Top 4 Quick Travel Marketing Tips

The majority of people love to travel, which is why you may think that travel marketers have it easy.

Well, the truth is that the opposite is the reality, because the travel industry competition is stiff and fierce. That’s not to mention that things fluctuate greatly between seasons and between destinations, which complicates things even further.

But even with the travel industry expected to grow even further and competition getting even more fierce, the truth is that marketing your travel business also doesn’t need to be as difficult as you may have initially suspected.

Here are the top four quick tips for travel marketing:

1 – Summer and Winter Are Your Seasons

These are the seasons when people are the most likely to book for travel, with a nearly 30% increase in travel searches during this time. Specifically, December, January, July, and August are the top four months of the year when people are booking the most flights and hotel rooms.

Therefore, these are the months of the year when you will want to be focusing your marketing efforts the most intensely.

2 – Bid Lower During Those Months

While you may think that you should bid higher during those months when people are going to be booking far more flights and hotel rooms, the truth is that’s the exact same strategy that most if not all of your competition is going to be using as well. Instead, bidding your prices just a hair lower can be the best strategy to stand out more and gain you more sales. Just don’t bid too low, because you still want your business to turn out a profit.

3 – Be Informative

It may be a good idea to be informative and to go as far as to start a blog about travel tips and advice. That way, people may find out about your travel agency or business through your blog first. Just make sure that your blog truly is informative and educational. Beyond generic subjects like ‘top travel tips for beginners,’ you can get more serious and specific with subjects such as visa application rules by country or the best hotels by city.

4 – Be Visual

A major mistake that travel agencies make these days is that when marketing, around two thirds of all advertisements are just dull text ads.

When people are traveling or planning to travel, they don’t just want to read or hear about the destinations. They want to actually see those destinations. That’s exactly why images and videos need to dominate your websites, mobile apps, and advertisements all at the same time in order to make them significantly more captivating.

Travel Marketing Tips

All in all, these are the top four travel marketing tips that you will be unwise to ignore: marketing the most aggressively during the summer and winter, bid lower if possible) to stand out more, be informative and educational in your website, and be visual in your advertisements.

The Business Owner’s Guide To Hiring Financial Advice For The 1st Time

Getting a business off the ground requires a firm take-charge attitude. If you don’t steer it decisively in the right direction, no one else will.

But you can’t maintain that level of control indefinitely, because handling the regular operations of a growing business is arduous and relentless work.

Sooner or later, you need to find a way to delegate some of the workload. The more responsibilities you maintain, the harder it will be to pursue your overall business goals, let alone maintain a work/life balance. There are only so many hours in a day.

Now, any business owner will tell you that financial management can be a massive headache. As such, when you reach the point of seeking assistance, that’s the logical place to start.

But how do you go about it? What should you look for? How can you make sure you get great advice that will save you money and free you up to focus on the rest of your business?

Let’s take a look at what you need to know when hiring your first business financial advisor.

Always Check Credentials
I’m the CEO of Microsoft. You know that isn’t true, of course, but most false claims aren’t quite that easy to identify. This is especially the case if they involve subjects or terminology that you don’t know much about.

Unfortunate as it is, it remains the case that people are often willing to make exaggerated or entirely-baseless claims about their skills in order to get work, so there’s every chance you’ll encounter some while looking for a financial advisor.

At a minimum, you should look into your prospect’s:

● Previous clients.
● Relevant industry experience.
● Cloud bookkeeping and accounting expertise (the cloud can save you time).

Even if you think you have a solid grasp of the terms and can tell when someone isn’t quite what they claim to be, take the time to do a formal check. Do some research into their background, contact some references, and, if possible, run their pitch by someone whose financial expertise you trust.

Is it safe to say you’d do your due diligence before buying a business (rummaging under the hood, checking the analytics, making sure it weren’t too good to be true)? I’m particularly careful, so I’d do my due diligence before doing something as pedestrian as buying a new coat.

Ask questions, read reviews, get external confirmation— skepticism is healthy. Don’t put it aside because you want to be nice and give the benefit of the doubt.

Maintain Realistic Expectations
If all goes well, your financial progress will be like tending a flourishing garden. You’ll distribute the right kind of soil, plant the seeds, water them appropriately on an indefinite basis, and eventually you’ll see blooming flowers.

Thus, if a prospective advisor leads you to believe that you’ll plant some magic beans and wake up to a towering beanstalk, they’re selling you a fantasy.

Yes, anyone can go online and start selling things without much preparation or financial investment—but while technology has made taking the first step that easy, it hasn’t changed the nature of business development. It’s still a complex process that (almost always) gets results very gradually.

Anyone claiming financial expertise should be perfectly aware that disproportionate profits or guaranteed results are wholly unrealistic, and you should decisively back away from anyone who paints a picture of the future that seems too good to be true.

