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10 Online Marketing Strategies for Marketing on a Budget


Presented at the Vacation Rental Managers Association annual conference in Phoenix, Arizona on October 22, 2012 by Mark Randle, Online Marketing Manager of Visual Data Systems. In this presentation …

Presented at the Vacation Rental Managers Association annual conference in Phoenix, Arizona on October 22, 2012 by Mark Randle, Online Marketing Manager of Visual Data Systems. In this presentation we'll detail the top ten strategies every small business should be using in 2012 and why. We'll cover social media marketing, the changing world of SEO and how to spend less and get more out of your pay-per-click marketing.

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  • Effective Ad TipsGive them the “why?” – why should they like you, whats in it for them?? Take the mindset that you are completely a new business to the user. You have 2-3 sentences tops to state your case….why should they give you a like??? Effective terms in your ad text are “exclusive”, “facebook-only” “fan- only”……they are going to get something they otherwise could not get without being your facebook fan. Businesses that succeed on facebook due so with what is called a low friction conversion, we’re asking for a sign up or a like, not a sale. Keep them on Facebook, no external urls. – Facebook has become an experience for its users, one that is important enough to them to square away x amount of time in their day for. Users do not want to leave their facebook experience to go to your site, you need to create a facebook experience for them. Use an image that grabs the attention. – you have seconds to grab the users attention. The image is 3 times more important then the text you use. Use something that will grab the users attention. This should be easier because you have narrowed your group down to a very specific market. A couple tips when selecting an image.-Use people’s faces…. or in this case animals. You may find an image of your area that sticks but don’t keep using it over and over again.-Use a photo program and play with the finishing of the photos. Change the contrast level to make your image stand out more on facebooks white background.-According to studies, orange is the best color to use for what its worth.Narrow your market as much as you can. – The biggest mistake people make is they think the bigger the market the better. Absolutely wrong, the more specific the market, the more your opportunity you have for your ad resonate with your target. Follow the proper metrics – This could be a whole nother section But generally, don’t transfer your adwords metrics to fb ads even though some are going to look familiar to you. Metrics such as CTR and Clicks are completely irrelevant, your are looking for actions not clicks.
  • Let’s take a look at an ad I created for Oregon Beach Vacations.It’s really not that complicated.I’m targeting the top 5 most trafficked states-25 and over – because that’s the rental age-Targeting the oregon coast, and several dog rescues96,000 and change – I’d like these people to see this ad a minimum of 7-8 times before I change it upMake sure you use CPM format – this is completely different then adwords – There’s no issue paying for impressions when you know the entire audience is qualified.
  • Most important piece of advice I can give you regarding Facebook Ads is to test test test – a common theme in this presentation.Power Editor – great tool multiple ads How many of you use Google Chrome as your preferred browser. -This is only available as an extension through chrome but it was actually developed by facebook, not some 3rd party company. -It taps directly into your ad interface and makes it alittle easy to access past ads with past performance. Its much easier to track multiple ads, whats worked and what hasn’t. -Also has a great feature called custom audiences, this gives you the ability to take your email marketing list to facebook, upload it and run your ads specifically to that group. So if you want to offer some sort of discount but not to everyone, here is your chance. You can also see what common interests those people on your list have.
  • Facebook Contests.How many of you have tried a facebook contest?-How many people think it was successful and would do another one?
