Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about Geofencing and Geotargeting (but may have been too afraid to ask) is summarized in our latest infographic. How will you use each of these strategies to step up your marketing game?
Marketing for Events
In our hometown, there are events that entice people from all over the country to attend—from the Gem, Mineral, and Fossil Showcase to El Tour de Tucson, there are many opportunities for local businesses to benefit from an influx of travelers. Every destination has unique events like these, but how do you reach travelers during their stay? How can you remarket to attendees after they leave and encourage them to plan their return trip? Below, we’ll discuss how you can reach travelers before, during, and after your destination’s awesome events using Snapchat and Geofencing.
Before the event
Increase excitement building up to your event by creating a Snapchat Story featuring photos and videos that encourage engagement. Behind-the-scenes footage, hinting at special guests, interviews with vendors, or sharing updates gets followers involved and make them feel an emotional connection with the event. Being an authority on the coolest things to do during and attractions surrounding the event helps you build trust with your audience.
During the event
Creating a Snapchat Geofilter is an easy way to create brand awareness. Fun photo filters specific to your event create a community between attendees and expose new people to your brand. When people use your filter for their photos, the photos become part of your Snapchat Story. Consider offering an incentive in exchange for using your filter and hashtag—you’ll get attendees promoting the event to all of their followers, which means low-cost advertising for you.
Establishing a geofence around your event and tying it to a strategic digital marketing strategy allows you reach people who enter the invisible perimeter. This means that while attendees are in the area, you can serve ads that are relevant to the time and place. Remember to extend the geofence beyond the event’s exact location and time—people are likely to check their phones while they’re at nearby restaurants and hotels before and after the event, giving you an even greater chance to connect.
After the event
Want to reach event attendees after they leave? While your geofence is active, it can collect data about the people who were within the perimeter, giving you the opportunity to remarket later. You can serve display ads after the event to promote similar upcoming events or encourage another trip to see more of the destination beyond the event. One of the coolest things is that you’ll have a target audience you know is interested in the event ready for next year, which can help you increase future attendance.
The Traveler’s Journey
We focus on connecting people to places. Using each stage of the traveler’s journey as a touchpoint to communicate with someone opens their eyes to new locations, inspires them to try new experiences, and builds their trust in traveling to new communities. But what is the traveler’s journey?
Exclusively marketing to travelers and constantly analyzing travel intent data enables us to map decision making and highlight key stages of people’s travel planning process—the traveler’s journey
See how to keep your audience engaged through the entire traveler’s journey
People might be dreaming of their next vacation or stuck in the daily morass of regular routine. Connecting with prospective travelers during this time with prospecting messages about your destination plants the seed for future touch points in later stages of decision making.
Display ads, out-of-home ads, or video distribution on television, YouTube, or Facebook are all great ways to show off your destination. Don’t worry about logistics and specifics. Serving up storytelling highlights the look and feel of your communities. Those sights and feelings will stick with people.
Learn more about the value Madden can deliver as a Google Premier Partner
Why do people travel? The answer is specific to the individual. Our analysis of travelers gives us a line of sight into common answers, and gives us the ability to tailor storytelling to match their travel intents and inspire people to take a trip.
Intent-focused website content, Facebook and Instagram prospecting ads, or Spotify audio ads crafted specifically to resonate with intent-based audiences inspires people to start thinking about their next trip. Whether its food, arts & culture, outdoor adventure, or nightlife, communicating the experiences that make your destination unique will build an emotional connection between your brand and audiences—a connection they will remember when looking to plan their next trip.
Alright, you have people considering a visit to your destination. Now what? How do you convert them to a visitation? Prospective travelers might check out your DMO website, but they will likely look directly on hotel or third-party booking websites. We use that insight to our advantage, leveraging our relationships with vendors to meet people where they are.
Targeting people who have been exposed to your prospecting messages with remarketing ads, we can serve your destination’s messages to prospective travelers on Expedia, Hotels.com, Vrbo, Google, Facebook, and Instagram. You can also use content on your website to send users to hotel and third-party booking websites. Tactics like these ensure your destination will be top of mind when they go to book their trip.
Official Visitor Guide, maps, recommendations on travel review websites, and content on your website are crucial during this stage in helping visitors plan those last-minute details and round-out their trip. You can create a digital passport that compels people to visit different points of interest in your community, and using out-of-home advertising is also a great way to emphasize a consistent brand ecosystem, reinforcing the trust visitors have placed in your destination.
Keep the relationship going after people leave. Remarketing ads, email newsletters, and sweepstakes are great ways to convert travelers into regular visitors.
Serving people Facebook and Instagram ads and leveraging user-generated content on your website also encourages travelers to share photos and videos from their trip—generating work-of-mouth endorsements.
