Leveraging the Power of Online Video for Customer Engagement
In today's digital world where content is king, video has emerged as one of the most influential mediums for connecting with customers. With people spending over an hour daily watching online videos, it's clear this visual format has become a dominant form of communication.
As marketing experts, we at EVC Marketing understand the immense potential of online video to educate audiences, cultivate connections and drive meaningful engagement with brands. When leveraged strategically across various touchpoints, video can significantly boost awareness, lead generation and customer loyalty.
In this blog, we explore how businesses can harness the power of visual storytelling through online video to truly engage with their target customers. We'll discuss various video marketing tactics and provide best practices for crafting and distributing compelling content that resonates with audiences.
Whether you're looking to introduce your brand, showcase products or services, support the customer journey, or strengthen advocacy - online video offers unparalleled opportunities to spark engagement at every stage. When done right, it can become a powerful tool for building relationships with customers and differentiating your business in today's crowded digital landscape.
So whether you're a seasoned video marketer or just getting started, keep reading to learn how to incorporate this dynamic medium into your marketing strategies. By leveraging video's unique ability to inform and inspire audiences, you'll be well on your way to forging stronger connections with customers.
As part of our research for a client's project, we came across Jasper Ribbers and his website GetPaidForYourPad.com. If you use the services of Airbnb to rent your resort accommodation, Jasper offers a range of tools and resources to help you maximise your bookings and save you time.
Webinar: Do YOU have a 5-Star Reputation?
Date: The webinar will take place on Tuesday, June 16, 2020, 16:00 BST, 11:00 EST
How to register: Register now for your FREE webinar place
Webinar Details: EVC Marketing, and our partners CustomerCount and Keatext, have come together for this free 30-minute webinar as we introduce you to reputation marketing and customer feedback management. Register for free here.
First, thank you to all my clients who have been so supportive and understanding over recent weeks. It has been a desperately sad time made harder by the coronavirus pandemic.
As we try to adjust, I thought I’d let you know EVC Marketing’s approach to the current situation. I have to admit, I’ve been influenced by an article in Marketing Week written by Mark Ritson, which I urge you to read.
We have to accept that just three months into the New Year, our business plans are in disarray. It’s no one’s fault. We couldn’t have planned for any of this.
How to plan your new decade digital marketing strategy
EVC Marketing, digital marketing specialists with over 25+ years supporting the travel/resort sector, has launched a 2020 Vision campaign offering you our insight into the options, trends and must-haves to make your 2020 Digital Marketing campaigns a success.
A member of the Google team once famously stated:
“If you think you need to be everywhere at once – you are heading in the right direction”
And they were wrong.
From a purely business perspective, being everywhere at once is not feasible. And with potentially limited time, resources, skill sets and, most importantly, budgets, everywhere is simply not practical.
The answer is that you do not need to be everywhere. You need to be where your potential clients, guests, and suppliers are. And that is unlikely to be everywhere.
The marketing sector is continually evolving and growing with new “kids” or options appearing in social media almost daily.
So, how and when do you start planning for 2020?
The when is easy. You need to start now. Being ahead of the game and your competitors starts now.
The how needs a plan. A strategy. A co-ordinated, agreed, documented and scheduled strategy.
Not rocket science unless you factor in time. And developing a formal strategy all-too-often falls into the “round-to-it” pile. We all have one. Sits there until we get around to it. And being blunt, we don’t.
That’s where a framework for your plan comes in handy. The ability to follow a plan and develop your strategy with all the constituent parts in place:
Before we investigate added options for your 2020 agenda, you cannot lose sight of tried and tested digital marketing activities:
Building a solid foundation for your digital marketing brand and authority is the number one priority of all business websites.
You need to ensure that your site is frankly, up to the task.
Before 2020, you should consider a review, an audit, a technical analysis of your site using today’s latest third party support, software and expertise.
The audit should review all elements of:
The best way to engage with your guests and to maximise your visibility in the Google’s E-A-T algorithm is establishing Expertise, Authority, Trust.
Quality engaging content is the menu special to EAT.
Content can be word (blogs, whitepapers, guides, FAQ’s, PR), images (sized and named) or optimised video (see below).
Google focuses search results on keyword semantic relevance. How relevant your content is to the search being conducted is key. It may embrace copywriting, page titles, Meta descriptions and all other image naming and video descriptions etc. This is both within on-site pages and off-site content, social media and other platforms.
Have you reviewed your content visibility? Authority? Impact?
Have you measured your content performance against your competitors?
A content audit can also establish the direction of your 2020 marketing strategy.
YOUR 2O2O AGENDA
Let’s look at what needs to be on your agenda for 2020 – and in no particular order:
ZERO CLICK SEARCHES
What is Zero click? We have all seen the results but maybe not realised the major change to how Google deliver results for the searches that you, me and your guests conduct.
