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    24 Replies Latest reply on Oct 22, 2009 11:38 AM by visuals4u

    Advertising Help

    zannie0921 Newbie
      I'm a boutique travel agency with clients throughout the world and this past year I've had tried a numerous amount of creative ways to market the agency. We specialize in luxury travel and unique honeymooners. Due to the economy our numbers have been down and so my marketing dollars have gotten affected. We do weekly email blasts with different promotions which really hasn't helped. I've tried hosting wine / cheese nights to try to grab local business, not successful. Google adwords also didn't help. I'm at a lost. Can anyone help?
        • Re: Advertising Help
          wayonda Wayfarer
          I will certainly try. You can visit us at wayonda(dot)com and it you can follow through with a short cool video and a good profile description our SEO can likely get you some good I'm up for a challenge. I'll be away for a bit but can tackle the project ASAP. Hikari
          • Re: Advertising Help
            Tianna Wayfarer
            At first I was going to recommend you to try google adwords, but at the end of your post you wrote that it didn't help.
            But don't panik and tell me how many website visitors you have daily? If the number of unique visits is not so high, you may try to optimize your website.
            There are two ways:
            1. to take advantage of SEO services (but they cost money)
            2. or you may optimize and promote your website by yourself.
            • Just visit different travel blogs and other websites and leave your comments there, thus promoting your website (of course, your posts/comments should not be spammy, be careful with this... )
            • register on travel blogs and post your comments there. On forums you may create a signature to all your posts with a link to your website.

            So, these are the main tips and first steps in website promotion.

            Good luck!
            • Re: Advertising Help
              LUCKIEST Guide
              Advertising Help, Welcome

              Who are you and Where are you?? Go to Members page and share some info.

              How long have you been in business?? Do you know about SCORE?? SCORE is FREE

              SCORE can help you with both Marketing and Advertising

              <!--Session data-->
              • Re: Advertising Help
                MoveForward Scout

                Spend your money on direct marketing!

                Start with focusing on your two areas you realize are your
                top selling (Honeymoons and Luxury Travel)

                Here are some examples of those you can contact and network
                with our advertise through. They also have email lists of members.

                Luxury Travel: BANKS! They have one person in each bank
                that works directly with those companies and individuals who
                deposit big bucks. This individuals goal is to keep the big buck
                depositors happy and pampered while showing others they are
                worth switching to for banking needs. Our team is called time
                after time to assist with themed events. A great many offer
                crusies and incentives as a group while others offer this based
                on the amount of deposit in a given time. I suggest contacting
                the American Bankers Association 1-800-226-5377 or
       and find out how to advertise in the banker magazine
                and ask them if they have a list of all "Solid Gold Coordinators"
                within the banking industry (or if this group of individuals have
                a branch organization).

                Another option is networking with a organization here is an

                Honeymoon: Offer an incentive to a Wedding Coordinator and
                they will pass it on! Contact the National Assoc. of Wedding
                Planners at you can look up other organizations
                for wedding planners or contact my team for a list at
       (I am not in the office right now to
                see the list). Also Event Planners are working on theme events,
                company incentives, big buck golf tournment prizes, etc.
                contact the International Special Event Society at
       (they have a list of members online with email
                information). You may want to put your information in top
                Bridal Stores like Davide's Bridal, etc. and Special Event
                Rental places. Network with these places.

                Last Suggestion: Christmas! A great gift would be
                a getaway gift certificate on a Luxury Liner. Market this now.

                Hope this helps.
                • Re: Advertising Help
                  desmira Newbie



                  When you say "..Google adwords also didn't help.." ; does that mean you didn't get any clicks ; or was it just unprofitable?


                  How many keywords did you use ?


                  How many adgroups ? kind of match type ( broad,phrase, exact )


                  Did you have a specific landing page with an special offer ?


                  Did you use the search network or the content network?any specific countries or states ? any specific time of day?


                  I know this looks like more questions than answers; sorry for that :); it's just that almost any adwords campaign can be made profitable if structured right. Let me know if I can be of more assistance







                    • Re: Advertising Help
                      zannie0921 Newbie
                      Hi Michael-

                      When I started my company about 6 years ago I tried good adwords and really didn't know what I was doing. I was completely new at it and got extremely discourged. About a year ago I tried it again, I received minimal clicks and it wasn't profitable. Don't really remember how many keywords we used, I know it was quite a few. I think my fustration with google adwords is that I didn't know what I was doing and didn't find it easy. My ideal situation is to allow a company do it for me. My speciality is travel, and not advertising.

