Since November 2011 I have been involved in an Integrated Internet Marketing campaign to help promote a seaside holiday resort, Courtown Harbour, which had not seen much Internet Marketing since 2006. This meant that while we were not starting from scratch, we were starting from a very low base.
Last November there was a static website for Courtown that due to lack of funding had only been updated sporadically in the previous five years. While a Facebook Page and Twitter account had been created, they were essentially dormant with no entries, which meant there was no co-ordinated Social Media presence for Courtown on the Internet.
The first thing that we did was decide who the target audience was. It’s very difficult to meet the requirements of your audience if you don’t know who they are or you are trying to be all things to everyone. Extensive research was done to establish who was searching for Courtown on the web, what exactly were they searching for, when were the searching (people look for different things depending on the time of year) and where the people searching for Courtown were located.
Based on this research we decided to build the Social Media Campaign first rather than do a complete redesign of the web site. The reason for this was that a social media campaign is much quicker and easier to implement and such a campaign would give us more detailed information which would allow us to redesign the web site in a much more targeted and focused way. The Facebook Page and Twitter account were launched in January with a minimum of one post a day, but ideally as many posts as possible (only if posts are up-to-date, relevant or useful. No posts just for the sake of getting something up on the page.)
Each week the stats for Facebook and Twitter were reviewed in detail and we were gradually able to establish what worked and more importantly what didn’t work and in that way we were able to adapt and change the content to better meet the audiences needs. We were also able to see that specific events such as bank holiday weekends, school mid-term breaks, festivals, etc. had a major impact on usage statistics and that the campaign needed to be able to flexibly address these type of events.
After several months and having reviewed the stats from the Social Media Campaign, we started to redesign the web site from scratch using a content management system that would allow us to adapt and change the site as required. Then, like with the social media, we conducted detailed weekly reviews to see which area of the site worked and which didn’t. We reviewed who was looking at the site, where they were located and how exactly were they finding the site.
We also asked for feedback on a regular basis and as a result things like interactive multimedia maps were added to the site , among other things. As we go into the autumn and winter the usage and demographics of the website and Facebook page are again changing. Now the profile of users has changed to more permanent residents of North Wexford and people who have holidayed or are thinking about holidaying in the area rather than people who are at present on holidays in Courtown.
Here are some of the statistics achieved after six months;
- 86,000 Weekly Facebook Reach
- 1,400 Talking About the Facebook Page Weekly
- 2,400 Facebook Likes
- 15,000 Monthly Visits to www.courtownharbour.com
- Number 1 or 2 in Google for every search term related to Courtown
There are several things that we have learned over the course of this project;
- It is absolutely critical that you sit down and decide what EXACTLY are the objectives of the Internet Marketing Campaign. If you don’t know where you are trying to get to, it’s very difficult to find your way.
- Draw up an outline project plan with REALISTIC time scales. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is a successful Internet Marketing Campaign. It will take a minimum of three to six months to see real results.
- You must be consistent. Social media requires regular, up-to-date posts that engage your audience. You cannot do ten posts one day and then not post for two weeks and you must respond to all communications via social media in a timely fashion (within several hours, not days).
- No matter how good your research and preparation, you will not get it right the first time, nor the second or third time for that matter. You must constantly review and adapt the various elements of the campaign, whether that is the website, the social media posts, the frequency of posts, the type of posts etc.
- This is not like just building a web site and hoping that the hits and visits will roll in. This will ALWAYS be a work in progress because the Internet is changing all the time and so is the way people use the Internet, so if you don’t constantly adapt you will loose your audience very quickly.
Hope you found this interesting/useful and if want anymore information, just give us a shout.