Sales and Marketing Fatigue? It’s Time You Went Fishing.
Never before has “content” been more crucial to the success of your hotel’s marketing strategy. The word content is thrown around constantly, so what does it really even mean? In it’s simplest terms, content refers to producing relevant, authoritative and attention-catching writing, video, photographs, infographics, and more. For writing specifically, content is typically in the form of a blog or article, that is posted on a website.
Ok, so that was a vague outline of what content is, but a bigger question is why is it such a big deal? What’s all the fuss about? Well, within the current state of the world wide web, getting people to visit a website is extraordinarily difficult. Our attention is constantly pulled in a thousand directions all day long, getting a person to visit a particular website, and then, hopefully, purchase an item or service, can be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Which is exactly why visitors must be lured to the site.
Basically, potential website visitors are your fish, and the content is your bait, and you are the fisherman using the bait to lure the fish, and with a little skill and luck, catch the fish. But unlike an actual fisherman, you can’t simply go to the store and purchase the bait and get started. Sure, you can purchase the services of a writer, videographer, or artist, whether in house or otherwise, but you still need a strategy, a purpose, behind your content, or your bait won’t attract the proper fish.
Top notch content requires three elements in order to achieve the goal of drawing traffic to your website. Without the following three elements combined, your bait will never hook your fish.
Determine the Type of Fish You’re Trying to Catch
Who exactly is your audience? Who cares about what you have to say? Who’s going to benefit from your advice? If you’re a hotel management company, writing a blog about the best yoga poses to help relieve stress, won’t attract the desired readers, and traffic to your website from the blog won’t result in leads. Know who you want to visit your website, and write topics, or post photographs and videos, that are relevant and useful to them. If your audience is hotel owners, for example, write blogs about the best methods to keep rooms occupied during the slow season. Pin down precisely the type of visitors you want on your site, and then create article/blog topic ideas, or other content, that those visitors will find engaging and informative, enough so to make them interested in your product or service. The key within this first step lies in clearly defining your target audience. Define your target audience so well, that there’s no confusion whatsoever about exactly who they are, what they need, and what they want.
Reel In Your Fish
Ok, so you’ve determined the type of fish you want to catch, and the bait that attracts them most. Now you must create the bait, and make it even more tantalizing than they could have imagined. For a blog or article, for example, lure potential readers in with an exciting, shocking, or surprising headline. Create a headline that screams for attention, gives a slight hint as to what the reader can expect to learn about, but not enough to give the punchline away. Then, of course, make sure the meat of the blog lives up to the expectation of the headline. Weave in links back to other areas of your site, and even, if possible, to other sites, as long as they’re not in competition with your product or service. Basically, while reading or taking in your content, the reader should want for nothing, so to speak. If you reference an event or place, link to it. If you reference a service or product, link to it. Don’t make your viewer work. Throughout the article, have mini headlines to help guide the reader and keep them interested. Each mini headline should explain and entertain, similarly to the initial headline.
Constantly analyze any feedback. Track the analytics of your website, figure out what viewers are lingering on, how quickly they leave a page, which pages are the most popular, which pages are the least. Do the same for you social media channels as well. If a fisherman isn’t catching any fish, then he changes bait, or goes after different fish, or both. Analytics will help keep you on track, and let you know if your strategy is working or not. Don’t turn a blind eye to feedback, because then you’ll never get more leads, and your target audience will go elsewhere. Likely, if you followed the first two steps carefully, your boat will be overflowing with fish.
There is one more, extremely important, step – promotion. There are many methods of promotion, the trick lies in finding which methods work best for you and your audience. You’ve written and produced incredible content, perfect for your target audience, but how are they going to find it? Having a combination of owned, earned, and paid media will be your best bet. Social media, for example. Social media is a great access key to your audience. Similar to how you developed a content strategy, be sure to develop a promotion strategy. Determine which social channels your readers spend time in, and then promote your content there. Another method is e-mail, promote your blogs, social media channels, and more within your weekly emails, or however often. Consider putting money behind your social media posts to achieve a greater chance of viewership, and to even help further target your desired audience. Earned media is always exciting, yet can be difficult to achieve, try reaching out to journalists or other sources, and pitch any relevant content you’ve created.
Pretty soon, once you have your strategies in place, your boat will be loaded down with fish, or rather you’ll have an abundance of leads to follow. Aesthetically speaking, make sure your website is appealing and easy to maneuver around. Viewers are quick to move on if any challenges arise, so check your site for any possible complications. Developing a content and promotion strategy and executing it, can be time consuming. If you need consultation and assistance with your content strategy, we know a thing or two, so give us a beep. Don’t surrender your fish to other fisherman, just because you haven’t gotten the best bait yet!
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