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Radically Better Results

Yard have exceeded expectations with the Braw Beginnings campaign, which has been our most successful outreach campaign to date.

— Michael Graham, SEO Programme Manager, Performance Marketing

Challenge

VisitScotland are a driving force behind Scottish tourism, showcasing the wonders that Scotland has to offer to a global audience. They appointed our Digital PR team to create content that aligned with their theme for 2022, ‘The Year of Stories’ which would also evoke positive emotions about Scotland and potentially encourage travel to the country.

We had to ensure that we didn’t mention travel in our campaign – as VisitScotland were keen to keep relationships with travel writers and publications in-house to avoid mixed messaging.

Action

For the campaign to be as shareable as possible, the concept needed to be simple. We wanted to tailor the campaign to a large, general interest audience to achieve maximum ROI. Our target audience was top-tier journalists, who command large readership on authoritative sites.

Through keyword gap analysis and competitor research, we identified opportunities to create content that would be relevant to VisitScotland, without focusing on travel. Through this analysis, we were drawn to the fact that visitors and admirers of Scotland have a real appreciation for the range of accents, as well as the Scots language.

Inspired by ‘Scottish Twitter’, famed for it’s witty and engaging use of the Scots language, our idea involved translating the first lines from iconic books. We looked at books and authors with links to Scotland to drive home the message of just how wonderful Scotland is. For example, Peter Pan’s JM Barrie is Scottish, Bram Stoker’s Dracula is inspired by Slains Castle in Aberdeenshire and George Orwell wrote 1984 while staying on the Scottish island of Jura.

For additional authority, we collaborated with writer Alistair Heather, who is famed for his use and promotion of the Scots language.

VisitScotland's designers brought the campaign to life through beautiful illustrations depicting key themes from the books. Furthermore, by having Alistair’s audio translations, we knew journalists would be more likely to link to the site, enabling readers to enjoy all elements of the campaign.

We created a page with the written translations, visuals and recordings, as well as copy with ‘Scottish Language’ keywords to boost rankings. We carefully selected URLs, headings, metatags and alt texts to improve rankings and VisitScotland’s DA.

In keeping with our objective to achieve top-tier links, we took the campaign to large publishers, whose authority and trust would strengthen the domain - though some smaller links were earned through secondary coverage. We also worked with specific literary publications providing them light-hearted stories, which was a welcome departure from their typical content.

Change

  • 242 pieces of coverage so far.
  • 192 links from high authority sites.
  • Links in top tier media outlets such as MSN (DA 94), Yahoo News (DA 94), Independent(.ie) (DA 90), Belfast Telegraph (DA 87) and AOL (DA 93).
  • The most successful outreach campaign by VisitScotland to date.
  • Generated 1816 clicks to the campaign page, achieving a reach of 53,861, with 41,228 impressions via VisitScotland’s Instagram and Facebook stories.
  • Over 150 social media shares from several influential social media accounts.