                        • Re: Advertising Help
                          desmira Newbie



                          I fully understand - One of the things my company does is managing adword campaigns for our clients.


                          I just joined here - so I am not really sure if it's appropiate or not for me to point out that you are more than welcome to contact me - if you so desire. If it is not appropiate I'd like to apologize and feel free to ignore this message.



                          Adwords specific : the main elements you have to deal with for a succesful campaign are generally :


                          • Keyword grouping ( only put very realted keywords in one adgroup - we seldom have more than 3 )
                          • Quality score ( basically does the content on your landing page match the keyword you are targeting )
                          • Ad relevancy ( how well does the ad text match your landing page )
                          • Click through rate management ( the higher the click through - the lower the cost is going to be )
                          • Bid pricing ( generally if you start higher - better click through - lower cost - you then can gradually decrease the bids )



                          Other keys to success :


                          • Split Testing Your Ads ( always have 2 alternative running at the same time - contantly eliminate the lower cklick trough rate one and try to beat the " winner "


                          • Conversion Tracking ( you have to have a way to track and define " conversions" ; i.e. a phone call could be a conversion ( desired action ) that really depends on the market - i.e. real estate agents are thrilled to get an inquiery over the phone or via email, beacuse they understand that their sales cycle is rather long , whereas a ecomerce store probbaly wouldn't settle for anything less thana sale to have it counted as a conversion.



                          hope that all makes sense







                      • Re: Advertising Help
                        ralis002 Newbie
                        Hello There,

                        I am sure that the economy is playing a big factor. Business folks are all plotting a way to optimize and cut costs and retired folk are crying over there lost retirement money and are likely to puke at the cost of a luxury Vacation.

                        If I was you I would stick with the adwords but first review the site and sign up process from perspective of visitor. Also you may want to focus on the income and profile adjustments and targets that Google offers. This way you can target the wealthier audiences. Also if you have any way to get a hold of folks in the tech industries or target folks with optimized offers that are based on currency exchange information so that your luxury vacations seem modestly priced. And if none of that works... Triple the price you currently offer!!!

                        What is your URL?

                        I have a site here.. @ http://www.HopeNHousing.Org
                        • Re: Advertising Help
                          DeeTee Wayfarer

                          Hi Zannie,


                          Aside from being a soon-to-be small business owner, I work for one the largest global ad agencies - Omnicom Group. And have also worked for other major agencies (Young & Rubicam, DDB Needham, and others). So I feel compelled to respond to your advertising woes. First let me say that you are not alone. You hit the nail on the head by citing the economy as a major factor. Most of my agency's clients (from SMB size organizations, right up to enterprise level) are seeing the same drop off in lead generation and, consequently, revenue.


                          Now, when most companies formulate their marketing efforts, there is always a focus on lead generation. And why not? Business slows down, so we automatically look for ways to attract new customers, right? Well, this approach is often the wrong one. In pursuit of new business and generating leads, businesses often overlook their most viable market... Their current customer base. In these poor economic times with marketing dollars at a premium, businesses must focus their efforts on putting their marketing dollars where they will be most effective. Remember, your past customers are already the most qualified buyers in your sales cycle. You already have them, so focusing your marketing efforts to keep them and generate repeat business is a solid approach. This is what we refer to in the ad industry as "nurturing". And within the ad industry, we are seeing a big shift from advertising and marketing efforts that focus on lead generation, towards this customer nurture approach. Standard marketing doctrine dictates that it costs 2.5x more money to attract a new customer than it does to keep a current one. With this in mind, it is easy to see why this approach has become so popular. From a practical standpoint, customer nurture activities can take the form well constructed email blasts, online resource centers, direct marketing tactics, etc. For the purposes of keeping this post from getting grotesquely long, I'll leave it at that. But if you would like to hear about specific case studies and practices that we employ for other companies, feel free to email me and I would be happy to share them with you pro-bono.


