How to Increase Travel Website Bookings, Automatically

Working in seasonal industries like travel and hospitality is challenging to say the least. You’ve either got tons of people making reservations on your site or hardly any, forcing you to constantly review your marketing budget spending. The good news is it doesn’t always have to be like this. What I’m about to show you is how you can increase your travel website bookings throughout the whole year, with the use of marketing automation.


Why bother with the technology

Let’s first look at the why, not the how. Why bother about any of the tools like email marketing, marketing automation, social media, and what not? The answer is quite simple.

We’re all people. We’re physically not able to be in the office 24/7. We’ve got hobbies, friends, families, and whether you believe it or not – we even sometimes need to catch up on sleep. It’s also not efficient to hire more people to get them to do everything you’re doing, if it’s something a simple piece of software could do instead. Especially if it’s at a fraction of the cost of employing someone new.

Marketing automation, just like the name implies, is meant to help you become more efficient by automating some of your recurring marketing activities. Which ones exactly? I’ll talk about that in the next section.

Is it worth it though? Marketing automation messages have long been praised for delivering an even higher engagement rates than email. And email marketing has been rated as the most effective online marketing channel in our recent study.

Of course, these channels can’t be separated. You have to sync them, and make them work together. Let’s now dive into the ways travel and hospitality industries can benefit from using email and marketing automation technology to increase website bookings all year round.


10 steps to increasing travel website bookings


  1. Onboard new users and track their behavior.

First of all, I’m going to assume that you’re already building an email list.

If you’re not, here’s a quick ebook that will help you get up to speed with this task:  21 ways to build your email list.

Now if you’re building a list, it’s most probably through an online form where a user has to fill in their contact details, such as email, name, and maybe their city. That’s some data to start with.

When someone signs up to your list, they should receive an automatic welcome email or even a whole onboarding series. Why? First of all, to show your gratitude that someone entrusted you with their personal details. Secondly, to start building a strong relationship and guide them to the most important places on your site, e.g. where they can place a reservation or find the answers to the most frequently asked questions.

In your welcome emails, you can also include some of your best offers from different categories – short-term weekend trips, last-minute deals, vacation rentals, and so on. Make them short, beautiful, and actionable, so your subscribers click through to your site.

The main purpose of all of this is to onboard new customers, i.e. get them to engage with your website and get them used to it. It’s also to start tracking them. To collect the data about their preferences and use it later to present them with offers they’ll find relevant.


increase travel website bookings


  1. Segment them based on the purpose of their stay.


The next thing you should do is to mark down the purpose of your customers’ stay. Why did they decide to choose this location and this particular time? Was it for business or a short out-of-town trip with the family? Or maybe a weekend trip with friends?

Their reasons might be different and to make your claim effective, you have to appeal to what’s really important for them. So make sure you mark these differences down, then target your campaigns accordingly, i.e. adjust the visuals, copy, and timing of your emails and paid ads – you’ll definitely get more bang for your buck!


increase travel website bookings


  1. Segment your customers based on their past choices.

If you want to communicate even more effectively, then you need to pay close attention to what your customers choose when they book with you.

Take, for example, the room type that they chose. Was it a premium penthouse, a budget option, or maybe a room with a view of the pool? Then go beyond that. Did the customer ask for a smoker friendly room or optional breakfast, did they use the spa lounge?

Or think about the hotel itself, what makes it so special? Maybe it’s located next to the highway? Or it’s the opposite – it’s secluded, deep down in the middle of a national park, surrounded by trees and beautiful scenery?

Information like this can help you build a rich customer profile. Just tag your customers in the system according to the choices they’ve made, and target them with the right offer next time they’ll be thinking of traveling out of town.


  1. Target them when the time’s right.

 When looking closely at your customers, I’m sure you’ll find some other characteristics that will help you divide them into a number of useful segments. One example I haven’t discussed yet is the preferred time of the year they choose for traveling.

Some like to travel in winter – they love skiing, snowboarding, or just sunbathing while seated comfortably on a sunbed next to the slopes. Others might be into the summer season – lying on a beach, swimming in the ocean, or walking around the ancient town of Rome in the scorching sun.

