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Fairytale Cottages marketing and PR campaign by Sykes Cottages

Tim Gibbon (Social Media Portal (SMP)) - 15 November 2013

Fairytale Cottages experimental blogger outreach and social media campaign

Sykes Cottages uses digital platforms to test online channels for its Fairytale Cottages marketing and public relations campaign

Skyes Cottages logoCampaign name: Fairytale Cottages
Brand: Sykes Cottages
Audience: Holiday-goers
Regions: UK
Duration: 22/11/2013 – on-going
Channels: Blogger outreach, social media
Budget: £6K

Social Media Portal (SMP): Agency behind the campaign

Sykes Cottages (SC): Epiphany Solutions

SMP: Name of the brand

SC: Sykes Cottages, an independent cottage rental agency.

SMP: The official campaign name and why was it chosen?

SC: The official campaign name is Fairytale Cottages, the name was really chosen so it slips in subtly with the other category names on the website.

SMP: What was the start and end of the campaign?

SC: The campaign went live on October 22nd. At the moment, we see it as being open ended based on success. We will, of course, measure results, but in theory the content can continue to make its rounds on social media for months to come.

Sykes Cottages straw house Fairytale Cottages image

SMP: The target audiences of the campaign, who are you trying to reach and why?

SC: We’re trying to target the type of people who would not necessarily consider a cottage holiday with Sykes. This could be either younger professionals who we know consume this type of content online, but would not necessarily choose a cottages break, or parents who would perhaps not have heard of the Sykes brand before but would be interested in their product.

SMP: Briefly, tell us about your campaign

SC: The campaign is really an experiment to get more people aware of the Sykes brand and get them talking about us online. Fairytale cottages seemed like a great way to do this. We decided to launch and promote them just as we would any other property to peak people’s curiosity and plenty have been happy to get in on the fun.

SMP: Is this the first digital / social campaign from Sykes Cottages (if not what other initiatives have their been) and why this approach now?

SC: This is the first content marketing-led digital campaign that Sykes Cottages has
embarked upon. We plan to continue this approach going forward, with different and varied types of content and hopefully see continued success.

SMP: What are the goals / objectives of the campaign and why is it different?

SC: The goals of this campaign are to build on the engagement Sykes already have on social media, both by encouraging existing fans to comment and acquiring new fans. This, in turn, will translate to increased traffic to the Sykes website and increased brand recognition. It is really an exercise in extending the Sykes brand to a wider range of people.

SMP: What are the channels, platforms and methods you’re using?

SC: The main campaign is hosted on the Sykes domain as one of the primary objectives was to drive further traffic to the website. We have then used Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest to push the campaign out, but we were very keen to promote these fairytale cottages as we would any other property so we have replicated Sykes’ other campaigns as much as possible. Finally, we had bloggers produce ‘reviews’ to extend the campaign further. We really wanted to make those who interacted with the campaign to feel like they were part of the fun.

Sykes Cottages Facebook homepage

SMP: Why have you decided to choose bloggers for elements of this campaign and how are you reaching out to them?

SC: We chose to use bloggers because they already have an engaged fan base of their own that we could expose to the campaign and Sykes brand. We really wanted to get these fairytale cottages in front of as many eyes as possible and this seemed like a great way to do it while guaranteeing we reached out target audience.

SMP: How are you gaining interesting and have them write about the campaign?

SC: We already have great relationships with bloggers, so we used those relationships to get them interested in what we were working on in this instance.

SMP: What are you achieving?

SC: So far at this early stage of the campaign, the pages have been shared over 1,200 times across different social networks and achieved coverage on a number of high-profile blogs, including Bored Panda and In the Playroom. This has resulted in an increase of 5% in referral traffic to the Sykes site from social media.

SMP: What are you doing to measure the campaign and what measurement tools do you have in place to do this?

SC: We have tracking in place (using our internal tools) to measure how the content is being shared across the social networks were using, as well as using the networks’ own analytics. We're also using Google Analytics to measure increases in referral traffic.
Sykes Cottages ginger bread Fairytale Cottages marketing campaign
SMP: What is the budget used for the campaign?

SC: Circa £6,000

SMP: How are you making the campaign social?

SC: We wouldn’t say we’re trying to make the campaign social as we don’t want it to seem too forced. We are using Sykes’ social channels to promote it and reach out to influencers, but by nature the content is really sharable. We also have integrated social sharing buttons and comment facilities on the pages themselves.

SMP: Are there any dedicated hashtags or social media profiles for the campaign?

SC: No, we are promoting this campaign through Sykes' existing social media profiles.

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