  • Wildfire and Buddy MediaYou have to have multiple goals to a facebook contest. I’ll use Photo Contests as an example. There should be at least 3 goals in every photo contest.-Gain the like of the user. – easiest one right?-Capture their email address so you can mail to them in the future.-The often forgotten, Build a stock photo database. -Stock photos are expensive and its been my experience that your guests take better photos anyway. Make sure you have some language in your fine print indicating your rights to the photos that are entered.-Chose a good prize. Easiest thing to do is to give away a free vacation right? Problem is there are often times so many restrictions on when it can be used and with what property, it devalues the prize. Easiest a most effective prize is an ipad. Everyone wants one and even people who already have one want another one or a newer one.-Capture already kind of described-Don’t forget a frequently asked questions. You will get a ton of questions, especially if you are using a application of some sort. Spell it out for everyone, it will save you time on the backend.-Watch for fraud, tell the story.-Promote everywhere, on your site, all your social media networks, if guests come to your office to check tell them about it then. Don’t miss an opportunity.-Follow up with the winners. Ask if you can et a photo of the winner using their prize, it’s a nice way to put a bow on the contest and fb users like this sort of thing. It validates the contest, personalizes it for them.
  • Here’s the contest interface. The great thing about wildfire is it everything operates thru the facebook app but they give you the tools to have a microsite on your site thru an iframe. So people can enter thru your site or facebook. -It preserves the native resolution of the photo – you can access long after the contest.-and I highly recommend utlizing the fan vote function, especially with something such as a photo. -It takes the pressure off of you pissing people off. -And the other thing that’s great about it is its viral, people can go out and draw in their family and friends to vote for them. And to vote, they need to to first like you soooooo
  • Here’s the interface of the wildfire, you can see very easy to use. Approve or disapprove. -Recently redesigned-Very intuitiveAll the data on user data,-who they are, what’s their email addressWhat time did they enter, through what method.You can allow comments on the photos that you can approve before they go liveIt’s cheap$5 up front and .99 cents a day for the period of time you use the application. After the promotion expires you will still have access to all the images and contact info.
  • Google Remarketing AdsHow many of you have an active adwords campaign?How many refuse to do adwords?Well I hope you reconsider with Remarketing AdsWhat are they? Image and Text ads that follow the user on the Google display network.Very inexpensive per conversion---
  • Remarketing Benefits-stay in front of your visitors, we know that people use your site at all different points of the conversion cycle right? Some people are ready to book and do so on their first or second visit. Some people are still very much in the intial information seeking stage….so they visit your site and couple of your competitors but you’re the only one who is doing remarketing ads. So they continue to see your ads everywhere they go, on their favorite sports site, home improvement site on their how to make your own beef jerky site. -Market new deals – so you only want to offer some sort of discount to people who left your site without booking. You had never been able to do that now. That pair of golf clubs I was looking at last week on a golfing website but couldn’t pull the trigger on now keep popping up with a 15% off coupon.-Use remarketing for attracting new owners, maybe anyone who lands on the property management pages gets a specific ad geared towards attracting a new owner to your company.’’-Highlight new properties, if you want to include properties in your ad, make sure you label them by name so they are easy for the user to find. Or better yet if you have a brand new property you really want to ramp up things out of the box, create a remarketing ad specifically for people who land on that property page.-Test new imagery – Test different images specific to your area, find out what sticks. Maybe you are considering a redesign here in the next yr or so. This is a great way to test what images grab the attention of people who have been on your site.
  • Why am I getting this ad because I fit a certain critrea for the remarketing list for starlifts.-Maybe it was just visiting their site.-Maybe looking at a certain model-Maybe it was because I entered the site through a specific source.I know some of you may be wondering I’m not quite ready for starlifts yet but its never too early to start thinking of retirement.
  • An example of really intuitive remarketing ads. This is the most advanced level of remarketing adsWave of the future.
  • SO how do we measure?-First off make a a new adwords campaign completely for your remarketing efforts. It’s just easier to measure.-With remarketing ads you’re going to get A lot of impressions and your click thru percentage is going to be bad.-But it’s a war of attrition, someone left your site for a reason. Maybe you didn’t have what they were looking for but chances are They just weren't/t ready to buy yet. -Remarketing ads are more effective as time goes by because the user keeps seeing your ads, you say in their consciousness.-They stay on your list for as long as you set, 30-40 days is most common.