In plain English, a zero click is a search query answer result shown on the search result page WITHOUT the need to click through to a website.
Just try it. See for yourself.
Google shows answer boxes to respond to questions, list options and more and the searcher does NOT have to click through to perhaps your website to gain the answer.
All is not lost, however, particularly if your site delivers the answer that is displayed.
Can you make that happen – yes!
The explosion of Google Home and Amazon Alexa has taken the smart phone voice assistants on Android and iOS devices to a whole new level.
The trend for voice-activated search/questions is set to continue a rapid upward growth. Voice search will impact your website content, your social media content and, if you provide one, your podcast content. And Voice search must be included in your 2020 Digital Marketing strategy.
The 24/7 availability of chatbots offers instant information, professional customer service, efficient communication and increased brand authority perception. Chatbot growth is set to continue as an expected feature of customer contact.
CREATE SHOPPABLE POSTS
Ok, maybe your resort is not selling products via social media but if you do, or are planning to do so, the ability to include direct click purchases within your social media posts is already established. The trend to buy and engage with one-click will explode in 2020.
Could shoppable posts work for you?
GOOGLE ADS MANAGEMENT
Do you run paid or sponsored ad campaigns? Well, that landscape is evolving even further. Bidding costs must be reviewed, target keywords/phrases and semantic relevance need to re-evaluated, ad content and click through rates should be reviewed. What you need is a fine-tuned, efficient and cost-effective campaign.
When was the last time you had fresh eyes and expertise to review your campaign?
VIDEO, VIDEO, VIDEO AND MORE VIDEO
The rise of video content over the last few years has been phenomenal. And there are no signs of a reduction in the impact of video content anytime soon.
In fact, with the rise of voice search, video should remain one of your top actions for 2020.
We love to watch – not so much read - and video can be used to introduce you, your resort, your location, answer guest questions and so much more. It is also available 24/7 on phone, tablet, laptop, desktop or even big screen in reception areas!
The problem is that even resorts with great video content, often fail to configure or promote their video on social media, video channels (YouTube) or website.
Video needs a unique strategy!
WEBSITE MOBILE FRIENDLY & FAST
We all should know by now that we live in a mobile world. Smartphones and tablets account for more searches, page visits, video views and social media engagement than desktop devices.
Is your website mobile friendly? Is your content mobile friendly? Is your 2020 digital marketing strategy mobile friendly?
And when evaluating your site to check if it is mobile friendly, you must check your website page load speed. Fast is good. Fast is great user experience. Great user engagement. Great search authority. You need speed.
Above all – you need to measure your success? Are you ready for 2020? Whatever your vision, we look forward to providing our insight!
Contact us today and let's work together on your 2020 vision.
Google has announced that it is implementing a major change to its core search algorithm. These changes could affect result rankings for up to one in 10 queries. If your resort business is dependent on being found by search engine results, this is could have a huge impact on your business. Imagine seeing a drop in your inbound traffic, sales and revenue by 10 per cent?
Inc. editor Jeff Haden explains: “In the past, Google's algorithm treated a search sentence as a "bag of words." It picked out what it considered to be the important words--in "who is a great keynote speaker," clearly "keynote" and "speaker" are more important than "is" and "a." But doing so eliminates context from a search sentence's intent.
With the old algorithm, if you entered the search sentence: “Can you get medicine for someone pharmacy? it picked out the words "medicine" and "pharmacy”. Google then displayed local results believing you are looking for a nearby drugstore. And you would get frustrated and search again, as this is not what you were looking for.
Google's new algorithm notices "for someone" and determines you're looking for information about whether you're allowed to pick up someone else's prescription for them. And displays very different search results which answer your query.
The new algorithm is based on something called BERT, or "bidirectional encoder representations from transformers." Google said BERT helps better understand the nuances and context of words in searches and better matches those queries with more relevant results.
In non-techie terms, BERT is a tool that helps optimise natural language processing by using A.I. and a massive data set to deliver better contextual results. Or even more simply, Google now better understands what you're looking for when you enter a search query.
In another example Google shared: "Parking on a hill with no curb." The old algorithm discarded "no," delivering results that reference how to park on a hill with curbs. The new algorithm realises "no" matters and delivers a top result showing how to park uphill or downhill with no curb.
And one more example: "2019 brazil traveler to usa need a visa." Old Google ignored "to" and returned results on U.S. citizens traveling to Brazil. But "to" clearly matters, and BERT picks up the difference, returning results for Brazilian travellers to the U.S.
