Explore New Zealand
Explore New Zealand is a section of the GO Rentals site that was set up in order to provide highly relevant content to customers looking for rental cars in New Zealand. Working with Digital Hothouse, GO Rentals created a sub-brand for the Explore section of the site in order to differentiate the offering from their ‘traditional’ car rental focussed content. For Digital Hothouse, this was an early opportunity to move into the content marketing space and to help drive more relevant traffic to the GO Rentals site.
Website Design and Development
Driving traffic, raising brand awareness
When the Explore section first launched, there was no real strategy behind the content that was being produced. The section started off as a simple ‘Travel Blog’, providing super-helpful tips for people visiting New Zealand. It covered places to visit, events, activities and things to do. Whilst the content was useful to the visitors who found it, not many people were finding it.
The section of the site launched in 2012. Digital Hothouse took over the full control and management of the section in 2015. Whilst we knew there was a lot of good blog content, we wanted to do something different. We wanted to drive traffic to the site, but we also wanted to raise brand awareness.
Whilst the blogs were great at letting people know about events and activities throughout New Zealand, there was no real link back to the GO Rentals brand.
We needed to change this.
Expanding the content and the reach
The first thing we did was research the gaps in the content market within the sector. Whilst no other rental car companies were investing in content marketing, there was lots of competition from other sites within the tourism sector.
One area we identified was road trip itineraries. People often rely on travel agents to help plan routes and itineraries when visiting New Zealand and we felt with the knowledge and expertise within both the Digital Hothouse team, the GO Rentals team and most importantly, the GO Rentals customer base, we had an untapped reserve of information when it comes to planning a trip around New Zealand.
We decided to create a series of road trip itineraries that were driven by staff and customers, as well as utilising our own knowledge of the country. In total, we launched the Trip Planner section with 82 itineraries covering the length and breadth of New Zealand. This helped us to tap into a huge volume of search queries both in New Zealand and overseas from people searching for tips on things to do between certain locations.
From there, the Explore section has continued to grow, adding new sections to the site every year based on research and feedback.
Outreach and Social Media
By creating this new section of the site, we opened up a whole world of outreach possibilities. This allowed us to promote our content through social media platforms but importantly, to reach out to other related travel sites and bloggers in order to drive links back to the content.
The GO Explore Facebook page has a huge following – 408,000 and counting. Whilst previously we had been able to push out blog content to them, they needed more in order to drive engagement. These road trip itineraries gave us the perfect content to push. As well as sharing each of the itineraries, we were also able to push out the individual tips and destination recommendations as separate posts, helping to drive engagement and reach and most importantly, clicks.
Whilst it took a bit of time to gather traction, once it did, there has been no looking back. Over the past 4 years, both traffic and revenue from the Explore section have gone through the roof. We are driving highly relevant traffic to the site, through itineraries, blogs, city guides, Spotify playlists, infographics and more. With strong CTAs in place, we are managing to drive conversions to the GO Rentals site from people who arrive to look at things to do in New Zealand and end up booking their rental car through GO – a true success story for content marketing.