Month: August 2016

Marketing 3.0StrategyStrategy planning & executionTourism marketing

The Marketing Plan 3.0: Social media strategy for Pinterest

Pinterest is used by 35% of B2C marketers and 26% of B2B marketers, and it has a very particular user profile, characterized by a predominance of female millennials (more than 90% of the users) with one of the highest engagement rates (spending more than 1 hour per month on the site). This is particularly interesting for displaying videos and photos, and also with a very good potential for social media commerce.

As for all social media platforms, it is also convenient to draft a strategic plan stating the marketing goals, the targets, the strategies, tactics and metrics to track the performance.

Regarding the conversion goals for the audience to take specific roles, Pinterest is rather suitable to engage the audience as tourists, followers, contributors, brand ambassadors, volunteers and clients. Despite not being conceived for business purposes, Pinterest is progressively developing its potential as a sales channel, for there should be drafted a sales strategy for this platform. Actually, it has recently developed the Pinterest Business Accounts to empower marketers in promoting their brands. Other strategy tips to consider could be the following:

  • Mind that this platform mainly targets female millennials when deciding the content to post.
  • Use it to post photos and videos to drive traffic to your website or YouTube channel.
  • It is a great platform for organizing video, photo or graphic design contests, as it is one of the social media channels where users spend the most time, second only to Facebook.
  • Create boards with lots of pins, picking a few categories to focus on and expanding over time. Keep a balance between promotional and non-promotional boards.
  • Strengthen relationships with stakeholders by highlighting their success stories, and drive traffic by creating a board where their achievements are shown.
  • Share book recommendations that may be relevant to your target audience. Leveraging useful literature demonstrates dynamism and brand’s commitment with continuous improvement.
  • Show photos and videos of staff members and clients in action to convey the feelings and the experiences that prospective tourists are to live when they visit the destination.
  • Ask fans to pin their pictures in the destination and tag you. Then re-pin those images on your own page to let potential tourists know how much visitors enjoy their experience.
  • Add the “Follow me on Pinterest” button next to the Facebook “Like us” button and the Twitter “Follow us” button.
  • Incorporate the QR code into your pins in a way that when the followers scan the code they are redirected to a landing page where to retrieve a coupon, make a reservation, or participate in a contest.
  • Create specific boards where followers can contribute somehow. This is a key engagement driver.

Would you consider other target roles, content types or strategy tips?

Marketing 3.0Strategy planning & execution

The Marketing Plan 3.0: Social media strategy for Google+

Google + is used by 41% of B2C marketers and 39% of B2B marketers for it is equally valid for individual and corporate targets. With regards to the conversion goals, it is most suitable for engaging the targets as tourists, clients, followers, contributors, brand ambassadors and volunteers, using preferably videos, photos or infographics.

Google + has recently launched “Stories”, a feature that generates travelogues with the pictures and motion-pictures uploaded in a Google+ account. This is to become a new way to share travel experiences that will inspire global travelers. With “Stories”, travelers are able to share, inspire and preserve their memories as live travelogues on the web-space. “Stories” automatically categorizes pictures and videos uploaded in a user’s account selecting the best pictures among all creating an online travelogue. The feature selects the most promising pictures understanding their geography with the tags and generating the story with the date, time and other specifications.

“Stories” also enables users to add notes to pictures, add or remove them, view the travelogue in full screen and edit the travelogue automatically. It can also plug in relevant destination information and add visual maps to represent the traveler’s journey. This innovative feature could be used as a story builder for holding “Google+ Story contests”, to foster Google+ based storytelling. Beyond this tactic, there are many other guidelines to be considered:

  • Offer a balanced mix of content media, as the platform allows the user to mix photos, videos, infographics, etc. thus creating an eye-catching experience
  • Find ways to use the symbols # and +, as hashtags help your posts get discovered through search and the “Plus” feature catches the attention of individuals and brands.
  • Share content from your employees, as a way to give them recognition for their content creation efforts and showcasing the commitment of all staff members in their mission.
  • Use archived content that may be appropriate for trending topics
  • Share others’ content adding your comments as with a blog post
  • Use “Plus Post Adds” to take advantage of the network of advertising spaces available through Google.
  • “Hangouts on air” allow marketers to have hangouts with nine other people while broadcasting to a larger audience. These hangouts may be automatically recorded and uploaded to the Youtube account to reach a broader audience. Such hangouts may be used for conferences, events, interviews, etc.
  • As Google search engine uses the Google+ accounts information, it is convenient to include all the relevant information, updates and keywords in the brand’s page to favor its SEO.
  • Create communities in relation to innovation groups or mission driven challenges to communicate with individuals interested in specific issues related to the destination.