These preferences should help you personalize the communication better and send it at the right time of the year. Take into consideration not only when people choose to travel, but also when they’re making the initial decision to go on a trip. Perhaps they have to notify their boss ahead of time, before they can plan time off. Or maybe they’re working in an industry that only allows them to leave on vacation in a particular month?

Take this information, tag your customers, and schedule your ad campaigns ahead of time. Present the images that relate to the type of a trip they might be most interested in, send newsletters that go in line with them, and convert customers efficiently.


increase travel website bookings


  1. Retrieve them when they’ve shown interest.

Cart abandonment is a challenge that not only online stores have to face. Your travel website most definitely experiences it too – visitors who search through the offers, look into a few that they like the most, compare them, are about to make a reservation, but in the end decide not to do it. Perhaps they need to talk it over with their partner or call up their friends to see what their plans are. Whatever the reason, you should try to get them back onto your site.

If someone’s already made it through your site, got familiar with it, or maybe even booked with you in the past – you have to give it a try and win them back. To get this done, you should get familiar with remarketing, through email, SMS, or paid ads.

Send automatic messages and follow up with your audience after they’ve left your site without making the reservation. In some cases, you should send more than one cart abandonment email to get the best results, other times one will be enough.

In terms of displaying retargeting ads, you have to test what’s going to work best – you can, for example, show ads to your visitors for 2-3 days, then pause them for two weeks, and show them again for 1 day only, but just for those people whose trip is still some time away. This way you’ll only spend a fraction of the cost you spent acquiring the lead in the first place, and will get a second chance to convert them when they’re likely still interested in the offer.


increase travel website bookings


  1. Keep the location in mind.

Answer this one for me. How often do you actually travel? If you do it for business, chances are that even multiple times every month. If you do it for leisure, then maybe just a few times per year, for a couple of days, and then only once for a longer trip.

Now does that mean that the second group shouldn’t get any communication from you throughout the entire year, and only receive emails before their chosen season starts? Let me answer that for you – of course not.

The fact that your customers won’t be traveling anywhere far away for most of the year, doesn’t mean they won’t be keen on going out of town somewhere nearby. Offering them something that’s just a few hours’ drive or a short plane-trip away from their location, can motivate them to plan a short, spontaneous, and fun trip!

That’s why you should keep the location of your customers in mind. This way you’ll stay relevant and get a chance to help them plan a trip to get out of the office once in a while. Some even say that planning is the best part of the trip, so why not try it out a few times a year?


increase travel website bookings


  1. Reward loyalty.

People like to be treated like they’re VIPs. They want to be appreciated by other people and brands they interact with. That’s why if you want to truly engage with your audience, you need to show that you care about them.

Take a look at how often your returning customers book with you. There are probably some who haven’t made their first booking yet, but there’s a chance that there are also those, who keep coming back. They’re the repeat buyers who are loyal to your brand. But for how long? That depends on you.

Even if you don’t have to keep winning them back, it’s nice to show that you reward loyalty. Offer your loyal customers something special, loyalty points that they can exchange for discounts, free room upgrades, or maybe other great deals nobody else would get. This way your customers will stay happy and keep coming back. And who knows? Maybe they’ll recommend your service to others, because a happy customer is the best type of advertising you can get.


increase travel website bookings


  1. Ask for reviews and remind users of the good memories.

Another way to get people engaged is to ask them to review their recent stay and share their opinion with others who plan to book a place with you. It’s got a number of clear benefits for which you should pursue this method, so read on.

First of all, you’ll get another chance to interact with the customer. If they were happy with their stay, they can share their opinion, which might convince others to book a stay with you. At the same time, while they’ll be re-living the great experience, they might even feel inspired to book another stay!

On the other hand, if they weren’t completely satisfied, then you’ll have a chance to alter their experience and win them back. Offer them something extra, answer their concerns, and make it a success story. Others will see it and it might just make them see you as a trustworthy brand.

