Content Series: Write, just write.

I have been wanting to write yet once I’m on my blog, nettlesome thoughts stop me from doing to do so. I get these frequent fight with my conscience criticizing my grammar, arguing with my tenses, judging me with whatever I have in mind. Unfortunately, defeat repeatedly had its win: I left blogging, stopped contributing and gave up my bylines altogether. I had opportunities pass, left empty promises yet the ideas never seem to end. I knew I had to do something.

Ideas will always be there. Should I keep myself from trying? It’s about time to head back to what I love doing even if words doesn’t flow fluid as how writers, novelists and journalists get to. What am I going to do? this is where I’m letting the urges win.

Required to write press releases and announcements, I was able to channel my thoughts on how to write. I started answering the most important questions, the 5 W’s of information dissemination: When, Where, What and Who, Why. That was a good start.

For someone who’s practicing Marketing, without a doubt, writing is essential. Whether you’re the visionary or the executioner, an employee or an entrepreneur; writing can be a really valuable exercise and skill to have. No, you don’t have to have perfect grammar on your drafts but you’d definitely need to have the messaging sent across.

“Write, just write. Let those thoughts flow. Worry about the grammar later” these were the encouraging words my Dad always tell me. I’m imparting the same advise to those of you who needs a little help if demons come haunting your conscience.

Need help on curating effective content? Here are few well-attested tricks which will reflect an increase in traffic, conversions and plausibly sales.

You’ve probably seen these articles everywhere and probably been an avid fan. You’ll never go wrong with these kinds of formats:

  • List Posts
  • Ultimate Guides
  • Inspirational Posts
  • Educational Posts

List Post: You love to hate them but love them nonetheless. Our brain is wired with to-do lists and testimonies. What are the recommendations? If they made it on someone’s list, it must be legit.

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Ultimate GuideYou’ll perhaps see this on travelogues and fitness posts. A marinated post with much detailed instructions on how to become, what to do, where else etc. Screen Shot 2016-03-29 at 7.14.58 PM.png

Inspirational Posts: It’s awe-inspiring and heart warming. We go through moments and sentiments. It may vary from motivational to spiritual, take your pick. What do you feel like sharing?

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Educational Posts: The educational post establishes credibility and expertise and can be powerful to help solve a problem or answer a question.

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I will be posting and elaborating all these in my next posts. Meanwhile, in content writing, you’d have to tackle one problem or concept at a time. You’d have to keep in mind what you aim to express; keep the post focused and useful to your audience.

Observe the ‘click baits’ you’ve read online. They all have a messaging which compelled you to scan and read.  Most importantly, as you end each post, build anticipation for the next post in the series. This way, you get to capture your audience to check on your posts plus of course, you’d have to write constantly.

Do you need Email Marketing?

As much as I dread hefty emails I receive every day from all the subscriptions I indulged into, it has become a good research tool on what sort of content do marketers apply on their campaigns – Subject, format, timing and frequency.

I used to tell people email marketing doesn’t work and it’s junk but come to think of it, if it’s not effective, how come I subscribed on so much? How come brands and marketers apply it to their mix? You can’t generalize something if it’s not working for you but everything changed when I ventured on adding it on to my personal campaigns when I worked for a Sports Club as a Sales Consultant.

Email marketing brought the business in. It gave me the chance to reach out to pursue leads, seal deals and exceeded my quota by 5.

Do you really need Email Marketing? Yes.  The strategies are basic but here are the lessons I’ve learned:

Story-telling

I’m no content-writer albeit I’ve always been a blogger and contributed to few dailies and online portals. When you’ve distinguished your market and know your brand by heart; persuasion wouldn’t be much of a challenge. Invite them to your open-house events, keep them looped in on updates and make them feel connected.

Be informative even if the price had to be mentioned. People want to be educated rather than being sold to.

Metrics

I wasn’t a stickler for metrics back in the day but these data serves a purpose. It helps you know what kind of content does your client read, which is more compelling, what information would they want to hear from you?

Eventually, you’ll notice the ratio:

  • Connection, a better relationship and trust with your subscribers.
  • Replies and engagement
  • Open rates and click-through rates for your email campaigns
  • Sales and lead generation.

Call to Action

Have a solid intent on why you’re sending that email.  Whether it’s for sales, website visits, or lead generation. You should always have a strong call to action at the end of the email. These are links where they’ll be able to acquire the certain product you’ve mentioned, where can they find you and how can they reach you for further details? No hard selling. It’s just like handing out your business card in order for them to further get to know you.

