Paws Up Digital Media Strategy

 

The Resort at Paws Up

Digital Marketing Strategy 

Kristel Klank

 

PURPOSE AND OVERVIEW

The popularity of social media and digital spaces has changed the hospitality marketing landscape. In this consumer-driven industry, it’s important to remember that the consumer is the one who should determine the content that’s created. Consequently, while social media has made interacting with your consumers easier than ever before, it also has widened the gap between those who did it well and those who do not. It is because of this that digital marketing should be at the forefront of Paws Up marketing efforts. Your audience is telling you what the want, need, and think. It’s your job to listen.

This strategy outlines a suggested digital marketing plan for The Resort at Paws Up. More specifically, it strives to build upon Paws Up’s existing digital brand as well as narrow in on areas of possible improvement and growth.

That being said, Paws Up has a strong foundational digital presence. The company has clearly invested a lot of resources into the creation and cultivation in its digital spaces, in turn making this strategy quite tailored to the specific needs and wants of Paws Up and its clients; its primarily focus is on how the resort can more effectively monitor and harness their digital media rather than the creation of more digital capital.

Ultimately, this document works to increase brand awareness and brand-client interactions through the effective use of digital marketing techniques, search engine optimization and marketing, and website content management.

 

CONTENT STRATEGY

While there are certainly exceptions, the following information should generally be maintained about all the content produced by Paws Up.

Desired Outcomes

The following is a very general list of goals to be attained after the successful implementation and monitoring of the contents of this digital strategy:

  • To further position Paws Up as the luxury guest-ranch location of the American West
  • To increase interaction between brand and client on all facets of their digital platforms
  • To strengthen Paws Up relationship with its digital audience overall through deep and genuine engagement
  • To integrate all social media platforms, to ensure cross-platform traffic
  • To improve the digital health of the Paws Up brand overall

Audience and Topics:

Every good digital media strategy needs to determine and establish the image the given brand wants to project, and upon which targeted audience(s) the brand wants to create content for. Therefore, the only way to determine the topics Paws Up should create digital content around is to take a closer look at the audience(s) the company is trying to reach.

Be aware that this is not an exhaustive list. By all means, if you ever come across a new or underserved audience, create creative and engaging campaigns for them. Ultimately, Paws Up will benefit from aiming its digital marketing strategy towards as many different — yet focused — audiences. This list will help you create everything from blog posts to Google Adword campaigns, and the creation of specific marketing personas could help focus your efforts in identifying these groups.

1. Families:

In terms of digital content published on your social media platforms, Paws Up should gear their materials around topics such as family reunions, family packages, kids activities, and celebratory life milestones such as birthdays.

2. Couples:

This certainly is not an audience segment Paws Up can afford to ignore. Countless newlyweds would certainly love to spend their honeymoons on your 37,000 acres, and with the recent opening of the Bull Barn, the resort certainly wants to create content that promotes the venue as a wedding location. Think about featuring outstanding weddings on your blog with lots of photographs and movies. Lastly, remember to push content out through your media channels focused on the resort a anniversary trip location.

3. Foodies:

Your Montana Master Grillers, Montana Long Table, and Montana Master Chef events are social media gold. Consider having individuals enter contests by interacting with your social media platforms (following your on twitter, for example).  These events would also be a great opportunity to make videos and have guest bloggers (famous chefs, for example).

4. Fishermen:

Really sell your ranch as the fly-fishing Mecca. Consider having your fishing guides write blog posts full of insightful information about what its like to fish on the Blackfoot River and why every serious fisherman needs to experience it. Maybe even consider having a fly-fishing contest or event to more seriously promote the area as a fishing must as well. You already have the ideal location, all you have to do is sell it through strategic video, photography, and writing.

5. Businesses/organizations:

Meetings and conferences are certainly something that you specialize in. Since it would be expensive and would probably include traveling to your ranch, you are going to have to be very strategic about how you utilize your digital space regarding this. I would consider keeping it minimal, but would consider having business leaders write reviews about why other organizations should consider having a conference or meeting there. Then, stream it through all your social media channels and spread the word widely.