  • Let’s talk about feedback analytics?Feedback analytics provide real feedback on the user experience of your site.You think you know your site because you use it everyday, things that are easy for you are not always easy for the user. You are extremely biased. This is real data. Both Kampyle and Kissmetrics are free to try. Even the premium versions for both pay for themselves if you are able to convert 2-3 users who otherwise would have gone someone else.Why do I love Feedback Analytics? Because most of the issues the user has are also the same issues I have been bringing up to the client. They usually help reinforce something that we have already preached. However, sometimes we’re not even aware.
  • I’m going to talk about Kampyle in these examples because it is, of the three of those the product I am most familiar with.You can put this in any corner of your page I wish I could tell you that a lot of people submit feed through that callout but they don’t. Kampyle also offers what they call a Active request which is where the user is prompted to leave feedback as they are leaving the page. If they click yes they same form comes up as if they were to have clicked on the callout. If they click NO it disappears no harm no foul.I originally thought this may tick a lot of guests off but I have learned over time from the kampyle responses, if your guests don’t like something they will tell you about it. And rarely do we get someone actually annoyed at the request for feedback.
  • Your form,…..Can be customized with your branding. Should be different for different pages of your site depending on what questions people may have.This is a form used on all the search results pages.And then they have the opportunity to leave feedback anonymously or to leave their email address.
  • -Kampyle will organize all the feedback for you in your admin area.-You’ll also get an auto response email for those who leave their email address, this is a great touchpoint for the user. The email can be different based on whether or not the user had a positive experience on your site or a negative one. If they had a negative one this email is the first step in making it up to them.-Another cool feature, you can tag certain terms and those will all fall into their own catergory.Let’s take a look at a couple of real kampyle responses.
  • And sometimes you just get these kinds of responses – someone who is ready to book.
  • MSN Rich ads in SearchWho has a MSN Adcenter campiagn that’s active?The RAIS keywords are subject to approval, so advertisers must work with their account managers on that part of the process. Once the terms are approved, the account is enabled for RAIS features. Ad creation for RAIS must occur in the. When advertisers create a new ad group for RAIS, creating a Rich Ad may be selected as an option.So far, Microsoft says CPC prices tend to be similar to text ads, while click-through rates are higher, because the advertiser controls a good portion of the real estate.In addition to the ability to assign unique destination URLs for each bidded keyword match type within the same ad group.  -Official Site
  • -Rich Ads in Search look similar to Google adwords ads in that they also have site links but they take it a step further and allow a company logo as well.-MSNDeep links very similar to adwords site linksAccording to MSN the CTR is 30—40% better then standard ads.They really help your build on your branding for branded terms. Look at how much real estate is being dominatedDeep Links and form – this is a new feature and one you have the ability to do in google as well, adding a form.Imagine the possabilities – search for all rentals in……..
  • What are the advantages Rich Ads in Search have over Google Adwords-Search partner exclusion, this gives you the ability to opt out of having your ads run on certain sites. Google has it the other way around, your default is set to have your ads run all over the display network or you can select the sites you’d like and only run to those. This seems a little easier.Dora the explorer site adwords example. BE CAREFULBranded search terms - Exclusive and Prominent Placement: Ads are displayed exclusively in the top position on Yahoo! Search and Bing search results pages, which may help increase click-through rates on your brand terms. These have to be approved directly by MSN but for those of you worried about your competitors targeting your brand name, this is your solution.Customer Service is great, they’ll give you your own rep.
  • Who knows what about the Google Panda Update? How about Penguin? How About the Parakeet Update?
