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 »
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 »
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 »
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:
- Social ads that aren’t targeted to specific, well-defined audiences.
- 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. 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 »
“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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
Have you been looking for a way to really get your business name out there in a bigger way and firmly establish yourself as the go-to expert in your niche? There is no better way to do that than to be published and featured as an expert on a high-traffic website or publication.
Content marketing is always a great way to raise your expert profile, but a lot of travel professionals aren’t quite sure where to get started with something like this. Finding places that accept guest posts, editorials, or (even better) advertorials isn’t always easy.
Since I know you are busy growing your business and taking care of your fabulous clients and their vacations, I thought I might compile a list of a few places that not only accept guest submissions, but quite often actually pay for them! Read the rest of this entry »
How popular are you?
Remember back in high school all the cool kids hung together and the rest of us… well, we were in awe.
Now that social marketing is part of our business lives, being popular socially takes on a life of its own. While gathering fans is important, it’s more important that your fans LOVE you and want to be a part of your conversations.
Firing up clients and potential new clients to seek out your social sites and then engage with you can be a challenge. Here 9 hot and savvy ways to let people know where to find you socially and why they need to join your conversations. We’ll start at a novice level and move into more advance and socially savvy tactics. Read the rest of this entry »
Your website is your storefront. In many cases, it provides a prospect’s first impression of your company. You know what they say about first impressions; you can only make one and it better count. The good news is that keeping in mind a few fundamentals and making a few simple tweaks to your website can take it from bland to brilliant. You can create a website that attracts visitors, converts clients, and helps you build a prosperous and exciting business.
Here are 10 tips for taking your web site from bland to brilliant: Read the rest of this entry »
Limiting myths are the stories we tell ourselves to justify a timid approach to building our travel practices. Most limiting myths have a small truth somewhere in their origin that, over time, takes on a far greater importance than their reality suggests. By examining these myths, you can greatly diminish their influence in your travel practice. Here’s a limiting myth we will tackle: “You cannot compete with the big online travel agencies.”
This limiting myth is not true. In fact, the online travel agencies (OTAs) cannot compete with you! But only if you play to your strengths. Let’s see how.
As a travel and tourism professional, you know our industry and your clients.
But what ensures that you stand out in the noisy world of social marketing?
Did you know that over 50% of today’s travelers will rush to the keyboard, rather than the phone to make their travel bookings? (source: Hotel Executive) Creating the WOW in your social presence can be the difference between attracting their business or NOT!
Yet, for many in our industry finding the time to succeed is a challenge. What if you have a checklist of habits, like the famous “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Steven Covey?
Here are 11 essential habits as you grow your social presence: Read the rest of this entry »
Don’t you love it when you find a new tool that just makes your life so much easier or that gets much better results than what you were using before? I think in terms of social media, Adobe Spark can be one of those game changer type tools for travel professionals.
Here’s something you may not know about me: I suck at graphics. Seriously bad. I am great with all kinds of technology, but when it comes to making things “look pretty,” I am just not your girl! Because of that, I am always on the lookout for new tools to make things like quote photos for Facebook look better.
Finding something that can create fabulous, professional looking social media graphics in a matter of minutes is good. Seeing that the tool can also create beautiful videos with audio narration and music, well that’s even better. Finding out I can use it to build a really stunning itinerary for a client and give them a custom link to their visual itinerary… now I’m sold! Read the rest of this entry »
While working with some travel professionals on the topic of “Expanding Your Digital Footprint” my research revealed a rather surprising weak spot. Most of the travel professionals were eager to know the best practices in social media, search engines, websites, newsletters and blogging. But many also quickly confessed to a deficiency of fundamental knowledge on how to get started.
Most often, it is the technology we find daunting. It is not hard to understand why many travel professionals have problems with digital marketing. Our passions run to the travel experience, not technology and marketing. To become really proficient in any branch of digital marketing takes precious time and resources. Yet, beyond the technologies, the fundamental skill sets are largely the same whether networking in your local community or digitally. Read the rest of this entry »
Are your social ads bringing you exposure, engagement, and extraordinary results?
The science of ad creation has taken on a life of it’s own. Let’s sort through some of the details and the best ways you can make sure your social ads reach the right people, at the right time, with the right style of conversation.
Novice Level Advertising Tips
To Boost or not to Boost! That’s the question on top of the minds of many travel pros. While Boosting a post on Facebook is really easy, it may not afford you the best use of your advertising dollars… or it may! It becomes a trade-off of quick and simple versus time and talent.
Boosting a post can be an effective way to reach more of your fans when you select one of these boost options: Read the rest of this entry »
Marketing has two goals: the retention of existing clients and the acquisition of new clients. From existing clients you achieve stability, and it is from new clients you achieve growth. When you design your marketing properly, both your new clients and existing clients first notice or are reminded of your presence, investigate your offerings, and finally enter into conversation with you about the services or products you offer. At this stage you have an actionable lead and enter into the sales cycle. The process of drawing the potential client closer and closer to you, finally resulting in an actionable lead, is sometimes referred to as the “Marketing Funnel.”
Meet the Marketing Funnel
Indeed, all good marketing strategies are funnel-like in their conception, design and implementation: Read the rest of this entry »