Classic Christmas at The Artesian
The Artesian Hotel is a boutique hotel in Sulphur, Oklahoma, that hosts an annual Classic Christmas celebration starting in late November each year. The month-long celebration brings a Christmastime storybook to life in south-central Oklahoma.
Festivities begin with the City of Sulphur’s Opening Night on the Plaza, as The Artesian Hotel and other downtown businesses begin the Christmas season with the official lighting of several outdoor holiday displays. More than 150,000 LED lights outline The Artesian’s classic spires and turrets while two-dozen Christmas trees fill the inside of the hotel, including a grand 20-foot tree at the hotel’s entrance.
From the last week of November until the day after Christmas, every guest at The Artesian Hotel enjoys exclusive gifts as they arrive in their rooms and can make reservations to enjoy breakfast with Santa in The Artesian’s ballroom. Other exciting traditions include gingerbread decorating classes, carolers in 19th-century dress, story time with Mrs. Claus and horse drawn carriage rides throughout the plaza.
Classic Christmas at The Artesian presented a handful of marketing challenges. Their primary objective was to use Classic Christmas as an opportunity to brand The Artesian as a sought-after destination to visit in south-central Oklahoma. While The Artesian stands up against any boutique hotel, the location can be a challenge because it competes with other hotels in the Dallas and Oklahoma City metropolitan areas, and competes with many other Christmas celebrations in the region.
Additionally, The Artesian wanted to cultivate and enhance their relationships with media contacts and bloggers. They also hoped to increase traffic to their website, grow their business development initiatives and community involvement, and increase engagement on all of their social media channels. The Koch Communications team used these challenges and directives to build a strategy that would help The Artesian surpass their goals and expand brand awareness.
Koch Comm’s overall strategy was to support The Artesian’s business goal of selling out room nights throughout the event and selling tickets to Classic Christmas events to families throughout Oklahoma and the North Texas area. Tactics were developed for social media and public relations that would drive traffic to The Artesian’s website, highlighting not only Classic Christmas activities but the hotel’s many other amenities and lodging options. By using social ads and promoted posts that suggested Classic Christmas as a new family tradition, engagement with The Artesian’s social media audience grew while simultaneously increasing web traffic. Instagram stories and Facebook live were also used to showcase Classic Christmas activities in real-time.
On their own, digital media and public relations efforts are powerful, but when they are integrated they deliver a mighty impact. In turn, the strategy developed for Classic Christmas integrated digital media and public relations to raise awareness for the event and establish The Artesian as the place to visit during the Christmas season. News releases were distributed and stories were pitched to local media and visitors were encouraged to use #TisTheArtesian throughout the festivities. Additionally, Koch Comm organized and promoted the Ultimate Classic Christmas Giveaway, which included a weekend full of Christmas activities for a family of four, on both social and PR channels.
The partnership between Koch Comm and Classic Christmas at The Artesian resulted in an exceptionally successful campaign. Results included:
– The Artesian Hotel’s website saw an unprecedented 103,025 page views during the timeframe for the Classic Christmas campaign, which was a 23.7% increase from 2015’s campaign page view total of 83,293.
– The Classic Christmas page had 8,061 visits and 6,867 of those were unique visitors.
– With less than $2,000 in advertising spent through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, paid reach was more than 200,000 people, over 467,000 impressions, over 7,500 engagements and over 5,400 clicks to the website.
– The Ultimate Classic Christmas Giveaway was the most viewed and most entered giveaway in The Artesian Hotel’s history. It received 5,931 views and 3,724 entries.
– During the campaign, The Artesian Hotel’s Instagram following grew by 37.7%, Facebook fan base grew by 5.7%, and Twitter following grew by 5.3%.
– During the first weekend of Classic Christmas activities, Facebook Live and Instagram Story content were produced, the first opportunity to do both for The Artesian. The Facebook Live video reached over 6,000 people and had over 1,200 views organically.
– Twitter advertising for Classic Christmas had over 22,000 impressions and resulted in 157 clicks to The Artesian’s website.
– Local coverage combined with a partnership with Fox’s Living Oklahoma, Discover Oklahoma and work with other local broadcast stations overall resulted in highly-targeted publicity.
– Earned media totaled more than $35,000 during the campaign. The calculated ad value for print media equaled $2,173.60, broadcast media equaled $23,946 and online media equaled $2,919.