In late 2014, the Kansas Office of Tourism & Travel partnered with Simpleview’s Destination Travel Network to offer advertising on the state tourism website to Kansas DMOs and other state tourism-related businesses, such as museums, tour operators, transportation companies, and lodging.
- Open up a new, ongoing funding source by monetizing the website
- Provide an online marketing opportunity to tourism-related businesses in Kansas
- Offer compelling and targeted sponsored content to website visitors
Within weeks of engaging with DTN, the TravelKS.com advertising program was live. DTN integrated their ad-serving technology with the CMS and website, developed a media kit, and commenced sales and marketing activities. In addition, the team managed ad creative, sourcing, campaign management and performance reporting for both the DMO and advertisers.
In short, Kansas’ tourism office benefited from a turn-key digital advertising program, requiring zero internal resources, while receiving a healthy margin of the sales from DTN. By responsibly protecting internal resources and leveraging DTN’s expert digital advertising sales and operations teams to manage all aspects of the program, the DMO’s revenue stream from the program is purely new funding.
The Kansas Office of Tourism & Travel now has dozens of participating advertisers featured on their website (including more than 10 city-level DMOs), and receives thousands of dollars in new monthly revenue with no strings attached.
Participating advertisers have continuously experienced ongoing positive results, with the program providing an annual average click-through rate (CTR) of .35% on placements in the first year- a considerably better performance than the display advertising national average of .1% (i.e. Google Display Network). Advertisers utilizing a sponsored header image are enjoying a CTR of nearly 2%! The high CTRs are a direct result of the native ad units’ seamless, tasteful integration into the site design, and are a reflection of the relevance of the sponsored content to visitors. In 2015 alone, the DMO generated over 6.5M impressions for advertisers, and sent over 20,000 leisure-traveler referrals to program participants. What’s more, several advertisers are reporting that TravelKS.com is now their top-referring website!