We began working with easyJet and their travel media provider, Ink, during the toughest time in history for the travel sector. Industry-wide changes taking place meant they needed a reactive digital strategy and a comprehensive plan for the future. Traditionally, all of easyJet’s travel inspiration content sat in their inflight editorial, ‘easyJet Traveller’. Unable to inspire travellers mid-flight, easyJet were under pressure. We needed to evolve easyJet’s purely transactional digital marketing approach so that it inspired future travellers, tapping into activity at the top of the funnel—an area they have not given attention to in recent years.
To inform our approach, we conducted a thorough research project, talking to travellers to uncover how they engaged with content both before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. We found that our audience were engaging with branded content anywhere between 40 to 100 times before actually booking a trip. With this information in mind, it was clear to us that we needed not only to produce thousands of pieces of travel content, but we needed a slick content-first digital hub to house editorial and video.
Understanding that the platform needed to be created with the user in mind, we went about extensive UX and UI research and testing with the aim of discovering how we could create an experience online through the platform. We wanted to engage with audiences in a way that was completely new to the industry. The platform needed to be easy to use and vibrant, to reflect easyJet’s tone, whilst being accessible and providing a great experience for mobile users at the same time. It was during this phase that we uncovered the popularity and rise in ‘stories’ formats, seen on the likes of Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and, most recently LinkedIn. With over 500 million people using the stories feature across social every day, we understand it would be hugely valuable to easyJet’s audience. We aimed to replicate this format on our platform, hosting video in this way to create truly connected experiences and provide familiarity for our travel users.
We needed a robust technology capable of housing all our beautiful travel content, which led us to the decision to use our own headless CMS, the root, which we built for the purpose of telling powerful stories, designed to inspire and delight. We built out the platform in a matter of weeks, as a progressive web application, understanding the need to be reactive given the ever-changing environment we found ourselves in.
Working with INK, we went about producing the content to populate our inspiration hub. This included travel guides for all 30 of easyJet’s destinations, editorial around reactive content themes stemmed from social listening, such as the 10 best undiscovered beaches in Europe, to truly provide a unique experience for our audience. Alongside this content, we wrote editorial around key sales themes for easyJet, working to align with the wider brand strategy and teams. We deployed a strategic content approach, with content to fill all stages of the funnel, creating touchpoints with the user throughout the entire buyer journey, integrating the platform with easyJet’s transactional sites to create an experience without disconnect, and drive conversion.
After producing thousands of unique pieces of travel content, and a hub to inspire, both the tree and INK worked collaboratively on the promotional strategy, creating material across social, whilst pushing the site through easyJet’s CRM, and further amplifying reach through the integrating into an app format. This was made possible through our choice of CMS, the root, allowing us to syndicate content from website to app formats, allowing our audience to access content in a mobile-first scenario, offline, meaning easyJet had the ability to inspire and captivate their audience anytime, anywhere.
We created the easyJet Traveller platform with commercial viability in mind, allowing the content hub to be self-sustainable through sponsorship opportunities with branded partners such as Twisper – one of the latest social and traveler networks for reviews in Europe, which we signed a partnership with to commercialise content on platform, providing an additional revenue stream for easyJet alongside driving bookings for the next wave of travel adventures.