Perception Change

Visit Eastbourne

Project Overview

Leading UK seaside destination

The history of Eastbourne is rooted in tourism. Centred around its Victorian seafront, the town features some of the most iconic coastal locations in Britain. Despite its vibrant visitor heritage, Visit Eastbourne knows that its success depends not on peak-time triumphs, but on improved mid-week occupancy figures.

It is therefore essential that Eastbourne keeps pace with the expectations of UK holidaymakers across a range of demographics. Stepping away from its traditional marketing, Eastbourne struck up a partnership with Digital Visitor to enact positive perception change for the seaside town and bring its digital marketing to the cutting edge. The results were telling.

Solving the riddle

Our core objectives

Kind words

With a move towards social media as a marketing channel, our aim for the campaign was a positive shift in the perception of Eastbourne as a UK destination. And we have been very pleased with the results of our social media campaigns so far, and how they’ve driven engagement with our target market.

Lisa Martin-Smith Marketing Manager, Visit Eastbourne

What we did

Our approach

You may think of Eastbourne as a traditional British seaside resort. But there’s more to it than that; culinary experiences, stunning geography and cultural heritage. With that in mind, we’ve been working with Eastbourne to bring these unexplored treasures to life amongst new audiences on social media. And in doing so we’ve demonstrated that the town is more than somewhere to enjoy an ice cream on a sunny weekend.

…we’ve demonstrated that the town is more than somewhere to enjoy an ice cream on a sunny weekend.

While our efforts to promote Eastbourne as a week-round destination are ongoing, we have also collaborated on a number of ‘hero’ campaigns. Right from the outset these campaigns were wildly successful, unveiling national treasure Michael Strachan as Eastbourne’s celebrity ambassador.

Working closely with Michaela, our creative team worked on and launched a short video series designed to emphasise Eastbourne’s lesser-known delights. To maximise the impact of the video series, our teams developed and implemented two interactive Facebook campaigns. In order to enter these competitions, users had to watch the relevant clip and answer a question relating to it. This approach not only ensured holidaymaker education, but enabled us to capture the contact details of potential visitors.

To be truly successful, every campaign mechanic requires a promotional strategy. For Visit Eastbourne this happened in two ways. Firstly, we ran a strategic advertising campaign across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. This campaign, which made use of a number of native formats was focused on driving video views and website clicks from those who we knew would be interested in travel to Eastbourne.

Secondly, within our social media activity we integrated an end-to-end influencer campaign. This in itself prompted three differing approaches – giveaways, blogger trips and event experiences – enabling us to tell the full story of Eastbourne through voices most trusted by the target audience.

Ultimately, our partnership with Eastbourne delivered the KPIs agreed before the campaign. But our success together goes beyond that, with the ‘STR Coastal Town Review’ for 2016 noting that compared with other similar resorts ‘Eastbourne showed relatively stable occupancy figures throughout the week…’. This was an improvement on the previous year’s figures and demonstrates that our efforts in social have a definite effect on the booking patterns of those visiting Eastbourne.

The results

Delivering on our word

To date, our ongoing social media marketing efforts for Visit Eastbourne have surpassed even our expectations. To be able to demonstrate a positive shift in booking patterns as a result of social media activity is a watershed moment in the industry.