To get this done, you can create a simple automated email workflow asking for an opinion. If they leave feedback – great, thank them and maybe even serve them something special in return. If they don’t, try one or two more emails a week or two later. Don’t overwhelm them, but do make sure they know how long it takes to leave the review and what the benefits of doing so are.

Getting reviews has another advantage. You can use your customers’ opinions and remind them of those good memories some time in the future. Let them know six to nine months later it’s time to brush the dust off their suitcases. Maybe you can even say how many people have liked and thanked for their previous review. This way they’ll know that it’s worth leaving their feedback and that they’re part of a great community!


increase travel website bookings


  1. Send automatic trip reminders.

People get anxious before traveling. They’re worried that they’ll forget something or that something might be wrong with their booking, costing them their precious time and energy. If you want to dazzle your customers, you’ll want to take that into consideration and reassure them that everything’s going to be just fine.

To do this, you should get your customers prepared for their upcoming trip. Send them automatic reminders – check-in hours, directions from the airport or the city center, and their booking summary. You can also send something extra, e.g. a handy guide on what to do in the area, or a list of events that are happening at that time. Trust me – they’ll appreciate that!

Also, keep in mind that your customers are traveling. Be it locally or from abroad, they probably won’t have access to their laptop but they’ll be using their mobile phone instead. Make sure that your emails and website are responsive, so they can access all the important information at any time. And if you have an app they can use to check in quickly, make sure that they can download t before they arrive!


increase travel website bookings


increase travel website bookings


  1. Use content marketing.

Hospitality and travel industries are competitive markets. It’s not enough to just have the lowest prices to get people to book with you.

First of all, you need to get found online. That means you need to invest in SEO and paid advertising. If you’re going to focus on search engine optimization, it’s very likely that you’ll also look into content marketing. Reasonably so, too.

Content marketing can help you not only get found – as content ranks well in search engines – but also convert those who actually find you. A blog full of guides and articles around traveling, talking about interesting places to see, and inspiring them with beautiful photos is something that can be much more powerful than a simple discounted offer.

Other than having a blog, you should consider making videos or recording a podcast – either as a guest or on your own, if you can afford spending the additional time on such a project. If not, maybe consider sponsoring one that’s already attracted an audience full of avid travelers – this way you’ll put your brand right in front of your target audience.

If you do those, don’t forget about all the other marketing learnings you’ve gained so far. If you’re running a blog or a podcast, then collect a list of email addresses. Send them automatic RSS email reminders about new episodes, and invite them to join the conversation and share their photos with others. If you manage to build a community, you’ll see that they’ll be booking with you not just for the price, but for the entire experience.


increase travel website bookings


Share your thoughts with us!

Now that you’ve gone through these 10 steps to getting more reservations on your travel website throughout the whole year, it’s time to reflect. See what you’ve done in the past and whether you can implement these activities into your own strategy.

If you’ve had success with any of them already, then let me and other readers know by leaving a comment below. If you haven’t, but wish to know more about a particular step, then simply ask – we’re all here to learn and share our experiences.

Have a safe trip!

increase travel website bookings

The post How to Increase Travel Website Bookings, Automatically appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.

10 Avoidable Email Marketing Follies

Digital marketing has opened the door for a lot of brand messaging strategies. Even with the rise and rise of popular channels like social media, instant messaging, and now, conversational commerce for communication, email marketing remains one of the most effective ways for businesses to reach new and existing customers.


email marketing follies


However, it only takes one quick swipe to land your email into the trash folder. Brands continue to make a lot of simple mistakes that can kill your entire campaign. Let’s discuss some of the most avoidable mishaps you can keep in mind when crafting your next company email.


