Established in 2005, Simba Travel arranges flights into and out of Uganda through Entebbe Airport, catering mainly for business travellers, although it is now extending its range of services into the city break, safari and holiday trades. It has merged with other companies in the sector in order to facilitate its move into a wider range of travel services. It is the only local travel management company to have achieved ISO 2009:2015 Certification.
Emarkable’s campaign for Simba Travelcare was based largely on driving more traffic to the site, but it was recognised that the social media platforms which form the basis of most marketing campaigns might not be as effective as usual, as there is a lower level of internet use amongst Simba’s potential customer group. Nevertheless, social media marketing would play an important role, alongside email marketing.
The website needed to be redesigned with a view to making it more interesting and engaging, thereby holding the attention of visitors to the site. Content, text and images had to be good, and would have to be updated on a regular basis. SharpSpring marketing automation would also be used. There should also be Calls to Action and special offers, as well as Live Chat.
Emarkable used its own Elevate programme to form the basis of the marketing automation capabilities of Simba’s new system, and worked to streamline and simplify the booking system. The main target of the campaigns is Uganda’s business customers, and to compete with the online flight portals we needed to differentiate the company on service, especially the offering of 24hr service, dedicated account managers and risk free cancellation/rebooking facility, along with the simplified booking system.
Search engine optimisation and customer relationship management are by no means unique to the Simba Travelcare campaign but needed to be realigned to ensure they are as effective as possible in a relatively new market.
The research that formed the basis of the campaign included the auditing of all the social media platforms and strategy, focussing particularly on LinkedIn, on which there was to be a workshop with staff members to train them in connecting with potential clients and generating leads. Search engine optimisation and its strategy, content and content strategy and the website user experience also needed to be monitored and adapted as and when necessary. Setting up an analytics review, and the establishment of Key Performance Indicators, together with competitor analysis, were also key elements of the process.
This research enabled Simba Travelcare and Emarkable to devise a written digital marketing strategy, together with content and editorial guidelines.
The campaigns relied more heavily than usual on emails, using the SharpSpring platform, and the email campaign was designed to be run on a weekly basis, alongside the website and other social media. Working from the social media sites there were high conversion landing pages. In order to support the campaigns, we designed and implemented the emails, developed blogs to drive search engine optimisation results, and posted content on Facebook and LinkedIn. As this work will be utilising SharpSpring, measuring the Return on Investment of each campaign will enable us to be flexible and responsive in the development of further strategies, ensuring that we focus on the successful aspects as we revise and refine the content of the social media platforms and the emails.
As part of our future work with Simba, the Return on Investment for the campaigns will be monitored, and refinements made as necessary.