To monitor the marketing performance of Google+ for the destination, the internal analytic tool provides the user with the coverage of every post, the interactions of every user with the brand’s page, the audience within the brand’s page. Some external tools such as “Simply measured” provide more supporting information.

Would you consider other target roles, content types or strategy tips?

StrategyStrategy planning & execution

The Marketing Plan 3.0: Social media strategy for Linkedin

Linkedin is used by 83% of B2B marketers and 51% of B2C marketers, for it is to be primarily focused on the professional connections, such as all those to engage as investors, employees, partners, and professional contributors. The main types of content it supports are text documents, though it may be used to link videos from Youtube or PPTs from Slideshare too. It is mostly a great network to build thought leadership among the industry professionals by arousing issues and participating in discussions.

As with all social networks, you should craft a strategy plan stating the marketing goals to be attained through this platform, the strategies, tactics and metrics to execute and monitor the development of the plan. When doing this strategy plan, you should consider these tips:

  • You may use it to connect with corporate partners and professional contributors
  • Use it to announce job vacancies and innovation challenges for professional contributors
  • Linkedin company pages offer a platform to share diverse types of content
  • Encourage employees to set their account and connect to the corporate page so as to use the platform for sharing information and contents among staff members
  • Use it to invite qualified stakeholders in the industry or mission driven events you organize.
  • Prioritize content quality over quantity so as not to overload the already busy receivers
  • Participate in groups’ discussions to grow your professional network, build thought leadership and stay updated with industry trends.
  • Create a group to be used as a board for publishing news and holding discussions for all professional stakeholders. Invite them to join the group, explaining the benefits of doing so.
  • Use targeted Linkedin updates, through which you may segment updates based on company size, industry, position, seniority, location, etc. to publish updates to a user’s homepage.
  • Use Linkedin admins to get metrics for number of followers targeted, impressions, clicks, shares, and engagement after 24 hours.
  • You may use three types of advertising: Linkedin in marketing solutions, featuring graphic ads with guaranteed delivery; Inmail linkedin, mailing to a qualified list of targets; Linkedin ads, segmented advertising based on CPC or CPM. You may target various specific audiences, using their language for a more effective impression.
  • Take advantage that posting in Linkedin you may automatically publish in your Twitter account, taking into account that the targets are to be the same in many cases.

Would you consider other target roles, content types or strategy tips?

Marketing 3.0StrategyStrategy planning & executionTourism marketing

The Marketing Plan 3.0: Social media strategy for Youtube

Youtube is used by 65% of B2C marketers and 61% of B2B marketers, and so it is suitable for both professional and non-professional targets. These target audiences could be those to be engaged as followers, clients, tourists, contributors, brand ambassadors, and volunteers. It is estimated that in 2017 the 80% of the world internet traffic will be based on video streaming, for this type of platform should be among the first to work with, along with Facebook.

As with all social media platforms, it is convenient to craft a strategy plan explaining the goals we intend to attain through this platform, the targets, the strategies and tactics to achieve these goals, and the metrics to track the performance of the Youtube based activities. When doing this strategy plan, you should consider these tips:

  • Enable video embedding to allow users to post your videos on their websites
  • Mix professional and homegrown videos to humanize your brand and convey authenticity
  • Showing instead of telling: showcase the life-changing experiences in compelling videos
  • Prioritize short videos to deliver succinct messages. After a minute, the attention decreases
  • When creating longer videos, make compilations of short pieces of content which make a coherent sequence rather than having the same speaker all the time.
  • Include a call to action at the end of the video, to another video or to visit the website
  • Use the sponsored YouTube channels to target specific audiences more effectively
  • Connect with Youtubers related with your target audiences to engage them in producing content about the destination, to take advantage of their power of influence.
  • Offer you mission driven partners the possibility of using the destination videos to sponsor or to put Pre-roll advertising videos, so to get an extra source of revenue without spoiling the brand integrity.
  • Create a Youtube channel with must see videos for most audiences, so make them connect and explore the destination’s channel and start viewing many other videos. Such videos could be about the top famous stories, webinars about storytelling training, events, etc.

