Good things are happening at the airport. Our marketing’s a big part of that.VICTOR WHITE
Wichita Airport Authority
former executive director
Wichita’s known as the Air Capital, but for years our community struggled to attract and retain low-fare carriers, offer a good selection of nonstop flights and keep fares competitive with other markets. Today, taking to the skies from ICT has never been better. We’re leveraging Eisenhower National Airport’s gleaming new terminal and roster of legacy and low-fare carriers. As agency of record for the state’s largest airport, we do all we can to keep flights full and people aware of new routes and offers. We take advantage of new airport marketing tactics and tools to engage the flying public. A major goal: drive grassroots efforts to educate travelers about great new connections.
What’s the best season for a vacation? All of them, but fall is especially fabulous and a wonderful time of year to get away. Our campaign plays up the many travel options available, vibrant city escapes and nature-infused, color-exploding fall fun. Our strategy drives travelers directly to a landing page where they can connect with the airline to book a flight. Lifestyle photography combined with playful headlines celebrate the joys of travel, and help people imagine themselves in all kinds of stimulating scenarios. The campaign resonated with travelers and generated impressive results, reminding us to savor the moments and go places.
Our Break Away spring break campaign for Wichita Eisenhower National Airport encourages leisure travelers to grab their buds and blast off. Escaping the everyday. Smashing the routine. And making the destination matter. Digital ads, video designed for social sharing and strategically placed billboards target 28-to-50 year olds looking for family-friendly destinations. Gorgeous photography supports the messages: Bring on the beach, toast the town, pack in the powder, cruise the coast. You’ve waited long enough. Wouldn’t this campaign prompt you to fly?
AIR alludes to the airport and aircraft. But also to the sky’s uplifting, limitless possibilities. More than 80% of readers enjoy Eisenhower AIR on their mobile devices, easily navigating through the varied articles. A dynamic masthead keeps each issue fresh and teases season-appropriate content. We share stories about people, the places they go and adventures they have. We crowdsource stories by running contests, reaching out through digital channels or hitting the phones. We provide updates about new connections, amenities and travel tips. To reach new audiences, we work social media channels and run Facebook and Google ads. Social icons encourage readers to share articles and make the airport even more vital. Like a deep, clean breath of air.
In the first four issues, AIR generated close to 33,000 readers with an open rate of 13%, well above the 3% industry average. People spend twice as long with AIR than any other section on flywichita.com. Readers have come from 49 of the 50 states. The Web Marketing Association named Eisenhower AIR Best Travel Online Magazine in its 2017 Internet Advertising Competition (IAC) Awards.
Contests generated a 45% increase in website traffic.
The arrival of Alaska Airlines at Eisenhower National Airport meant big changes for Wichita travelers. Direct flights to Seattle, easy access to the West Coast and service by the No. 1 airline in annual quality rankings. We helped the airport get the message out before Alaska’s arrival. TV spots, banner ads and digital billboards gave Wichitans reasons to “Catch the Nonstop to Seattle.” A landing page on the website and email blast informed passengers. A fall feature in Eisenhower AIR gave Seattle trip ideas well before launch. Our #SightsOnSEA contest offered a chance to win a free trip and a way to share the news socially. By the time the first Alaska plane landed in April 2017, the brand was already an old friend. Daily flights leaving early evening mean you can wake up with some of Seattle’s famous joe.
Offering a Southwest Airlines’ Phoenix getaway for two promoted the new, nonstop route to Phoenix, and increased awareness of the short connection through Phoenix to multiple cities on the west coast. We asked travelers to share their travel stories for a chance to win. The winning story landed a feature in our fall issue of Eisenhower AIR. Facebook ads helped extend our online reach with almost a quarter-million impressions. While the contest lasted a little more than two weeks, it generated more than 32,000 visits to the What a Trip page on flywichita.com and 262 story entries.
Participants created and tagged photo submissions on Facebook, driving awareness of Allegiant’s new nonstop service from Wichita Eisenhower National Airport to Orlando-Sanford International. The intuitive, easy-to-use contest generated the airport’s greatest participation to date with a 135 percent increase over previous photo-entry contests and a website traffic bump of 45%. The randomly selected winner was notified the day service started – May 25 – that she’d landed round-trip airfare for her family, a $500 Visa gift card and more.