Thursday, 17 June 2010

Marketing Cunard via Social Media

Cruising the Baltic on the Queen Victoria, I had a conversation about blogging and marketing with Alastair Greener (photo above), Entertainment Director for the iconic Cunard cruise line. Greener is the enthusiastic blogger responsible for the We Are Cunard blog, which attracts 20,000 readers every month.

The blog is an important marketing tool, reflecting Cunard's heritage, positioning and points of differentiation that set it apart from other cruise lines, including all the other brands owned by parent company Carnival. As Cunard makes changes such as adding Hawaii as a port of call, it recognizes that its blog must be relevant to a broader audience beyond the traditional UK audience that knows this decades-old brand so well.

Greener serves as the blog's host, creating a mix of content for Cunard fans who love to live the cruise life and keep up with the line's latest news. The blog gives Cunard fans an inside view of the company's ships, people, places and plans and also invites comments from the public.

Greener frequently hosts guest bloggers from Carnival as well as reports from special on-board lecturers, Cunard execs, and others who have something to say to Cunard's customers. Currently, many blog entries are about the milestones leading up to the launch of the new Queen Elizabeth, which will set sail on its maiden voyage later this year.

Looking ahead, Greener wants to post more videos for added appeal and, to the delight of Cunard fans interested in behind-the-scenes activities, plans an online archive of information about the ships, the officers, and so on.

Another small but smart marketing touch: We Are Cunard is listed on Best Blogs at Sea, an umbrella page of links to all Carnival blogs. Did I mention that Cunard also posts regularly on Twitter, YouTube and Facebook? Welcome aboard!