Would you consider other target roles or strategy tips?

Marketing 3.0StrategyStrategy planning & executionTourism marketing

The Marketing Plan 3.0: Social media strategy for Twitter

Twitter is used by 69% of B2C marketers and 80% of B2B marketers, for it is quite suitable for both professional and non-professional targets. These target audiences could be those to be engaged as followers, contributors, brand ambassadors, volunteers, employees, partners and professional contributors. Twitter may work with many types of contents such as photos, videos, text news, text voting, text stories, etc.

This is the social media used to keep updated with the kinds of news they are interested in, and so it is to be used primarily to deliver all types of news about what is going on in the destination. However, it may be used also for delivering contents to make them go viral, to let people vote in contests, or to answer short polls.

As with all social media platforms, it is convenient to craft a strategy plan explaining the goals we intend to attain through this platform, the targets, the strategies and tactics to achieve these goals, and the metrics to track the performance of the Twitter based activities. When doing this strategy plan, you should consider these tips:

  • Tell stories with your tweets, with compelling posts in a consistent tone
  • Use hashtags with your tweets to make it simpler for people to find your content. Creating an original hashtag and linking it to a campaign is even better.
  • Use twitter as a testing ground, by tweeting your original content and keeping tabs on the pieces of content getting more shares. Use this information to direct your content efforts.
  • Create Twitter chats for every event and every issue which may be object of conversation (contests, polls, and discussions on stories, product, mission issues, etc.) and integrate it within the Mobile App.
  • Twitter’s paid advertising allows marketers to target their audience by interest or username, tracking who the user is following, talking about, and the keywords being used.
  • Use Twitter cards to make your tweets stand out; or promoted tweets, promoted trends and promoted accounts to set your brand in the audience’s top of mind.
  • Use it when launching contests to convey the participants’ contributions or votes.
  • Create a separate profile for each language in the regions you are targeting.
  • Monitor constantly the trending topics in every targeted region.
  • Take advantage of Twitter search tool to monitor the conversation about the destination by language and/or region.

To monitor the results of the Twitter accounts you may use some specific tools:

  • Twitter analytcs allows us to track the interaction provoked by our tweets and its evolution, like impressions along the last four weeks and published tweets per day; global data on interaction with our followers in a specific period of time, like the interaction rate, clicks in the link, retweets, favorites, and answers. This way we can identify the days when we get the most interaction through our tweets.
  • Social Bro allows us to search new users according to a target profile, indicates the best time to tweet and the connected users at every time. It provides information about the followers we gain, the ones we maintain, and the ones we lose.
  • Hootsuite monitors keywords used, programs tweet publishing, and facilitates specific data to create analysis reports.
  • Twitalyzer is a Twitter-specific tool that measures how influential and far-reaching the company’s Twitter presence is.

Would you consider other target roles, content types or strategy tips?

 

Marketing 3.0StrategyStrategy planning & executionTourism marketing

The Marketing Plan 3.0: Social media strategy for Facebook

Facebook is used by 90% of B2C marketers and 80% of B2B marketers, for it is suitable for all types of targets. This is likely to be the first platform to develop, for its suitability for all targets, its reach, the many kinds of contents it may convey, and the many kinds of activities it may hold (contests, sweepstakes, polls, etc.).

Once created the brand Facebook fan page, a specific strategy plan has to be crafted explaining the audience segments it wants to reach, the type of contents it wants to work with, the types of conversion or target roles it wants the audience to take through the content’s call to action and measurable marketing goals related to conversion, engagement, reach, etc. Further, the plan should explain the strategies and tactics to optimize its marketing performance. Such strategies and tactics are likely to change over time as long as Facebook keeps on adding new features and tools.

