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Does your day start like this?

  • Ohh, look at this cool photo on my social feed
  • Yikes, I should really get more photos on my sites & grow my social fan base
  • Wow, this is an amazing video. How did they do that?
  • Hmmm…I guess it’s time to think about changing my cover photo again.
  • I should look to see what’s popular and create an image.
  • Ah, look at the time, I’ve got to jump onto that client call now.

Sometimes it may feel like there are so many things on that ‘to-do’ and ‘want to do’ list that it’s impossible to know where to start.

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Remember when it was easy enough to snap a photo on a fam trip and use it in your next newsletter?

Remember when you had to spend huge dollars to buy an image to use in a newspaper ad?

Remember when… back in the ‘good ol’ days’ of travel marketing there were only a few sources for images and only a few reasons to use them.

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How to Market your Blog like a Pro

Summer is a time for BBQ’s, triathlons and gardening. Think about the planning that goes into each of these fun summer activities.

Take the summer backyard BBQ for example; think of all the planning that goes into that party. Menu planning, grocery shopping and grass mowing are only the start. Doing these tasks in the right order keeps the budget in line and ensures you won’t have fresh cut grass in your glass.

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You probably know that fewer than 10% of your followers on Facebook are going to see any of your business page posts. The organic reach on Facebook continues to decline. The Facebook algorithms are getting more restrictive yet many business page owners are surprised by their low engagement rates. The surprise partly stems from their experience with their personal Facebook profile which always generates commentary and “Likes”. However, the algorithms controlling the visibility of personal posts are completely different from those controlling business pages.

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How to Create Images that Get Shared

What have YOU shared lately on your social feeds?

What have your fans shared lately?

Inspiring your fans and their friends to share your photos and graphics is key to reaching a broader audience. Once your fans share, their friends share, and their friends’ friends share your post, and you have the snowball effect happening.

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Merchandising Your Travel Practice

In a personal service business like travel consulting, it is easy to forget the importance of fundamental marketing techniques and concepts.  One such neglected topic is the art of visual merchandising – developing the visual creative to accompany your advertisements, proposals, presentations and other client communications to enhance their appeal. Properly done, visual merchandising makes it easier to engage both the client’s emotional responses to your presentations and their intellectual understanding of your offer.

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Do Your Social Ads WOW? – 5 Ways to Out Perform

What would you do if you worked in a brick and mortar storefront business and your walk-in traffic dropped by 50%?  Yikes, you’d probably be thinking about moving or advertising, right?

Well, as a travel, tourism or hospitality pro, moving is probably not in the cards.  So that leaves advertising.  Now that organic social reaching is dropping quicker than you can say ‘travel’ (some estimate a 50% drop year over year), we need to power up our social ad strategy.

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Give your Facebook marketing a boost!

Wondering how you might encourage more engagement with your Facebook social media postings? With good content and a few marketing dollars, you can do it. As an experiment, TRO spent $20 to boost the posting below on its Travelhoppers page to a Facebook audience of people who:

  • like travel; and
  • who read Conde Nast; and
  • who read Travel + Leisure.

​The results, as you can see, were quite outstanding! Read the rest of this entry »

5 Social Ways to Magnify your Visual Variety

Is a photo still worth 1000 words? Is a video really worth 1.8 million words?

Does anyone read or listen anymore?

In our fast moving world communication is even more chaotic. How can we change the conversation with our visuals while saving time?

  1. Impactful Images

How do your images look on your mobile device? Are they sized right for all platforms? Are you able to see the photo details and appreciate the beauty in a small space? Testing your photos for their impact on a mobile device and desktop viewing is crucial. Read the rest of this entry »

Inspire Yourself

I’m about to give you permission to have more fun in your job. Creative thinking requires raw material. If you find yourself in need of fresh ideas or a new perspective in your digital marketing, one of the best ways to generate intuitive insight is to browse through magazines, the internet or even stock photography at random. As ideas, images and unrelated concepts enter your mind from these sources, you will be surprised at your capability to relate them to your own situation. It’s one of the reasons I find social media so engaging and not the time suck it might at first appear. Read the rest of this entry »

How to use 360 Video like a Pro

Imagine zip lining thru an exotic tropical forest; monkeys hanging in the tree branches below you. Birds chirping above you. Behind and below you is a thatch roof hut. You cross a small stream and see a family fishing on the banks. All of a sudden a huge monkey swings right in front of you landing on the next tree branch.

Wow! How exciting!

All this while sitting in the comforts of your local travel agent’s office. Or while shopping at the mall.

This is the world of 360 video and virtual reality. Read the rest of this entry »

Inspiring Clients to Travel

People have always shared their travel dreams and adventures with others. Early on, travel magazines, brochures, home movie projectors and Polaroids were the media of choice. Now, the game has gone digital, but the themes are largely the same: “I love to travel and I know you do too. Where should I go next? What should I do? What should I see?”

