Smiling Albino, Asian Adventure Travel Company
Established in 1999, Smiling Albino built a strong reputation among upscale professionals, couples and families in the United States, Canada and the UK, cultivating loyal clientele and a reliable stream of referrals from satisfied customers.
In recent years, though, the company faced growing competition, due in part to the Internet’s growing role in shaping consumer travel decisions. In its early years, the company had relied on positive media coverage, client referrals and website inquiries to generate leads. However, in 2009, a decline in website traffic prompted Smiling Albino to pursue a new content marketing strategy.
Get The Word Out helped Smiling Albino pursue a comprehensive content marketing strategy around three goals: define and reach ideal target markets; boost the company’s overall web presence in key sectors; create a multi-channel content marketing program to boost the company’s visibility, credibility and reputation as a leading Asian travel provider while building a foundation for better search engine optimization, findability and rankings.
Content Marketing Program
Get The Word Out focused on developing a content marketing program to position Smiling Albino as a trusted advisor in its market niche. Our strategy centered on creating online niche content that spoke to key market segments, building in search engine optimization and encouraging industry websites to publish Smiling Albino content and link to the company website.
Get The Word Out performed an initial market assessment, including interviews with several Smiling Albino clients. The market research phase explored customer satisfaction, Internet search patterns, and sought to develop overall niche market profiles among key market segments, including 1) upscale professionals, 2) family travelers, 3) honeymooners, targeting people who were planning vacations to Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.
Blog. Get The Word Out initiated a makeover of the company blog, which was transformed into the Planet Asia Travel Channel, a multimedia thought leadership platform. A strategic editorial calendar was developed to guide all blog content, and previously random blog posts were now guided by core target market objectives. Blog posts were developed around family, honeymoon and upscale travel, including Family Travel: Keeping The Kids Happy In Bangkok, Traveling Isaan: Experience The Real Thailand and 48 Hours in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Podcast. A travel podcast was determined to be an ideal content vehicle for company principals to establish their expertise while delivering strategic travel-related content. Podcasts were transcribed and posted on the blog as search engine friendly material. Get The Word Out developed, scripted, recorded and produced the podcasts around topics such as Planning A Beach Vacation in Thailand.
Video. Get The Word Out developed a video strategy showcasing Smiling Albino’s expertise in Thailand travel planning. Get The Word Out created video storyboards, produced film shoots in Bangkok tourist locations and performed all post-production work, including search engine optimization for videos placed on the Smiling Albino YouTube Channel.
Content was promoted via online and traditional media channels. This included introducing company principals to global travel media, distributing search engine optimized press releases and conducting travel blogger outreach aimed at generating exposure in top travel blogs and traditional media with the goal of generating inbound links to smilingalbino.com.
Search Engine Optimization. Basic search engine marketing, such as identifying basic keywords for inclusion in press releases, blog posts, podcast and video listings was key to advancing Smiling Albino’s search visibility. Goals included generating search positioning while gaining backlinks from relevant, authority websites in the travel industry.
Guest Blog Posts. A primary strategy included gaining exposure on leading travel blogs with large readerships and high Page rank. This involved identifying and approaching bloggers that covered core market segments, including family, upscale and honeymoon travel.
Over the course of one year, Smiling Albino established a content marketing foundation to advance its core market objectives. The program was designed so that it could be maintained by Smiling Albino’s internal marketing team. At the completion of the program, Smiling Albino’s blog posts, podcasts and videos had begun to rank in search engines and attract attention within core market segments:
- Content generated inbound links from relevant industry websites
- Opportunities for guest blog postings were cultivated on top travel websites
- Content boosted search rankings for targeted prospect keyword search phrases
- Trip Advisor travel reviews rose among past Smiling Albino clients
- Media opportunities were cultivated at several newspaper travel sections, including Calgary Herald, Toronto Sun and The Nation (Bangkok)
“By working with Get The Word Out Communications, we learned how to create an online presence with useful content,” says Smiling Albino co-founder Daniel Fraser. “Now, we have a viable web present strategy to not only influence search engines, but also create brand credibility with online prospects that move them to click back to our website and begin a conversation with our company.”