Find out how to bring more advocacy to your destination marketing
Website Best Practices: Part Two
As the digital age has grown, our attention spans have shortened. In an attention battle, a human will lose to a goldfish.(HostingFacts) In a best case scenario, a user will only read 28% of the text on a website.(Nielsen Norman Group) Here are some tips on content creation, so you can maximize the value of what users did read:
- Bold headlines. The Nielsen Norman Group did a study that shows how users read a website by tracking eye movements. We naturally scan a page in an “F” shape, mostly reading headlines and quickly scrolling through the contents only if the headline interests us.
- Bulleted lists. Bullets help to break up long paragraphs, which is easier for the eye to scan.
- Engaging content. Everyone likes a good story. Don’t just describe your destination, attractions, or lodgings—paint a picture. 60% of consumers feel more positive about a brand after consuming content. (iMedia Connection)
- Including links in the copy is a great idea. Links can encourage further reading, reassure trust and validity, and help boost SEO. Here are a few rules when using URLs:
- Cite the source at the end of the sentence or the bottom of the page.
- Do not paste the URL itself onto the page. Hyperlink the source in the text.
- If you include links to another site, make sure the link opens a new tab, so they can return to your site afterwards.
- Content with errors or incorrect facts can reduce your credibility.
- Easy to read. You can use this Readability Test Tool to assess the current content of your site. We took the test, and our site received an average reading level of 7th grade, meaning that it should be easily understood by 12 to 13 year olds.
Content is everywhere, but truly great content stands out from the crowd. We hope these tips help you create better content for your website.
Website Best Practices: Part One
First impressions are everything. A person’s first glance at your website will allow them to form several opinions pretty immediately—does the website load, is the website easy to navigate, is the information clear and easy to read, are the content and visuals engaging? All of these questions will lead the consumer to decide whether or not they continue to investigate your site. So you need to make that first impression count. Here’s how.
First things first, does your site load quickly? If there is a delay, it might be costing you visitors. 53% of consumers will abandon a website that takes longer than 3 seconds to load.1 Google recommends that your site load in 2-3 seconds. How can you speed up your load time?
- Optimize images. Huge site banners are eye-catching and can induce FOMO, but what if they never load or take too long to load? 39% of people will stop engaging with a website if this happens.2Crop your images to the correct pixel size to fix this problem.
- Enable browser caching. When users visit your site, the information will be saved, so it will load faster for them each time they visit your site.
Try using Google’s PageSpeed Insights to test your site.
One of the most important parts of a website is its layout. If a user cannot find the things they are looking for, they will leave and probably never return. Here are some tips for creating a strategic site layout:
- Search bar. It may sound ridiculous that we have to mention this, but you would be surprised how many sites don’t have one. In addition to helping users find what they are looking for quickly, you also can check Google Analytics to see what visitors are searching for. If there are searches that come up with 0 results, make sure you write some content to respond to this need. If you haven’t already, set up Google Analytics so you can take a deeper look into how your website is performing. Check it regularly to see where you can improve.
- Contact information. 44% of website visitors will leave a company’s website if there’s no contact information or phone number.3 Our advice is to have a robust About Us page where you can house information about who you are as a company as well as contact information.
- Clear navigation. Providing a clear way to explore your site is a huge part of what can make a website successful. 50% of site visitors will use the navigation menu to orient themselves.3Helping visitors find the information they are interested in will build trust, credibility, and also will help reduce your bounce rate.
- Logo=home. Always provide a way to get back to the homepage. The most common way to do this is to make your logo clickable. When coming from a referral site, 36% of visitors will click on the logo to reach the homepage.3
- Scrolling is in. Scrolling is second nature now; users expect to scroll on pages. 76% of users use the scroll bar, with 22% scrolling all the way to the bottom of the page.4
Search Engine Optimization
We’ve had a few things to say about SEO, but there is always more to write. We’re firm believers that data should drive your website content, but not dictate it. Repeating the word “attraction” 14 times on your page will not increase your SEO value, it actually will do the opposite. But writing content about your attractions—now that is helpful and interesting to visitors and will likely increase your SEO strength. Search is the #1 driver of traffic to content sites, beating social media by more than 300%.5
- Blog it up. When used in addition to informative and inspirational content, blogs keep content on your site fresh and encourage further reading. If you have the resources to maintain a blog, we highly encourage it. 70% of consumers learn about a company through their blog rather than ads.6
- Mobile-friendly. Your site should be optimized for mobile users. Almost half of internet usage is from mobile phones.7
- Video is king. Videos are a great way to captivate visitors. They help persuade 73% of people to buy a product or a service.8However, the size of videos can slow your website down. To avoid this, we recommend uploading your video to YouTube and embedding it onto your site, rather than hosting the video on your own servers.
