Canyon Ranch Digital Marketing
A wellness industry pioneer, Canyon Ranch has been guiding resort guests to lasting transformation since 1979. But after three decades of growth, the brand wasn’t set up to extend their legacy in a market full of new competitors. The 2020 hospitality industry shutdown provided a window to jumpstart the company’s evolution—across brand strategy, digital experience, and digital marketing—and position the brand for its next era.
A year later, the industry was back in business, and Canyon Ranch’s own transformation spurred increased awareness, engagement, and ultimately, occupancy among new and existing audiences. Here’s a look at how FINE’s brand-led integrated marketing approach helped Canyon Ranch emerge stronger than ever, ready to gain increased traction for years to come.
Bringing Unified Form to Marketing Functions
Ushering Canyon Ranch into a new era began with a thorough audit of current marketing activities and new opportunities. It revealed an abundance of disconnected marketing initiatives run by siloed organizational areas, translating to higher (or redundant) spending, and isolated or unmeasurable results.
For example, while the website’s blog drew an impressive number of visitors, the majority fell outside of the brand’s target audience. A high quantity of general traffic was not delivering enough high-quality traffic to convert bookings via the company’s core direct channel.
FINE’s traction team engineered the shift to a single full-funnel performance strategy centered around customer lifecycles, and established a foundation for measurable results, ensuring the right performance metrics, KPIs, and data sources to make informed decisions across channels.
Elevating Engagement In Owned Channels
With a strategic foundation in place, the first goal was to increase visibility and reach in owned digital marketing channels, which helps drive effectiveness of paid and earned media.
Adopting a performance mindset, FINE tapped Canyon Ranch expertise in developing diverse content topics and form factors to test what resonated with audience segments. Using email as a core channel, FINE worked with Canyon Ranch operations to merge fragmented lists into a single segmented database to support quicker, smarter activation and iterative outreach. After updating stay-cycle emails to align with the new brand standards, we developed a story-driven email series to target travel advisors, dormant customers, and new subscribers. Segment-focused content, measured and fine-tuned based on results and perceived value, enabled the brand to better deliver bookings while providing value as a guide on your wellness path.
This fresh take to content operations introduced new efficiencies, tested assumptions on topics, and set the stage for a deeper engagement in social media, allowing Canyon Ranch to cross-pollinate content from one owned channel based on what was performing best in another.
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Supporting Well-Being in Social Media
Building upon Canyon Ranch’s position as an expert wellness guide, FINE developed original social content to meet the evolving mindset of wellness seekers. Rather than overt promotion, the goal was to first engage audiences with the conversation, insights, and inspiration they seek.
From the “Ask an Expert” series to the beloved “Monday Mantra,” we combined verbal and visual storytelling to create content as thoughtfully composed as Canyon Ranch’s wellness pathway experiences. We tested engagement levels by topic as well as the impact of tailoring content for Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin, and YouTube. We optimized based on our findings, tailoring posts to seasons, situations, the social climate, wellness concerns, and other timely factors.
With a social strategy based on engagement and the data to measure its impact, we gained deeper insight into customer groups, continuously improving marketing strategy over a two-year period. These insights fueled development of targeted multi-channel campaigns, ranging from new product launches to a holiday “Give” campaign that began driving advance sales even during the industry closure.
Expanding Reach Through Paid Media
Next, we doubled down efforts to expand reach and acquire customers through paid channels. Where past strategies relied heavily on branded terms to capture people already searching for Canyon Ranch by name, the new approach allocated more spend targeting past and prospective customers on non-branded terms based on their concerns, interests, jobs, locations, and more. The full-funnel approach increased brand awareness at all stages of the purchase journey, broadening from mid-funnel to sustain new interest in the brand across other touch points.
Managing over 25 simultaneous campaigns across Google, Meta, Linkedin and more, we fine-tuned a journey built upon initial interest. Successful organic social campaigns were leveraged into paid activations, and new search/social content leveraged detailed reporting to test and refine. A series of pilot campaigns helped validate new strategies and determine whether and where to integrate these tactics over the long term.
Continuous refinement honed tactics for driving high-quality site traffic to support key end goals to convert revenue and acquire customers with low CPA and high ROAS.
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Calibrating Content to Convert with SEO
To convert better, CanyonRanch.com needed both a higher quantity and quality of visitors from organic search. That meant targeting those actively searching for a transformative wellness stay, for a host of compelling reasons, in key locations.
After extensive audience-specific keyword research, FINE’s SEO strategy and copy teams collaborated to optimize title tags, meta descriptions, and on-page content for critical site pages.
The new website launch in 2021 enabled deeper efforts to connect Canyon Ranch’s target demo with the brand. Across Hundreds of secondary and tertiary pages, we optimized services descriptions, categories and subcategories, event listings, and more. In an increasingly competitive industry, this depth of non-branded terms has led to record-breaking organic search traffic tied to increased conversion and revenue, year after year.
Today, a comprehensive SEO strategy, competitive paid media, and engaging social media all work in concert to help Canyon Ranch raise brand awareness, acquire customers, and achieve unmatched occupancy rates. A foundation of integrated performance marketing enables the company to use their website as the primary storefront for direct bookings, and for acquiring the next generation of wellness seekers.