At the end of the day,  you’re sending out these emails not just to promote but rather sustain. You would want your readers to be drawn in right from the start and you want them to keep on reading.

What do you think of Email Marketing? Has it been working for you? Go ahead, let’s share thoughts.  Say Hi on Twitter @kassypajarillo or comment below.

Kassy Pajarillo is a woman of many hats. She used to contribute  actively for traditional dailies as well as other Digital content pages.  A passionate marketer and hotelie.  

What is your Digital Strategy?

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Every marketer needs to abreast himself to the realm of the cyberspace. With more than 2 Billion Facebook active users it proves to show the majority are on social media. How do you transition or add the digital marketing aspect to your department’s execution plan? You need a Digital Strategy.

Learning few ropes from the marketing agency practices, every marketer must have a sense of clarity, coherency and put your efforts on both agency and client situation: strategy vision and profit.

Investigate

Get to know your brand like getting to know your future spouse. Know as much information you need from the vision-mission of the company to how it matches the brand and products and analyze.

  • What is the brand’s current or must be social footprint?
  • Is there any brand messaging?
  • What kind of emotion should it relate to your consumers? A drive from want to need.
  • How do the consumers react to the brand/product? or how should the consumers  adopt to the brand/product?
  • How could it be an ice-breaker, talk of the town, converse with your consumers?

With these questions and identification, you’ll get to know somehow the persona of the brand/product. If it were a person, who is s/he?

Story-Telling

We all have heard it several times – content is king but having to apply it to social media, content and story-telling are the kings of the dungeon.  Posting on platforms aren’t just for the sake of having promotions broadcasted but it’s more like reading a book except it tells you everything you’d need to know to grasp the consumers consistent attention.

  • What is your brand’s story? What is the brand/product’s story to entice the consumer?
  • Why does the consumer need to care about the history of the brand and how will it affect their decision on having or acquiring it?
  • What kind of experience would it bring?
  • How does the story of the brand connect with the consumers?

These emotions are tricky; listen to your target market/consumer on social channels and how they react to the brand/product. How or what are the benefits of having it? These stories drive interaction and ice-breakers.

Social Platforms & Social Listening

With social listening, not only should you pay attention to what your brand/product entail but rather what your competitors have been doing. This way, you get to follow how the consumers react and their input to get your brand leverage on what makes it different and better than theirs. You get to highlight your uniqueness or what makes you compellingly something that needs to be acquired or turn out to be a household name.

  • What social platforms do the competitors use?
  • What are the posts do they highlight and engagement rate?
  • How do the customers seek information about the brand/product?
  • What kind of posts works for your brand in terms of engagement and curiosity?

The beauty of having digital campaigns, you get to depend on data to explain in itself and match it towards the ROI (return on investment) in terms of acquisition – does it correlate or does it just build awareness? These data becomes key performance indicators (KPI)  which you can look back on once it’s time to review the campaign. You get to distinguish, revise and revisit efforts if it hits the objective – awareness, engagement, drive or online sales.

Sustainability

Telling a story and knowing your brand inside and out aren’t enough. It must also sustain to retain awareness and interest of the consumers just like how McDonalds never-ending advertisement on the same burger and fries.  Keep your brand story and messaging connected and cultivated. Build a content calendar and write notes on how each day, week or month result to the specific objective and then evaluate.

Digital marketing equates to qualifying and quantifying results which make it accessible for every business to look into to ensure future effectiveness for future digital marketing efforts.

The investment on having digital marketing efforts are more scalable and justifiable; you’ll be able to have continuous evaluation and assessment of campaign efforts which would make you understand your consumers better resulting to delivering a better campaign.

Kassy Pajarillo is a woman of many hats. She used to contribute  actively for traditional dailies as well as other Digital content pages.  A passionate marketer and hotelie.  Follow her through social media: @kassypajarillo
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What is the best Social AD Platform?

I’ve been asked several times by friends who’s venturing into digital on what social ad platforms have I participated on for my clients; my response has never been concrete. Instead, I  point out what are the common practices digital marketers go-to for their marketing strategies.

But where do you start? How do you know what is the best platform for your business?

Honestly, there is no direct formula on defining which is the best platform not until you go through social listening (analysis of your digital efforts). Everyone is fixated on content marketing, AD placements shouldn’t be put into shove if your goal needs a mid to highly aggressive turnout.