  1. Not personalizing

Perhaps the biggest and easiest email mistakes to avoid is failure to personalize. According to an oft-quoted study by Experian, personalized promotional emails have a 29 percent higher unique open rate and a 41 percent higher click-through rate than ones that are not. Beginning an email message with cookie cutter openers like “Dear Subscriber” or the notorious “Dear Valued Customer” is a one-way ticket to the trash folder.


email marketing follies


Doing this makes the correspondence look like spam right off the bat. Contrast that with Spotify’s highly personalized emails that take into account your past browsing patterns, site interactions, and preferences. Kudos to them for making the reader feel like they’re the center of attention!


email marketing follies


With GetResponse, it’s a breeze to personalize your emails dynamically for various customer segments.


  1. Failing to integrate with other marketing channels

While email is one of the older digital marketing tactics, it is hardly a standalone channel anymore. Therefore, ensuring it works in tandem with your website, app, and social media profiles while incorporating customer data is a must. Even though this seems obvious, there are a number of obstacles that stand in the way.

Integrating multiple channels with your email marketing strategy means that each tool must work in concert to provide the most relevant content in the most appealing way. Every consumer touchpoint needs to be linked to allow the flow of information to run smoothly. Marketers have been struggling with this concept for a long time.


social media follies


Properly merging multiple channels is crucial in creating more targeted and consistent communication. In order to ensure consistency across all of the channels where you market, you need to make sure your inter-departmental teams communication and document sharing is up to snuff.

Surmount the risk of weak multi-channel campaigns by getting your content creation, customer support, sales, SEO, PR, and email marketing departments work together using a collaboration tool like WorkZone. Individuals and teams working on different campaigns – paid or organic – can easily stay on top of what the others are doing and share updates with them.


email marketing follies


  1. Bad subject lines

The subject line is by far the most vital part of the entire email. It is the first (and only assured) thing a viewer will see when the email shows up in their inbox. It is what makes them decide whether or not they want to read it.

Subject lines determine the life and death of your email. Drawing in readers depends on how carefully you craft it. Don’t go overboard with buzzwords or “free” or “amazing.” Excessive use can come across as clickbait and will result in a trip to the trash folder. That said, there are no hard and fast rules for subject lines – even a spammy, all caps subject line might grab attention now and then:


email marketing follies


You’ll come across innumerable studies and articles on how to write the right subject line that will deliver 541 percent more responses, but the long and short of it is that you need to creatively make it clear, concise and clever. Find a happy medium between boring and overly ambitious. Let your brand’s persona shine through!


  1. Focusing solely on promotion

Email marketers should prioritize engaging customers instead of spouting corporate jargon. Consumers today are becoming less and less susceptible to blatant sales tactics such as this:


email marketing follies


While the ultimate goal is obviously to sell your product or service, the focus should be on delivering valuable, relevant content. Try doing things like providing links to your blog posts within the email body, directing viewers to compelling brand material instead of just in-your-face promotions.

I’m not advocating not selling your product by any stretch of imagination. All I want to emphasize here is that you need to find the elusive balance of content, design, and deals in your emails.


  1. Not proofreading thoroughly

There is perhaps nothing worse than sending out a business email riddled with typos and grammatical mistakes. When this happens, a good deal of your professionalism is diminished. Take a look at this “small” mishap:


email marketing follies


In the subject line, “Not Get It” was most likely supposed to be “Now Get It.” See how one letter can make a huge difference? This error completely changes the whole message of the email.

As you can see, the margin for error is extremely small. Before hitting send, be sure you’ve gone over the entire message multiple times. It also helps to get a second pair of eyes on the content before it gets sent out. A tool such as Grammarly will be of immense help, especially if you’re composing quick emails in your browser itself.


  1. Not having a call-to-action (CTA)

The end goal of a business email is to push the viewer in the direction that leads to a conversion of some sort. Whether it be directing to product pages, blog content, or just your home page, a good CTA is essential. Failure to place one within the email will result in minimal return and your click-through rate will suffer. Take a look at this email:


email marketing follies


While this imagery is compelling and informative about the deal being offered, where does the viewer go from here? There is no obvious CTA button or link to follow.

The CTA is what the entire email leads to. They are one of the most common factors used in A/B testing. GetResponse of course lets you test every aspect of your emails and other marketing ventures. Even the little things like color or text on a CTA button can make a huge different in gaining conversions.


