, for a cross-channel solution to integrate its broadcast and online media. To keep the estate top-of-mind with geographically relevant potential visitors, The Richards Group adapted Biltmore's spring and summer 2012 TV promo into a series of six streaming online videos combined with companion banner ads as support.

The Backend Support: First, The Richards Group geo-targeted specific markets within driving distance of Biltmore—Ashville, Atlanta, Charlotte, Greensboro, Greensville, Knoxville, Raleigh-Durham, Spartanburg, and Winston-Salem—while keeping in mind the estate's key demographic: females age 35 and over, a group known internally as “the Biltmore ladies.” After examining the target audience's consumption levels, The Richards Group bought further traditional and digital media to retarget those markets based on previous engagement, including classic retargeting banners.

Though tracking and analytics are a crucial aspect of any campaign, provable metrics are even more vital when the desired results are about more than ROI—something the agency was easily able to obtain from the MediaMind solution, says Cheryl Huckabay, media principal at The Richards Group.

“Since we were able to target by market and see how many people watched the whole spot, in a way it became self-targeted and we purchased based on that,” Huckabay says. “It's comforting to know there's a basic prevailing interest before we even deliver the video, which means our media dollars are working even harder than they've been in years past.”

The Results: The six digital spots had, on average, a 70% video completion rate—36% higher than the travel industry average.

According to Huckabay, the question of whether to use video or use broadcast is moot—marketers should take advantage of both.

“The way the two spaces complement each other allows us to reach our broadcast viewing goals with the added metric of looking at the digital space,” she says. “They were born to be together.”

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