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Special Project

Special Project
From the 11th Annual Shorty Awards

Discover Boating: Welcome to the Water

Audience Honor in Large Media Buying Strategy


Discover Boating focuses on increasing participation in recreational boating by demonstrating the benefits, affordability and accessibility of the boating lifestyle while helping to educate potential boaters and offering opportunities to experience the fun and togetherness of being on the water on a boat.

Discover Boating came to Ignite Social Media looking for a partner to increase boating participation and manufacturer referrals from their social channels.

The client also wanted to engage a younger audience. They wanted to reach males and females, aged 25-49, living in the United States who enjoy being outside, active and vacationing.

Strategy and Execution

To drive awareness, engagement and traffic to key pages on the Discover Boating website, we developed a comprehensive social media strategy that outlined our objectives, audience targeting, content creation process, paid media approach, optimizations and success KPIs.

We implemented a multi-phased strategic approach:

Paid Media Approach

Our paid media approach related to the stages of the funnel we were driving. We strategically optimized to custom categories of conversions to drive users further down the funnel. This paid media approach took into account: audience targeting, ad units, placements, and optimizations. This campaign spanned four months.

Audience Targeting

Utilizing the platform's targeting options, we implemented the Facebook pixel on Discover Boating's website to re-target visitors to push them through the purchase funnel. We would re-target visitors to get them to take action on key pages (i.e. Boat Finder and Boat Loan Calculator). We developed Custom and Lookalike Audiences based on website visitors. Additionally, we had target groups built around our target audiences interests, behaviors and media and brand preferences.

Ad Units & Placements

We focused on prime inventory, mainly news feed ads, for our placements on Facebook and Instagram. We selected Facebook and Instagram because our research found that the Discover Boating target audience is most engaged on these platforms. We used social units that have been top performers in the past as well as tested new units that would positively impact objectives.

Ad units included images, videos, link posts, and carousel posts. We also promoted the 'Welcome to the Water' canvas ad on Facebook and through Instagram Stories, which we found to be very effective in driving both engagement and web traffic.

Optimizations & Success KPIs

We optimized the paid media content daily based on the post objective, top performing targets, creative performance and success KPIs of engagements and website traffic. We were constantly A/B testing copy and creative to gain greater insight into what was resonating with our audience. We would then reallocate budget based on the best performing targets to increase efficiency and maximize the paid media spend.


Our social media campaign successfully and efficiently drove qualified users down the path to conversion.

  • 29% increase in manufacturing referrals over last year with half of the media budget
  • 62% decrease in cost per manufacturing referral
  • Socially referred traffic converted at 2x the rate of traffic referred in 2017

  • During this 4 month campaign, with half the media spend of the year prior, we generated:

    We also conducted a Facebook Brand Lift study during the course of the campaign.

    Additionally, we successfully reached and engaged a younger audience as 71% of campaign engagements came from users under the age of 45.


    Entrant Company / Organization Name

    Ignite Social Media, Discover Boating


    Entry Credits