The travel company boosted incremental add-to-cart conversions by 8 points—and reduced its cost per conversion by 27%—after it started running video ads on Instagram in addition to Facebook alone.
Sunweb Group is one of Europe’s leading travel groups. It offers centralized organization and in-house content creation for numerous brands operating in seven international markets—the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, UK, Germany and France—and serves more than one million clients a year.
lift in initiated checkout conversions
higher lift in add-to-cart conversions
decrease in incremental cost per add-to-cart
Sunweb Group wanted to boost online sales for its early booking season in addition to its ongoing Facebook dynamic ads strategy. It wanted to test if Instagram Stories and video ads would drive incremental sales and be more efficient compared to using Facebook placements only.
Sunweb’s early booking campaigns created a sense of urgency by reminding people they could secure lower prices by booking sooner rather than later. The campaigns ran across TV, radio and Facebook, but Sunweb wanted to test whether running Instagram and Facebook ads together would prove more efficient in driving incremental sales than running Facebook ads alone. To run this test, Sunweb teamed up with its account team and marketing science partner at Facebook, as well as its Facebook Marketing Partner Smartly.
Sunweb created a video with two variations using Smartly.io’s video templates. Following best practices to drive conversions, they opened with a clear benefit, and included concise messaging and eye-catching movement (with an airplane graphic) early in the ad. The ads also drove action by flagging the Swipe up function. Video templates allowed Sunweb to tweak the videos according to its brand guidelines, including a custom font and colors. It used a 4:5 video aspect ratio for feed and 9:16 for Stories.
Running in Belgium between November 2018–February 2019, the campaign posted strong results. Both campaigns—Facebook alone, and Facebook with Instagram—drove incremental conversions, confirming they are an essential part of Sunweb’s media mix. However, Instagram with Facebook drove a 6-point higher lift in bookings and an 8-point higher lift in add-to-cart conversions than Facebook alone. Impressively, the “add to cart” conversion cost was 27% lower per acquisition.