We’ve identified the effectivity of context according to your niche or to whom would you want to reach, now, let’s go through a breakdown on how you may move forward towards AD platforms.

Just like how traditional practices are placed, think of the cyberspace as all the traditional mediums there is, there was.  Where do you see your competitors? Follow them and make use of the metrics as your reference on how the market responds, what their positioning are like, when do they boost their efforts and strategies have they been doing.

Advertising on social media is still pretty new but with the rapid growth and changes on the algorithm; advertising on social media platforms continually changes.  You’d have to adopt and maximize each effort plus map out the experience for your target audience.

Facebook

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Facebook has ventured on Pay-Per-Click (PPC) and Pay-Per-Impression (PPI) models. The goal was a drive to your designated sites.

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Another, Sponsored content within your timeline which will drive your guest to read furthermore on the content you’ve currently published.

Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 6.38.03 PMFacebook made it easy for administrators by curating an Ads Manager with choices on what you’d want to drive according to your business needs.

Relative to how Google Adworks campaigns, these efforts targets through your desired keywords and demographics.

Just like traditional practices, these campaigns includes photos, images or videos which are essential and core component of a successful ad campaign. It always needs to be visually appealing and compelling.

Who should advertise on Facebook?

Affordable with promised reach, Facebook ads made it easy to be launched by anyone. Just edit the designated fields, and encode what your budget can partake.  Facebook has been a direct go-to strategy for anyone as it hits both B2C or B2B market with metrics for analysis.

These metrics makes it more easier to analyze to spot fixes on the fly to optimize, or correct underperforming ads. It’s not as expensive as day-old advertorial through a newspaper medium, it’s effectivity spreads throughout the days according to your requirement.

Twitter

If there’s a brand, there’s always a Twitter handle to match.

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This medium drives either a conversation or an engagement. Twitter is a great medium to showcase your commercials, direct information dissemination in 140 characters and a much direct foot-forward to whom you’d want to reach.

Consider twitter also as an extension of your customer service department; it’s like speaking to your friends or reaching out to your neighbors if you’ve forgotten or you don’t have their phone numbers.

 

Why advertise on Twitter?

Let go of cross-posts from Facebook. It doesn’t give you the branding and character it needs. Marketers should advertise on twitter if they need traction and interaction. Hashtags also works best with this tool. Squeeze in your voice in 140 characters.

Interstitial Ads

Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 7.12.39 PM.pngNow, this effort can be very irritating. If you haven’t heard of the word Interstitial, it’s basically those boxes which pops on a certain page before your proceed. Now, as much as it guarantees visibility, user experience doesn’t give a possible pleasant experience for some (if not, most). However, there’s a way to veer through this effort – same visibility, different execution.

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Banner Ads

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These are ads placed strategically and must be planned thoroughly. You must have a clear vision on what to reach and who to reach.  Most who still adopts this tactic are those who aim to sustain branding tailored to their given demographic and defined audience.

Ad banners usually are discussed through partnerships with those who owns specific sites or through an affiliate.

Having to mention few ways on how you can advertise, remember each effort should be accessible to mobile, have quality visuals and content. No one strategy and tactic is the same but these are few methods you may undertake.

Care to share yours?

New Delhi Airport: Sleeping Pods

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New Delhi Airport

 

Dated on November 2015. 

During a recent trip I took in India (what a dream come true!), I was amused discovering a charming sleeping pod at the New Delhi Airport.

For someone who prefers to travel solo, enduring a long layover or a delayed flight contained within the airport could be daunting, annoying, boring and exhausting. Typically, you’ll see passengers loose their poise with their feet up on another seat or their trolly luggage with their headphones on either tinkering their mobile phones, on kindle or simply trying to relax for a few hours for a nap. 

Screen Shot 2016-03-05 at 4.27.12 AMTrying their best not to look too exhausted being comforted by steel chairs, passengerswould tag their entire hand-carry, wash up at the nearest restroom for a few minutes and hop back to where they sat – lucky, if no one took their space.

But this Sleeping Pod was a game-changer. It has transformed an entire haggardness enjoyably bearable.

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It looked like a white tunnel, a small container yet it serves like a hotel with a receptionist. The concept is pretty on-point: the rooms has the entire shebang of what a suite needs – a bed, lamp, desk, flatscreen cable TV  and of course, FREE Wi-Fi. It also had amenities included should you want to be served with beverages, food choices on the menu and a place for you to take a shower.

