If you are still closed for trading, what can you be doing right now to ignite your tourism and hospitality business?
How are you winning at the moment? Are you taking the time to leverage all of the resources you have within and around you to propel your business and yourself forward as you re-open?
As it stands, your collective online social media marketing efforts are typically a long game, how are you staying connected?
Recently the Victorian government announced hairdressers can open their doors with twenty-four hours' notice leaving many in shock, unprepared and now overwhelmed with demand. Recently I launched a course titled Quick Wins, what you can be doing right now to ignite your tourism business. And in this training, that is what we are focusing on, the latter, the online marketing wins that you can have for your business—taking you through three digital marketing quick wins that you can implement into your business immediately. Practical, doable, and zero cost affordable.
A summary of what matters and you need to be focussing on right now includes:
"The only way to win at content marketing is for the reader to say, 'This was created especially for me.'" That is the ultimate goal. When you are creating content, you are creating copy or video, and when you can resonate with your audience, they can feel that it was made just for them.
Quality content is still in focus, and Google and SEO is very much still a primary game-changer in your online marketing presence.
What is content marketing anyway? Let's explore.
Content marketing in a nutshell: creating content that satisfies the primary needs of each stage of your visitors' path to purchase.
Another way of explaining this path to purchase is awareness stage, consideration stage, and then conversion:
- getting to know you
- getting to like you
- getting to trust you enough for your guest to part with their hard-earned money.
In essence, why every tourism business must be creating content right now? Number one, it gives your business credibility, influence, and leadership. It is earned media. Through content and current and consistent content, you can keep your website current with current shareable information that Google loves. It also adds value, allowing you to further connect with content that matters to your customers, your partners, your audience, and your industry, not to mention igniting your destination. So pretty much to all the people that matter most in your business.
Creating consistent content also an opportunity for you to choose yourself where you can lead and be your media outlet. So you don't have to wait to be chosen. You don't have to wait to be tapped on the shoulder, for that video opportunity, or for that article to be featured. Here you have assets within your reach and at your fingertips where you can create that opportunity and choose yourself to be your own media.
What Content marketing is NOT, is advertising. Let's explore why. Now, the sweet spot to content and the reason why it is very different and must not be looked at as advertising, is because when it comes to content, there is your knowledge, your skill, your experience, your wisdom, your history, and all the reasons why your business exists and what you bring. Then, on the flip side, is the passion, and your customer's pain point, your customer's problems, the things that keep them up at night and the solutions they need when they head over to Google, or when they are thinking about that next thing that they want to do, or they want to experience.
The sweet spot in the middle there is when those two come together that content can serve, that the customer is having a question that needs answering, the customer has a problem that needs solving, the customer has a passion that they want to explore further, and you, as the leading expert, as the learned and skilled supplier that can provide that solution through content, you show up for your visitor, customer, guest, passenger, okay?
Further on from that, to reach your potential guests, it's also knowing where does your customer spend their hard-earned time online? It's not just spending their hard-earned cash and parting with their money to have an experience with you, it's also understanding and knowing, "Where do they spend their time online?" So for us being there to serve them, through content, we can achieve that consistent connection.
We've talked about why content matters, in the second part of the Quick Win course we looked at why Google matters and more specifically why Google My Business matters. If you need convincing why Google Matters this, we have to come to terms with the fact that more often than not "no one looks to the second page of Google."
A primary key objective for all of our businesses is get on the number one page of Google for your keywords or phrases. So for the keywords and key phrases that we want to rank for, we want to be on that number one page and something that I say a lot to many of my Google-related training, if you want to hide a dead body, you hide it on the second page of Google. It takes work. It takes understanding search engine optimisation yet the simple effort of updating your Google My Business listing regularly, is a practice every business must be taking part in right now!
Google My Business is essential in your quick win armour. So if you haven't spent a lot of time there if you don't know if you have an account if you don't know where the login is, I suggest, and I encourage you to put that right on top of your list for something to go and clarify and claim and verify and make sure you have it on board. If you need more help in how to do that you can take the new online course or head straight to the platform!
Failing to plan can cause a lot of pain. Adopting a strategic approach to your marketing, establishing themes to your content, and using social media to aid conversations is a good use of your time right now. To kick off with a quote, "An hour of planning can save you hours of doing." In anything, whether it's business or personal life. Sometimes, we need to take it easy, take a step back, slow down so we can speed things up, and that's all in the way we approach planning.
When it comes to the planning of your marketing, I would like to think of your digital trifecta and then really compartmentalise this trifecta so you can understand, as you're looking at your funnel, i.e. path to purchase in your customer journey. When you're looking at your content, I also want you to be aware of where you sit within the realms of this digital marketing trifecta.
So when we're looking at the digital marketing trifecta, we look at earned, owned and paid media.
Paid media, that's where advertising sits. We've got our pay per click; we've got display ads. We've got retargeting, influencers that might have a commercial exchange paid content promotion. That is such a thing. And you can pretty much pay to play on all of the social media networks now.
Then we have earned media. Earned media is when you've done something so good someone else wants to share that to their audience. So earned media is an excellent thing to aim for. We talked a lot about content, but in our planning process, we also want to have top of mind that what we're doing has well-earned media potential. Because anytime our links can be coming from other credible sources, the better it is for our domain authority for our website.
In essence, when we're looking at earned media, we look at things like sharing, having a blog shared, mentions, reposts, or even reviews go under the earned media umbrella.
And then, there's the media you own, in other words, owned media. Remember, the digital real estate, that belongs to you. So your web properties, your website, your mobile site, your blog site, and all the social media handles that you own.
Remembering on social media, albeit you've got that handle on a Facebook post, you've got the handle on Instagram you don't own the network, and it's rented space. You don't own these relationships, the bots, the algorithm does, and with all the constant Facebook changes, we have to be mindful of that. Social media networks could change things overnight without any permission or approval from us. That's for sure. But we still own the asset of the channel that we've claimed for our business and you own your website so make the most of it.
Have a go and map this out for your business. What does your digital marketing trifecta look ike in paid, earned and owned media?
Content matters, Google Matters, planning matters and above all YOU matter!
There has never been anything quite like what we've experienced in 2020 when our entire business is taken away, and we have to hibernate, suspend, and isolate. In Melbourne, twice, as we wait to have the green light and approval to start and re-open again.
The Quick Wins course encourages, empowers, and inspires action that despite waiting for approval, there are many things that you can do to continue to accelerate and ensure that you are putting your best foot forward.
So when the green light does happen for you, and when you can open, with little notice like we have seen our hairdressers, you are ready, and you are in the best position that you ever have. Because you have used this time effectively to dot all of your I's and cross the T's and do all of the things that you always wished you had time to do so that you come out better!
So while we wait for the big stamp of approval, let's improve our abilities. Let's improve ourselves to do the best we can at the moment to win with the resources that we have around us.
Something that this pandemic, and recent sudden opening for many unprepared hairdressers among many other things, has taught the tourism industry and the broader small business community. Never be complacent in our markets, in our product developments, in our experiences and never take our customers for granted. And to always be creating, always be curious about what can we be doing differently, what can we be doing more innovatively?
What will you commit to today? Please reach out.
And last but not least, the two most strategic choices you can make now are deciding where to play and how to win. I hope with the content that we've gone through together here that you have a few different ways you can take action to create those wins. And if you want more information on the Quick Wins please join us on the course where we explore everything further with you. So until next time, my friend, please take care and be excellent today, and every single day.