  • -Panda Feb 2011-Panda is a site wide penalty, which means that if “enough” (no specific number) pages of your site were flagged for having thin content, your entire site could be penalized. Panda was also intended to stop scrappers (sites that would republish other company’s content) from outranking the original author’s content.-Penguin April 2012Sites affected by this change might not be easily recognizable as spamming without deep analysis or expertise, we believe they are engaging in webspam tactics to manipulate search engine rankings.Many in the SEO community have speculated that some contributing factors to Penguin might be things like:1. Aggressive exact-match anchor text3.spam links4. Keyword stuffing in internal/outbound links
  • If you accept the premise that links must be earned, it becomes clear that link building should be seen as a byproduct of good branding, marketing and content creationMix-up your Anchor Text – Anchor text is the actually linked text that’s clickable. So we used to really want that to be keyword driven. I’m not saying anchr text should never be keyword driven but it needs to be mixed upComment Socially (ex. Blogs, Travel Forums) – Comment on peoples blogs, in travel forums, places like this. Put your business URL in your signature. Go to where the conversation is Partner with Local Businesses/Sites- You’ll hear the term don’t pay for links ever used by a lot of seo’s, that’s not exactly true because when they say don’t pay for links, they mean don’t pay for a bulk of irrelevant links. If you your approached by a local site with strong organic visability and they offer you some sort of an advertising package, one of those parts of the package is gonna be a link. That’s fine as long as your portfolio is not entirely made up of those types of links. Those sites drive a lot of traffic to you…Google is primarily concerned with relevent sites linking to you. Get a Blog – Guest Post – This is gonna be a tough one because I’m guessing most of you don’t love to produce content.Give Stuff Away – Pretty simple if you give things away, people will tell their friends and family….thats the kind of social media culture we’re in right? It’s about sharing, people love to promote something that their network can get for free or a good deal on.Get a Webcam- If you get a webcam, you will get links. Surf sites, weather sites, local businesses anyone who doesn’t have a webcam will probably be interested in sending people to yours.Use your Brain – Don’t do link exchanges, don’t fall for every advertising email you get, don’t listen to people act like something in a 100% a no lose
  • Scrub your old links-Back to the penguin update. -Things aren’t quite as easy as saying ok I bought links at one point but I won’t do it again. -Your’re going to need to scrub your bad links. -I like SeoMoz’s Open Site Explorer – They’ll give you a list of all your external links and what pages they’re on. -You’re going to need to contact the sites that don’t make any sense for you to be on and ask that they remove you. This is going to be a long process especially if you have made mistakes in the past. If you haven’t there are almost always sites you don’t even know you’re on that you should request to be removed from. Document everything you do. If you do get hit, you quite possibly may disappear from google index. A traffic death sentence. You can apply to be reconsidered but you probably only have one shit at it so make sure all your ducks are in a row so you can make your case to google. I’m still on this site but I tried to contact them on such and such day and here is the email I sent.


  • 1. 10 Online Marketing Toolsfor Marketing on a Budget Presented by Mark Randle of Visual Data Systems
  • 2.  Who am I? Mark Randle Online Marketing Manager at Visual Data Systems Hospitality Industry for 7 years (Marriott International before VDS) 3rd Time Speaking at a National VRMA Conference Fun Fact: Getting married in 3 weeks. Mark Randle
  • 3. 1. Connecting with Your Target Market through Facebook Ads2. Facebook Contests that Pay You Back Many Times Over3. Harnessing the Power of Pinterest4. Stay in Front of Your Visitors with Google AdWords Remarketing Ads5. Improve Your Website Usability with Feedback Analytics6. Simple Ways to Build Your Twitter Following7. Dominate Your Competition with Microsoft AdCenter RAIS8. Link Building in a Post Panda Update World9. How to Better Understand and Utilize the Changing World of Local Search10. Track Results in Google Analytics 10 Tools
