Black Tomato –  Website Re-Design: Thinking Like an Editor, Not a Product Manager


The Challenge Was…?

Cutting-edge travel company Black Tomato had launched in a blaze of positive publicity and had grown rapidly. But they needed to sustain that growth in the teeth of the biggest downturn since the war.

Their award-winning website was their most powerful marketing tool and like most business websites, it focused on products.  We wondered if taking a more editorial approach – enticing visitors with inspirational travel articles – could be the key to turning more site visitors into enquirers.

…and the Solution?

Holiday product write ups became travel articles – Doing Iceland the Black Tomato Way, Top 5 Places to see The Big 5, Save a Bundle on Your Holiday to Australia.  

All articles came with a fact box, just like those in the travel sections of newspapers and magazines, telling people when to go, where to go, what to do and how much it would roughly cost. All the articles were organised by destination and type of holiday (honeymoon, safari etc) for searchability. Luckily, Black Tomato’s founders were already converts to the power of content and had stocked their team with excellent writers to help turn the vision into a reality.

Taking a content-led, rather than a product-led approach galvanised the marketing efforts – there was plenty of material to fuel social media channels like Twitter and Facebook, and other digital marketing efforts like search and emails.  It was easier to generate new articles – different angles on the same destinations and holidays – rather than put together new products.

The fear was that this editorial content might not be as effective as product content in turning visitors into enquirers – in fact, it was more effective. And those enquirers converted into customers better too.  A combination of these factors, and the increase in search generated visitors that the additional content brought, sustained another spurt in growth.