                          As far as your current marketing activities, I don't know enough about them to give you any solid feedback. But assuming that your messaging, media, and timing are correct, and that you can comfortably afford to maintain it, then I would say keep doing what you're doing! Remember, that during this economic slump, many of your competitors are cutting back their advertising dollars. This is the best time to increase your share of voice and take a piece of your competitor's pie.
                            • Re: Advertising Help (DEETEE)
                              ralis002 Newbie
                              Hello DEETEE

                              I think your response is right on! That makes a lot of sense especially for her busness of "luxury" vacation planning. It seems that if they shelled out before then they are likely to have the means to do so in the future.


                              Someone was shorting the market this year by golly.
                              Plus by sifting through the old customer list one is able to enhance customer service and perhaps even gain some insight to who is hurting financially and who is capitalizing, this could easily lead to the discovery of some sort of trend that may lead to fresh advertising ideas.

                              What biz are u starting?
                            • Re: Advertising Help
                              ChrisKinetic Newbie

                              Hi zannie0921.

                              Here are 10 Reasons Business Blogging is a Top Marketing & Advertising Value Proposition!


                              1. Search: All consumers search and they research. Search engines http://like Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc. reward those businesses willing to publish or blog content regularly with relevance and visibility in the natural areas of their index http://this is often also called the organic area of the search engine. Organic results are determined by the search engine and are NOT influenced by advertising dollars.


                              2. Organic Search Results: 87-92% of all searches performed lead to a click through in the organic search result set http://unpaid recommendations, NOT Pay Per Click. What's more, the cost of the remaining 8-13% of traffic generated by Pay Per Click advertising is rising. Often the cost is well over $1 per click.... but the lion's share of search is going to those visible in the organic search results index.


                              3. Unlimited Findability: You can become high in the organic search results pages for an unlimited number of search topic keywords and key phrases surrounding your product and/ or service offering! Think of how the Long Tail of Search will reward those with the broadest possible visibility


                              4. Advertising Longevity: With search and blogs, you are never limited by time or space. Unlike traditional advertising, where you pay for limited space and circulation time with the distribution of media content, your advertorial content is limitless remaining available online 24/7 to all comers. Think, ‘Advertising Disintermediation' and the breaking of barriers between your business knowledge and those who want it.


                              5. Qualified Leads: The search engine interface is a natural lead filtration system. Because consumers can research the topic keywords and key phrases emanating from your advertorial content in the search engine indexes at will, your advertorial content will only attract the most qualified leads.


                              6. Simple Content Publishing: Good Business Blogs make it very easy to compete for the attention of qualified searchers. The content publishing interface makes blogging as easy as crafting an email. Creating a discipline to release advertorial coverage of the enthusiasm you have for your business, its merits and your authoritative knowledge is NOT difficult.


                              7. Builds Trust: Business Blogs give you the chance to present your business in a much more human way than any traditional advertising or static website ever will. A business blog helps to build brand and garner trust - it is an ongoing advertorial journal which keeps the attention of your current and future clientele.


                              8. Direct Subscription: Possibly the greatest value to a business is the unlimited potential for direct and voluntary subscribers. Good blogs offer RSS and email subscription services to their content. Once a consumer is subscribed they will automatically receive your message every time you publish. This means you remain on radar screens until buyers are ready to buy. Or to buy again.


                              9. Cheap Website Technology: Versus websites, which often require high upfront costs and the help of a programmer to make changes, blog solutions & services are cheap and simple content publishing tools. Easy to manage technology, means less cost.


                              10. Reduced Overall Marketing & Advertising Cost: Versus other forms of advertising a good Business Blog can dramatically reduce overall marketing & advertising costs, while simultaneously raising findability!
                                • Re: Advertising Help
                                  venuscloset Newbie
                                  Have you guys tried any local merchant social networking sites such as MerchantCircle? It gives users free tools to do blogging, newsletter, and coupons.

                                    • Re: Advertising Help
                                      ChrisKinetic Newbie

                                      Hi Venuscloset.

                                      No, we haven't. We provide a series of services that help small to medium sized businesses all over North America realize competitive search / web visibility, brand build, leads & sales cost effectively and with relative ease. It's brand design, hosting, storage, ongoing technology management & advancement, several tiers of ongoing instructional education and highly accountable human service.


                                        • Re: Advertising Help
                                          venuscloset Newbie
                                          I think for local businesses who have small budget for marketing, MerchantCircle is a good place to start. A lot of people found it useful in terms of increasing their web traffic. And it's an easy way for mom and pop shops to begin their web marketing strategies. They can also network and send each other referrals. I think now they have close to 1 mil merchants signed up.

