Turn your video marketing strategy off autopilot: What we can learn from this airline brand

The average Aussie gets 20 vacation days every year. So it’s not surprising that when it comes to booking their annual getaway, people like to take their time and do online research before committing to anything. Read on to find out how video helped one travel marketer convert undecided customers.

A video marketing campaign that inspired action

The challenge

United Airlines is a major American airline operating a large domestic and international route network, with an extensive presence in the Asia-Pacific region. When it comes to their customers, the online space plays a major part in their overall journey. From research to planning to booking a flight, they needed to find new ways to inspire undecided travelers to book.

The solution

While their goal was straightforward, the channel its marketing team used achieve it was unconventional. They leaned on video, a tool they’d only ever used for brand-building efforts. Wanting to drive greater conversions, they tested more personalised and engaging media.

They created a 15-second video featuring people on vacation in breathtaking places – sandy beaches, bustling markets, Alpine wonderlands – and rewound it back to the one step they all took to get there. Booking a flight.


The company’s acquisition marketing team then used TrueVideo for action to layer on a strong call to action. If viewers felt inspired enough to bite the bullet and book their vacation, all they had to do was click on the call to action, which took them straight to the United website.

The results

The campaign was a success. In just one month, 52% of conversions attributed to YouTube were click-through conversions directly from the ad, showing the effectiveness of this format in driving immediate website visits.

3 lessons we can learn from United Airlines

1. Know who to target

First thing’s first: Understand who’s most likely to convert and focus on reaching them. For United, this video campaign was all about giving undecided travelers enough of a nudge to persuade them to book. So rather than trying to reach as many people as possible, the team focused only on those who were already considering booking a vacation.

Using insights from previous ad campaigns, they were able to make sure they were finding the right audience. You can also use tools like custom intent audiences, which allow you to use search data (i.e. keywords people are looking up) to anticipate people’s objectives.

2. Encourage people to engage

Want your audience to go from passive viewer to active participant? Then you need to be super clear about the action you want them to take and deliver it seamlessly. Using a timely, relevant ad paired with a strong call to action, you can make it incredibly easy for them to follow through and complete the action you desire.

3. Test and scale your strategy

Don’t just stop at one successful video. You can use your video as a tool to test other strategies. For example, United already used a retargeting strategy across other advertising channels, but this was their first time testing it with video. Thanks to a positive return on investment in the US retargeting campaign, United expanded its video library and launched other action-oriented video campaigns internationally.

Here’s what their Managing Director of Merchandising and Personalisation, Kajal Narashimha, had to say:

“The digital acquisition team is continuously looking for more video opportunities to increase the reach of their best-performing campaigns. This holistic approach is going to help us create data-driven marketing campaigns that span the full funnel: from awareness to consideration to purchase.”

How Bang Digital can help

At Bang Digital, we love everything there is about digital and live in the online space. Combining technical expertise with marketing know-how, we can help you make sense of it all. We can tell you what you should be doing to grow your business – from digital strategy to search engine optimisation to video marketing.

Want help taking your digital strategy to soaring heights? Get in touch with the Bang team today.