  • 4. Facebook Ads
  • 5.  Give them the “why?” Keep them on Facebook, no external urls. Use an image that grabs the attention. Narrow your market as much as you can. Follow the proper metricsBad Ad Good Ad Effective Ad Tips
  • 6. Facebook Creative
  • 7.  Google Chrome extension – Facebook Power Editior Upload your email list Find what your users share in common POWER EDITOR
  • 8. Facebook Contests
  • 9.  Multiple goals Capture, capture, capture Don’t forget the FAQ www.wildfireapp.com Watch for fraud Promote everywhere Follow up with winners www.buddymedia.com Facebook Contests
  • 10. Facebook Contests
  • 11. Facebook Contests
  • 12. Pinterest.com/source/yourdomain.com Pinterest
  • 13.  Name Logo Bio Website, Twitter, Location Hide Setting Profile
  • 14.  Pin Repin Like Comment Personalize the Pin Activity From Pinterest
  • 15.  Cover Photo Title Description Category Theme Rearrange Pinboards
  • 16. Examples
  • 17.  Pin It Button Follow Buttons Contribute Board Promote Pinning
  • 18.  PINREACH Promote Pinning
  • 19. Remarketing Ads
  • 20.  Keep your brand in front of your visitors Market deals and promotions Attract new owners Highlight new properties Test imagery Remarketing Uses
  • 21. Dynamic Remarketing Ads
  • 22.  View- Through Conversions happen when a customer views (but does not click) an ad before converting. What it means: Some customer might see, but not click your ad. If these customers later convert (by making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter, for example), this metric counts them as view-through conversions. Tracking Results
  • 23. How well do you know your website? Feedback Analytics
  • 24. Where can I find this?
  • 25. Feedback Form
  • 26. Admin Area
  • 27. Feedback Example
  • 28. Kampyle Cont’d
  • 29. Twitter
  • 30.  Create Relationships Become a Reliable Source  Retweets  Replies Tweets  Short  Photos Build Your Followers
  • 31.  Use One or a Few Short, Obvious Use Existing Hashtags Hashtags to Try  Fill in the blank  Ask questions Successful Hashtags
  • 32.  Announce a Hashtag before your event Promote the most active tweets Outside of Twitter Promote Your Hashtag
  • 33. Roger Smith Hotel @rshotel
  • 34. MSN Rich Ads in Search
  • 35.  Deep links similar to Google sitelinks Increased CTR by 30-40% According to MSN Exclusivity for branded terms Rich Ads in Search (RAIS)
  • 36. -Search Partner Exclusion-Branded Search Terms-Customer Service MSN ADCENTER (RAIS) VS GOOGLE ADWORDS
  • 38. Link Building in a PostPanda/Penguin Update WorldLink Building in a Post Panda/Penguin Update World
  • 39.  Panda Update – This update is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites—sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful. Penguin Update – Sites affected by this change might not be easily recognizable as spamming without deep analysis or expertise, we believe they are engaging in webspam tactics to manipulate search engine rankings. Link Building Now
  • 40.  Mix-up your Anchor Text Comment Socially (ex. Blogs, Travel Forums) Partner with Local Businesses/Sites Get a Blog – Guest Post Give Stuff Away Get a Webcam Use your Brain Link Building Tips
  • 41.  http://www.opensiteexplorer.org/ Scrub Your Old Links
  • 42. Local Search
  • 43.  Local search results chosen almost 2 to 1 over organic results Trusted over paid advertising  58% or consumers trust a business with positive reviews  72% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations Local Search Now
  • 44. Yahoo! Local
  • 45. Yelp
  • 46.  Verification - Post mail Yelp reviews and content heavily integrated Pulls in reviews from other local search sites Bing Local
  • 47. Google+ Local
  • 48.  Verify every listing Keep information accurate and uniform Fill out all categories Do not list with a P.O. Box address Be active with review responses Top 5 Best Practices
  • 49. Google Analytics
  • 50. Ecommerce Tracking
  • 51. Measure Site EngagementGoogle Analytics Path =Traffic Sources/All Traffic/Sources
  • 52. Assisted ConversionsConversions/Multi-Channel Funnels/Assisted Conversions
  • 53. Questions? Thank You! Mark Randle Markr@vdsys.comOnline Marketing Manager