Your Greatest Marketing Tool, and Five Things to Do with it Now

Maybe you’re familiar with the term “brand.” And if you’re like a lot of people, you’re saying: “I hear a lot about branding and building my brand. But I’m a small or mid-sized resort, hotel or rental property. I don’t have a brand.”

First things first: everyone who does business has a brand. A brand is the common impression that exists in the minds of every customer who has ever stayed with you, talked with you on the phone, seen you online or heard about you from someone else. And maintaining a good brand is much different in today’s online world than it used to be. More than ever, a good healthy brand is your key to long-term success.

This is actually good news. Part of the beauty of online media is that, unlike TV, radio, outdoor or print, your website can – and should – be involved at every step in a customer’s decision-making process. Here’s how you can be more aware of, and take care of, your online brand.

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Search Engine Marketing Trends to Watch

Search Engine Marketing – connecting with your customers at the moment they are looking for your products and services to buy. It is a $16 billion per year industry and there are a plethora of opportunities and trends to follow within the industry. So what do you pay attention to, what do you participate in and what do you spend your time and money on? Here are some suggestions to keep in mind.

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Valuable Content Distinguishes Your Brand

Periodically VFM Leonardo emails me with some great videos targeting hoteliers. And since our flagship is ResortsandLodges.com I am always checking these videos out! If you have a chance, watch this 12 minute video on brand awareness. It’s main focal point is that hoteliers need to create VALUABLE CONTENT to help distinguish them from other brands, especially in this hyper-competitive market.
Some key things to remember:
– The average property is viewed 800 times online before they get one booking
– Travel shoppers visit an average of 11 websites during their research
Also, take a look at my previous article “Is your website doing all it can to sell your business?” as this gets into more details on ensuring your website presents your brand in the best manner.

Check out the VFM Leonardo video – it gives great tips!

SEO – Start with Keywords

Search Engine Optimization: If you have a website you’re sure to have SEO on your radar, but have you really gotten into why it’s so important? Let’s start with some key facts brought to you by EcomBuffet.com:

• More than 8 out of 10 Internet users look on search engines to find

information and the products or services they want to buy.

• Pay-per-click (PPC) costs are rising (over 37% higher from last year

to this year Q1).

• 63% of the top natural (organic) listings get click throughs.

• Natural (organic) search results convert 30% higher than PPC.

• 11.8% of Google traffic will click on a site in the second page of

results.

While Google currently has about 200 factors in their algorithms that determine what placement your site will show up in within search results, in this post I want to start with keywords and the components you need to think about when writing content to improve your website’s search engine rankings.

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Are you “Flipping” Your Phone Number?

If you’ve worked with ResortsandLodgs.com over the past few years, it’s safe to bet you’ve been asked to “flip” your 800 number. This is a game-changing detail of your campaign as this will showcase your true experience with ResortsandLodges.com. For those of you who have or haven’t yet heard about the call tracking technology we use, VEM Global is a co-seller of Phonalytics call tracking technology. Watch this video to see how Phonalytics works.

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