The Weather Network Ipad App

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    If you’re an accommodator who likes to know the weather conditions for your guests I strongly recommend The Weather Network Ipad app or the Iphone app.  It’ll quickly become your go to weather predication mobile app of choice. You can set your local or global weather information easily with a daily forecast that updates every 15 minutes with weather updates. The weather network interface provides a simple design with current, short-term weather updates, the latest news and videos, along with detailed maps and charts.

    Weather Network App Features

    • Detailed weather forecasts including current, short term, long term, hourly forecasts and 14 day trends.
    • Forecasts updated every 15 minutes to ensure accuracy and reliability
    • Severe weather and storm alerts to notify you when a storm is heading your way. Users will see a red banner on the affected cities and regions and can click-thru for more info
    • Multiple map layers, including radar, satellite, lightning and traffic flow (provided by Beat the Traffic)
    • Automatic detecting of the forecast within 1km of your location
    • Available in English and French

    Tips & Techniques

    • Pull the screen down with two fingers to refresh the data
    • The icon on the top right provides a simple list (menu) of all the content available on the app, as well as app settings and FAQs
    • Swipe the current conditions left to get more forecast data, like wind speed and direction, humidity, cloud ceiling and more
    • Add a location by tapping the city name at the top, center of your screen. Or, you can add a location by pressing the + icon within the map view
    • To get the optimal experience with our maps, tap and pinch to explore

    I hope you enjoyed my overview of The Weather Network Ipad app.  Download The Weather Network iPad app from the Apple Store here.

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      Terms of Service Pages for Social Media Managers #SM

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        Social Media manager terms of serviceSo, you want to manage a bunch of Social Media Networks? Maybe you want to organize your own small business accounts or maybe you are in the social media rat race and have multiple clients. The single most important first step is to get to know every platform’s Social Media Terms of Service pages.

        This could take the better part of a week if you are being paid to do a very thorough job of reading all the fine print. You need to be the expert of all social media networks and all their ever changing most recent rules. I stress “recent rules” because another responsibility of a social media manager is to keep up to date on any changes to #SM TOS’s that occur.

        Since you have a lot of reading ahead of you, here is a handy reference of  the locations for the most popular social media networks. A sure way to impress your supervisors, or just to remind yourself what you are supposed to be the expert at, is to print this out and stick it somewhere really noticeable. Hopefully, your supervisor that hangs out over your shoulder will believe you’re on top of it.

        Facebook Terms of Service
        (Here’s an extra treat for learning how to use Facebook’s Brand Assets)

        Twitter Terms of Service

        Youtube Terms of Service

        Pinterest Terms of Service

        Linkedin Terms of Service

        Instagram Terms of Service

        Flickr Terms of Service

        Foursquare Terms of Service

        Google+ Terms of Service

        Do your employer, your clients and all of the other social media managers a favour and read them in their entirety. You should also do at least one Google search for each network and see what people are saying about recent changes, within the past 6 months. There are usually tips and tactics that can assist your social media marketing in online forums.

        Keep  TOS in mind as you promote your brand, create content, and nurture your communities. I hope my quick reference list of Terms of Service pages for Social Media Managers makes your online marketing job a few pixels easier. 



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          The Four Marketing Quadrants of Tourism Marketing

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            Four Quadrants of Tourism MarketingUnderstanding the Four Quadrants of Tourism Marketing is key for maximizing marketing exposure of your website and social content. In my last post, Understanding the Search Buying Cycle for Travel and Tourism Marketing, I revealed the process of how people search online. Now, you’re ready to add this knowledge into your tourism website and structure your content like the big boys do. I call this process “The Four Quadrants of Tourism Marketing”. By understanding this concept, your tourism website and online marketing will reach larger target audiences.

            The trend on large tourism based websites is to answer what they think the reader’s top questions are: Things to Do, Where to Stay, Where to Eat and Where to Shop. Why do you think this is? It’s due to the fact that within tourism marketing these are the categorizable areas of interest that tourists and travellers (aka: target markets) are looking for. I know marketers like to travel as well, so think about it for a second, planning a trip usually begins around something you want to do or see (Things to Do).

            Next, you’re going to look for your preferred type of place to stay (Where to Stay). Then, you might browse some nice places to eat and shop while visiting (Where to Eat & Where to Shop). Has your tourism website answered your readers’ questions in the The Four Quadrants of Tourism Marketing?

 Here are a few examples of how Ontario Destination Marketing Organizations (DMO’s) have used the Four Quadrants within their websites’ structure.

            Tourism Toronto

            Toronto Tourism

            “See & Do, Eat & Drink, Stay, Plan/Events”

            Muskoka Tourism

            Muskoka Tourism

            “Things to Do, Things to See/Events, Where to Stay, Dining”

            Niagara Falls Tourism

            Niagara Falls Tourism

            “Play, Eat, Sleep, Events/Experience/Packages”

            British Columbia Tourism

            Even BC Tourism is structured similarly!

            Places to Go, Things to Do, Transportation & Maps, Accommodations

            There are no right or wrong four words to use. Everyone wants to be somewhat unique and reach their target market and represent their own branding in the best way. Culture and geographic region may have an influence on what four words you choose to represent the four quadrants. 

