Client Spotlight: The Post Hotel & Spa

Dining on the patio

“The Post Hotel & Spa has been a client of CleanPix since their inception. Our asset bank has grown with many pictures over the years. We are happy for their safe storage and easy and convenient access for distribution.”

– Andre Schwarz , Proprietor at Post Hotel & Spa


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This upscale hotel dating back to the 1940s is close to Lake Louise Ski Resort and the lake. 

Dining options include a fine-dining restaurant, a Swiss fondue restaurant and an English-style pub. There’s also a fireside lounge and afternoon tea with pastries and cakes. The wine cellar has more than 25,000 bottles. Other amenities include a full-service spa, an indoor saltwater pool and an exercise room.
The Post Hotel & Spa also hosts the annual Wine Summit Lake Louise, featuring some of the world’s best winemakers.
Visit the Post Hotel & Spa website here.

How One Cruise Line Used Periscope To Create A Splash

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Periscope represents one of the greatest new opportunities for resorts and travel destinations to stand out on social media in a big way. In today’s culture, most people suffer from what is commonly referred to as FOMO (fear of missing out), and so many real-time platforms have emerged in the past year to ensure that this problem is solved.

Over 10 years of video is watched online every day. That’s a staggering amount of footage, when you think about it. While internet users are eager to consume new content, it is becoming increasingly difficult to cut through the clutter and tell a story that either hasn’t been told before or is engaging enough to capture the interest of your audience.

What makes Periscope so special is its Snapchat approach to video content. Video is streamed live, and is only available for online viewing for 24 hours, creating a sense of exclusivity among those who decide to tune into your video feed.

As a business, Periscope can be a brilliant way to gain new followers and market your destination in real-time through streaming video. Last year, Royal Caribbean let the public follow adventurous social media influencers on 13 live broadcasts as part of their “come seek” campaign. The broadcasts were shared on 76 billboards around New York City within minutes of being recorded.

 

For more broadcasts from Royal Caribbean on Periscope, visit them here.


Periscope definitions:
– Scope – A live broadcast
– Scoper – A person who scopes
– Hearts – These are like likes. A video can currently only receive a maximum of 500 likes per broadcast. 

Surviving And Thriving In A Turbulent Market

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We’re officially a few weeks into 2016 and are off to a running start. Here at CleanPix, we’ve begin to work on several exciting initiatives to improve our service and grow upon our business strategy.

However, when it comes to reaching business goals, none of us are immune to a shift in the world’s economy. With the slide of world markets, the hospitality industry in North America has taken a large hit, with some large hoteliers seeing their stocks down 50 percent, according to Dennis Nessler of Hotel Interactive. So when the economy appears to have entered a slide, how do you ensure that your business not only survives, but also thrives in a turbulent market?

The knee-jerk response is always to slash your organization’s marketing budget, which in most cases is one of the last places that funds should be slashed from. To keep your vacancy rate low, this is the prefect time to invest in your own growth. Periods of low market activity are ideal for forging ahead with a solid and agile marketing strategy. Your key to success in difficult times will always be to consistently identify and seize opportunities more quickly than your competition.

In 2016, the best place to put your marketing dollars is towards a digital marketing and public relations strategy. Dump your one-way messaging in exchange for open conversation with the public. With the emergence of channels like Facebook and Twitter, this process has become much more simplified, giving brands and the public a two-way means of sharing commentary and ideas. By openly communicating with your customers, you’re not only building an unbreakable level of trust, you’re setting your organization up for success with an enthusiastically satisfied base of supporters.

This is also where a digital media management service comes into play. You’ll need to be able to react at the drop of a hat when photos, logos and other digital files are requested by media partners. You’ll also need a central place to host it all, access it from anywhere, and search through files efficiently. A service like CleanPix can save tourism and hospitality professionals 15 hours a week in responding to and managing media requests! Add that up over the course of a year, and those are some exceptional savings.

The bottom line of surviving any downturn is this: invest in your business’ growth, deliver world-class service and do it better than anybody else.