 

OVERALL TONE

The tone you’ve already established on your social media platforms is friendly and effective. Paws Up has done a great job of remaining professional and knowledgeable while also being approachable and hospitable.

The most important thing to remember in terms of tone is to always remain genuine and audience-focused. The conversations you spark on social media outlets should be highly engaging and always leave room for conversation and inquiry.

 

CHANNELS OF DISTRIBUTION:

Paws Up certainly has no problem identifying and understanding what social media is, and have done a really nice job laying the foundation of their social media platforms and digital brand identity.

Yet, with the creation of fresh content more often, and the following suggestions, Paws Up could open the door to an entirely different social media experience.

1. Website

Analysis: Paws Up website contains the static content created by the resort. Through the website, visitors can find out all that the ranch offers, see photographs, watch videos, and meet the staff. There are also links to two of Paws Up’s social media platforms (Facebook and Twitter).

Audience: The likely audience for your main webpage is so vast that it is difficult for me to define it in any meaningful way. Very generally, some likely visitors to your site will include those looking to visit the ranch, local individuals looking to see what Paws Up is all about, and other

Revisions: The website could certainly benefit from having a few more design elements, as I think it could capture the feel of the ranch in a more captivating way. While the photography certainly isn’t lacking, by paying a little more attention to the aesthetic aspects of the website, Paws Up could really set the ranch apart from the get go. Everyone loves a website that is pleasing to look at, and by implementing some interesting design aspects like a creative use of typography and texture, Paws Up may see longer website visiting times.

Measurements: Statistical evidence can and should be gathered continually from tools such as Google Analytics. Consider tracking the unique daily, weekly, or monthly page visits, as well as the

2. Blog

Analysis:  A blog is the perfect place to showcase the real personality and charm of the ranch. I cannot stress enough how important blogs are in terms of how your audience perceives your company. Paws Up clearly knows that, but they simply need to adopt a stronger blog strategy. All you need is a little structure and inspiration.

Audience: Those visiting your blog are probably individuals who have an increased interest in exactly what Paws Up is all about — people who are really trying to get a feel for the ranch and are wanting more information.

Revisions: While the content of the blog is good, it seems to really be lacking in the design just like the main webpage. People love to read blogs with personality, and Paws Up certainly has room to grow in this area.

Some quick suggestions:

  • Always add relevant links within the body of each post. This will help with the search engine optimization of your blog as well as making the content more interactive for your readers.
  • Always add text with each video you post on the site. Give your readers some background about why you’re posting it as well as a call to action.
  • Audiences like knowing who is behind the writing. Instead of having “pawsupadmin” author each post, humanize your blog by adding information about who exactly is authoring each piece.
  • Remember to always optimize the blog titles. Have reasoning behind why you title certain things the way you do and always think about how search engines are going to analyze them.
  • Encourage readers to leave comments. This will allow people interested in the ranch to discuss the many interesting things at the ranch and will also make the blog more interactive. 

3. Facebook

Analysis: There’s certainly a nice foundation here. You’ve managed to get a good number of fans, and the page is updated a few times a week, but there seem to be inconsistencies with updates. It comes off as though you don’t see this social platform as a priority, and that's definately something Paws Up needs to work on.

Audience: With the wide variety of people using Facebook, Paws Up’s timeline page allows the resort to communicate with the majority of their desired target demographics. People who “like” the page have already taken vested interest in the brand, so you can listen to and communicate easily with them.

Revisions: Facebook is where you should pump the bulk of information to your audience and where there is the most room for conversation and interaction. Allow users to really get a feel for the personality of the ranch.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Take full advantage of Facebook’s multimedia capabilities. Remain posting photos and videos to keep interest up.
  • Think more broadly about interweaving your social media platforms with Facebook to increase engagement and interactivity.
  • Update the page more consistently, and try to avoid surges of information on your page. 

4. Twitter 

Analysis: Paws Up's twitter (https://twitter.com/#!/paws_up) has 1,933 followers at the time of this strategy — a number that certainly leaves room for growth. It appears that you update your page every few days, once again with surges of content every few days. There do seem to be gaps in updates as well.

