Washington, DC: Paid Marketing

Destination DC, the official destination marketing organisation for the United State’s capital city Washington, DC reached out for our support in creating an effective digital marketing strategy to promote the city and ultimately drive UK visitors to the capital.

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Increase awareness of Washington, DC as a holiday destination in the UK market with paid media tactics to drive high impressions and reach across 6 months. Use the first half of the campaign to educate the target market and the second half to drive quality traffic to a UK-based CTA partner to increase bookings from the UK to Washington, DC.

Challenges & Solutions

Stiff Competition

There is a lot of competition in the UK market with potential holiday destinations all fighting for visibility and a strong share of voice. This is particularly true for the city break market and specifically against other U.S. destinations on the East Coast such as New York and Boston.

Channel mix

With a dual approach of awareness activity turning to conversion activity for travel peaks, we had to carefully select channels to get the most out of the available budget. We ran ads across Google search, YouTube, Meta, and TikTok.

Reporting & Learnings

We had to consider our core metrics for each stage of the campaign as well as working with a UK partner as a call-to-action for the second part of the campaign. We utilised our data and learnings from the awareness part to remarket and leverage better audience signals.

Our Approach

Cherry Blossoms Washington DC

Our initial approach started with building out awareness campaigns to build up interest and acceptance of the destination in our target audience’s minds. We used multiple platforms to meet our goals, specifically, Google, Meta, TikTok, and YouTube.

The second phase of the campaign used what we had already learned to try and capitalise on these learnings and push the audience from ‘lookers’ into ‘bookers’ through the destination’s chosen CTA partner. This also coincided with the beginning of the UK travel market’s peak booking period.

Lincoln Memorial DC

During this, we launched a selection of conversion-focused campaigns driving traffic to the client’s chosen CTA partner site. These campaigns included more action-intent, destination-specific keywords across Google. Across Meta, this consisted of running with the best-performing audiences and top two performing ad types as well as changing the ad copy to be more enticing with harder CTAs. We also used remarketing audiences to show the conversions-focused campaigns to those who had shown interest in DC ads throughout the awareness phase. The conversion ads were then directed to the CTA site where users could book a holiday to DC.

After the campaign, we saw over 15 million impressions generated across platforms, over 1 million engagements, and over 20% increase in bookings to Washington, DC from the UK partner.



Million Impressions Generated


Million Engagements


Uplift in Bookings


“Talking Stick Digital has been our very first partner in supporting the launch of our new branding campaign and year-long marketing strategy to the UK market; with the goal of amplifying our brand awareness and generating a healthy conversion for incremental bookings into Washington, DC. We are extremely pleased with our relationship and the care the Talking Stick Digital team provided to truly understand our brand proposition and needs. We have appreciated the clear and constant communication as well as the efforts of making this campaign a true success.” Letizia Sirtori, Director of Tourism Sales

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