Earlier this year I embarked on a journey to create a new website for my credit union. The mission: Help members and non-members alike compare our offerings and provide the necessary financial education needed to aide in their decision making process. The final product: a website that is both easy on the eyes and easily navigable for members and non-members.When I began this journey, I knew the two key components for success were staying organized and hitting deadlines. Both rang true as my team and I entered and completed each stage of the project, from initial research to design to the eventual testing and launch of our new site. If you’re considering taking on a new website project or have already committed to the thought, knowing what is in front of you will help take the pressure off. Here is a brief look at the steps my team and I took in developing and launching a successful website earlier this year:1. Do the Research – Choosing the right development partner couldn’t be more important. Understand what their capabilities are prior to signing on the dotted line to avoid complications further down the road. For us, that meant choosing a partner with a strong project manager, robust design skills (and the portfolio to prove it), and the staff who know the importance of being flexible and can handle any changes that may arise during the project.2. Assemble Your Team – For a more holistic viewpoint, we curated a group of credit union staff members from different departments who were able to outline how the new website could speak to the needs of members in relation to their respective areas.3. Develop a Content Plan – Since in today’s digital world, content is king, we knew we had to develop content that would not only speak to the value of our products, but be written in a way both members and nonmembers could understand. Outlining the benefits of each product prior to initializing content development proved invaluable.4. Don’t Settle on Design – As three initial designs were presented to us, we knew it was imperative to walk through each element and understand how each would function when fully built out. Thanks to a supportive development partner, we were able to ask a lot of questions and be confident in the decisions we made when taking elements from all three designs and combining them into what became our final product.5. Test, Test, Test – Once the staging link was handed off to us, we initialized Project All Hands on Deck. By enlisting our entire marketing team as well as members of our interdepartmental team, we were able to test and review every single element within the new site and provide detailed feedback to our development partner as to what was working, what needed attention, and what we felt could function better in a different way.6. Get Ready to Hit the Button – The idea of hitting the “live” button for me was one, after months of development, that felt surreal to me. Of course, this included moving all our files to our server and continuing to test until the very last moment, but for me, “going live” was something to take in and enjoy.Now that we have launched and the feedback we have received is nothing but positive, I can consider this project one for the books. But if I leave you with anything, it’s this. A website project is never over. Whether its adding new content or building upon functionality you enabled in phase one, a website is a living, breathing thing, which will always require your attention. Knowing this will ensure your members and non-members always have somewhere they can go to get the support they need. 5SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Sheila McGrath Sheila McGrath is the Marketing Technologist for Service Credit Union. In this position, she manages all aspects of website and email strategy and as well as implementation. Web: www.servicecu.org Details
COVID has brought a lot of changes into people’s lives, and things such as travel and tourism, which were considered a necessary indulgence, have taken a strong hit. People are no longer motivated enough to travel to far-flung places because of the fear of the Coronavirus. Such a situation demands that the tourism industry adopt promotional practices that would keep the interest alive and bring tourism back on track to pre-COVD levels.Travel video marketing is one such option that offers a lot of scopes to travel operators to entice an audience. This write up seeks to look at how travel-video-marketing can play a vital role in accentuating the appeal towards travel and encourage people to become tourists even in the ‘new normal’ with all the necessary precautions. Let’s look at how video marketing is getting incorporated into the tourism industry one-by-one: – Advertisement – OlderBTN interview: Shahab Shayan, senior manager, international operations, Dubai Tourism – Advertisement – Participation in Online Communities:Tour operators are beginning to understand the importance of online communities and are notably becoming members with active participation. Such gestures allow a company to find a relevant audience online more quickly, and video messages disseminated among such audiences find more traction compared to simply posting a video on social media platforms. Targeting an audience in online communities with videos considerably improves the chances of finding relevant customers. Increased Use of Video:It is a known fact that video has overtaken all other forms of content formats in recent times. This has made tourism-related companies to adopt a strategy that prioritizes video above all else. Presently, it is being increasingly seen that putting out video-based content has more chances of getting consumed by the audience. This paved the way for enhanced utilization of video marketing as video allows companies to communicate effectively through storytelling and paves the way towards visually-driven decision making. Present Situation: The current situation brought about by the pandemic has compelled a lot of people to stay indoors, and some have even opted for remote work instead of attending office. People are stepping out only if the situation demands. This has increased the screen time among the general populace. Tourist companies have sensed the rising demand for video content and likewise have increased their video output to cater to the demand of the viewing audience. Until the situation subsides, tourist companies will continue with their video-based approach to remain relevant in the minds of the relevant audience and potential prospects.- Advertisement – Ability to sell an Emotional Experience: Video marketing allows companies to engage an audience through visuals and sound. This makes the viewing experience more engaging, and at times, it is even able to elicit emotional responses from the audience. Such reactions are considered extremely good in terms of the possibility of turning the audience into motivated customers, who are likely to travel to places that they see on the video. In the present situation, when travel is extremely restricted, video as a medium is bound to play a crucial role in raising the level of awareness about prime tourist destinations and exotic locales. Improved Traffic to Website:Business owners of tourist companies are always on the look-out for tactics to attract more traffic to their website. One of the ways of achieving this is by having videos on the website. Video content on websites can attract and retain an audience for a longer period of time on the website, also known as ‘dwell time.’ Increased dwell time is considered a factor by Google in deciding ranking on search. Better ranking can directly translate to better online visibility and consistent traffic to the website. Overall Impact of Video:Research suggests that a 1-minute video is equivalent to 1.8 million written words. This can give you a fair idea of the kind of impact video can have on the viewing audience. A video can conclusively inform the audience about the brand and associated benefits in a crisp and concise manner that is seen as lacking in other content formats. Given the impact video has on the viewing audience, it is natural for video marketing to be adopted by tourism-related companies in a big way. Moreover, the pandemic situation has only accentuated the relevance of video in digital marketing initiatives. ConclusionThe current pandemic situation is unprecedented, and no one had anticipated such a drastic change in lifestyle in such a short period of time. But, it has made tourism-related companies adapt to the emerging situation and develop resilience. Even with the considerable drop in travel, companies are keeping the interest alive through video marketing. With time and with an effective solution in place for the Coronavirus, tourism will again thrive and prosper. Till then, companies must utilize online video editing websites like InVideo to come with content that engages, informs, and entertains the audience to turn them into avid travelers. Relevant Messaging: More and more tour operators are disseminating messages that are more relevant to the present time, such as “dream now, visit later” or “we are in this together” This kind of messaging helps prime tourist destinations to remain on top of the mind of the viewer. The messages are also including glimpses into how local businesses and communities are coping with the difficult times. This makes the viewer empathize with the local people and improve the chances of content getting shared online. Use of 360-degree Videos:Companies are trying to incorporate the latest in video technology to get the attention of potential customers. There is evidence to support the fact that tourist companies are using technology such as 360-degree videos, giving the audience a comprehensive look at exotic destinations to generate increased interest. The videos are not only providing video shots but are also including the history and facts associated with a specific site or location, which gives the video an added punch in getting the message across. Click here to know more. The advent of Virtual Reality: Technology today is making it possible for viewers to embark on virtual tours of exotic locations through the use of virtual reality-based devices. It is a subset of video marketing, wherein the audience can indulge in an immersive experience of being in the actual location without being there. Such experiences only add to the curiosities and interests of the viewers. The use of such technology will help companies to enhance audience interest towards certain locations and tourist sites. – Advertisement –
Whittaker was a peripheral figure under Chris Hughton, who was sacked two weeks ago with five games to play and Norwich in the relegation mire. Adams, who led the young Canaries to the FA Youth Cup last season, has given the players a boost, but is still searching for his first points when he takes his side to managerless Manchester United on Saturday after losses to Fulham and Liverpool. Whittaker has taken heart from the second-half showing against leaders Liverpool last Sunday ahead of the trip to Old Trafford, where United have been beaten six times this term. “We’ve taken confidence out of the last two games, even though the results haven’t gone our way,” Whittaker said. “We believe we can pick up points, hopefully enough to stay in the division. “We’re looking to start the game well, how we did in the second half against Liverpool. “We got in their faces and when we did that we put them under a bit of pressure. “If we had started the game like that the result might’ve been different. “We need to make sure that we’re like that for the 90 minutes.” Just as Norwich have been boosted by a change of management, Whittaker concedes Ryan Giggs replacing David Moyes could provide a fillip for United. “It might give the players a lift, but we need to concentrate on what we’re doing,” the former Hibs and Rangers defender added. “We would do our homework on the team that’s played the weeks before, but it’s going to be different. “It’s hard to know what’s going to come at us, but they’ve got quality players so it’s going to be hard no matter what.” Scotland defender Steven Whittaker hopes Norwich can secure Premier League survival and earn Neil Adams the Carrow Road manager’s job on a permanent basis. “I hope he is the manager here next season,” said Whittaker, who believes the players are benefiting from a positive playing style and a higher intensity in training. “A lot of the boys had a boost, training’s been a lot higher tempo than before and that’s taken it into the games as well. “I think there’s been a big change the way we’re playing, the positive approach that we’ve got and he’s got is rubbing off on the boys and hopefully we can get the results. “We’ve done well in the two games he’s been in charge of so far, but the results haven’t quite matched the performances, so that’s something we’re looking to improve on. “We’ve got the performance, but without getting the points on the board that can push us up the league a little. “Three points in this division’s massive and it’s still tight down there. We could go up a couple of positions with one win.” With their three remaining matches away to United, away to Chelsea and at home to Arsenal it is difficult to see where that win could come from. Norwich have two wins and eight points away from home all season. Press Association
A squad of talent, many of them on the periphery of Black Stars first team selection, will line up in Yokohama as they face Asian force, Japan, in this morning’s international friendly.The core of the team, expected to be captained by rock-solid defender, John Boye, will be seeking to lay claim to some regular call-ups as they fill the places of regulars such as skipper Asamoah Gyan, midfielder Michael Essien, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Andre Dede Ayew, Wakaso Mubarak and Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu.Instead, the likes of Norway-based striker Mahatma Otoo, full backs Samuel Inkoom and Richard Kissi Boateng, midfielders Yussif Rahman Chibsah, Albert Adomah, Rashid Sumaila and Frank Acheampong will take up the mantle alongside regulars such as goalkeeper Fatau Dauda, defenders Jonathan Mensah, Daniel Opare and Harrison Afful, and striker Abdul Majeed Waris.Japan, who have already booked their place at the Brazil 2014 World Cup but failed to make an impression in terms of results at this year’s FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil, will likely feature Manchester United’s skillful midfielder Shinji Kagawa in a strong assembly.The 70,000-capacity Yokohama International Stadium, one of the venues for the 2002 World Cup when Japan co-hosted with South Korea, is expected to be full for this morning’s match.