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Posted by on May 2, 2017 in Conference Recaps

2017 Skift Forum Europe Recap

The “TED of travel” is what media, speakers and participants have been calling Skift Forum. Held usually in New York, this year the for the first time, the European forum was held in London, UK. On April 4th, 2017, two of our European team members had the pleasure of attending this one day conference focused on top marketers, strategists and technologists in travel. Deepa Arthur and Kasia Rudnik share their thoughts from a full day spent with travel professionals being grilled by Skift journalists about the hottest travel trends and the future of travel. There is no doubt that the first European forum sent a very clear message of what is important: customer’s trust, loyalty, uniqueness and understanding the fragmented European market. Have a look at what were their top 3 picks.

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To read more about the forum and subjects discussed in London, head to the official page of the event: https://skift.com/sfe2017/.

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Posted by on Dec 27, 2016 in All Matters SEO

Top 5 Digital Trends for 2017

With only a few days left of 2016, everyone is thinking about the holiday season. However the digital world doesn’t stop for holiday and changes every minute of every day. Therefore, to be prepared for 2017, I wanted to share with you my top 5 digital trends for this coming year.

1.) Content – unique and high quality

Content is king and will reign for years to come. When we say content for 2017 we mean high quality, unique and interactive content. Content Marketing Institute says in its B2B 2016 Content Marketing Report  that 88% of B2B marketers in North America currently rely on some form of content marketing. This means it will become increasingly difficult to break through the digital noise to distinguish content. Our customers are getting more savvy, therefore more demanding and our content needs to meet their needs. Next year will see greater focus on bringing influencers on board for more organic marketing. Storytelling will also play a key role in engaging customers in and keeping them engaged. Natural, relevant content in the right channels will drive content campaigns more effectively.

2.) Influencer Marketing

Speaking of content, we pointed out that influencers will play a major role in 2017. In one of our blog posts, Beth talks in more detail about influencers. As noise in the digital landscape gets louder and consumers are challenged with never-ending stream of information, they look for sources that can help them make sense of all the information. Today’s consumer is more likely to trust an influencer than brand messaging – 92% percent of people trust recommendations from individuals (even if they don’t know them) over brands.

3.) Personalization

In recent years the trend has been to personalize everything, from shoes, watches, and your favourite soda can to your hotel stay. In an era where customers value tailored experiences, personalization is not just a nice-to-have option and in 2017 it will be a must –have option. Some powerful stats can explain more. Personalized content talks directly to your target audience and offers the exact product they are looking for. So before you decide on a message, research your data and your target audience.

4.) Social Media – Strategy, Not Channel

Power of social media has been discussed by many and it is a fact that there are over 2.5 billion active social media users worldwide. That number is growing at a rate of 9% a year. The advertising spend is rising even faster. According to Advertising Age, social media spend grew 55% to $10.9 billion, up from the previous year’s $7 billion. In the year 2017, the online communities will not only be bound to company-consumer conversation or attracting new prospects; instead, they will provide opportunities to improve conversion rates.

5.) Live Video Streaming

If content is king, video is the queen. It’s very easy; consumers like to watch videos, whether for entertainment or informational purposes. Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat have recently invested heavily in the video marketing industry, making the social media platforms the best place for brands to share attractive video content to gain exposure and convert customers.

Look for live streaming video to go from being more of a novelty in 2016 to the marketing norm in the New Year. In 2017, it will become increasingly easy to provide users with the unfiltered, unedited, “look behind the curtain” that they respond to well. Hyperfine Media has put together 31 must know video marketing infographics which will talk to you in numbers.

2017

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Posted by on Jul 26, 2016 in Social Media

If Not the Facebook Fans, What Counts for My Page?

Back at the end of 2009, “getting fans” on Facebook was all that mattered, or so everybody thought. Hotel marketing managers looked at Facebook as a tool to engage consumers and their preferred success metric was the number of fans or received likes. It didn’t take long to realize that growing your fan base was actually very easy, as long as you had a few dollars to spend. Just advertise appropriately and your fan base will grow. The moment the hotel grew their fan base, it was clear that this should not be a metric to focus on.

We all know that measuring the success of your social media channels is a must, so what, if not fans, measures your Facebook success?

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Engagement

Post engagement is broken into three types: likes, shares and comments. Looking at the type of engagement you are receiving is the simplest way to measure how well your content is doing. Of the three, shares is the most telling statistic.

A share tells you that the person is naturally endorsing you by reposting your original content to their group of followers. While these types of metrics might seem like a good indication of how well your page is performing, if people are not actively clicking through to your website, then all the likes in the world are not too relevant.

Post Reach

Post reach, or impressions, is the number of users that your post is exposed to. A user seeing your post does not necessary have to be your follower, they might see your content as other users repost it. This figure tells you about the potential number of users that can click on your post and, ideally, click through to your website. In other words, the higher your post reach, the bigger possibility of new clicks.

If you notice that your post reach is constantly low, Facebook offers tools to help. Look into the platform’s other metrics such as the time of day that your followers are online and Facebook’s ‘Pages to Watch’ feature.

Post Clicks

Facebook offers two ways of measuring clicks: post clicks and link clicks. A post click is generated when a Facebook user shows interest by clicking your post. However, the user could be clicking the photo or some other area of the post, and not necessarily the link you have included. If this number is high, it means that you are drawing an initial interest. The next step is to check how post clicks measure up against link clicks to see if your posts are generating visits to your website.

Book Now

The Book Now feature has been made available to hotels since February 2015. It is located at the top of your hotel’s Facebook profile- in a prime location to remind users that booking a room at this hotel should be the priority. It’s a good idea to keep track of how many people are clicking on this button and converting on your website. The data for how many people click this button is shown on a weekly basis and you cannot view past data. If you would like to keep track of the past data, my suggestion would be to create a simple tracker in Excel.

