Baltic Creative Digital House, Studio P, 44 Simpson St, Liverpool L1 0AX

The Brief

In mid-2022 we were delighted to win a contract through a robust tendering process to deliver paid ads for the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority brands, Merseytravel and Mersey Ferries.

Two of the most well-known brands across the Liverpool City Region, they chose us thanks to the detailed analysis we provided along with sample creatives and a clear, transparent price structure that fell within their budget.

They needed a specialist team of experts to deliver engaging digital campaigns across a range of public transport ticketing and visitor attraction products - the first of which was to promote Mersey Ferries' River Explorer Cruises throughout the summer holidays.

This was the first time that the team had invested in a stand-alone specialist digital agency as they sought to drive ROI via the effective set up, management and optimisation of digital campaigns.

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The Process

Our first task on appointment was to learn more about how the business operates, and who they were looking to target for this specific Mersey Ferries campaign.

We were provided with a detailed brief and imagery depicting the iconic Mersey Ferries which our graphic designer turned into stunning, scroll-stopping creatives.

Taking their advice on board, our paid media team and copywriters then developed engaging copy that would appeal to specific audiences they wanted to reach, including grandparents, locals and staycationers.

Everything was then approved and brought together in ad campaigns set up on Meta and Google, ready to launch at the start of August.

Throughout the month, the team kept a close eye on performance and made regular, relevant tweaks to ensure we got the maximum return for spend.

The Outcome

We initially launched 3 different PPC campaigns which included two search campaigns and one performance max campaign. The search campaigns were divided up by:

  • People within the Liverpool City Region searching for activities to do with the children during the summer holidays.
  • People across the UK, googling tourist attractions and things to do in Liverpool during the summer holidays.

The last campaign was the Performance Max campaign. This allows us to create multiple ads and assets and have them distributed across the Google universe including search, Gmail, YouTube, Display, Maps & Discover.

After several days we decided to focus solely on the Performance Max campaign as we were getting the best results and we didn't have the luxury of time to fully hone the results towards a lower cost per sale.

At the end of the 4-week campaign, we had generated over 5,000 clicks at 16p each. From those 5,000+ clicks, we were able to secure 398 sales which averaged 21.8 sales per day.

The value of those sales delivered a return on ad spend of 16.27.

Across Facebook and Instagram, we were looking not just for sales but also for brand awareness, which was an important aspect of the campaign.

Over the 4 weeks, our River Explorer Cruise ads appeared over 485,000 times and recorded 1,122 engagement metrics such as reactions, comments & shares.

In terms of performance, we reported 147 tracked sales (within a 7-day post-click window), giving us a return on ad spend of 3.13.

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The Summary

Across the 4 weeks, we generated 545 tracked sales from the impact of paid advertising across the Google & Meta platforms, with a return on tracked ad spend of 7.37

Additionally, we appeared on mobile screens, desktops, and tablets over half a million times with adverts promoting the River Explorer Cruise.

From the 500,462 people who saw the ads, we were able to drive 10,717 users to the Mersey Ferries website.

Overall website users to the Mersey Ferry website (source: Google Analytics) increased by 23.22% compared to July.

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