E-Tourism Update: Superstars of Social Marketing: How San Francisco CVB attracted 100,000 Facebook Fans; How Baltimore built 6,000 Twitter followers. 30 presenters: www.etourismsummit.com
Recently we caught up with PR and Marketing “Guruess” and E-Tourism Summit presenter, Robyn K. Levin, who found herself in a David vs. Goliath situation marketing a nine-room B&B near Atlantic City and providing them Google rankings higher than iconic casinos such as Caesars, Trump and Borgata. So what’s her secret? You need to come to the E-Tourism Summit to find out! www.etourismsummit.com
How did you get started in interactive marketing?
I have always been 5 to 7 years ahead of the trends and knew that the Internet would be the next big business. In 1999, I started attending world internet marketing conferences to learn the latest technology and understand how I could leverage it for my clients. I forged a strategic alliance with the leading webhosting company to be their SEO and PR firm. They packaged SEO to their clients and outsourced it to me. They were later sold.
What are the major changes to online marketing you’ve seen during the past year?
The rapid adoption of social networking sites as — Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Linked-in and others. I help my clients understand and leverage the best technology to quickly and profitably grow their business, Search is the fasting growing segment of YouTube as the baby boomers are looking for how-to information and I advise my clients of this an include it in our strategy. About a year ago I had a hotel client that I advised—against his will practically– to use video guest interviews and when we incorporated the videos with P.R. and keyword search, overnight his hotel was ranked number one on Google.
Do you still use e-mail marketing as a major component of your strategy?
Don’t underestimate e-mail. Recently, I used a targeted e-mail campaign for one of my clients to help promote their 5th annual event. We spent the least amount of money in the hardest economy and sold out the event in record time. The keys to e-mail success are: number one, using the right “hook” in the subject line; number two, content; and number three, the right call-to- action. Without the right subject line, which I always test for different segments, nothing else matters. Integrated marketing is the real key. I use some combination of e-mail marketing, online videos on you tube pushed out through an ad network, webinars, press releases, and social media. Most important, you have to focus on your optimal outcome and work backwards. PR that’s effectively pitched combined with smart SEO can quickly drive traffic to your website and increase your brand recognition. Those secrets I’ll share at your event.
Speaking of PR and how it can work, recently Inc. Magazine’s blog http://blog.inc.com/start-up/2009/09/marketing_keep_it_brief.html interviewed me about my Cocktail Napkin Marketing Plan. Uber-marketer Guy Kawasaki, re-tweeted to his Twitter followers about why a marketing plan should be brief enough to fit on a cocktail napkin with a link to the Inc article. My PR pitch triggered the story on Inc’s blog, then it got picked up on twitter via Kawasaki’s and other re-tweets, linking it back to my blog which ultimately linked back to my website, which increased visitation in one week by 596%. This is an example of true integrated marketing. My clients frequently land in the major media including the Wall St Journal, NY Times, Money magazine and on page #1 on Google, Yahoo and Bing.
Robyn will make her best selling CD’s including the Cocktail Napkin Marketing Plan, Get Smart Social Networking “Live” and Public Speaking Bloopers at a special discount for the conference attendess only.
Register for E-Tourism at http://www.thetouroperator.com/etourismsummit/regonline.htm