Monday, 26 October 2009

14, 2010 World Cup Marketing Strategies For Guest House Owners

Submitted by 
{pp}South African Guest House owners have six months to attract 2010 Soccer guest to their guest houses. They are not using social media tools like twitter and other online tools.

A list of 14 online marketing tools can help guest house owners attract more guest by getting involved in creating trusting relationships using simple ideas and tools.

It's a little more than six months before the 2010 Soccer World Cup and very few South African Guest House and B&B owners have adopted new social media like, Twitter.com and Facebook.com to promote their businesses.

Searching for the phrase - 2010 "guest house" - , on www.Twitter.com, there were only 6 tweets (a tweet is a post or status update) that included this phrase. Searching Google for 2010 "guest house" there were 944,000 web pages with related info. Clearly indicating that South African guest houses are not using social media marketing strategies to promote their business.

According to Johan Horak, an online guest house marketing expert, "There's a problem and an opportunity here. If you are not on Twitter.com or on any social media site yet, then go there, because your opposition is not using social media, but the 2010 fans are".

"Many guest house owners use their own websites and list with online guest house portals, unfortunately they are not actively publishing new information about their guest house".  

"I believe that social media allows guest house owners to create relationships with potential guest by becoming a trusted expert. South Africans have had a lot of negative publicity and guest house owners can help to reverse that." 

Johan was asked to compile a list of online marketing tips for guest house owners to ensure more guest during the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup.

  • Start writing relevant press releases, on things to do in your are, the food you provide, etc. The idea is that you share relevant and interesting angles.
    • For example, there's a story about the German Soccer team wearing bullet proof vest, when they leave their South African hotels. If you are in a safe town like Simon's Town write a press release with a heading, "2010 Simon's Town Guest House Guests Can Leave Their Bullet Proof Vest At Home: Simon's Town Is Safe."
    • Many over sea's newspapers are talking about 2010 guest houses and hotels ripping soccer guest off. Why not write a press release on how to establish if guest houses are inflating their prices. The idea is that you must be see as a trustworthy expert. Publish these articles on your blog, twitter, facebook and at free press release sites. Here's a South African free press release site I have used in the past. Here's another international press release site that gets results.
  • Publish articles about your guest house. For example, many people visit Simon's Town guest houses because of pelagic birds. Why not write an article about pelagic birds, the how, when and where to stay, and publish it to your blog, and also publish it on free article distribution sites (Visit http://www.wilsonweb.com/linking/wilson-article-marketing-1.htm for a list of article distribution sites).
  • Distribute: When you publish an article, press release or blog post, distribute your guest house updates using Social Marker (http://www.socialmarker.com/). "Social bookmarking is a powerful tool in promoting your articles or website. But going through all of those social bookmarking sites is very time-consuming. That's where SocialMarker.com comes in, the free service designed to reduce the time and effort needed to socially bookmark a website.The first time around will take time but then it will be a breeze the next time.
  • Integrate your blog, twitter.com, facebook and friendfeed.com accounts. The latest social media blog sites allow you to auto-post updates to these sites. You therefore create a blog post and it's updated to your social media profiles. 
  • Get Daily 2010 Soccer News: Subscribe to Google Alerts and Google News. These alerts will bring you all relevant news, that you can use to write blog stories, articles and press releases.
  • The 2010 Fifa World Cup draw will be held on December 4 in Cape Town, make note of this date. Ensure that you know where the teams will be based and where they will play. This is critical info because you want to "keyword target" (7) these teams, and their supporters. 
  • Finding Targeted keywords. I have mentioned keywords but want to elaborate. You can use Google Suggest. I don't think the intention with Google Suggest was to research keywords but it works. Here's a video (http://www.bmyers.com/public/945.cfm?sd=30) on how to use Google Suggest to find keywords.
  • Using Keywords. After you have written down your relevant keyword phrases, start using them as primers for the story you will write or the tweet you want to send. It's important that you include at least one keyword phrase in your title or tweet, use it in the first paragraph, and then sprinkle it through your article. Use the keyword phrase again in your final paragraph. Creating a link(s) using your keyword phrase is also a good idea. It's therefore important that you write for searchers and not only for readers.
  • Be accessible: Your potential 2010 Soccer guest will be sceptical or are sceptical. You need to start a conversation with them. This conversation is not conditional. It's free. You should invite questions and answer them from the hart.
  • Be Sticky: Everyone who visits your blog, came to visit it because you did something correctly. Now that you have them, you need to try and keep them within your sphere of influence (stick to you). Although your final objective is to get more people to your guest house or business....this takes time and you need to cultivate a relationship. Your intermediate objective is to get your visitors to subscribe to your updates. Therefore you need to give them a compelling reason to subscribe and make it easy to subscribe.
  • Make it easy to subscribe to your updates: Social media sites, like Twitter.com make it easy for people to follow you, but your blog my may be another story. I suggest you also add an email blog-update subscription box. You can use a product like Feedburner.com, a free Google product. When you update your blog, all your subscribers gets an email with the new story.
  • Market Narrow: When you write a story or a tweet using the keyword phrase "guest house" alone is a waste of time. But "guest house in cape town" is closer to the narrow market or niche I propose. "Guest house in Cape Town 2010" is even narrower. People are also searching for "2010 travel goods show". There are many other search terms. Now, why not write a story (or a few stories) about good shows using this keyword phrase and tell them where to stay when they watch the show.
  • Leaving a spoor or scent. Ensure that you leave an easily detectable spoor wherever you go online. This spoor, although it may have a narrow focus (12) must be distributed throughout all online media.  Points 1, 2 and 3 covered some of the spoor-leaving-tools. Others ideas include having a digital signature. Include your social addresses for your blog, twitter, facebook, youtube and other. Another simple idea is to join travel forums, focusing on 2010, and start answering questions. Again you need to setup an effective signature that's published below your name.
  • Have Fun: If you cannot have fun doing this then you may as well leave it. If you like to market then start today, the adventure will be great and the results amazing. 
  • A real success story comes from Gary Vaynerchuk from Wine Library TV (http://tv.winelibrary.com/). Garry said, "It took six months before people took any notice of me. Today my online marketing strategy helped grow our family wine business from $4 million to $60 million".

    Johan added, "Online marketing is free and effective, but, as we have seen with Garry, it will take time. Guest House owners have a little more than six months before the world cup. Start today because it will make a difference even after 2010".

    Contact Information:
    Online Guest House Marketing
    http://cultivation.posterous.com/
    tel: 021 786 4028

    email: johanhorak @ gmail . com

    Johan Horak runs CapeHolidays with his family. It's a Cape Town holiday rental business where each home is hand picked. 

    If Johan is not busy with http://capeholidays.info then he's at Google+, where he is ranked 12 in South Africa, or tweeting about.

    The family lives in Simonstown overlooking the Blue Dam called False Bay.

    You can contact Johan Horak regarding Cape Town, Google+ and social media in general at

    Google+ +johanhorak

    Twitter @capeholidays 

    Tel: 021 786 4028

    Cell: 082 870 2004

    or at http://blog.capeholidays.info