Mobile app travel company Hopper used ads in Instagram Stories to reach millennial North American travelers and entice them to download its app and book flights, resulting in an 80% higher booking rate for new users.
Launched as a mobile app in 2015, Hopper is a travel company that uses big data to predict the future of airfares, so that people can get the best deal when booking flights. Today, Hopper is one of the fastest growing travel apps ever, with over 17 million installs.
higher rate of app installs
higher flight searches/monitoring rate for new users
higher booking rate for new users
Hopper wanted to generate app installs and flights sales by advertising their service to potential travelers who are already comfortable with booking travel on mobile.
Hopper’s playful travel brand features destination illustrations that get a lot of engagement on social media. As a natural extension of its organic strategy, Hopper decided to use its existing creative assets in a new Instagram ad campaign.
Hopper’s strategy was to run ads in Instagram Stories—a full-screen ad format appearing in Instagram News Feed—and to test this approach against ads run on other platforms. Hopper’s ads in Stories campaign was targeted to a broad audience of millennials, who are already comfortable purchasing products and services on apps. It used common travel interests and Facebook lookalike audiences to reach people who were most likely to be interested.
Using its massive amount of flight pricing data, the company promoted hundreds of deals every week using illustrations of dream destination locations—like the Taj Mahal or the Giza pyramids—as well as major departure cities in the US and Canada.
While other companies focus on travelers who are ready to book, Hopper targets its campaigns to young people who will travel in the near future but want to plan further in advance. The app is able to keep them engaged by sending price alerts via push notifications when the prices drop.
The test of ads in Instagram Stories (which started July 1, 2017) to generate app installs and convert new leads was a huge success, reaching 7.5 million people in the US and Canada. Ads in Instagram Stories performed better than ads in all other social media channels, and Instagram Stories is now Hopper’s top channel for user engagement.
Compared to other channels, ads in Instagram Stories resulted in a 67% higher rate of app installs and an 80% higher booking rate for new users. The flight search/monitoring rate for new users was also 50% higher. In the US, ads in Stories achieved 90% higher conversion rates, while in Canada, conversion rates were 135% higher.