                                    • Re: Advertising Help
                                      heather24 Adventurer

                                      I need to know the Target audience for your travel agency. Bsed on my experience, I can Suggest following ideas

                                      • Create a Twitter account & connect with your existing clients
                                      • Get recommendations from them via Twitter
                                      • Create a Facebook page
                                      • Add Client's testimonials in your website.
                                      • Submit articles about your agency in Travel blogs

                                        • Re: Advertising Help
                                          cedzsearch Wayfarer
                                          i think facebook is a good platform. it will make you and your clients more closer.

                                          or you can expand your market to get new and more business.
                                          there is a website about China economic development zone and China industrial zone.
                                          now there are many chance in China but you know the service quality is poor here.
                                          hope your business will be better

                                        • Re: Advertising Help
                                          marysbabyboy Newbie
                                          You've got to give door to door advertising a shot. I was in a similar situation about a year ago. I found this company... they turned out to be a life saver. I have devoted 80% of my advertising budget towards their services because its so effective. The rates are good and they handle everything from the creative to the printing and the delivery. Before we were spending thousands on direct mail through the post office with little results. These guy beat the postal rates by half and produce results with every campaign. Give them a call at 1-877-412-5785, my rep is Ericka, but she may be out having a baby. Either way, they can help.
                                          • Re: Advertising Help
                                            sirvonron Newbie
                                            Yes, I can help. First of all, make sure you give the emails and wine parties a fair chance since they may already be part of your clients' expectations and your trademark. Use the emails to promote the wine/cheese gatherings and use those gatherings to get to know your potential and current customers. Sell the sizzle, not the steak. Let them come to you with questions. Consider a mascot (russian wolfhound or whippet) to help with the party and possibly be an icon for you (refrigerator magnet, calendar). Have a contest to name it. Your emails can start to eventually tease a little (new seven wonders, land that time forgot). As for the wine, you may be able to get a distributor or local winery to do your tastings for free. If not, ask a local wine store if they'd be interested in hosting your event. (At this time I am not recommending you spend any money whatsoever, so don't offer a trade out just yet. You can always do that with someone else.)

                                            Make sure you know your market demographics. I'd think you may need to concentrate on seniors and put honeymooners on the burner, depending on the length of trips you want to promote, etc. Seniors are the forgotton group among advertisers, but you can find them everywhere. Every weekend in every city there are upscale affairs (art foundation balls, breast cancer awareness fundraisers, public education and public television appreciation dinners, Governor's parties, Taste of the Nation's food frolics, etc.) not to mention financial and retirement planning workshops. Just go and be seen. You'll be quizzed about what you do.

                                            All cities have an upscale magazine in which movers and shakers want to be seen. Call them (and all the local fluff and travel reporters) and let them know you are happy to talk with them on subjects related to travel. Have a story idea ready for them. Most reporters, believe it or not, have all news stories written before they arrive on the scene. Television reporters write their story on the way to the interview and they log their tapes to find just tthe right soundbite on the way back from the interview. They are looking for a particular sound bite to support their angle. Come up with story ideas for them, and you'll be on very often. They'll practically tell you what to say, if you like. Always think lead story with angles like economic indicators or travel safety and you'll be a star, even if the story doesn't lead. Always have another story idea the next day (for television) and the next week or the next month for papers and mags. For the most part I'm referring to all electronic and print media. Write you own press releases talking about unusual people, places and things to enjoy.. The sidebar could be surfing, volcanos, global warming, customs or wildlife at the places you know about. You'll be in every magazine issue and you really don't have to buy anything. You can say that because you are in effect a local reporter and a local travel source, that you shouldn't have the appearance of having a conflict of interest. You'd be surprised how easy it is to transition from say a story about fine food in an upscale magazine (with photos of food alongside your story) to vacations. You could say that great chefs know great cooking requires more than fine ingredients. The best dishes create sensory overload with flavor and flair. Our travel agency also uses flavor and flair in our recipe for memorable vacations, etc. You can transition from fine automobiles to fine vacations...from the housing market to can do anything with the written word. And vacations and exotic travel are always interesting to those who can afford it.