Audience: Those looking for quick updates about the ranch most likely look to your Twitter feed. Your followers are probably interested in hearing about events, deals, and photos. 

Revisions: Be more active on this platform as it’s an easy way to push out information about the ranch. Create fresh content often; however, not as often as you RT things. Follow those who follow you. Additionally, try to be more intuitive when positing information: instead of treating each one as its own community, consider that your followers on Twitter may also be a fan on Facebook. While constantly cross-posting to Twitter and Facebook can become boring, do mention content that works better on Facebook (photo albums, videos, etc.) via a tweet. Twitter also allows for a more personalized conversation with followers, engage in dialogue with them. 

5. YouTube

Analysis: Paws Up’s YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/PawsUpVideo) only has two videos and five subscribers; yet, it has close to 16,000 video views. The latest activity on the channel was April 11, 2009. There are clearly issues with the monitoring, but the interest is clearly there. 

Audience: Much of your audience here should come from people clicking on links from your other social media posts. YouTube certainly shouldn't be the central hub of your digital activity, but rather something that fuels your other platforms and acts as a information reservoir. However, you will have some audience members who regularity use the platform, so it certainly cannot be neglected and takes a certain finesse to master. 

Revisions: This will allow your consumers to get a first-hand look at your property. I truly believe that Paws Up offers something so utterly different than most luxury destinations, and this is something that can easily be shown through video. Utilize this tool by continuing the great videos you are already producing.

This allows allow you to diversify your media, so try to publish a video once every few weeks, and don't stop there. After you've uploaded your videos, make sure to circulate it through all of your social media channels. 

6. Google+

Analysis: While this is a newer social platform, it's also one of the fastest growing and simply cannot be ignored. Paws Up is in 15 circles, and and has 15+. It looks like someone has taken the first steps of getting the brand page off the ground, but it doesn't appear much activity or promotion has been going on. The last update occurred back in early November, and there's only one 

Audience: Those looking for a change from Facebook and Twitter may turn to this platform; however, you’ll also get many who chose to have this in addition to the other popular platforms.

 Revisions: When it comes to social media, quality is always better than quantity. If Paws Up doesn’t have the time or resources to appropriately manage the page, it’s better to delete it rather than leaving it stagnant.

 Because this is similar to Facebook, it may be easy to simply post the same things on Google+ that you already post on Facebook; however, Paws Up has to make sure not to fall into this routine. Try to think of new and different things to draw users to this platform by offering exclusive information here.

 

7. Location-Based Serivces: FourSquare 

There isn’t much here in terms of check-ins: 60 people have checked in, and there are only 3 user-uploaded photographs. While this may not be a platform that you’re ready to heavily pursue, starting thinking about running deals through this social media channel. Maybe offer early check-in or maybe a discount on various activities around the ranch for those who check-in and leave photos/tips.


BUDGET:

Since your website needs some work, I would consider hiring an outside agency to build this for you, as well as having them implement an easy-to-use content management system. This will probably be one of the most expensive aspects of implementing this strategy, but I think the final product will be well worth it.

You may also want to have a member of your marketing team get certified in New Media. This could greatly impact the effectiveness of this strategy and health of your digital identity. 

All in all, I think you could implement this strategy with around $10,000. With this, you could implement an expansive Google Adwords campaign, create a more versitile website, and have money to train your existing staff to master social media and the creation of content. 

 

MEASURING EFFECTIVENSS:

Upon implementing this strategy, your organization should be sure to document the effectiveness of your newly implemented digital marketing efforts. The easiest way to do so is to use Google Analytics on your website and other various analytical tools on your social media platforms. Google Analytics is a free service that Google offers that allows companies insight into their website traffic and digital marketing effectiveness overall. Paws Up should be sure to analyze data before and after it’s launched this strategy as it will allow them to gage what strategies are working and which are not. also, consider utilizing tools such as Hootsuite to make the monitorization of all of your platforms seemless.