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Marketing Example: Celtic Castles

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In preparation for our trip to Europe (for our adoption), one of the things I was looking into was fun places to visit – on our way back from Latvia. We decided to stop and spend a few weeks in Ireland on our way back home.

Travel planning is not fun for me. I was nearly ripping my hair out until I saw this.  And, the marketer in me found such joy that I forgot all of my planning woes for a spell. 🙂

See it live at  www.CelticCastles.com

They are doing so many things right that I don't even know where to start. God bless them! It makes my heart sing to browse this website.

What they are doing right…

1. First of all, let's look at their overall niche. They didn't try to be another “Hotels.com” and cover all types of places to stay in the United Kingdom. They also didn't try to be a site covering “All Castle Hotels” and try to cover castles in Italy, Spain, and China. They focused in on Celtic Castles. I LOVE this.

2. Next, their URL and logo. Celtic Castles. Branding? Check. Done and done well.

3. Now their tagline. “The Biggest and Best Value Castle Booking Company in the World”. – Clear. Concise.

4. Mission line. “We are Passionate about Staying in Castles”. Not really a customer-focused statement, but it is consistent and solid.

I do really like this better, but it's hidden at the bottom of the page –

5. They have a section just for “Child Friendly Castle Stays” – which answered my biggest question.

6. You can search by map. Brilliant. And, they show not only the castles but the nearest airports. Smart!

7. They are ready to close the big sales. “Multiple Castle Stays” – which was another area that I was confused about.

8. They  have a FAQ page. http://www.celticcastles.com/faq.asp It answers pretty much all of the remaining questions that I had.

9. They can help you if you want to do Corporate stays or Weddings.

10. They're on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, plus they have a direct phone number AND a mailing/ezine list.

They've pretty much got everything covered.

What's missing?

The only things I see missing are YouTube and Pinterest.  I can see them doing really well by offering video tours on YouTube and interviews with the owners.

I can also see them having boards of the castles on Pinterest divided up by country.

I also don't think I saw any testimonials. Again, those could go on YouTube, which would be awesome.

Oh, and adding a media section would be nice so that I could have gotten some info from Press Releases and maybe some graphics for this blog post. 🙂

So, now I'll ask you.

What do you like about this website?

Please share in the comments section below.

Warmly,
Nicole Dean

PS. I know what you're wondering… Where am I staying? Well, actually I don't know yet. I scheduled this before I headed off. I'll let you know soon…

5 Comments

  • The Mom
    Reply

    Very nice! I agree. I would like to see (YouTube) a video tour, preferably hosted by the owner/manager and introducing some housekeeping people, too. It’s comforting to actually see the people you will be staying with so far away from home. I am very visual-spatial so like to see the rooms and grounds in a video tour to feel better about where I’m going.

    Aside from that, the website itself looks wonderful and is easy to negotiate. It has everything lined up nice and neat (a must for me) with links and pics in boxes and lines. I really dislike pop ups and moving jumping stuff, so this “quiet” tour suits me, and I think it would suit most people who are getting frustrated trying to plan a big, confusing vacation with many stops. The last thing you want when you’re already feeling overwhelmed is a bunch of stuff jumping out at you “DO THIS! STAY HERE!”

    Peace and calm… that’s what I felt scrolling around this site. Maybe that’s part of the branding? Offer a calm, peaceful, relaxed vacation planning experience because traveling is hard enough as it is. And this website does that.

    That’s all I have to say, except I MISS YOU! 🙁

  • Randy Roach
    Reply

    Hello Nicole,
    I am Randy Roach and I just wanted to say thank you for what you do for us newbie`s down here in the trenches :). I have been at this online thing only about 8 months and tho I`m learning alot I`m going nowhere fast.lol I have two blogs on line and I really don`t know just what to do with them to make the money the designers said I would. So I am trying PLR to see if I can use this to get some interest in my site`s and start making some money to pay for these beautiful websites I own. I appreciate your commitment to helping guys like me succeed. Thank You, Randy..
    http://www.golferhandicap.com... http://www.mywoodartsfun.com are my two blogs.

  • Roger Masterson - The Castle man
    Reply

    Nicole, Thank you so much for your feedback, I think you have been very kind, but I accept your positive comments. I am much more critical of the site and we are always looking at ways to improve this further.

    I totally agree with the comments about the use of video and we want to create more opportunities for engagement with our existing customers and potential people who would like to experience a castle stay or hold an event in a castle.

    I love your idea about boards for each castle on Pinterest, we just exploring this new social media and are picking up traffic from this already. Did you mean that we set up pinterest accounts for each castle site or just boards within the castle man account http://pinterest.com/thecastleman/amazing-castle-experiences/ ?

    Testimonials, we are light on and we have 1000’s of these, work to do on this for sure. We stay in the castles all the time and I would be a great ideas to get video testimonials for sure.

    Nicole, we may have missed the bus, but if you want some images for castles just let me know. You can view our http://www.celticcastles.com/wallpaper.asp of if you want to connect directly http://www.celticcastles.com/roger_form.asp we do have a few testimonials on this page!

    Hi Patti, I have done a few US TV programmes showing the audience around castles, and hope to use this in the near future. We are looking at expanding this further. Another area of weakness is that we are not showing our expertise and knowledge in this niche, and always interested in ways we can get this across on the site.

    LOVE comment about ‘Peace and calm’ never really thought of the site from this perspective. Staying the castles is all about this, you have got me thinking, thanks.

    Nicole, my question is are your staying in a castle?!

    Roger

    • Nicole
      Reply

      Hey Roger.
      Thanks for stopping by.
      I’m so glad you’re on Pinterest, but I do see the potential for improvement. Remember,when putting text (like board names and descriptions) on Pinterest that it’s 1. copywriting and 2. search engine terms.

      So, in looking at your boards, I’d consider some terms that are similar to but different than the ones you’re using on your site. Perhaps “Castles in Ireland” and “Castles in Scotland” in the board names, but THEN specialize in copy that explains that they can sleep in those castles. Like “OMG THIS IS GORGOUS” – click and repin. “WAIT?! I can sleep in there?” – That’s one angle. But I’d also do a board just of “Castle hotels” or “Castles you can Sleep in” or whatever search terms you can use that are similar but not directly competing with your own.

      You can also add videos to Pinterest… in case you didn’t know. 😉

      Hugs and high fives,
      N

      PS. Still in Latvia. Will be looking at your site as we near the time when we head to Dublin.

  • Sandy Halliday
    Reply

    A great example of how to turn an experience or idea into a blog post Nicole, something that you are so good at.

    I like the way the site manages to provide a lot of information on one page without looking too busy or overwhelming.

    A great opportunity here for a savvy person to offer their social media or SEO skills.

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