                                            Contrary to most people on this site, I disagree with the use of the internet as a major advertising tool, and it is declining in effectiveness and ad revenue as we speak, just as all other forms of advertising. Paid search ads are expected to begin a rapid decent and online promotions now being sold are very risky and debatable as an ad tool. I think they are a gamble and that such contests, giveaways, coupons and certificates will only devalue your product, even though they be helpful for some businesses. If you've seen my other entries on this site you know I generally don't like advertising. Many of the people writing blogs on this site have a product or service they want you to buy. I don't. You could consider classified because they are cheap, but beware newspapers really don't like companies using the service. You can sneak it by them if you are careful and creative and if they also use an internet site, but your best bet is to use those press releases and become a go to person for an ambitious reporter or perhaps an old reporter with a social column. Make a friend at each media outlet and they'll hound you forever for interviews that will build trust in the public far beyond any paid advertisement. You can consider a smartly worded yellow page ad, using the white pages and listing your company on all the free search sites and get ready for the reviews.

                                            My first thought is to initially avoid offering free trips to say celebrities, advisors, representatives or others in a supposed postion to gather fellow travelers for you. I've seen that tried before with only meager results and some dissapointments. You want your product to be desirable and you don't want your clients to feel as they are being an imitator or a follower. They should feel like explorers. You could show travel movies occasionally if you have a good venue or media room. Otherwise I think the most important thing to do that I haven't mentioned is to make sure you have a simple but elegant sign in front of your building.
                                            • Re: Advertising Help
                                              I would recommend very targeted direct mail campaigns. For info on how to do this check out
                                              • Re: Advertising Help
                                                MileSurfer Newbie
                                                Hello Everyone,
                                                Advertising help for some Businesses
                                                I just want to put it out here that if you have a business that is near an Interstate Highway you can advertise your business on a new Mobile Highway Guide for Free. Its a Mobile webapp newly developed and they are accepting companies to sign-up for a free basic ad.
                                                The ad will list your business name, highway, exit, mile marker, tag line info, Your distance from the highway and direction to your store, hours of operation, phone number and can list under a specific category.
                                                Its a no bull real ad that will be put into the application. The app will help Travelers find your shops from hundreds of miles away. It is simple, organized and can be used on almost any cell phone. They want companies to sign up fresh because most of the data out there is not very reliable. They will offer upgrades in the future but there is no obligation to upgrade if theres no need for your business model. You keep your free basic ad.
                                                There's information and a demo on the site. Check it out - details at
                                                • Re: Advertising Help
                                                  foodchainllc Newbie
                                                  If you have audio, video, a commercial or pics concerning your business you're welcome to place free advertising on my site. Just create a login and you're good to go!


                                                  I'm just getting the site off the ground and about to get things started, but you're welcome!

                                                  • Re: Advertising Help
                                                    sMarshall Newbie
                                                    Wow Zannie,

                                                    You're getting a lot of help here!

                                                    Just to put it on your radar, Facebook advertising hasn't been mentioned yet. Their targeting system is nice. You might create an ad that runs specifically in front of users that just got engaged. They're definitely thinking about their honeymoon...

                                                    You said your customers are "unique honeymooners." If you know enough about what makes them unique (an affinity for Corgie dogs, a love of skydiving, fear of clowns, etc.) you can target it even closer, which spends your money where it'll do the most good. They've been expanding their keywords lately, so there's plenty to choose from.

                                                    Maybe try it out, see what comes out of it. The biggest secret I've learned is to split my ads by keyword groups.

                                                    EXAMPLE: create multiple copies of the same ad. One can have "high adventure" keywords (REI, hiking, climbing, skiing...), maybe another has oriental keywords (Thailand, Himalayas, kimono, Great Wall...), probably you would want two more distinct groups, just to be safe. Then you can track the success of each one, see how many clicks are going through to your site, and eliminate the low-performing ads.


                                                    Let us know how it goes!
                                                    • Re: Advertising Help
                                                      iranker Newbie
                                                      I would suggest joining for some very pointed marketing education. For a dollar your first month, you will have access to a fantastic video library devoted to marketing, primarily online. The information I gleaned from this site has helped make this one of the best years in business that I have had. Where my compition is shrinking and in some cases going out of business, my business is growing.
                                                      Good luck and if I can help clarify anything after you review their material please email.
                                                      • Re: Advertising Help
                                                        visuals4u Adventurer
                                                        Consider offering a Family & Friends promotion - one person buys a trip and the other receives a certain percentage off. Restriction could be: both people have to come into the office together and the departures must be before the end of the year.