  1. Too many CTAs

At the other end of the spectrum, adding too many CTAs can make your email come across as cluttered and unfocused. At first glance, they tend to look like excessive spam and readers will be inclined to skip over it altogether. Take a look at this one:


email marketing follies


While the promotion itself isn’t bad, there are just too many options available for one email.

It’s best to keep to one, concise CTA. In fact, emails with a single, hyper-focused call-to-action can increase clicks by 371 percent and can even boost sales by 1617 percent!

Think of your email like a sales funnel in itself. The design should work to bring the viewer to a clear-cut outcome without a second thought.


  1. Not getting the timing right

Apart from the email itself, the timing you choose to send out your business material is an extremely important factor to keep in mind. If an email is sent at a bad time, all the effort you put into crafting the subject line, content, CTAs, and graphics was for nothing.

For example, if you are a B2B company and send out an email blast at 5:30 pm on a Friday, chances are, very few people will be on the receiving end and it will be buried come Monday. CoSchedule has put together a number of studies that have found the most optimal times to send business emails.


email marketing follies


Additionally, take into account the geographical dispersal of your audience across different time zones. Your email marketing tool will have a simple function to segment your lists and avoid mishaps like these.


  1. Sending too many/not enough emails

Flooding your viewers’ inbox multiple times per day is a surefire way to either get your emails deleted, or worse, have viewers unsubscribe. On the other hand, not sending enough can result in consumers forgetting about your brand. You need to find the perfect balance of persistence without being annoying. As each business is unique with a different set of followers, this can be tricky.

For example, National Debt Relief tried to send out promotional emails every day or so. As it turned out, receiving debt consolidation emails that frequently didn’t sit very well with their subscribers and they lost nearly 15 percent of their list before deciding to tone it down.

This will more than likely take some trial and error. Start small and gauge the results. Look at your open rates and find a rhythm that works.


  1. Neglecting key metrics

Perhaps the biggest advantage of marketing in the digital world is the ability to track results and learn from both victories and failures. In terms of email marketing, keeping an eye on the reporting section is crucial for any campaign. You will gain all kinds of insights like what kind of messaging results in higher click through rates, how many email addresses should be taken off the list, which graphics work best, and much more.

Failure to look into your detailed reports and data is one of the biggest sins to commit in digital marketing. Without data-driven information, how do you know the degree in which your brand messaging resonates with the target audience?

More importantly, without collecting data on customer actions following the campaign, your ability to nurture leads and send follow-up messages is severely compromised.

There are six key metrics to keep an eye on throughout an email marketing campaign:

  1. Click-through rate – the number of subscribers who clicked on links in the email content as a percentage of total delivered emails
  2. Conversion rate – the number of recipients who followed the sales funnel in the email and took the desired action as a percentage of total delivered emails
  3. Bounce rate – the percentage of emails that were not delivered successfully
  4. List growth rate – the rate of net increase in the number of subscribers in your lists
  5. Sharing rate – the number of recipients who forwarded the email or clicked the share buttons linked to their social networks as a percentage of total delivered emails
  6. Overall ROI – the net profit the email campaign is generating compared to how much you’re spending on it expressed as a percentage of the total cost

Consistently monitoring your campaign and tweaking it is a complex process, but it’s the key to determining success in the future.


In conclusion

The good news is that all these mistakes do not require an enormous effort to fix. With email marketing, the best you can do is learn from your past and try again. The game is all about closely watching the data and finding the right combination of content, showmanship, timing, and creativity.

What have been your greatest email marketing follies? What did you learn from them? Tell us about it in the comments below.

email marketing follies

The post 10 Avoidable Email Marketing Follies appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.

Creative Content Ideas: A Guide to Keyword Research

Looking to increase traffic to your website? The key is knowing the right keywords. Not only do keywords impact your rankings, but they also can – and should – be used as a starting point for creating great content. Which means some keyword research is in order.

Before you begin your content creation, it is essential that you conduct proper keyword research. From identifying your target market to conducting competitor analysis, your keyword research will help you better understand the needs of the customer and what they’re searching for. This will ensure that you are producing optimal content for your target market and getting your message in front of current and potential customers.