In fact, travel appears to be one of the six most discussed topics on social media. This tells us if we do our marketing well we can generate thousands, even hundreds of thousands of enthusiastic followers, evangelists all.  Of course, if we do it poorly we can spend a lot of money and time only to decide marketing doesn’t work. Read the rest of this entry »

12 Exciting Ways to Use Live Streaming Video

Are your clients clamoring to know exactly what their tour with you will look like? Do they ask questions about the experiences, activities, and culinary creations?

What if you had a way to show them exactly what your tours involve and help them experience it online? Wouldn’t that be an amazing way to build stronger relationships and put the human touch into your marketing!

Live streaming video gives you that star quality! Read the rest of this entry »

Social marketing can be as fickle as fashion!  There’s always a “What’ Hot” and a “What’s Not” list springing up in both.  As we turn over another calendar year, let’s look forward and back to learn, plan, and stay on trend.

Remember poodle skirts, leisure suits, and big hair? You laugh, yet I sure loved my big hair… back in the day.  Now those fashion faux pas are as out of date as:

  1. MySpace
  2. Social ads that aren’t targeted to specific, well-defined audiences.
  3. Images that are poor quality or not sized right for the particular platform.

These vintage tactics can be as easily updated as those flared pants that made a comeback after bell-bottoms. Read the rest of this entry »

One of the questions I have been asked the most by entrepreneurs who attend my webinars and trainings on Facebook is “How did you get a quote request form onto your Facebook page?” I’m asked often enough that you will find a lesson dedicated to this topic in my Facebook Accelerator course. I’d like to share that lesson with you here today.

The important thing to know here is that it’s not just a form you can embed on Facebook; you can embed ANY web page in a Facebook tab. It could be your home page, your “about us” page, a sales page for one of your products or programs, a form people can fill out to be added to your email marketing list… the possibilities are endless! The good news is that it’s quick and easy to do, too. Now for all of you who are thinking “Yeah, maybe for you, but I’m not ‘techy’ like you are!” I want you to put those doubts aside. I PROMISE you that this is something you can do. It’s click, click, click, paste a link, and save. Not too bad, right? You can do that! Read the rest of this entry »

Did Video Kill the Blog Star?

“Video Killed the Radio Star…” Catchy song lyrics never die. Do you remember this 1979 tune by Buggles along with Bruce Woolley and the Camera Club?  I never knew who the artist was, but the tune still sticks in my head.  As we think about the impact of video on social marketing and blogging, there are some parallels.

In today’s world, would we need to change the lyrics to “Video killed the blog post”?

Or has video helped the world of blogs? Read the rest of this entry »

Social Marketing Q&A – 6 Burning Questions

Travel and tourism pros come up with the most amazing questions.

At conferences and on webinars, I hear some intriguing questions from pros in our industry.  Let’s explore 6 top questions and dive into some solutions. Read the rest of this entry »

5 Tips for Facebook Ads that Get Real Results!

Are you using Facebook Ads in your business? Most travel professionals I speak with WANT to use Facebook Ads, but they aren’t always sure they are getting a good return on investment from them.

Today I’ve got 5 tips for you to create Facebook Ads that get noticed… and get results. Read the rest of this entry »

3 Vital Ways to Add Video into your Social Marketing

Did you know that a 1 minute video is worth 1.8 million words? Research predicts 74% of all internet traffic in 2017 will be video.

Yet, so many travel and tourism marketers shy away from video thinking it’s too ‘techy’ or too difficult to learn.  Many travel pros say they just don’t have the time.  Let’s debunk these myths and see how you can jump into that video producer’s seat.

Video from Still Images

Creating your own videos from that stash of FAM trip photos, cruise ship site inspection photos, and destination photos is quick and easy!  There are so many tools available now to elevate your own images into short, shareable video that there’s no reason not to embrace this form of marketing.

You can simply upload your still images into one of these platforms, select some music, and add some transitions and text.  The tool does all the heavy lifting for you, creating a slick video in the time it takes to say “Cool Video”. Read the rest of this entry »

Blogging Like an Expert

It is important to your digital marketing plan to consider incorporating a blog into your travel agency’s website. However, with so many blogs vying for attention, you need to take steps to ensure your blog will stand out and speak with an authority that captures the attention of your readership. As a professional travel consultant, you have a real expertise on a topic of interest to the public. The key to delivering blogging articles that truly engage readers and elicits comments from them is to generate content that is lively, unexpected, and fresh. Making sure that your blog is communicating on both an intellectual and an emotional level will keep your audience returning to your blog for new information. Read the rest of this entry »

What’s so special about 21 days?

Experts say that’s how long it takes for us to form a habit. At the beginning of summer it sure seemed simple to fall into ‘easy livin’. Now that fall is nearly here, what social marketing habits can you start or reform? Which ones can you leave behind permanently? The start of a new season is a great reason to rethink some old habits to see if they’re still working for you. Read the rest of this entry »