How To Engage Your Visitors On Instagram

Instagram Windows Phone. Photo: Josh Valcarcel/WIRED

Instagram Windows Phone. Photo: Josh Valcarcel/WIRED

In only a few years, Instagram has become on of the most powerful visual social networks in the world, with users in massive numbers from all demographics. Over the last decade, we’ve slowly seen content turn from articles and written blogs to visual content, and Instagram is only one of the sites that represents this shift. The site can be a great way to connect with not only your visitors, but also potential customers looking for their next getaway. But much like any social network, don’t bother joining unless you’re going to do it properly and dedicate the necessary resources. Doing anything less can do more harm to your business than good.

You no doubt have a large database of photography at your disposal if you’re a hotel or travel destination, but how do you make those photos work for you in a way that creates engagement? It is possible to repurpose some of that photography, but for maximum impact, you should always use content that is engaging, current and relevant to the audience you’re sharing it with. Being overly self-promotional on social media typically backfires more than it helps to achieve your business goals.

The greatest way to create engagement is by posting photos that are actually interesting, and maybe a bit aspirational too. Some examples of this might be a photo of the view from your best rooms, a photo of a gourmet dinner in your on-site restaurant or photos of events taking place in your reception centre. Photos should not only show off the best sides of your physical property, but should also be infused with personality and include people whenever possible. Your photo feed is much more relatable that way.

When you’ve posted your photos and have written an appropriate caption, make sure you’re leveraging hashtags whenever possible. This might require you to do some research to find which hashtags are relevant to your audience. It will exponentially improve the number of eyes that discover your photos. Tagging location and visitors to your photos is also key and helps to not only make your photos more searchable, but also more likely to be re-shared. (Tip: Keep these hashtags in a notepad on your smartphone for easy copying and pasting in a pinch.)

In addition to uploading your own photo and video content, part of your Instagram strategy should also involve interacting with the Instagram community. First, that means responding to any and all comments on your photos in a timely manner, but also searching hashtags and finding prospects. Like other users’ photos and post comments if they sound like a traveller in need of a place to stay.

Like any social network, the potential benefits of creating an account for your brand are endless when a solid strategy is executed correctly. Instagram is a social site full of possibilities to let your creativity shine and give the world a glimpse into what makes your property great.

 

A Lesson In Innovative Leadership From David Bowie

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When you think about musicians who are truly groundbreaking, names like Madonna, Michael Jackson and David Bowie rise to the top. These artists are so iconic that even in the wake of their passing, their legacies will shine bright forever. At multiple points in each of these artists’ careers, they were discredited and counted out by the media, but time and time again, they cleverly used innovation and reinvention to reclaim their rightful spot back at the top.

While Bowie’s influence may have lessened as time went on, the impact of his early work was seismic. The greatest lesson we can take away from an artist like David Bowie is one about leading without fear to forge a unique career path that defies convention.

The greatest innovative leaders are those who have a strong imagination and advanced communication skills. They are confident and are not afraid to run with an idea that will ultimately fail. These leaders understand that failure is just a small hurdle on the way to achieving a breakthrough.

Sometimes it’s that fear of looking foolish that holds us back from achieving our full potential. David Bowie displayed that by thinking in a bold and innovative mindset, we are able to liberate those around us from their own limitations.

David Bowie strived consistently to remain innovative and fresh with each career step, including with the release of his final album, Blackstar. If there is one lesson we can take away from an icon like David Bowie, it is that taking bold risks can yield iconic results.

How To Be Number One On TripAdvisor

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Is your organization’s New Year’s resolution to increase your ranking on TripAdvisor? In the hospitality industry, there is no ranking more important than the one on your TripAdvisor page, however many properties neglect to pay close attention to what is happening on their page and their ranking slowly fizzles.

A high TripAdvisor ranking does two things for your property: It helps keep your property’s vacancy rate low and it also allows you to increase your booking price. Maximizing your TripAdvisor ranking is an essential component of your business strategy and marketing plan. Today, more than ever, word-of-mouth marketing is the true test of an organization’s strength, and in this industry, TripAdvisor is the gold standard of organic reach.

