Place Marketing, Slides from my GDVN Symposium Presentation
I’m a PR person at heart, so my first instinct is sharing! Integrated marketing is a fascinating and challenging topic, and I got to speak on it in January.
I was honored to be asked to speak at the Greater Denver Venue Network’s first annual Symposium at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science to nearly 95 sales and marketing professionals of venues that were anything but hotels. Which was awesome! It gave me the chance to learn that marketing basics apply to everyone. Everyone needs a healthy website, everyone needs a strong social strategy. And everyone needs help with marketing.
Standing up there I remembered how much I love teaching. Especially the ever-changing scope of marketing. I don’t think I’ve ever had the benefit of doing the same training twice because everything changes so fast. Tomorrow there could be a new Google algorithm, a new social channel, a new trend. But it felt so good to share the couple of things that I know right now with people who were hungry for it.
So I want to share more! Below are a few of my slides from my Place Marketing presentation on January 16, 2019.
Before you can market you have to know who you are. Gather your top selling points and focus on what makes you special. These are your pillars, use them in any and all efforts you make, tell your story! Pillars are often the simplest elements of your space or business, so much so that you’re probably forgetting to talk about them because you see them every day and you’re over it. But here’s the thing, your customers are not over it. That’s why they come to you.
On the flip side, once you know who you are you can have some fun and play! Looking for trends in your industry that you can play off of to draw attention to your business. The Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn (ok we’re two blogs in and I’m talking about The Wythe, I have an obsession with this hotel, sorry not sorry) grabbed on to two trends last year by featuring a relaxing scent provided to guests as an amenity that could be used as a fragrance, linen or room spray AND it comes in a reusable bottle with a plant-based label. Scent is back, sustainability is hot. They were featured in Forbes.
How do you know how your website is doing? Google yourself. Use the keywords that you hope your customers are finding you with. With the way Google tracks your cookies if your website isn’t showing up for your own searches, you’ve got a really big problem. Very few people are clicking over to that second page any more, your website needs to be on the first page of the search engines.
Here are easy questions to ask your digital agency to get your website moving on up.
· Is your site secure? Does it say http:// or https:// on your url? As of summer of 2018 Google requires all sites to be secure, if you’re not secure, you’re losing juice.
· Is all of your content up to date? Your meta description is your pitch online. When you Google your company are you happy with the content you see? Make sure it’s up to date.
· Do your images load quickly? This can drag your site down in so many ways. Make sure your images are high-res but the right size per your website standards that allow the image to load quickly.
Bigger steps you can take now.
· Fresh content – Google wants to know that you’re taking care of your site. By updating your content on a regular basis, it will make the search engines crawl your site more often and up your value, but make sure it’s relevant, those spiders are smart now they see past B.S. copy changes and are looking for info that is important to readers.
· Linking strategy – It goes like this. Your website links to a partner’s website that is in good standings with Google. Google sees that your website does business with that other business and its website. And it decides that your business must be great and moves you up in the rankings!
If you’re still not hitting that first page for your desired keywords, it might be time to pay. Your digital agency should be able to recommend smart tactics to place your site in search and boost its strength. There are a lot of creepy ways you can target people based on their behavior online and I encourage you to take advantage of it.
A big question at GDVN was if print advertising was still relevant. Print advertising isn’t as strong on its own as it used to be (I majored in journalism in college so trust me, this hurts me more than it hurts you). When you team up with a local publication, make sure any print ad you buy is also paired with digital marketing, email and social distribution, so you get the biggest bang for your buck. Very few people are opening up that magazine anymore but they’re reading the articles online.
This stat has been out there but in case you’ve been living under a rock, get ready to be crushed. Pun intended. For business pages on Facebook the average amount of people who like your page that will see an organic post that doesn’t have money behind it, is less than 2 percent. Recently there was also a debunked hoax that Instagram was only showing organic posts to 7 percent of business account’s followers. But don’t give up! These two are the heavy hitters of social and you should be participating in both. (Side note: If you are a company that is not visually interesting, don’t get on Instagram just to be on it, or figure out a way to make your content visually interesting. Nobody wants ugly on Insta.) But these companies are businesses and they need to make money just like you, there are a number of ways to play their game wisely.
Boosts are direct money toward a specific post and can be targeted in a number of ways to make sure more people get it in their feeds. This is something that you can do straight from your business page. Paid advertising is different and is commonly run by your digital agency in conjunction with your full digital strategy. These are the “Sponsored” ads that you see in your feed and there are a lot of levels where social media can reach more people than even PPC or display. It depends on the message, the goals and the budget.
Another big question has always been, “how do I come up with content?” Creating a content calendar at least two weeks ahead of time can really take the pressure off. And the ultimate cheat that everyone is doing – UGC. User generated content. Everybody wants to be an Influencer! Reposting content from your customers (with permission) is an easy way to gather imagery that people care about. How do you know that’s what they want to see? Because they posted it, they wanted to brag about it, you should too.
I could go on and on with each of these topics but if you even made it to the end of a blog this long I’m so proud of you and your attention span! I have to thank the GDVN crew and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science again for hosting me, already looking forward to next year's Symposium and a new set of rules for Place Marketing.