For travel organizations catering to a niche audience, the challenge of attracting users to your site may provide easier or more difficult than if you had a general travel presence – this depends, of course, on how you approach the marketing of your brand. When Eurobookings.com, premier booking engine for European hotels, needed assistance in boosting referrals to their site and increasing active users looking for accommodations, they came to CINIVA Systems’ SimpleTourism, our specialized travel SEO branch, to work toward meeting their online promotional goals.
In the SEO world, the rule of thumb traditionally states that one must wait as long as 6-9 months to see the true impact of your optimization efforts. This is because paradigms change quickly in the search world, and when you add social media to the mix one might find results are expedited in some areas and slow to catch on in others. In just three short months of working with Eurobookings to build their social media presence, SimpleTourism was able to achieve a number of milestones for this growing force in European travel.
Facebook Marketing: Before coming to SimpleTourism, Eurobookings.com had very little, if any, social media visibility. Given how the demographics of Facebook coincide with a major target audience for travel organizations (women 35+), we immediately set up a Fan Page stocked with photos, videos, and information relevant to European travel and choosing quality, affordable hotels. Aggressive marketing to Eurobookings.com’s current opt-in list helped bring the page close to a thousand fans within three months, and Facebook serves as the main site’s fifth largest referrer with 66% of overall visits (approximately a thousand a month) from new users. Facebook referrals, too, make for longer visits to the main booking engine – an average of five minutes per visitor!
The screen shot above illustrates SimpleTourism’s capability for creating custom tabs in Facebook to highlight special contests and other promotions.
With Facebook, SimpleTourism helps bring quality visitors to Eurobookings.com. Careful monitoring of the profile allows us to interact with fans and help them toward booking the right hotel through the engine.
Video Marketing: Armed with well over a thousand videos highlighting the best hotels for which Eurobookings.com offers discounts, SimpleTourism set out to make them viral. We created a YouTube channel tagged properly to attract users searching for destination videos, and have used the embed code in blogs, Facebook posts, and Squidoo lenses promoting the various cities and hotels. Presently YouTube is one of Eurobookings.com’s top twenty referral sites, and moving up.
With YouTube, we have the opportunity to turn future social networks into multimedia profiles and enhance future blog articles and data sharing.
Twitter: With close to a thousand followers on Twitter set up in three months, SimpleTourism uses the micro-blogging platform to promote not only the features of the main site but to encourage interaction via other social media, including Facebook. Taking advantage of direct messages and public replies to queries presents a real-time sense of guidance, one that has led some Twitter followers to click through to suggested hotels and complete reservations. With Twitter’s growing prominence in the search world, and Google’s blended search, our placement of pertinent keywords increases Eurobookings.com’s visibility in results.
Blogging: To supplement the information provided by the main site, SimpleTourism launched a blog – EuropeanHotelSpecialist.com – to act as a travel guide and gallery of various European destinations. Specific keywords are optimized to increase link relevancy for the main site, and other social profiles are integrated into the blog and vice verse. Because we focus on strong writing to assist in site optimization, the blog allows us the freedom to bolster Eurobookings.com’s importance in travel planning. As people search for ideas on European travel, it is our goal to attract visitors to the main site through the blog.
Within three months, SimpleTourism not only established a prominent social media presence for a company that literally had no visibility to forging inroads back to their main site using social media. Where Eurobookings.com once relied solely on search engine hits to gain traffic, now Facebook has fast become an important element in their marketing strategy. SimpleTourism continues to work with Eurobookings.com to think outside the box in terms of social promotion for their hotel reservations.