Link Clicks

Your ultimate success metric should be the number of Facebook users that clicked through to your hotel website. If you are interested in seeing the number of link clicks a particular post has received, go to your Insights page and then to Posts. Click any of your published posts and a pop up window will appear. This will give you a variation of information such as: number of likes, reactions, shares and most importantly – the link clicks.

There you have it, five top metrics you should track on Facebook. Next time you post, aim for high reach, high engagement and clicks to your website.

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Posted by on Sep 8, 2015 in All Matters SEO, Digital Industry News, Social Media

Happy Birthday YouTube! Ten years of video platforms – what has changed and what are we to expect next!

This year YouTube is celebrating 10 years since the first video was uploaded. Celebrating this monumental achievement, the MDS team wanted to further examine how sharing videos with the world has changed since the first video upload. We would also like to highlight the last 2 years that helped us navigate further into the video sharing landscape.

In 2005, the everyday user was introduced to many platforms seeking our attention such as Apple iTunes, Blip, Metacafe, Myspace and Google’s own platform. However the race to becoming the top provider of sharable video content didn’t last long. Although popular platforms showed an initial success, it was clear that YouTube was a force to be reckoned with, reaching almost three times as many users as the next competing platform – Yahoo.

As YouTube continued to expand, the platform showed great stability as a well-managed platform with endless opportunity. However, in today’s digital landscape new platforms are being created that naturally threaten popular platform dominance. Well managed competition has often spurred competitive rank battles commonly dominated by Facebook.

Social Media Statistic: By March 2014, Facebook was delivering more than 40 percent of YouTube’s raw video volume to an audience that was 57 percent of YouTube’s total unique reach. (http://www.comscore.com/Insights/Press-Releases/2014/4/comScore-Releases-March-2014-US-Online-Video-Rankings)

YouTube has proven their mettle as being the premier online video platform. But the digital landscape has competing platforms waiting to take their turn to make a big play in your digital strategy. Please be advised that although YouTube is a clear powerhouse, we have further examined and unlocked keys to other platforms to consider in your marketing and digital strategy.

YouTube

As discussed, YouTube has unquestionably proven they are in the driver’s seat in the digital race for innovation. Videos that call YouTube home have a reputation of humor and education; engaging hosts, or simply featuring skills we have all wanted to master. These engaging reputations are often presented in a timeframe between one and four minutes. Although this timeframe may seem to be efficient, other platforms have already began to fill the timeframe with multiple videos on a myriad of topics.

Since YouTube has earned its digital landscape veteran status, channels may find it difficult and time consuming to build presence for individual brands. This has caused brands to use an existing set of big channels rather than building their own from scratch.YouTube-logo-full_colorFacebook

Most of today’s Facebook users are no stranger to the Facebook video option. With an easy to use model, users have little trouble uploading videos directly to their feed and many brands have begun to see big success by utilizing video content on Facebook.

Social Media Fact: There is no time limit of such videos, however it is important to remember that most Facebook video viewing happens on mobile (http://amigobulls.com/articles/google-vs-facebook-competition-heats-up-in-online-video-advertising), so unless you have engaging narrative, you should keep video content under one minute.

A popular feature with brands utilizing Facebook is the option to autoplay your video content. Through autoplaying content many marketers believe the potential for engagement is sparked because there is no user action required.

Please be advised that although Facebook and YouTube both share video content, each platform measures views differently. For example, when utilizing Facebook’s autoplay feature, a view is not registered until 5 seconds of video have been viewed. In comparison, YouTube requires a click to initiate and begins registering views after 30 seconds have been viewed.

FB-f-Logo__blue_512Vine and Instagram

As Millennials, we have been conditioned to want our content to be as digestible and streamlined as possible. Instagram and Vine have taken advantage of this concept by redefining the timeframe in which content is presented. In the beginning age of video, a user found excitement with clips no less than the length of our favourite song.

Video apps like Instagram and Vine have presented the same information as YouTube in a fraction of the time. To modern app users, “short” can now be described as 15 seconds (Instagram) which is three times as long compared to Vine’s streamlined 4 second clips. Along with their ideas of time, these two apps differ after the clip has been viewed. Users of Vine will see their videos loop creating a GIF-like experience whereas Instagram users have the option to replay the viewed clip.

Since Vine and Instagram are based on a mobile experience, content creators must keep in mind that a video driven by sound may be ineffective. In many cases, the user’s device may be in silent mode which will cause the video to stay muted (creating a GIF experience) unless manually engaged.

Some successful profiles on Vine include BMWUS, Coca-Cola and Dunkin Donuts.

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Snapchat

For users not familiar with the current craze, Snapchat has begun to provide single view video sharing. Through their “My Story” feature, Snapchat allows users to broadcast to their followers through a series of 10 second “snaps” that have a lifespan of 24 hours. The 24 hour timeframe has encouraged users to regularly check for updates from their favorite accounts.

The raw nature of Snapchat makes it very different from the other platforms but many brands, including Marriott, have found great success on the platform.

In the recent months we have been treated to innovative new players in livestreaming platforms such as Periscope, Meerkat and Facebook Livestream. Targeted towards the Millennial market and beyond, viewers and volume are rising rapidly. Brands have started to integrate Periscope into their digital strategies including popular hotel brands (http://innlink.com/periscope-for-hotels/). Fans of the popular band U2 have started to become acquainted with Meerkat through U2’s strategy to support their latest tour (http://www.fromthegrapevine.com/blogs/arts/u2-partners-meerkat-live-stream-north-american-tour).snapchat-ghost-yellow

The MDS team is always ready to explore new segments of the digital landscape. Please continue to follow our blog as we continue to integrate new endeavours into our work.

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