With these changes it is only some search queries that will be affected. How the algorithm works is still something of a mystery, even to the most dedicated SEO professionals (although we are able to help with that).
So, if your site suddenly ranks lower for certain search terms, BERT might be to blame.
Either way, according to Pandu Nayak, Google VP of research: "This is the single biggest ... most positive change we've had in the last five years and perhaps one of the biggest since the beginning."
What can you do? Well, it is worthwhile spending time watching your search rankings and analysing your keyword context, especially if you try to rank well for longer-tail keyword strings. And if your search traffic remains stable but conversion rates dip, that's a sign at least portion of the traffic you receive isn't interested in what you provide.
Haden believes it's likely to be impossible to truly optimise for BERT, so make sure you create content for people, not search engines.
BERT is just another step in Google's effort to understand what people want when they search. The more you deliver what people want, the more value you give, the more likely you are to rank high in search results.
First of all, make sure your account security settings are correct. Then follow our top tips for email security.
1. Have a back-up email addresses
Common sense dictates that if one eMail account fails, you need a back-up address. A minimum of 2 addresses is strongly recommended.
One or more business address and one or more personal addresses is an ideal option to separate sensitive accounts from more general use; subscriptions, event registrations, downloads, surveys etc.
As always, for each account use a unique password and follow password best practice.
2. Password best practice
Too many people use the same password over and over again. An ideal password is unique and regularly changed. Consider the use of non-dictionary words, numbers, hashtags, characters and don’t make it easy.
Never use birthdays or other dates you freely promote on your social media channels! When you make your range of passwords as difficult as possible, you may need to employ a password manager.
Consider, two-factor authentication – as much is takes a little more time and slight inconvenience.
3. Don’t forget in this mobile world, your smartphone may be the first line of attack
Your smartphone must have a password code or fingerprint access. Weak smartphone security can be an open door to your otherwise well protected laptop, desktop and network devices.
4. Your email account may be safe but ……
Wherever possible, do not use public devices to access your email.
5. Information is considered private for a reason!
6. Free public Wi-Fi may be a security free for all
If you really have to use free wi-fi – do not login to your email account and certainly do not login to any bank or online transaction website!
7. Scammers also love phishing
Your email account will no doubt have received one of those messages. They have evolved from Nigerian princes with millions of dollars to some very clever techniques designed to fool even the most intelligent of targets.
Stick to the tried and tested safety rules:
8. Do the work – do the updates
First line of defence – make sure you keep your software up-to-date. A few seconds or minutes may save hours, days or months of hassle. Consider a good, reliable, real-time anti-virus and back-up your data and conduct regular scans.
And remember, if you have an attitude that it can never happen to you, it can and probably will – unless your assess your risk and take preventative action.
To find out more how EVC Marketing can help you with our cyber security services, contact us today.
It's Cyber Security Awareness Month. So what, you might be thinking?
Well, what if we told you that, according to private Internet Service Provider Beaming, in the second quarter of 2019, businesses in the UK faced an average of 146,491 attempted cyber attacks? That equates to one attack every 50 seconds. The figure is a significant increase of 179 per cent from 2018, in which businesses had faced 52,596 attacks on average.
Sonia Blizzard, managing director of Beaming commented: “The rate at which UK businesses are attacked online has soared over the last year and companies large and small are under sustained attack from hackers around the world.”
And all businesses are under attack. Most attacks are indiscriminate, with malicious code trawling the web exploiting any weak points in cybersecurity systems. A single breach can be catastrophic.
The Federation of Small Business says that victims are most frequently subject to phishing attempts, with 530,000 small firms suffering from such an attack over the past two years.
Hundreds of thousands of businesses also report incidences of malware (374,000), fraudulent payment requests (301,000) and ransom-ware (260,000).
How can this be tackled?
-Of course, there are many who believe that government can, and should, do more. There should be a focus on enhancing the current policing response, including investing more in cyber up-skilling for police personnel as part of its wider recruitment push.
Software developers also have a role to play by adding automatic patching and updates to be the default option for all software products.
And the banks need to build in greater resilience into banking and payments systems, and made liable for the losses of business – not just the consumer.
What can small business do?
Here are some tips that all small businesses should follow, as recommended by the National Cyber Security Centre and FSB Cyber Protection advice line:
How EVC Marketing can help
To celebrate Cyber Security Awareness Month, we will be posting a top tip every morning on our Facebook page. So pop over and follow our page today (make sure you click See First).
We will also have a follow up article on email security which is where small business is particularly vulnerable. We'll post a link to that on our Facebook page as well.
Finally, EVC Marketing has teamed up with professional cyber security technicians and engineers who can provide a range of consultancy services including:
If you have a cybersecurity requirement, or would like to arrange an assessment, then contact us today. It really is better to be safe, than sorry.