Establish Clear Terms
It’s the nightmare scenario: six months after taking on a financial advisor, you can’t say conclusively what they’ve done. What’s more, their payment requests are variable and feel arbitrary. What, specifically, are you paying them to do?

It’s unlikely that it would be quite that bad, admittedly, but there’s simply no reason to leave any element whatsoever to chance when you can get everything confirmed before you get started.

How often will you communicate? What level of access will they have to your records? If you’ve set up an online business, will you require them to explain how tax works for ecommerce? What payment arrangement is best?

Have them answer all of your questions, and answer all of theirs, then draw up and agree on a clear and comprehensive set of formal terms, including a service level agreement.
Avoid Hiring Your Friends
You like your friends, presumably, and trust them. If you didn’t, you likely wouldn’t be friends with them. And if you happen to be friends with someone who has financial expertise, then that’s a perfect fit for your business, isn’t it?

Well, no. It might sound like a good arrangement, but mixing the personal with the professional is dangerous, and all the more so when it comes to something as important as the financial condition of your business.

Even if you have good intentions, getting personal attachments and feelings involved in your business will make it harder to reach rational conclusions and measure success accurately.

Your business decisions need to be made carefully and, for the most part, dispassionately. Take occasional tips from your friends if you must, but ultimately hire someone who can do their work at an appropriate distance.

Explain Your Goals
The financial advice you receive will shape the progress of your business over months or even years, yet it is fairly rare for there to be only one viable path to take; so which one will your advisor recommend?

This will depend heavily on their analysis of the figures, of course, but also very meaningfully on what is most important to you, and what your ultimate goals are.

Taking the time to explain your business plan in detail and elaborate upon where your business priorities lie will ensure minimal friction in the professional relationship and help you get the most useful advice for you.

Keep Asking Questions
Once you’ve vetted and hired a financial advisor, you should resist the temptation to passively defer to them on every matter, and motivate yourself to ask plenty of questions.

This isn’t to say that you should be hyper-critical of every single recommendation or piece of analysis; it’s more a matter of staying involved and learning more about business as you go.

You should get to grips with any accounting software or platforms they recommend and keep adding to your internal knowledge base as an entrepreneur.

Even if you’re so happy with your financial advisor that you end up working with them for years to come, you will benefit from understanding finance better.

It will also make their job easier, as they will ultimately need to spend less time explaining their ideas to you, giving them more time to focus on the good stuff: saving you money.

Are you looking to hire financial advice for the first time? There are a lot of incompetent or unethical advisors around who will take advantage of you given the chance, so follow all of these tips, be thorough, and make sure you hire someone with the credentials and background to warrant your confidence.
—————-

Victoria Greene is an ecommerce marketing expert and freelance writer who understands the vital role sensible financing plays in driving business growth. You can read more of her work on her blog Victoria Ecommerce.

Four Great Ways to Start Advertising Your App

mid adult woman sitting on sofa with tablet pc. Horizontal shape, front view, copy space

So, your business is interested in creating a mobile app? It’s no surprise. Creating an app is one of the best things you can do for your business, so nearly every business has one! Unfortunately, just having an app isn’t enough. Nobody will download it if they don’t know it exists!
If you’re just getting started trying to advertise your app, make sure you start with these four marketing tips that are perfect for apps of all types.

Social Media
One of the very best ways to market your app, or any other kind of product or service for that matter, is to use social media. There are a couple of ways you can do this.
Start by having a presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Connect with friends and followers in a meaningful way instead of being overly promotional.
Paid advertising is also an option on social media platforms. As a bonus, most platforms make it very easy to advertise and get the most out of your marketing campaign.

Make a Website Just for Your App
Your business probably already has a website, and you should definitely talk about your brand-new app on your site, but your app should have a website of its very own too.
There are a couple of reasons why your app should have its own site. First, it’s a great way to ensure your app is easily searchable on the internet. Second, you can include as much information as possible about your app on its own website.
In addition, having a site for your app shows people that it’s the real deal. With its own presence on the internet, people will feel confident that it’s worth their time.

Mix and Mingle With the Public
When it comes to advertising your app, it’s about a lot more than sitting behind a desk and typing away on the internet. One of the best ways to advertise your business is to get out there and mingle with the public!
There are quite a few ways to do this:
• Create a press release
• Host a launch party
• Conduct and give interviews to local newspapers and bloggers
• Write a guest blog

Another great way to get the word out about your app is to connect with social media influencers. It doesn’t necessarily have to be someone with millions of followers. Even getting an endorsement with an influencer in your industry with a few thousand followers can help.