Your ranking is made up of a combination of things: the average ranking of your reviews, how recent the reviews are, and the total number of reviews you have received. We’ve calculated a list of our best tips on how to work within those parameters to increase your ranking and climb your way to the top:

  • Be proactive and ask your customers to review you. Hand out printed cards in person when you receive a glowing review from a visitor to encourage them to write about their experience.
  • Place a link to your TripAdvisor page in your email signature and on your website for customers to read previous reviews and write their own reviews.
  • Respond promptly to every review your receive – but especially the negative reviews. And do so within 24 hours.
  • TripAdvisor is very clear that offering incentives for reviews is against their rules and will be removed. Make sure you follow each of the TripAdvisor rules so that your account isn’t knocked back down.
  • Set up email alerts for TripAdvisor. This will ensure that you don’t miss any activity on your page and are able to respond quickly.
  • Cost per click campaigns can be set up to promote your profile once you’re happy with your standing. Find a step-by-step tutorial for getting set up on the TripAdvisor website.

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After reading the tips above for boosting your TripAdvisor ranking, the bottom line is this: Create exceptional service offline to generate the best online results. There’s no way to fake a ranking, so focus on genuine hospitality. It’s all about a great customer experience, as it should be.

Placing a focus on TripAdvisor as part of your property’s marketing strategy will deliver one of the best returns on investment for your time.

Increase Bookings With Influencer Marketing

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Influencer marketing is quickly maturing. From what started as a unique opportunity only a few years ago, has now slowly become more of a requirement to reaching your audience. We’ve seen a lot of changes in the last year, the biggest being the growing popularity of ad blockers. It has become increasingly difficult to communicate with your audience in a way that they respond to. This is where the power of influencer marketing enters the conversation.

An influencer is a digital personality that caries a considerable amount of clout among a niche audience. Influencer marketing involves using the platforms of influencers to talk about your product or service in an organic way. Typically, influencers share blogs, vlogs or social media posts to speak about their experience with your product or service with their audience.

Increasingly, brands and organizations are reaching out to influencers directly, offering free product, complimentary services or financial compensation in exchange for exposure among an influencer’s followers. In the travel and hospitality industry, the past few years have seen a strong growth in the readership of travel blogs. These blogs represent a fabulous opportunity for your to promote your property and increase bookings.

While there are several fantastic travel blogs out there (and many we haven’t even read yet), these are a few of our favorites that we recommend taking a look at and considering when trying to round up some exposure for your property in 2016.


 

The Mother Of All Trips

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The Mother of all Trips is part travelogue, part memoir, part meditation on motherhood, with just a dash of how-to. Mara shares stories about trips she’s taken with her children and those she hopes to take.

Lee Abbamonte

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Lee is the youngest American to visit every country in the world. He has visited over 300 countries and it one of the most-traveled people in the world. Lee worked in energy and wealth management on Wall Street for 8 years before embarking on his journey as one of the internet’s most successful travel bloggers.

Solo Friendly

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Gray Cargill’s site is all about traveling alone and she focuses on trips that are solo-friendly. As a single person who never made travel plans out of fear of traveling alone, Gray decided to start traveling alone and share her experiences with the internet. She has been a solo traveler for over 15 years.

Adventurous Kate

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At age 26, Kate quit her job to travel the world alone and turned her travel blog into a full-time business. Today, she travels full-time, going anywhere that sounds beautiful or interesting.

Never Stop Travelling

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The aim of Never Stop Traveling is to share Jin Ferri and his writers’ real experiences while traveling the world. The Never Stop Traveing team cut through all of the hype and tell people about really interesting places to go and their experiences there. And, of course, accompany it all with some great photography.

Johnny Jet

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Johnny Jet and it’s group of writers are travel experts who share their tips and expertise to turn readers into experts. It’s a fun website that started out as an email newsletter to friends and family packed with travel tips and advice on how to maximize travel points. Today, it is one of the most popular travel blogs on the web.