1DoubleClick, 2Adobe, 3KoMarketing, 4ClickTale, 5Search Engine Land, 6QuickSprout, 7SUPPLYGEM,8Animoto
Social Media best practices: Twitter
You know you should be posting to Twitter, but are you doing it correctly? For all those aspiring social media gurus out there, here are some tips and tricks to make the most of your Twitter presence.
Keep it simple. Complicated handles can keep people from tagging you in their posts. Why make it hard for them to help you get your message out? Keep your handle simple.
Clean up your bio. Does your bio reflect who you are as a DMO? It should. The bio is one of the first things a follower will see on your page.
All the posts. Twitter moves quickly, so it’s important that you stay on top of what is happening. Post several times a day when you first start up your profile to keep interest up. Don’t let your page become static.
Retweet and reply. Keep the conversation going by retweeting travelers’ posts, glowing feedback, or relevant articles that align with your brand. When users post on your page, direct message you, or mention your handle in their tweet, reply as quickly as possible. Keep in mind that social media is a venue of customer service.
Measure your efforts. Take a look at your analytics regularly to gauge how your page is performing and see where you can make improvements. If you see that you’re adding or losing followers based on certain strategies or that some tweets are getting more traction that others, adjust your plans accordingly to get the optimal return.
What should go into a post?
Keep it short. Even with Twitter’s recent increase to 280 characters, most Twitter enthusiasts are keeping it short and sweet. Focus on communicating one message rather than trying to say it all. You can always include a link to your website if you have more to say. Make the link shorter by using a URL shortener, like bit.ly.
Use visuals. Images and video in tweets lead to higher engagements. You can add up to four images, so go ahead, post a bunch!
Host a poll. Want more engagement? Having a poll is a great way to get followers involved. Twitter users love a good poll.
Soft sell. Passion Digital recommends that 80% of your posts be conversational, while 20% be promotional. Constantly trying to sell your destination can feel spammy to users. Give them content that they will want to engage with. These interactions will get them even more interested in your brand, so when they do see a post about converting, they’ll consider it even more.
On trend. Another way to get noticed is to look out for events and people that are trending. If relevant to your page, find an organic way to work the hashtag into your post.
Your Facebook Strategy: When and Why to Utilize this Platform
It’s no secret that Facebook is one of the most popular social media outlets. US consumers spend 2 billion+ hours per month on social media sites, accounting for 20% of online time and 30% of smartphone time.1 That’s a lot of time browsing, scrolling, and liking, and a lot of time you could be using to influence potential travelers to choose your destination for their next vacation. Here are some of the reasons we find Facebook to be an invaluable marketing tool:
According to Forbes, Facebook currently has over 1.2 billion monthly users. The Facebook platform allows advertisers to shuffle through this massive audience to find their best targets. Age, income, location, gender, education, and more can be filtered so that the money you spend on Facebook Ads are being seen by the people you want to see them. Some of the lesser known micro-targeting options include relationship status, ethnic affinity, and generation. Tap into these to get even more granular, but keep in mind, the more you layer in targeting, the more your clicks or actions may cost, as you compete in a smaller space.
Engagements—so much more than just a click
Clicks to website are great, but according to SalesForce, it takes a minimum of six to eight touches to make a user become a lead. So all of the added value of brand awareness that Facebook Ads provide through impressions, shares, comments, likes—those are valuable. Tap into Facebook Insights to measure your advertising effectiveness on a grander scale, beyond just the click.
All of the ads!
In 2016, Facebook organic traffic dropped 52% and is expected to fall more in 2017. So how can you continue to build your Facebook audience and get eyes on your content? Ads.
Facebook allows you to tailor your ads to your specifications. Want to gain a larger audience for your Facebook Page? Promoted Posts and Facebook Like Ads will help you achieve these goals. Looking for more people to see your website? Carousel Ads, Website Conversion Ads, and Click to Website Ads will send them there. Want to promote content, a video, or photo? Try Promoted Posts, Mobile News Feed Ads, or Carousel Ads here as well.
So how do you accomplish this? Keep reading.
Opportunities and objectives
There’s a type of ad available to accomplish each of your unique goals, but the first thing you need to know is what those goals are. Clicks on your ad drive traffic to your site and encourage engagement with your brand, but don’t forget about the value of your ad impressions. The more times travelers see and interact with your brand, the more likely they are to convert—ad impressions on Facebook are a cost-effective way to introduce yourself and stay top-of-mind. Finding the right balance between exposing new consumers to your destination and getting them to take the next step forward is key.
Let’s talk targeting
Facebook gives you the opportunity to narrow your parameters as much as you’d like to help you reach your target audience—and it’s an awesome feature! Have you thought about including a remarketing pixel within your ad? The pixel collects data from the travelers that see and click on your ad, which enables you to build look-alike or custom audiences. Optimization is even easier when you have more information about who checks out your ad or likes your page. Advanced targeting tactics like this help you utilize your budget efficiently and effectively.
