Beyond ‘contact us’: Six website features hotels can use to increase engagement & bookings

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Every hotel website has a ‘contact us’ page, a page where people can find the most basic details.

Such a passive posture, however, is a missed opportunity for hotel teams to facilitate interaction and funnel a user’s focus while they’re actively engaged.

Customer service is supposed to be at the core of hospitality, yet that “extra mile” ethos doesn’t always translate into the digital sphere. The integration of enhanced contact tools on hotel websites has been moderate, and not just among smaller properties with modest budgets.

L2’s recent Digital IQ: US Luxury Hotels report revealed that while nearly every global hospitality brand analyzed has a dedicated “contact page” on their website, only about one in four allow users to request a call from a customer service agent, and even fewer offer a live chat feature.

Adding more sophisticated contact features offers a competitive edge and leads to direct bookings.

Here are six website enhancements for contact that converts. – Read more

How a Few Pages Can Make or Break Your Website

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A prospect unequivocally disagreed with a recommendation I made recently.

I told him a few pages of content could make a significant impact on his site. Even when presented with hard numbers backing up my assertions, he still balked. My ego started gnawing: would a painter tell a mathematician how to do trigonometry?

Unlike art, content marketing and SEO aren’t subjective. The quality of the words you write can be quantified, and they can generate a return for your business.

Most of your content won’t do anything

In order to have this conversation, we really need to deal with this fact.

Most content created lives deep on page 7 of Google, ranking for an obscure keyword completely unrelated to your brand. A lack of scientific (objective math) process is to blame. But more on that later. – Read more

 

Here’s the Difference Between Metrics and KPIs—and Why It Matters

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With so many businesses and news outlets offering advice on how to use data, the BI corner of the web is teeming with industry jargon: metrics, KPIs, analytics, to name a few.

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to see some of these terms used interchangeably. The problem is, they aren’t the same—and using them correctly makes a difference.

Change your perspective
The way we use words changes the way we think about and understand them. So using them interchangeably not only creates confusion, it can actually be bad for business.

To get real power out of your data, it’s important to understand the relationship between KPIs and metrics, and how to use them. That’s why we’re setting the record straight, once and for all. – Read More

 

Influencer Marketing Is Under Attack: Six Reasons It Still Works

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Building a business on the periphery of platforms you don’t control is always fraught with risk. Add influencer marketing to the industries that didn’t exist pre-social media, and count it among those that have thrived on the backs of the social network infrastructure. In part because of this, and in part, because it’s a new form of endorsement marketing, lots of folks are challenging the premise of influencer marketing.

I’ve been working in influencer marketing since 2008, and my team and I have run over 150 such programs over the years. That gives me a unique perspective on what’s changed, what’s working and where the challenges are in influencer marketing.

Challenges With Influencer Marketing

Today, if all you read are headlines of the marketing trade publications, you could be excused for believing that influencer marketing is, at best, under attack and, at worst, a dubious marketing method. Consider: – Read more

 

How does… Instagram’s IGTV work for marketers?

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Socialbakers’ Yuval Ben-Itzhak explains how Instagram’s new long form video feature, IGTV, will work for marketers, influencers and brands.

Instagram has seen impressive growth since its acquisition by Facebook and it is rapidly becoming the most engaging platform for brand marketers. From Stories to Carousel, marketers have more content formats than ever to choose from on the platform.
The recent launch of IGTV is opening up yet another avenue for marketers to explore, as they leverage the platform to grow and engage their audience with longer content. It certainly seems Instagram can only win.

By offering marketers the chance to share original user-generated content via the IGTV app, Instagram is making itself even more attractive. With 1 billion users on Instagram, a ready-made audience for content creators, it’s likely that IGTV will be an appealing place for influencers and brands looking to grow and engage their communities at a deeper level. – Read more

5 Things to Check If your Traffic Suddenly Drops

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Has your traffic taken a sudden nosedive for no obvious reason?

Let’s investigate the most common underlying issues and the ways to get back on track.

No one’s immune to traffic drops, and the causes may be easy to overlook. Still, to avoid barking up the wrong tree, gather the evidence first: look closely at the overall stats for a long enough period in your Google Analytics to see if the traffic spike really looks out of place or if it might occur due to seasonality, holidays or other patterns inherent to the niche.

