There are lots of free and paid-for services that will help you with your digital marketing so we thought we'd share some of our favourites each month.
This month our recommended service is Animoto - a simple video creation tool that makes creating videos a breeze.
First of all, let's get the costs out of the way. This is a paid-for service, but we think it is great value for money and worth every penny.
Costs range from £7.99 per month for a Personal account up to £24 per month for a Business account. Here at EVC Marketing, we have chosen the Professional account at £16 month (billed for the year at £192).
We chose to spend a little extra because Animoto is packed with features and we wanted to get the most from them. Our package includes:
OK, so now you know the costs, why do we like Animoto so much?
Well, it is one of the easiest tools we know of to create short, punchy, social media or website-ready videos using your resort photos or any video footage you have available.
Using their online video editor, just choose a style and a song, add your photos, video clips and text, then produce it and share! No video editing experience is required at all.
There are some stylish templates that can help you start a project. Then you can personalise them to your own specific needs with your own photographic material, logo, resort colour scheme and logo.
Want to add music to your video? Then it is super easy with Animoto as you have access to over 2,000 quality tracks (with the Professional package). And, you don't need to worry about copyright. As you are licenced to use the music, Facebook and YouTube will not have an issue with the music when you upload it to these platforms. This is a major plus for us.
With video now one of the most important aspects of social media, it is imperative that you are able to produce great videos quickly and easily. The results will speak for themselves. It will help you increase your rental sales, drive website traffice interested in holidays rentals and reach a whole new audience that might otherwise never discover you.
Still not sure if Animoto is for you? Then check our their Animoto Success Stories. Or take a look at one we made earlier for one of our clients.
We are delighted to announce that Emily Collins from EVC Marketing will be attending the upcoming free Dial An Exchange (DAE) Forum on Tuesday, October 16.
The D (Debate) A (Action) E (Evolve) Forum will take place at The Upper House Hotel, Barlaston, Stoke on Trent. The day will comprise a number of short presentations and discussion topics. The main objective of the day is to provide an environment that stimulates discussion and assists each resort to develop a plan that will help them evolve and continue to provide great holidays and holiday ownership, well into the future.
The final topic for discussion is Improving Your Online Presence and Image with a look at key things you can do using social media - particularly in relation to new Facebook implementations and additional options with Instagram.
If you are a committee member or part of the management team at a UK or European-based mature resort and would like to attend, then contact Paula Vickers or Wendy Holey on:
Paula: 01756 747087 email@example.com
Wendy: 01756 747073 firstname.lastname@example.org
Images from the DAE Forum 2017
The EVC Marketing team enjoyed a taste of paradise this year with the development of a new website for Ali'i Kai Resort located on the island of Kauai in Hawaii.
Ali'i Kai is a small, exclusive resort located in the north of the island in Princeville. Recently affiliated to RCI's fractional exchange system, The Registry Collection, the resort offers two-bedroom luxury apartments and a range of on-site amenities.
It is perfectly located to enjoy all that Kauai has to offer with its amazing beaches, delightful towns, great hiking and watersports.
The brief for the website was to produce an informative site that is easy to navigate and provides detailed information about the resort and its amenities for visitors, while reflecting the wild beauty of Kauai. Known as the Garden Island, Kauai is the greenest and wettest island in the Hawaiian archipelago and is packed with dramatic jungle beauty, mountains, lush green valleys, jagged cliffs, waterfalls and rivers.
Simple contact and enquiry forms make it easy for visitors to request specific dates to book rental accommodation at the resort or to ask questions.
The news section of the website allows relevant and interesting content to be added on a regular basis keeping the site fresh and new. While an events sections keeps visitors up to date with the events and activities taking place on the island.
In addition to building the website, our team set up the resort's social media platforms inclduding Facebook and Instagram.
"We are really pleased with how this site looks and works and we can tell from the large number of enquiries that visitors to the website like what they see and want to visit," said Emily Collins from EVC Marketing. "We had a limited budget but we have produced a website that reflects Ali'i Kai Resort's premium apartments."
For further information on EVC Marketing's website building services, please contact us.
Frustrated at your website's Google search rankings? Then maybe these 3 Google SEO updates for 2018 will help you improve your rankings.