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For $12/hr for single occupancy and $22/hr for double occupancy, it certainly is more than reasonable. The price justifies the comfort and pampering.  A worry-free restful sleep. You may also opt for an overnight stay, the receptionist would even give you a wake-up call.

No need to present any hefty cumulative expensive VIP travelers card for the services, the bed would certainly let sandman in for you to instantly snooze and the welcoming ambiance of the room is as inviting.

Talk about sheer brilliance in maximizing space, and convenience!

India, you made it hard for me not to love you.

 

You may find this Sleeping pod opposite the boarding gate number 17 at the International Departure Piers of New Delhi Airport. For Charges, Location and Reservation, you may contact +91 8800230013 or email info@snoozeatmyspace.com.

Marketing: Essentially Mobile

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Every Marketers challenge is the need to attract, connect and create a unique experience that stands above their competitors however the marketing landscape has changed over time. 

Digital marketing took over in terms of strategy and tactics wherein traditional efforts has become the supplement rather than where the bulk of the budget are being spent on.

Adapting towards digital advertising, it justifies more towards ROI – it’s actionable, trackable and measurable. Each strategy a marketer applies seamlessly blend and compliment the marketing mix which effectively promotes and yet keep the messaging in-touch however each brand shouldn’t spread themselves too thin by joining every digital trend.

Here are few Social Media Channels every marketer should be logged into regardless of your brand or hotel’s positioning:

Facebook

Every marketer who isn’t nor doesn’t engage on Facebook is missing reaching out towards their audience. Consumers (which includes you) are highly active and vocal on where they’ve been, what they’re currently having, and the experiences they’ve had with their friends. Word of mouth still certainly is the greatest marketing tool. Fans who engage and shares their experiences not only give out their cents worth but also become source of information resulting to brand-advocates.

Twitter

The key to information dissemination is through engaging directly with those whom you’d want to personally be in-touch with. This is what twitter does.  Exit your way on just cross-posting what you have on Facebook; twitters has its own game.

Twitter is like a messaging app except that the people you’re trying to engage has an option to either respond to your or ignore you without invading their privacy. Travel marketers use this tool to find top journalists and influencers to speak of you or for you to directly connect with to build relationships and conversations.

Pinterest

You know how brides does their vision boards? travelers actually go for what is visually appealing and adds on to their bucket list of perfect selfies and must go-to’s.

From inspiration scrapbook to planning, this platform helps on showcasing your picturesque property and campaigns. Engage your consumers visually, once done,  next thing you know – you have them within your property.

Youtube

Because it’s all about visual appeal, Youtube gives you the chance to bring your consumer a look of what you have in-store. Make use of this tool to humanize the experience.  A walk-through, video reels of events or informative engaging videos giving your property premium appeal.

Blog

Marketing no longer is public but rather personal.  Blogs supplements your clients/guests on why they should pick you. This segment would give you a chance to tell a story and have your viewers informed on what you have in-store. Tailor each content according to what your client would need to know – What’s happening in the metro, where to go, milestones of your property, and other experiences which will answer queries.  It needs to be personal, immediate, relevant in real-time and apparent in-context.

Travel Sites

The mere fact guests took the time to log-in and leave a review on travel sites means they care and would want you to either sustain, or get better.  Most who frequent travel look into review sites and how they’re being related to in terms of response time and customer feedback. Everything you do online is part of your reputation and having honest response on addressing concerns, suggestions or praise will reflect on how you monitor and care for your guests.

e-Mail Blasts

Receiving direct mail from the hotel not only gives you an opportunity to express your thoughts, promotions and information on relevant news but also communicate to know how they are.  It’s important you get to segment your database and conduct A/B to know what your readers interests are and what your brand may particularly be known for. Evaluate the data and see what topics works best and relate from there.

In a nutshell, Marketing should operate 24/7. Consumers never sleeps, so does your digital efforts. Make your website mobile friendly, optimize to your niche, your content should be short enough to be read but direct to what you’re addressing; and humanize your communication to directly engage with the consumers.

Kassy Pajarillo is a woman of many hats. She used to contribute  actively for Business Mirror, Philippine Star and Manila Bulletin as well as other Digital content pages.  Her passion revolves around Marketing and aspires to grow in the hospitality sector.  Follow her through social media: @kassypajarillo