For Facebook, the target roles to engage the audience with should be followers, tourists, contributors, brand ambassadors, partners, employees, clients and volunteers. As aforementioned, the Facebook reach encompasses all types of audiences, though for some specific targets such as financial institutions, potential investors or the government, for which there are other communication tools.

On the other hand, Facebook may support many kinds of content, for it is advisable to take advantage of this potential to deliver many kinds of contents and activities such as videos, photos, text stories, forum discussions, polls, contests, sweepstakes, etc.

Finally, we suggest some strategic guidelines to get the most of your Facebook page:

  • Spend time posting well-edited photos and well-written text. Prioritize quality over volume.
  • Short messages stand out, though long messages work when they are compelling, so communicate succinctly unless you really need the extra words.
  • Create your content in your corporate blog and link to it from Facebook, as you may wish to use this content also for other social media platforms, and not to be too dependent on Fb.
  • Find out which messages inspire action by measuring fans interaction
  • Make sure your content is going to be relevant to your intended audience. Be selective.
  • Facebook ads allow clients to target their audience segmenting by multiple variables: age, language, gender, interests, location, if they are connected or not to the brand, or have friends following the brand, etc.
  • Use Facebook Page applications to incorporate other social media contents from platforms such as Youtube, Slideshare, Twitter, etc.
  • Use Facebook Questions to answer queries, ask questions or start polls to help bring up conversations in relation to the destination.
  • Organise contents and give things away to engage with your audience and encourage them to share your page with their network. Just make sure that you stick within the “Facebook Guidelines when promoting contests”.
  • Moderate discussions, setting clear rules to abide by and even creating a blocklist of keywords to automatically filter out.
  • Try to create some kind of ritual that engages the users to interact with the page at least once a week.
  • Encourage fan content –articles, photo and video- posting to engage them and make them feel part of the brand family.
  • Make the Facebook page a must visit site for many kinds of information updates and procedures so to stimulate visits and engagement.
  • Offer special deals to your followers, such as discount stays in the destination, group deals, merchandise product package deals, etc.

Beyond the Facebook page, there are other functionalities that enhance the brand’s marketing performance:

  • Create also a Facebook Group and invite all visitors to join it. From then you can invite them to events, join conversations and establish a closer relationship.
  • Use Facebook Connect to allow Facebook users to log into your website through their Facebook profile. This way, when the readers like some of your site’s piece of content, these are displayed on their Facebook newsfeed, and therefore seen by all their friends.
  • Facebook instant personalisation in your website allows readers to view the content pieces that their friends have liked, which are more likely to engage them.

To monitor the results of the Facebook page you may take advantage of some specific tools:

  • Facebook insights provides a general view of the fan page activity for every week
  • Likealizer provides with an audit of the fan page activity
  • Smetrica analyzes the brand’s presence in the Facebook conversations

Would you consider other target roles, content types or strategy tips?

Marketing 3.0StrategyStrategy planning & executionTourism marketing

The Marketing Plan 3.0: Formulating social media strategy

Once the goals are set and the information on the use of social media by our target audiences has been obtained, it’s time to formulate the strategy. Understanding that the strategy is to convince a set of different target audiences to enroll in a certain type of engagement (contributor, client, follower, etc.) through content delivery via social media platforms, the formulation has to depict which social media platforms are to be used for every target audience and for what kind of enrollments. Further, it might be convenient that some target audiences or some enrollment purposes have their own page or account apart from the others within one social media platform. A succinct way to formulate the strategy is to draw a table to fill in the following data for every social media platform:

  • Specific, measurable and time-bounded goals
  • Target audiences, assigning a priority level to each of them and for each region
  • Types of content –considering format and language- to be delivered, assigning a priority level or intended frequency to each type of content
  • Types of activities to be carried out
  • Advertising for which target audiences, assigning a budget percentage to every one
  • Number of pages or accounts to have in every platform, and for which audience or enrollment purpose is every one
  • Consider pages or accounts for different geographical markets and languages.
  • How to manage content and conversation
  • Development stage in which it is to be deployed

Furthermore, it is advisable to start using one or two social media platforms at the beginning, and expand the scope of used platforms for as long as the stakeholder network grows. Therefore, the social media strategy should consider several phases of network development, stating which social media platforms are to be used in each phase as well as the turning points at which to leap forward to the next phase. This way, the initial efforts in deploying the social media throughout the stakeholder community are to be more effective, and as long as the network grows and is more familiar with the social media tools, this network is leveraged to also follow the other social media platforms.