So, how can you find out what keywords are ideal for your brand?


Step 1: Identify your target market.

In order to identify optimal keywords, you first need to determine who is searching around your industry. Who are your current customers? Are there new markets that you aren’t reaching yet? What groups could benefit most from your products/services?

Your target audience should range from current customers all the way to niche markets that you’re hoping to enter. These various groups likely have different needs, so it’s important to remember these differences later on when creating your keyword list. This will help you focus your content to attract customers you aren’t yet reaching, as well as to keep clients coming back!

As we go through each step in the keyword research process, imagine you have your own local real estate company, and you’re looking to increase traffic to your website. Your target market may consist of first-time home buyers, experienced landlords, and home sellers. You also want to target house flippers, an industry you have not yet entered.


Step 2: Know what questions customers are asking.

Now that you have identified your target markets, you need to know the questions customers are asking so that you can provide the answers through relevant content. As an expert in your industry, you should already be clued in to what your customers are asking. With new markets, though, you may need some help in determining these questions. A great tool that can help you in this search is Answer the Public.

In continuing with our real estate example, think about what questions first-time home buyers are asking. What fees are associated with buying a house? What is escrow? What are closing costs? Is it cheaper to rent or buy? You can also take a look at the results from Answer the Public to supplement this list of questions.


keyword research answer the public real estate results example


Step 3: Explore popular content in your industry.

Next, it’s time to explore your competitors’ and industry leaders’ websites and content. Look for things you like. How can you emulate and improve on what they’re doing? Also, look for things you don’t like. What topics should you avoid? How can you make your content stand out?

Continuing with our real estate example, look to industry leaders in the real estate industry such as Zillow, TransUnion SmartMove, and RedFin. Each of them have blogs with tons of content to explore! Read through Zillow’s blog to see what topics they’re covering. Check out TransUnion SmartMove’s latest post to get an example of their post layout. Look over the comments on RedFin’s posts to see how customers are reacting to their content.

Remember, it’s not just about what content you like or don’t like, but rather what resonates with the customer. How can you find the content that’s engaging your target market? Just look at social shares! Any time a user shares a piece of content on social media, it shows the content was relevant and helpful. Ahref’s Content Explorer is an easy way to see what content is resonating with customers for the topic you want to cover.


keyword research ahrefs content explorer example


Step 4: Build a list of keywords.

Now the research phase is over. It’s time to build a list of keywords that you can use to start planning your content. You’ll have to be strategic with the keywords that you choose. For example, “buying a house” will be extremely difficult to rank for since it’s a broad topic with a lot of existing content. Instead, focus on long tail keywords – longer, more specific phrases that will be easier to rank for. A long tail keyword you can add to your list could be “buying your first house in Houston” or “what you should know before buying a house”.

As you’re building your list, remember your different target markets. Make sure to list out specific keywords for each group. There may be some overlap between groups, but it’s important that each market has their own exhaustive list. Don’t worry if your lists are getting long. The more keywords you have, the more content you can cover!


Step 5: Use a keyword planner.

After you’ve created your list, you can get more information about the keywords you’ve chosen by uploading them into a keyword planner. If you have an AdWords account, Google’s keyword planner is a great tool to help you organize your keywords and conduct further research. There are also some free versions, like Moz’s keyword suggestions, that offer similar functionality with a limit on the number of keywords you can search for each day.


keyword research moz keyword planner


The purpose of a keyword planner is to help you organize, edit, and optimize your keyword list. You’ll have access to estimated search volumes associated with a particular keyword, how competitive a keyword is to rank for, and alternatives to the keywords you’ve come up with. Your list is not static – use this information to make changes and list additional keywords as necessary.

You previously listed “how to flip a house” as a keyword for your new target market, but you’ve now found that this competitive keyword will be too difficult to rank for. Remove it! It’s important to update your list, as search volumes and competitiveness will constantly change.


Step 6: Pick a keyword and write content surrounding this keyword.

