Service: SEO, Blogger Outreach
As a new entrant to the Hotel market, citizenM faced strong competition from the off. With other huge hotel chains monopolising the market, and budget comparison sites cannibalising it, citizenM had to make a big impact, fast.
citizenM appointed ID with a clear brief: To help them make a digital impact globally, with a focus on organic search marketing. Additionally we were enlisted to assist with the launches of some of their key and most prestigious locations, including New York City and Paris.
Their key performance indicators were:
citizenM also wanted to nurture positive brand sentiment with key digital influencers who project the values of their brand with the goal for them to organically become digital brand ambassadors, voicing their love for the brand to their social following.
Our approach was to use our “3 Pillars of SEO” methodology. Site, Content, Authority.
We began with their site. They were in the process of relaunching their website, which meant that ID could influence the site’s architecture, structure and functionality to ensure it was in the best shape for the search campaign we were embarking on.
We then moved on to content. We helped to plan, write and optimise onsite content, including keywords, landing pages, page titles and descriptions.
We began to execute the off-site search marketing campaign. We tackled this global search campaign using local search tactics, creating bespoke, localised campaigns around each of the hotel location’s. Through analysis we discovered that one of the key terms they needed to target to compete was “boutique hotels”, such as “Boutique hotels London” and “boutique hotels Paris”.
We also made sure that their more traditional marketing and PR efforts were being capitalised on to make a bigger SEO impact and grow their digital footprint.
Finally, and key to the success of their search marketing campaign, we moved on to Authority. Creating an authoritative, organic link profile which would also attract citizenM’s target audience and generate a brand buzz. They wanted brand affinity with like-minded and like-branded companies, bloggers and influencers.
The measure would be social interaction, positive brand experiences from customers, bloggers and influencers and high-quality organic links.
In order to execute this challenging brief, one element we focused on was the launch of citizenM’s NYC hotel, with a focus on maximising it digitally.
citizenM’s concept: A blogger slumber party. ID set about researching and pulling together a list of digital influencers who were inline with citizenM’s brand values with a focus on those with a strong domain and an engaged readership.
On the ground in New York City, citizenM had pulled together a private slumber party at the hotel prior to its public unveiling. Posting about the night was not a requirement, however citizenM had planned the event to encourage sharing.
Following citizenM’s hugely successful event, we monitored the coverage, including bloggers posting about the event, press coverage and sharing of the videos created on the night. We worked quickly, contacting the site owners individually, building positive relationships with publishers and influencers, we continue to work with on the citizenM campaign today. Our focus was to gain links which maximised the coverage for SEO benefit, to help to strengthen the authority of the citizenM.com domain and open up referral traffic potential.
The relationships that were built with publishers and influencers from the NYC launch event have continued to develop and grow producing further coverage in prestigious online publications such as Travel Weekly, the most influential international business publication for the travel industry.
Global organisation Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) have also recently covered the event in a detailed case study, due to be published in October, intending to educate its readers and highlight the innovative and creative marketing techniques being used by the worlds biggest travel brands.
We continue to actively maximise the SEO benefit of the various events by arranging this type of high-profile coverage by working collaboratively with well respected journalists, travel editors and educational portals.
As a by-product of the campaign, we have cultivated a top-tier group of influencers who have organically become brand ambassadors for citizenM, spreading the word about citizenM within their vast digital circles, themselves generating both a further buzz around the brand and direct conversions.