Google has announced that its search results will become mobile-first on 1 July 2019. The announcement acknowledges the increase in mobile search as we increasing use our mobile devices to search, find and engage with websites.
EVC Marketing's John Heffernan explains: "Search engines like Google are well aware of this seed-change in search behaviour and they are evolving to meet our needs with mobile-first indexing".
Simply explained, until now, Google indexed the content from the desktop version of your website first. From July this year, Google will index the content from your mobile version of your website first.
This latest development by Google to make the web more mobile-friendly could have important consequences for business owners. So, as a resort manager, what do you need to do?
It's all down to whether your resort website is responsive or not. If different versions of your website are displayed based on the type of device it’s being viewed on, then it's responsive. If visitors get the same website they would on a desktop, then it's not.
The lack of a mobile-friendly user experience may start to have a negative impact on your site's search rankings - if not now, it is likely to do so in the future.
So what can you do to make your site mobile-friendly?
First check your website and make sure all your technical areas such as the page speed, structure, language and design are mobile-friendly. And take a look at your Google Analytics and Google Search Console to see where your traffic is coming from, how long they stay on your site and where they go.
Make sure your site has a security certificate (Secure Socket Layer or SSL) changing it from http to https (like this website). A non-secure site will deliver a "not-secure" statement in the search results.
And make sure that you continue to add high-quality, engaging and valuable content to your site on a regular basis with meta data, titles, and optimised images and video.
Check that this content will display easily and properly on a mobile device. This includes writing shorter sentences in compact paragraphs, large and clear fonts and larger tap buttons. We all know how frustrating it is clicking on a button on our mobile phone that is just TOO small.
What to do next?
When Google indexes your mobile site version, you will receive a notice in your Google Search Console (you’ll need to consult your techie team).
In the meantime we suggest you undertake a mobile-friendly site performance test. How many of you have actually visited your website on your own mobile devices?
And while you're at it take a look at your overall digital marketing strategy. Take the time to:
EVC Marketing can help
If this is all rather techie for you, but you're concerned your search rankings could be affected by this change, then contact EVC Marketing. We can undertake a range of audits and report back with fix recommendations to make your site mobile-first friendly.
Prices start from just £199 ($275) and include checks on current mobile friendliness, page speed, mobile parity/structure, content, and links.
You can then pass this report to your techie team to implement, or we can do this for you.
To find out more about this mobile-friendliness check, complete the enquiry form, contact the team on +44 (0) 208 123 9273 (UK) or + 1 (239) 444 8176 (US) or Skype EVMCollins.
EVC Marketing has connected with Mobius Vendor Partners (MVP), the well-known US-based creator of the CustomerCount customer feedback system to expand the marketplace for CustomerCount in the United Kingdom and Europe.
MVP launched CustomerCount in 2007 for a major timeshare exchange company. Since then, the survey platform has been used across the global hospitality sector and other industries as well. An enterprise customer feedback solution, CustomerCount provides intuitive, real-time reporting, fast turnaround on updates, detailed and dynamic data gathering and comprehensive reporting.
“Our relationship with EVC has developed organically,“ said Bob Kobek, president of CustomerCount. “We’ve been working with them on various initiatives and it was a natural progression. During our time working together Emily and John learned the ins and outs of our online survey system and we are all pleased to have them as part of our team.”
The system, available in 40 different languages, is the only enterprise feedback management system designed specifically for the leisure travel industry. It is easily adaptable to gather information for numerous industries and a plethora of purposes.
“Being a multi-lingual platform, CustomerCount is an ideal fit for the international marketplace,“ said Emily. “We are looking forward to opening up new horizons and helping businesses ‘across the pond’ benefit from this valuable website survey tool.”
With its responsive design and device recognition capabilities, CustomerCount offers Full Text Search and the ability for guests to make on-site service requests right from their mobile devices.
Founded in 1999, Mobius Vendor Partners (Mobius) is a business process design, management and performance improvement company with personnel committed to excellence in assessment and deployment. We help our client organizations increase efficiency and effectiveness to gain positive, bottom line impacts. At Mobius, we provide solutions whose immediate or forecasted impacts are measurable in quantitative and/or qualitative terms. We work with our clients to identify the key performance indicators related to our solutions and develop processes/systems for effective reporting.
CustomerCount is a feature-rich, cloud-based survey solution providing intuitive real-time reporting and detailed dynamic data gathering capabilities to support process improvement efforts, build customer loyalty and improve ROI. CustomerCount was initially designed for the hospitality and contact centre industries and is now used by organisations across numerous different vertical markets and industries.
For more information on survey solutions and customer feedback management for your resort, contact Emily Collins to arrange an online demo.