Friday 20 January 2012

Case Study: Hotel Social Marketing that Boosts Bookings

SocialIndexEngine Hotel Marketing Campaign Case Study

The Social Index Marketing campaign to promote St. Lucia’s Marigot Beach Hotel is less than 6 months old, but the results have been very encouraging. 

With our new SocialIndexEngine Travel Strategy, special offers and promotions were loaded into our travel publishing systems and blasted out to a vast network of travel sites. Content from the same systems are published to Facebook and to our own network.

The Social Marketing is combined with the blogging, article marketing, SEO Mobile Marketing, Travel Blast and Videos

It is a complete, done-for-you social media management and brand marketing  that drives bookings directly to your website and builds sustainable brands.

Compared to the same time last year, the hotel has had a 200% increase in bookings. The page rank for their website,, has increased from PR3 to PR4.

The campaign is a kick-start package. Following a successful kick-start, we will re-evaluate the position of the Brand and devise a strategy to build on new niches with consistent blogging, video distribution, mobile and social media management services providing information to build authority and give answers to travellers.

This success was a result of the new strategies and technology built by AXSES. About a year ago, we noted that traditional Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) was not working. Getting links from other sites used to help us get top position in Google and other search results. Then the Engines like Google saw that a lot of this was paid-for links or reciprocal links (I link to you if you link to me). The result is that reciprocal links now don’t count and general links from directories etc have little or no SEO value.

>>>> More to get the full tutorial and whitepaper on the new SEO and Relationship Marketing sign up at 

We used to comment on blogs; now Google looks to see who is commenting, what their history is and what their score is. Yes, SCORE! – Google actually rates advertisers and applies a Quality Score based on the merit of the work. This Quality Score was first used to weed out advertisers who were not contributing ads of good value; now it is one of the components of the social index that determines who you are, your authority, your influence and your value. Today it is used everywhere – But beware! Putting up a Squeeze page (a page that tries to grab an email and provides only promo material) will decrease your Quality Score. Have a slow-loading site and down goes the Quality Score.

Then there are articles. Article marketing was hot in 2010, but in 2011 a whole bunch of article sites got slapped by Google for populating duplicate content. This was Panda; many site just disappeared over night and articles with duplicates were ignored. Later in 2011, Google started assigning a negative score to website with non-original material. This hurt the e-commerce sites and particularly the affiliates who resold the product and copied the content of- like hotel room description, rates, etc. - from an OTA like Expedia.

All of this was unfortunate for bona fide distributors and travel marketers. The fact is that Google was not after the reputable marketers; it was clamping down on the absolute nonsense that affiliate marketers where putting on the net to game the system and sell their affiliate offers, like Teeth whiteners. The net had become proliferated with poorly written, low-value articles and a lot of trash. They had to do something, as search results were becoming irrelevant.

In marketing today, you cannot ignore Google. It is massive. ComScore reported in September 2011 that Google had almost 66% of all search traffic. So you absolutely must know what it is doing.

To be successful in today’s media, one has to know what Google is looking at, where it is looking, what it is looking for and what it does not want. Make a mistake and Google will slap you right out of the ring.  

To be successful in internet marketing today, you need to be where Goggle is looking

What I can tell you is that Google is looking at Social Media. It is looking at what you are doing on social media, social networking sites like Facebook, sharing sites like YouTube, bookmarking sites like Delicious, Wikipedia-type sites, and news sites like Twitter. It is very interested in mobile sites which are, in fact, the most social of all, and mobile is soon going to overtake OC as the main method of Search and Internet access!

We have noted that Google likes video and that consumers are searching for videos to evaluate a product or service and get answers to questions. Hence, we use a lot of video. They are informative videos; not too sales-oriented and definitely not glitzy. Videos that work in Social Media are local, personal stories and honest accounts, if they get too polished and too glib they loose appeal. Never put fancy effects and glitz into your videos.

Knowing all of this, our SocialIndexEngine is about building your social presence and making it work. It is not restricted to Social, but pretty soon there will be little else but Social. It really is the new way of marketing, permission-based, non-invasive and informative, supportive and engaging communications. 

Gone are the days of hype and spin. Mostly all of that has been the result of too many products in the market. It was not always like this, the cave man did not wonder around with a placard marketing his wares. In fact before commerce, man existed in agregrian communities bartering with neighbors. 

Now we have Pepsi reusing the word "Refresh" for its emotional appeal and Coke competing for emotional space with "Open Happiness". I think it is all rather ridiculous.  

The new marketing is going back to its roots in many respects. Friends, acquaintances, business partner and one's own circle or community are a growing factor in influencing what you people buy and where. The new technology is drastically changing the way we market. With so many consumers becoming vocal, publishing options, sharing views and insights: the traditional media of newspapers, radio and the broadcasters and finding themselves lost in a sea of voices and the new paradigm of participation. I talk about this in the preface to my book "How to Build your Business online by Ian R. Clayton"

It's available in paperback on Amazon and Kindle, as easy read and full of helpful insights and how to's. Will share with you the process of publishing it in an upcoming blog - Keep Watching!

This new marketing is at the core of our approach to SEO. We have built an overall strategy that includes our e-commerce engine and our publishing machine. We even do magazines and all the usual brochures, but now always published on on-demand, available instantly, online with digital format for download to mobile devices and by regular mail. 

Everything is going online and you need to be there with the best you have in a format, message and engagement appropriate to your niche.