List it in the App Store the Right Way
The very best, and easiest way, to get started advertising your app is to make sure its listing is optimized in the app store. That means using keywords, ratings, and detailed descriptions so that it is searchable in the store and enticing to download when found.
There are many ways to advertise your app, but if you’re just getting started, make sure you begin with these four ideas. They’ll make sure your app gets off to a running start!

Coolest Things About the Cloud That You Might Not Know

You’ve certainly heard of the cloud. Even if you haven’t, you’ve been using it for years. It’s what enables you to access information on the internet that is stored on servers all over the world.

The cloud is expanding, enabling us to do more with the power of the internet than ever before. Businesses are finding it easy to keep up with compliance using cloud-based software and companies are able to store massive amounts of information without having to house a huge server in the building.

We all have a basic understanding of the cloud, but you probably don’t know these cool things about cloud technology.

You Only Have to Pay for What You Use
Do you remember the days of buying external storage devices? The more storage you purchased, the more expensive it would be. However, most people bought more storage than they needed. It was especially difficult for businesses to gauge just how much storage they needed and how much they would have to pay to ensure they have extra storage, just in case.
With the cloud, you only pay for what you use! When you need more, it’s there for the taking. There is no longer a need to pay for storage that you won’t use.

There Are Different Kinds of Clouds
People always talk about ‘the’ cloud, but it’s a lot more than just one concept. There are actually many different kinds of cloud computing that include:
• Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
• Platform as a Service (PaaS)
• Software as a Service (SaaS)
In addition, you can choose to operate entirely in the cloud, use a server on your premises, or a hybrid of both.

It Can Save You Time and Money
The most convincing reason to use the cloud, especially for businesses, is because it can help you save time and money.
In addition to the fact that you only pay for what you use, a company will also save money because they aren’t spending cash to maintain hardware and subscribe to software and other services that require monthly fees. You can also scale up or down instantaneously without having to spend days or weeks planning a new strategy.

You Might Not Ever Have to Worry About Backups or Disaster Recovery Ever Again
Losing important files is a nightmare that every business shares. It would be even worse if the system was compromised because it would prevent employees from getting their work done.
With the cloud, you may never have to worry about backups or disaster recovery ever again. Although you shouldn’t depend on the cloud completely, if you choose a cloud server that provides disk-based replication, you can rest even easier.

Don’t forget that the cloud is the reason why we’re finally starting to live in smart homes that look like the ones predicted in the mid-20th century! The cloud is here to stay, which means it’s well worth your time to learn everything about how it works.

Top 10 Call to Action Examples

Top 10 Call to Action Examples

The call-to-action (CTA) is a basic element of all marketing efforts because that’s what gets the attention of your audience to take action. There are multiple examples of effective calls-to-action as well as ineffective ones on the internet. But, once you imbibe the good elements, it’s easy to eliminate the odd parts that won’t work at all.

Have you ever wondered why you seem to subscribe to few businesses over others, one thing for sure is that you are interested in the subject but the most important part is, these businesses were successful in grabbing your attention and encashing your interest. They do it very well by tweaking different elements of CTA, color, copy, size, shape, placement. The aim of an ideal call-to-action is to prompt an immediate action from the reader.

What factors fulfill the ‘effectiveness’ of a CTA?

• Offer something valuable to the reader – Free trial of your product
• Instruct the reader on what needs to be done
• Incorporate strong visuals
• Hint for an immediate action
• Make them more visible
• Use unique text copy other than traditional ones
• Should be connected with your goals

Let’s look at 10 call-to-action examples and take some ideas out of them:

1. Keep the CTA simple and to-the-point – Backcountry

Backcountry, an eCommerce site for adventure and specialty outdoor equipment, presents a warm welcome to the new website visitors with this pop-up, that offers a 10% off on their entire first order. A CTA button below with ‘Apply to Cart’ immediately pushes the customers to their carts with a discounted price. That’s pretty encouraging to new visitors. The CTA is right in front of visitors and freezes the background of the web page. Backcountry’s email subscription CTA does not use any text copy but just an image of an email. So, a reader understands what the CTA is all about even before reading the message ‘Stay in the Know. Sign Up for Backcountry news, sales and deals’.
1. Keep the CTA simple and to-the-point - Backcountry

2. Get personal with your customers – Agile CRM

When I come across ‘Click this’, I wouldn’t be as persuaded to click as I would when I see ‘Lizia, click this’. Humans are bound to take actions when they see their name. This is where personalization factor adds to the increase in conversions. Agile CRM, an all-in-one CRM solutions for small businesses, uses personalization in their call-to-action message. ‘Mark, You’ve got a $5 discount’ lets Mark believe that he is a premium customer to the company. This builds up the customer’s trust towards the company. And, ‘Coupon valid till 24 hrs only’ speeds up Mark to take the action.
2. Get personal with your customers - Agile CRM

