The aim of this joint project between The Bittern Line, Wherry Lines, East Suffolk Lines, Hereward Line, Essex and South Suffolk Community Rail Partnerships and train operator Greater Anglia was to attract more people to take days out on local branch lines. The group wanted to showcase the amazing places and attractions within easy reach of the lines, and highlight that with the introduction of new trains across the local network, passengers could sit back in comfort and enjoy the ever-changing scenery, like having a ‘room with a view’.
The campaign also complemented sustainability objectives of all partners involved, in helping to remove congestion and pollution from popular locations by encouraging people to use the train for leisure travel rather than their private cars.
Recognising that the campaign needed to be visually engaging, the group commissioned promotional videos for eight separate lines across the community rail partnerships involved. Each partnership was instrumental in developing scripts and creating footage for the films, ensuring the most appropriate locations were included.
Greater Anglia then enlisted the help of their social media agency to promote each video through the community rail partnerships’ Facebook pages, targeting posts to people in the region who enjoyed travel. Contained in each post was a link to a specially-created landing page on the Greater Anglia website, offering help for people to plan their trip. This included links to partnership websites, downloadable line guides, and specially-produced downloadable bucket (and spade!) lists that people could use to tick off the main things to do on the line, or even print and take with them.
Information from the landing page allowed partners to measure their key outcome of how many people took steps to plan a journey, providing a clear indicator of intended behaviour and potential ticket sales. The data indicated a significant uplift in passenger journeys during the campaign period, generating an additional £108,492 in ticket sales and £11,400 through social media promotion.
The videos appeared in around 1.29 million people’s Facebook feeds, and were watched by 223,000 people, who enjoyed the “beautiful and inspirational” footage. Overall, a total of 17,700 people clicked through to the Greater Anglia landing page, smashing the project’s original target of 200.