Would you consider other points in designing the social media strategy?

Marketing 3.0Strategy planning & executionTourism marketing

The Marketing Plan 3.0: market research for the social Media strategy

Every social media platform has unique features and therefore is suited for different purposes and different targets, though most of them may be suitable for many purposes and audiences. However, in formulating the social media strategy, it is necessary to determine for every social media platform what kind of contents are to be used and which targets are to be reached. It is therefore convenient to research the following issues for each of our target audiences:

  • How engaged are our target audiences in social media and on which platforms?
  • What other brands or organizations do our targets follow or interact with in social media?
  • What social media strategies are using our competitors?

What else would you research on in relation to our targets?

Marketing 3.0StrategyStrategy planning & executionTourism marketing

The Marketing Plan 3.0: Setting goals for the social media strategy

Even if Social Media Marketing is presented here as a new channel which eventually has to replace the traditional ones, the best way to bring it in is in coexistence with the current marketing system. Furthermore, social media channels are to be useful for communicating with many of the current clients of the destination, for it is convenient to take them into account when formulating the social media strategy, even if this Whitepaper focuses its attention on the main targets related to destination marketing 3.0.

Social media platforms offer a great opportunity to connect with the target audience not only to deliver content but also to create a two-way conversation, and these conversations are the ones that eventually lead to their engagement with the destination’s mission and brand. Among the many goals that can be achieved through social media channels, the following may be highlighted:

  • Generating traffic to the corporate website
  • Delivering targeted contents to segmented audiences
  • Tapping into new markets and segments through social endorsements and paid advertising
  • Provide a customer service platform where customers queries and complaints are attended
  • Operating many activities of the open innovation system, especially those for non-professionals
  • Facilitating the connection between tourists to let them share stories and information
  • Enabling social leaders and creative activists to advocate for the brand in their communities
  • Generating conversations and discussions about brand or mission related issues
  • Interacting and building relationships with stakeholders to engage them with the brand

Do you think of other relevant goals attainable through social media?

Marketing 3.0Tourism marketing

The Marketing Plan 3.0: Types of content pieces and formats

When designing the content strategy, it is convenient to reflect upon what kinds of content pieces may interest the target audiences, as well as all the suitable formats to leverage the created content through all the available marketing tools:

CONTENT PIECES CONTENT FORMATS
·  Educational guides, adapted to many targets

·  Thought leadership pieces

·  Industry news

·  Photos conveying emotions and experiences

·  Destination news about events

·  Mission related accomplishments

·  Stories about experiences in all roles

·  Announcements calling participants to a contest

·  Designs for t-shirts, caps, umbrellas, etc.

·  Designs for school material items

·  Stories about other destinations

·   Books

·   Audiobooks

·   Cartoons, comic book graphics

·   Podcasts

·   Webinars

·   Blogposts

·   Brochures

·   Branded content tools

·   Press releases

·   Microblogs

·   Mobile applications

 

However, despite the various types of content that may be created, the stories on the destination’s life-changing experiences are to be the central and most compelling pieces of content. Apart from the professional content creators and storytellers, it is convenient to carry out research on the destination’s existing stories and train the local community members to craft and make them compelling, before making up brand new ones. The Storytelling training is to explain the techniques to craft and tell compelling stories, so as to leverage the locals’ talent through the open innovation system to create the best possible marketing content for the destination.

The Whitepaper Marketing destinations through storytelling explains how to craft compelling stories as well as other relevant facts about storytelling.  Furthermore, the Whitepaper Envisioning Open Innovation in destinations explains how the open innovation could be deployed as a marketing content generator, among other outputs.

Beyond the goals and formulated strategies, the daily experience and tracking of the results and conversations will determine what works and what doesn’t, what needs to be improved and what needs to be changed to attain the desired results. Even when the intended results are achieved, the needs and desires of our target audiences are to change over time and so the strategies have to change.

Do you think of other interesting content pieces or formats?