You can improve your tourism website reach and effectiveness and, in return, the business products and services, by pivoting on the 4 Quadrants of Tourism Marketing:

            1. Things to Do
            2. Where to Stay
            3. Where to Eat
            4. Where to Shop.

            If you haven’t provided easy answers to these Four Quadrants, you might do a great job of enticing people to visit based on things to do, but you could lose them if you haven’t shown them places to stay. Therefore, a real benefit to writing content and creating pages in your website about top local tourism assets is that the potential tourist might find your content. Some great local tourism assets may have a horrible website that doesn’t rank very well, based on Search Engine Optimization (SEO). So, your website page might come up in the top three Google listings before.

            Here are some examples of how any business (operators) that profit from tourism dollars can use this knowledge to gain more exposure:

            • cottage rental company could write blog posts on hiking trails and links to maps
            • restaurant could link to their favourite stores or places to shop
            • local store could write about events in the area
            • museum could feature top bed and breakfasts close by

            It’s a simple formula for success. The Four Quadrants of Marketing can be used by DMO’s, chambers, small and large businesses and any organization that depends on tourism as an economic driver for either a local, national or international audience.

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              Understanding the Search Buying Cycle for Travel and Tourism Marketing

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                The average internet searcher (Google, Yahoo or, Bing) tends to search about a dozen websites before they make a purchase or commit to a travel or tourism experience. This is relevant information to my clients to understand how potential customers make decisions online. This is tourism marketing 101, if you’re serious about reaching a  broader target audience this is the first concept you need to wrap your head around.

                Search-Buying Cycle for Travel and Tourism Marketing

                tourism search buying cycleThe Search-Buying Cycle is based on three phases that a person goes through as they search on the internet for what their heart desires. They lead to a commitment that can be in the form of an action, such as contacting the business (email or phone), or purchasing a business’s products or services.

                Here’s an example of how the three phases play out:

                1. Interest Phase
                  It all begins with the desire or want of a person (hopefully your future customer) for what you have to offer, yet don’t know your business exists.  Through this desire the person will take action on the internet with their intention of searching for a winter weekend vacation getaway within a 3hr drive of Toronto. They’re not sure exactly sure what type of accommodation they want to stay in yet but feel something on the water would be nice. They’d also like to snowshoe and take some photos of some great tourism attractions. Their interest is piqued and they have narrowed down their vacation goal. This sets the stage for them to start phase two of researching on Google through their computer or cellphone.
                2. Research Phase
                  This is the phase where the real work begins. The searcher takes their initial idea of what they want to do on their vacation and begins researching on the internet – Googling terms like “snowshoeing.” They are rewarded with a massive list of snowshoeing results located in the Kitchener and Waterloo area.  There’s also Wikipedia articles, news articles and many how-to articles on snowshoeing. The searcher may be overwhelmed with so many results and realizes they need to be more specific. Now, their search is refined by including their accommodation preference – “cottage rental and snowshoeing.” But the searcher is presented  with a bunch of websites all located in the USA.Google still needs more details to narrow the search so the searcher adds a location-based term in the 3hr driving distance from Toronto. They’re not too familiar with Ontario so they use the Google Maps website to start looking for a city or town that is next to water and within a 3hr drive from Toronto. They discover Lake Huron and Georgian Bay and think they’d both be great to explore. Their refined and successful Google search now includes a geographic location term, an accommodation preference type and an activity type – “Lake Huron cottage rentals with snowshoeing.”
                  To their delight, they learn about Bruce County that is surrounded by Lake Huron and Georgian Bay. After reading a few websites that feature Bruce County towns and the Bruce Peninsula, they see a separate listing of cottages to rent. One site featuring Port Elgin lakeshore cottages lacks clear descriptions of what a winter experience would be like at their cottages and limited contact and location information. The searcher moves on.  The next website piques their interest with photos of snowshoe trail systems near Port Elgin and mentions a provincial park. The provincial park close to Port Elgin is has lots of descriptions, rates, photos. Now, the searcher is close to reaching their goal. They do a final search using the name of the provincial park to see if there are any winterized cottages available, and cross their fingers.
                3. Purchase
                  This final phase is where the searcher is confident they’ve found the products or services they’re looking for and take action. After Googling, narrowing the search, visiting over dozen websites, they feel they’ve found an accommodation fit for their winter vacation. They are feeling confident and excited that they’ve decided on where they’re heading and what they’re going to see and do when they get there. They found out there wasn’t any cottages at the provincial park, however, a winterized Yurt at MacGregor Point Provincial Park would be truly unique. It has everything they want to do in the outdoors plus excellent scenery on Lake Huron and close proximity to the town of Port Elgin where they can go out for dinner.

                Understanding HOW people are searching for tourism and travel products and services is only the first step. How can we use this powerful knowledge to increase our chances of getting in front of them with our content? We need to apply this knowledge to our websites, social media networks and internet marketing using specific tactics. In my next blog post, “The Four Quadrants of Tourism Marketing“, I’ll share how you can better structure your internet marketing to be found by searchers using the concepts of – things to do – where to stay – where to shop and where to eat. The Search-Buying Cycle for Travel and Tourism Marketing is a foundational understanding to better structure your internet marketing initiatives to reach wider target markets during the discovery and dreaming phase.

                Please subscribe to my blog and get notified of my next post where I reveal a personal tourism marketing strategy concept that will not only increase your tourism’s businesses internet exposure but also support local economy.

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