3. Use the CTA as clickbait – ClassPass

The primary purpose of the CTA is that it should persuade viewers to click on it, so use your CTA as a clickbait just like how ClassPass does. ClassPass is a monthly fitness membership that allows customers to visit the best fitness studio. The CTA does two things – Puts an interesting offer to the visitors (a positive message) and constricts the time period for the offer (not-so-positive message). ClassPass interesting turns the eyes towards the positive message first because of the bigger font size, which convinces people to click ‘Yes, let’s do this!’. Even if customers look at ‘for a limited time only’, it only rushes them to avail the offer because they are already convinced by now.
3. Use the CTA as clickbait - ClassPass

4. Tell customers why they should click – Emailmonday

The call-to-action should tell customers as to why they should click on it. As simple as that. If there is nothing beneficial to the customers, they would not be excited to go an click the button. What I like about Emailmonday, an independent email marketing consultant, is the shape of the form. Unlike most forms which are either rectangular or square shaped, this form is spherical with the face of the business owner. The copy messages readers the true value of subscription – ‘Subscribe, because the really good email marketing tips are in the newsletter’. ‘You can Unsubscribe anytime, but you won’t even want to’ – that’s the faith you have in yourself.
4. Tell customers why they should click - Emailmonday

5. Increase the intriguing factor – SkullCandy

SkullCandy, a leader in consumer electronics, uses an interesting text copy ‘Get the lowdown’ for delivering insider news, event info and deals information. Also, ‘Join’ sounds better than ‘Subscribe’. What’s more interesting on SkullCandy’s website is the ‘Get $10’ CTA at the left bottom, which leads to the below-landing page. It allows new visitors to refer their friends and earn $10, $30, $50 in return.

A bold ‘Get $10’ without any message is intriguing for the visitors to click it. It grabs the attention of the reader because the CTA is highlighted along with the pop-up, dimming out the background.
5. Increase the intriguing factor - SkullCandy

6. Link your goal to the CTA – Vice

The trend with most of businesses today is they just add their social media buttons at the bottom of the page, which are seldom seen by the readers. But if your goal is to increase the audience on your social media platform, how do you do that? You can turn your heads to Vice. Vice, a leading global youth media company, puts a strong visual and text copy to invite readers to like their Facebook page. The image of puppy loving its father depicts the kind of love Vice has for their audience, and since the majority audience is youth, they connect well with animals. ‘Like us like we like you’ and ‘Like Vice’ has four likes already echoing among readers to ‘like’ their Facebook page, which is their priority at the moment.
6. Link your goal to the CTA - Vice

7. CTA at right in the center – Prezi

Prezi, a SaaS company which offers cloud-based presentation platform to its customers, puts the CTA ‘Try Prezi Next free’ right in front of your eyeballs which works as an awesome lead magnet. The moment you enter the website, that’s what you see at first look. When you use more than one CTA, it’s good to connect them to the same landing page, so that it impacts on conversion and also does not confuse customers. Here, ‘Get Started’ and ‘Try Prezi Next free’ both land on their pricing web page, which shows comparisons of their different plans.
7. CTA at right in the center - Prezi

8. Match up the colors – Magento

Most marketers don’t pay close attention to the choice of colors they use in their calls-to-action, not anymore. Some say green works better than red and vice-versa. Whatever color you use, they should not be too bright but pleasant to the eyes. Magento, a provider of cloud commerce innovation, uses an orange color which matches with their logo. The color scrolls the eyeballs to ‘Sign up for webinar’, ‘Magento’ and ‘see a demo’ which exactly is their aim – to seek attention. Both CTAs are easy to find because of their color and placement. The actions are linked to their goals of – increasing the audience to the webinar and reach their demo target for the month.
8. Match up the colors - Magento

9. Show more love – Popsugar

Popsugar is a global media and publishing company which creates content across entertainment, fashion, beauty, fitness, parenting and more, for women. Their call-to-action is full of hearts which relates more to its women audience. And of course, the text copy of this slide-in pop up ‘Get your daily beauty fix’ is what we women need, so send more of that :)
9. Show more love - Popsugar

10. Tell what your business does – Instacart

When I look at some websites, I don’t understand what their business is all about until I turn few web pages. That involves time and not many visitors would be interested to look up for information, so there you are letting go of potential customers. Instead, try what Instacart does. Instacart, an online grocery delivery business, tells what it does in their CTA in exactly seven words ‘Get your groceries delivered from local stores’. The placement of the CTA is also at the center with a free delivery option for first orders. It has this function of enabling and disabling high contrast, for good visibility.
10. Tell what your business does - Instacart

All the above-mentioned businesses follow the best practices and test and test and test their calls-to-action to generate more revenue. Try and use these ideas in designing your next call-to-action and measure the results. Don’t forget to come back and tell us how it went.