It’s finally time to start creating content! Focus on one or two keywords to start, and then begin creating content around those keywords. It’s helpful to look at the SERPs (search engine results page) of those keywords, to get a better understanding of what is already ranking and what content might be missing that you could create.

When it comes to writing your post, check to make sure you aren’t “keyword stuffing”. While it’s important to use your keyword and close variants throughout your post, don’t sacrifice readability for the sake of SEO.  Write for your readers, not webcrawlers.

Once your content is complete, publish it! Get that content out there, and start watching your own results to see what is working for you and what isn’t. If your post on “5 Mistakes First Home Buyers Make” isn’t ranking, focus on a different keyword for your next piece of content. The more content you create, the more you will learn which keywords will work best for you and your business.


Final notes:

Keyword research can seem time-consuming when you have a million other things going on. However, doing this work upfront can help you focus on creating content that ranks and resonates with consumers. It can also result in higher traffic and higher sales. In other words… it is totally worth it!

Good Luck!

What success have you had with keyword research for your business website? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

keyword research

The post Creative Content Ideas: A Guide to Keyword Research appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.

How to Plan & Execute a Social Media Takeover

Success is all about hitting the right note at the right time. Powerful digital marketing is the only hope to see success and expand your brand reach at the right time today. With heavy competition in the market, businesses are forced to think and explore new digital possibilities.

Social media takeovers are a new possibility to expand brand reach, and increase your customer base. Instagram and Snapchat takeovers are popular, with many businesses using this method. It is, by and large, an incredible way to promote content. Rope in your influencers and customers for this.

If you can’t really decide how to involve others to talk about you, let me take you through a series of points which will let you to plan and execute social media takeovers.

Social media is huge and effective. Nearly 80% of marketers today agree that they can see increased traffic and brand reach with effective social media strategies. You need to consider all possible social media plans that will work for you. A social media takeover is one such tactic that you cannot ignore.


Why a social media takeover?

A takeover is like having a joint account with a rich person. It enables a third party to endorse you and your brand. The process lets you to invite someone to take care of your profile/account for a short period of time. You literally relinquish control of that social platform to someone else for a fixed time.

To understand this better, let me take you through some basics. Marketing your brand online involves being consistently active in social media. It is not enough to just open your account and create an identity. To have any hope of reaching your customers, you need to follow 5 key steps:

  • Define your objective
  • Engage
  • Involve others to talk about you and your brand
  • Build relationship
  • Smoothly take it to the next level


Involve others

“Social media is not just an activity; it is an investment of valuable time and resources. Surround yourself with people who not just support you and stay with you, but inform your thinking about ways to WOW your online presence,” said Sean Gardner, social media author and speaker.


Advantages of a social media takeover

Takeover is by and large considered as a makeover. It lets you to;

  • Expand your reach
  • Discover new viewerships
  • Increase your customer base
  • Build your brand
  • Increase traffic

Above all, the method is cost-effective and both the parties involved benefit.


How to initiate a social media takeover

To initiate a social media takeover, you first need to understand your audience and followers well, engage with them consistently, create strong relationship with few influencers, and spot the right influencer for the takeover. Once you carry out this task, then you are ready to discover new audiences and enhance traffic. A few successful examples of takeovers are Instagram takeover, Snapchat takeover, and Twitter takeover. Just ensure that before you give the takeover partner your login credentials, you secure your account by two way authentication and pass on the account information with a temporary password. You will, of course, promote the takeover in your network, and ask the influencer you’re working with to do the same.


Instagram Takeover

Case Study of Chicago Bulls-branded Bud Light Can #BullsIGTakeover


social media takeover chicago bud light example


This is one typical social media blow up that happened in recent days. The tactic was an Instagram Takeover.

The Chicago Bulls are an American professional basketball team. In order to drive sales for their new Chicago Bulls-branded Bud Light can (sponsors), both the organizations planned to initiate an Instagram takeover.