Another thing to make sure of is that you don’t miss any pieces of data for certain days or devices. Double-check to see if Google Analytics codes are implemented properly on all pages of your site (here’s a tracking code checker), if correct snippets for your property are being used and if the code formatting is preserved (your GA tracking code can be found under Admin > Tracking Info > Tracking Code).

Once you know for sure the error isn’t statistical, it’s time to have a closer look at the symptoms and start digging to find the root cause. – Read more

 

How to Use Social Media to Bring In More Customer Reviews

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If you think online reviews don’t matter, think again.

In a world where 85% of consumers trust reviews as much as personal recommendations…

… generating positive customer reviews can make or break your business.

And that’s why you need a review acquisition process. Instead of passively hoping for reviews, you actively use social media channels like Facebook and Google to bring them to you.

Here’s a step-by-step process we’ve implemented and one you can use to dramatically improve the online visibility of your company. – Read more

Hey, email marketers — Take a load off and embrace automation

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As email marketers continue to find themselves busier than ever with increasing responsibilities and competing priorities, efficiency is becoming a lifeline for many of them.

More and more, automation is proving to be the email marketer’s knight in shining armor. It’s an efficient and systematic way of sending promotional and transactional emails without having to actually press a “send” button. That’s almost like setting up automatic payments for credit cards and your mountain of bills.

Sending automated emails ensures you’re not missing fleeting opportunities, provides more relevant and personalized content to your users and — most importantly — saves you heaps of time.

Email automation, thy name is efficiency
Email automation goes by many names: nurture, drip, triggered messages and so on. Whatever term you use to define marketing automation, one thing is clear: It’s about doing more with less and driving outcomes and long-term strategies to improve customer lifetime value (LTV).

In the case of email, we think of this as a series of emails that are launched based on a discrete or unique set of circumstances that could be initiated by a customer or a marketer to a specific segment that exhibits a set of similar characteristics, making them ideal for this type of automated campaign.

Currently, most email automation is achieved through artificial intelligence (AI) tools, yet surprisingly, a survey by GetResponse found that only 5 percent of email marketers considered themselves experts at it. From GetResponse: – Read More

How to make maximum use of micro-influencers

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The rise of social media influencers is undeniable.

Yet, what’s up with this surge in brands linking up with micro-influencers?

The rise in micro-influencers is interesting to note because it seems these scrappy, relatable personalities are beginning to capture the attention of brands big and small—and are driving results.

In fact, once Instagram followers exceed the magic 10,000 mark, engagement starts to flatten out. (Sorry, Selena Gomez.)

Is the hype deserved?

Not only are micro-influencers more accessible from a price standpoint (top influencer Bella Thorne said she gets $65,000 per post), they can drive higher engagement than influencers with wider audiences.

In addition to social media actions, they’re driving purchase decisions. A whopping 82 percent of consumers are more likely to take recommendations from micro-influencers than the general population.

This is largely because they’re an involved part of their community. With a smaller pool of fans, it’s easier for them to create individual relationships and regularly respond to comments. Accordingly, this makes their communities feel special and valued.

Just as people are more apt to value advice from a friend, micro-influencers feel like friends to their followers and are therefore more influential.

Also, many micro-influencers are laser-focused on the authenticity of their feeds. They won’t promote a product or service they don’t love, or at least haven’t tried. Fans appreciate their candor and respond in kind.

Erin Good, a food and fitness influencer with 17,000 Instagram followers, said: “I turn down collaborations that aren’t consistent with who I am. You’ll never see me post about beer because I don’t like it. I stay true to myself, and my fans appreciate that I keep it real and honest.” – Read more

6 ways to tell better visual stories on Instagram

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Instagram is the second-largest social media platform, after Facebook, says Jenn Herman. To get the most out of it, though, you can’t rely on sheer numbers alone.

You must master the intricacies of the visual platform, the social media consultant, speaker and Instagram expert says in a Ragan Training video, “Advanced Visual Storytelling on Instagram.”

With 700 million users, Instagram is a powerful platform with a lower bounce rate than other social media sites, she says in her presentation. Fewer people click through to your website by mistake and back out of it again.

“You’re not going to get as much traffic from Instagram … but the quality of traffic is so great,” Herman says.

In a visual age, the platform also has the highest engagement of all social media. “It’s still exponentially higher than what you’re going to get on Facebook and Twitter,” Herman says.

Here are some tips: – Read more