1 Meta Description Expansion
According to industry authority Moz the long-held 155-character cap for meta descriptions started to waver about three years ago. Little by little, the average length of displayed meta descriptions started to increase and it became evident Google was testing displaying longer meta descriptions.
By the end of 2017 the data showed that, with a few exceptions, the 155-character limit was now indeed dead. Moz now recommends a 300-character limit, a great relief for anyone who has ever tried to write strong meta descriptions in a stifling 155-character count.
The character limit change is a great opportunity to revisit and expand upon meta descriptions on your core pages.
It is now recommend that you draft longer meta descriptions that both expand the keyword focus and act as a piece of value proposition defining text.
As Moz explains: “For critical pages, writing a good meta description is like writing ad copy — there's real value in crafting that copy to drive interest and clicks. There's no guarantee Google will use that copy, and that fact can be frustrating, but the odds are still in your favour.”
2 Keyword Permutations
According to research from SEO expert Barry Schwartz, it appears that part of a Google's recent update entitled Maccabee was aimed at devaluing sites with large quantities of landing pages that systematically target every possible keyword permutation.
This suggests that Google has found this practice is being endemic of primarily lower-quality sites aimed at creating an artificially large keyword net to drag in traffic.
This practice is somewhat similar to the old practice of 'Keyword Stuffing' whereby content was awkwardly drafted to include the highest density of keyword and keyword permutations possible in an attempt to trick earlier and more primitive search engine algorithms into thinking the content was of high value.
Mr. Schwartz points out that the sites that are being penalised are those with, “tons and tons of landing pages targeting massive arrays of keyword permutations.
So for example, if they are a travel site, they would target all the destinations they service and also add landing pages for [destination sub name] + [activity name] and sometimes even go beyond that. If they were a service business, they would target [city name] + [service A] and then [city name] + [service B] and so on. There were many styles and types of sites doing this across blogs, travel, e-commerce, directories, and more.”
Due to this patch, we recommend altering any SEO strategy that relies on creating a large number of landing pages for the same service or offering.
3 Mobile Speed Update is Imminent
It should come as a surprise to no one that Google continues to put the squeeze on sites with slow mobile load speed. Google announced that starting in July 2018, page speed will be a ranking factor for all mobile searches.
Google claims that this update will be aimed only at sites with the very slowest mobile load speeds, but it should serve as another wake-up call for everyone with sub-par mobile load speeds. Furthermore, Google noted that there would not be a ranking boost for fast load speeds, only a downgrade for the slowest.
If you're worried about mobile load speed (and pretty much everyone should be), we recommend regularly using Google's own PageSpeed Insights tool.
The tool gives not only a general prognosis on mobile load speed, it provides individualised recommendations on speed-improving optimisations.
Conclusion and an Evergreen Strategy
Keeping up to date with Google's technical SEO is very important for any business that relies on organic traffic. As more and more SEO tricks and hacks are outsmarted by Google, it’s important to remember the golden evergreen SEO strategy.
From the start and forevermore, Google’s long-term strategy is to deliver the most relevant and highest value results for every single search query. Each technical or structural update in Google’s search engine algorithmic structure is an attempt to improve the quality of results.
Therefore, your long-term SEO strategy should always be to be the most relevant and highest value website for the keywords you’re seeking to rank for. Work to create a website and web content that is better than your competition. Always seek to provide value for your users/readers with a combination of high-quality information and resources.
General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) regulations become law on 25th May 2018.
The law is applicable EU-wide including the UK post-Brexit and involves ANY company that collects/processes/stores or uses the personal data of EU/UK individuals and includes direct mail, print and third party suppliers who may have, or require, access to the data you hold.
This includes timeshare resorts – and you cannot hide behind your signed contracts and constitutions.
Within the legal obligations, it is important that businesses understand the difference between a Data Controller, a Data Processer and a Data Protection Officer.
The DPO should trace the flow of data within the business and external third-party suppliers to ensure compliant systems and processes.
The law is specifically changing focus to prioritise the individual’s rights including the right to be informed (of any data breach) and the right to be forgotten (erasure of data) which may be subject to the “legitimate interest” exemption e.g. clients who have financial commitment etc.
Data security and privacy must be by design and a documented process must be in place. There is a 72-hour timeline requirement for data breach notifications and responses to individual subject data requests.