Having already worked with Chuck Anderson, who is a part of Chicago based creative studio NoPattern, for the last few seasons, the Chicago Bulls saw an opportunity to partner with him through a social media takeover initiative. Together with Bud Light, the company agreed on an Instagram takeover program in which Bud Light agreed to team with Anderson and few other photographers to upload pictures during and after games, and these photographers would ‘take over’ the Chicago Bulls Instagram account for the evening.

Result: The #BullsIGTakeover photos on Instagram performed nearly twice as well as the normal rate of engagement for the season. The team is said to have managed nearly 2 million engagements on #BullsIGTakeover content on Instagram, and the program is still on. The takeover initiative has been a talk throughout Bud Light’s marketing teams and is being mirrored across more markets and professional sports teams.

In the Bizjournal article, the Bulls’ team expressed great satisfaction with the takeover tactic. “For us, it’s huge because it’s creating a connection between the city of Chicago and the Bulls,” said Dan Moriarty, the Bulls’ digital director. “Re-establishing a connection between the city of Chicago and the Bulls is really important to us.” He further explains that, despite the “takeover” format, the Bulls’ digital team still has full control over what is posted. He says that the content the takeover photographers “have never given us cause for concern.”


Snapchat Takeover

#Airbnb Snapchat Takeover


social media takeover airbnb snapchat takeover


Snapchat is slightly different compared to the rest of the social channels. Creating a Snapchat account takeover is a challenge. It’s also noted to be the most successful strategies one can have to reach wider audience. A typical takeover to talk about is Airbnb’s account takeover. The company recently invited its followers to share their interest by taking over its account for a defined time and duration and sharing their stories.


social media takeover airbnb snapchat takeover example


#UND’s Takover of GrandforkCity’s Snapchat Account

To create better learning opportunities for all the University of North Dakota (UND) students, in addition to enabling the city of Grand Forks to establish their social presence and develop their engagement with younger audience, Queen Ngale, a UND psychology/pre-med student captured Grand Forks Mayor Mike Brown’s every move on Snapchat and shared it with the world. Within few seconds after introducing herself as “Snapchat” girl of the city, the GrandforksCity account saw a surge in the number of followers.


social media takeover UND snapchat example


Pete Haga, Community/Government Relations Officer, commented in a statement, “Students bring authentic, fresh perspectives that allow us to see our work in different ways.”

That precisely describes the power of takeovers. Be it businesses, students, cities, anybody can see benefits out of this simple practice.


Twitter Takeover

@ToledoRockets Account Takeover

Let’s consider a recent takeover of the Toledo Rockets’ Twitter account. The Toledo Rockets practice this tactics every two weeks for half an hour where in the company ropes in a Rockets student-athlete to take over their account. The company recently invited Sophomore forward Nate Navigato to answer fan questions through the Athletic Department’s @ToledoRockets twitter account.


social media takeover toledo rockets twitter takeover example


The Rocket Academic Center is in the Larimer Athletic Complex at the University of Toledo. The center is open to all student-athletes and it aims to help develop the student overall, not just academically, but socially, morally, and in terms of leadership. With a long and rich history, Rockets athletes are not just great on the field but they are excellent choices to talk about the center too.


You can be a Host too

Inviting others to talk about you is one way and participating to talk about other channel is another way to reach a wider audience. How can you make the most of takeovers? Follow these guidelines.

Takeover details:

  • Topic
  • Time
  • Duration
  • Account Username
  • Password

How to go ahead with a takeover:

  • Introduce and describe the event
  • Share pictures
  • Provide value to the audience
  • Have fun but remember that you are in someone’s page
  • Give reasons for the audience to follow you back even after the event is over
  • Promote in your social network


To Wrap

Social media takeovers are heating up. Make the most use of this tactic to expand reach and grow your audience. You can either invite someone to take over your account or you can go ahead and take over someone’s account.

After you initiate your social media takeover, be sure to keep track of your metrics. Understand how this is working for you.

How have you used social media takeovers? Do you have any useful tips to share?  Let me know in the comments!

social media takeover

The post How to Plan & Execute a Social Media Takeover appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.