Utilizing Facebook to build trust and show off your brand personality gets easier all the time—especially with the new ways to incorporate Instagram. Consider increasing the eye-catching content and variety of ads you use on both platforms. Ads that include video and stunning imagery perform better than text-heavy ads and create an emotional connection with audiences. Facebook even offers a new twist on the old-school lead generation campaign, and makes it easier for interested travelers to sign up for a newsletter, sweepstakes, or other offerings.
1Source: The Nielsen Company
Tips, Tricks, and Trends: How to up your Search Engine Marketing game
You know that Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a cornerstone of an effective digital marketing campaign. Simply investing in SEM is a start, but how can you keep up with the latest trends that help you reach your ideal target audience?
Let’s be real: The primary search engine used is Google, so we will keep our focus there for the sake of this post (although Bing has a lot of cool stuff going on as well!). Google is continuously improving their platforms, including AdWords, DoubleClick, and Analytics, to help businesses connect with consumers. Algorithms are updated to provide searchers with the most relevant information they’re looking for, and your ad strategy should evolve to keep up with these changes. For example:
Expanded Text: Helping You Rise Above the Competition
The higher character count of Google’s Expanded Text Ads offers businesses several advantages. Your brand messaging grows stronger with additional content—more characters means you can be more conversational when incorporating keywords. Because expanded ads are longer, they tend to push other ads further down the screen. Investing in SEM means that your ads may have the opportunity to appear at the top of the page and be viewed by searchers before pages that organically appear on the list. Our SEM experts have updated thousands of our clients’ ads in the last year to meet the new standard of expanded text, and have seen that expanded ads are delivering consistently higher click-through rates. Have you upgraded your ads to give consumers a better brand experience?
Accelerated Mobile Page: The “Speed Racer” of Mobile Search
When you’re on the go and searching on your phone, you may have seen results with a tiny lightning bolt symbol and the letters “AMP”. Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) load faster, giving them a huge advantage. During the Google Marketing Next Live Stream, multiple speakers emphasized that time is of the essence—a one second delay in mobile page load can decrease conversions by 20%. Another stat from Google’s stream stated that 53% of all site visits are abandoned if a mobile page takes longer than three seconds to load. Ensuring your site has a speedy load time and exploring opportunities like AMP will help you reach more consumers with a more optimized experience.
What does this mean to you? SEM is all about providing the potential traveler the right information at the right time. Improving your website so that it loads quickly—regardless of the device used—will help your site become even more appealing to consumers and, in turn, you’ll reap the benefits of lower click costs and higher ad positions. Meanwhile, taking advantage of the increased space available for your ads gives you new opportunities to entice searchers to click to your page rather than a competitor’s.
Does #DeleteFacebook matter for brands?
You may have seen #DeleteFacebook trending on social media recently and read headlines like “User data leaks at Facebook pull tech further into political debate” on TechCrunch.com or “WhatsApp Co-Founder, who made billions from Facebook, says it’s time to #DeleteFacebook” on Fortune.com, reminding us that data privacy is a huge concern for consumers online. Fueled by recent information that data firm Cambridge Analytica accessed and improperly stored information from millions of Facebook users, the world is reacting severely, causing a panic.
Here are the facts
The good news is the feature that allowed the level of data access is no longer on Facebook as of 2016. (Source: Facebook) Their attention to growing concerns confirms that the Facebook team is focused on security and protecting its users from future inappropriate data harvesting. This incident is not the first, nor will it be the last, and Madden is committed to keeping you apprised of any new developments and communicating opportunities for awareness.
What does this mean for marketers?
When these types of events occur, we typically see Facebook usage go down and users searching for ways to protect their data. Facebook will likely implement new privacy controls that effect what types of information are available to marketers and users may take this opportunity to utilize them. Although these controls can have an effect on available data, Facebook doesn’t only track people when they’re using the site, they also use third-party data to identify user likes and behaviors to help marketers connect with their desired audience. While most users won’t quit cold turkey, some will, and that creates concern for marketers who utilize Facebook’s extremely valuable user data to market their brand.
A multi-platform strategy can minimize the impact of negative feedback on one specific platform.
Marketers focused on single-platform engagement with Facebook will start to see drop-offs and campaigns will start to lose viability. A multi-platform strategy can minimize the impact of negative feedback on one specific platform. Engaging content that is crafted for specific niches helps audiences connect with a brand and deliver consistent return on investment, resonating with readers, and creating a loyal audience. Your brand should be delivered with a consistent focus on values and authenticity to create connections with your audience that want to develop a special bond with your brand over another.
Here at Madden, we know that components of a campaign fit together like pieces of a puzzle, building to create a comprehensive strategy that will deliver tangible ROI and contribute to the overall success of your brand marketing. Learn more about our drive to help our partners build the perfect campaign here: Building a Comprehensive Digital Campaign