I’m writing to you on the recommendation of a mutual acquaintance, Karen Lauvålien, to see if you are open to applications for digital strategists and content builders. I’m sorry to write in English but Karen assures me that your English is first class, while my Norwegian is still… developing.
I moved to Norway last year after jointly-running a UK based holiday company called Island Cottage Holidays (ICH) for 15 years. I planned on scaling back on work and, instead, focus on photography and hobbies but, I’ve come to miss the marketing aspects of my work. I wish to, once again, use the knowledge and experience I’ve acquired during my career in a fiercely competitive industry.
I’m an economist by training and have a degree and postgraduate degree from Exeter and Royal Holloway. Economics fostered my interest in people’s motivations in the market place and marketing was a natural fit for me. I took on the marketing responsibilities for ICH and developed the strategies and content. I maintained a hands-on role in content creation, even as the marketing strategy responsibilities expanded, because this allowed our content to be agile in response to changes in the market. We grew ICH to be the most successful regional holiday company of its type, partly through the early adoption, and extensive use of digital marketing; before selling at the top of the market to move focus into property development.
Below is a link to an outline of my experience and skills, alongside a few examples of my work, with the hope that you will find a good fit for a roll at tur.digital.
This is a quick outline of my skills and experience split into Digital Marketing Management and Design & Content Creation:
Digital Marketing Management
These are some of the aspects of my work in digital marketing:
Content Management Systems (CMS) – I’m very familiar with WordPress for building small websites and have also built on ExpressionEngine, Joomla and Drupal in the past. I designed my own basic CMS for the ICH website, which was necessary because an appropriate system didn’t exist in the early days of the site. Although maybe not strictly a CMS, I’m proficient with MailChimp and have run a 65k+ subscriber marketing email list.
Search Engine Optimisation – My website management experience has largely been in the holiday sector where there is intense competition in SEO. Apart from doing the daily work of optimising the site though speed, usability, and content I was also communicating the message of the importance of SEO to my staff so it was part of their thinking when creating content. I regularly use Google Search Console (webmaster tools) to check the status of pages, test speed and usability and ensure the smooth transition to updated page structures. I’m also a fan of Pingdom Speed Testing tools as it can be utilised to achieve much better loading times.
Google Ads – Advertising using platforms like Google Ads was part of my marketing strategy at ICH. I prefer to achieve organic listings for keywords but I realised the important to reach specific customers with targeted advertising, especially when promoting a new product where SEO hadn’t yet delivered a good ranking.
Website Analytics – I have a great deal of experience using Google Analytics to check the usability of websites, inform new content, inspire re-designs, measure the success of marketing material and trace the customer’s route to bookings and checkout.
Cloud Computing Platforms such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) – I have experience using AWS for hosting, and running multiple peripheral websites as well as small dedicated websites for properties in the holiday industry. Cloud computing was also important in the sector in order to have plenty of load balancing to cope with peak demand. These tools are essential for maximum up-time, which allows the marketing message to reach more people and gives customers greater confidence in the products.
Design and Content Creation
As head of marketing at ICH I was responsible for overseeing and also generating some of the digital and print marketing material. This included planning and making social media posts, designing interactive content to encourage clients to participate on social media, create structures within which staff could post content, and gathering data to feed back into future planning and content creation. I’m therefore familiar with the demographics, appropriate content and common strategies for the main social media platforms. We also produced traditional, print media, marketing material and much of this was done to meet short notice availability in newspapers and magazines.
I love content creation and I learn new tools for creating content as a hobby. The following are some of the tools I use for creating marketing content for Island Cottage Holidays or other small businesses.
Photography and Video Production – These have been an essential tool in the holiday sector for quite a while and I have been using 4K video from the Panasonic HC-1X and Phantom 4Pro Drone to make hundreds of short marketing films for social media and YouTube. I have a few DSLRs for various types of photography but I specialise in buildings and holiday properties. One of my hobbies is time-lapse photography, and especially night-time time-lapse, but in the holiday sector it wasn’t very useful as a marketing tool but I think it has good potential in other sectors.
Example of some recent photo and video work for GU:
Copywriting – I have written a lot of marketing material in my time in the holiday industry and love the English language. Writing in the marketing sphere has meant using the types of language that appeals to the customer and which describes the product eloquently and succinctly. I’m also keenly aware how written marketing material must also contribute to SEO.
After Effects – My knowledge of digital visual effects and motion graphics is vital for short video production for social media platforms. The most common projects I work on involves camera tracking in footage of holiday properties and overlaying text which appears static in the environment and gives the customer extra information about the footage they are viewing. Other uses include infographics to impart complicated information in a digestible and fun manner.
Camera Tracking Animations in After Effects:
After Effects Infographic on SEO for GU Example:
I’m currently developing a new rendering of the Google Search Results page in After Effects so aspects can be explained and animated for teaching SEO.
Photoshop, Bridge and Lightroom are all essential tools in the type of photography that I specialise in. Property photography often requires High Dynamic Range (HDR) to allow for the contrast between interior and exterior light levels and to give a true to eye representation. Photoshop is also a great tool for removing small items that have been left in shot by mistake (I hope it isn’t just me that has done this).
Google Earth Studio – I find GES a valuable tool to communicate location based information in a fun and easily digestible manner. By combining Google Earth Studio and After Effects I make interesting and informative videos with graphical overlays that are fixed to the terrain.
Blender and 3D Rendering – Though I’m already proficient with the video graphics elements of Blender, I have returned to the 3D rendering aspects of the software in the last few months in response to the new advancements in the field. I have already been working on 3D rendered textiles for consideration by GU though Arkivis and softbody animations are also showing a lot of promise for content creation. Below are some tests for realistic fabric renders:
Other Software – SketchUp, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, Premier Pro, Rush, Dimensions,