Remember that individual employee laptops, or any data removed from the office premises, must have encryption of data to be compliant.
In addition, there is the option to streamline existing data – to actively erase data when no longer required – which will deliver a more lean, focused and targeted data contact opportunity.
Third party suppliers may need to have a security level or data processing agreement.
Finally, as part of the process your resort needs to consider employee GDPR options and employee awareness training so that they understand what is required of them going forward when handling personal data.
In short – a business needs to operate a higher standard of data security.
If you require any information on making your practice GDPR compliant, contact EVC Marketing now.
Digital marketing specialists EVC Marketing and Red Live Media have joined forces for the upcoming DAE Forum on Wednesday, November 15.
The event is being hosted by Dial An Exchange and will be attended by representatives of mature and legacy resorts around the UK and in Europe. The aim of the forum is to provide understandable, usable and informative advice on a range of subjects.
EVC Marketing and Red Live Media will be represented by John Heffernan who has a wealth of experience in the digital arena and will provide attendees with action points they can implement now to improve their website and social media.
During the presentation, John will give practical advice and techniques on how to use digital marketing to improve engagement with owners and guests, increase rentals from a range of marketplaces and encourage timeshare sales.
Attendees will also receive a DAE USB-drive which will contain a guide providing practical advice on improving website and social media marketing with some great easy-to-implement tips and hints.
The event is also being attended by Andrew Horton from Resort Fiduciary Services and Brad Revell and Vicky Dubois Sandy from Resort Solutions.
The ARDA World 2016 convention in Hollywood, Florida, will be the biggest vacation ownership event of the year.
Thousands of industry professionals representing every area of the timeshare world will attend the five-day event held at the Diplomat Hotel.
EVC Marketing's client, Merlin Software for Vacation Ownership, is a regular exhibitor at the convention and this year is keen to extend its reach in to the US.
To assist with this, EVC Marketing developed a targeted email campaign to encourage visitors to Merlin Software's booth, promoted their attendance on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn and developed this year's booth give-away - a smartphone grip.
EVC Marketing will be tweeting and posting throughout the event and producing a video of the Merlin team's experience.
The first EVC Marketing LinkedIn training day took place on April 28th - and was a great success according to delegates.
Hosted by Resort Solutions Ltd, the training was headed up by digital marketing guru John Heffernan from Red Live Media.
Prior to the training day, all delegates received a profile assessment from John highlighting weaknesses in their current LinkedIn profiles - together with homework tasks to help them make improvements.
On the day, John took delegates through every aspect of LinkedIn including how to successfully use the platform to connect with potential leads and how to set themselves up as an authority in their field.
Feedback from those who attended has been very positive.
Vicky Dubois Sandy: "A very well presented, well structured and informative training session. Also a great opportunity to catch up with some long standing industry friends and colleagues."
Brad Revell: "Really enjoyed the session and learnt some really useful stuff. Looking forward to putting it into practice."
Andrew Horton: "Found the day very beneficial and John Heffernan's presentation was excellent and enjoyable."
A second LinkedIn training day is being planned for later in the year. Please contact Emily Collins for further information.
EVC Marketing has completed the design and content for a four-page A5 brochure for the committee at Club Las Calas.
The release of the brochure is the first step in a larger marketing campaign which includes the launch of an updated mobile and responsive website, social media campaign on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and email programme. More news on this in the next few weeks.
The brochure will be used by the new membership services department which has recently been established at the resort to help promote the new five-year membership programme and assist current owners.
LinkedIn is a superb social media tool that offers huge opprtunities for today's timeshare professional, resort managers, marketers and committee members.
LinkedIn is now the leading social media platform for business professionals. With over 400 million users worldwide, over 20 milion of which are in the UK, you'll find your potential customers, clients and decision makers - as well as your existing customers and contacts.
And yet many of us are not taking full advantage of these opportunities or understand how to make the most of LinkedIn.
To tackle this, EVC Marketing has linked up with social media and digital marketing expert, John Heffernan, to arrange a day of LinkedIn training covering:
Training will take place at St Mary's House, St Mary's Road, Market Harborough from 10.30am on Thursday, April 28th. The price for each place is £85 per person including lunch.
To book your place, email email@example.com or telephone on 01572 756824.