Creating Content During Covid 19 - Information for Businesses
Content Marketing in your Down Time
This is a really tough time for many people. The tourism, restaurant, wedding, retreat and events industry has been put on hold. Here at Chic Scotland we wondered what we might be able to do in some very small way to help people in these industries right now. If there is an opportunity to do so, we thought that perhaps it might be a good time to sit down and get your head around content marketing and social media. Don't get me wrong, right now is also a good time to just bake banana bread, stay in your PJs and try to stay sane. However, if you are feeling restless and want to do something a bit more proactive to benefit your business (for when things start up again), then this article might inspire you?
Here's the gist of it - Good photos, interesting blog articles and engaging videos can be out there working hard on your behalf – the more online roads that lead to your business, the easier it is for people to find you. (When it is safe to do so).
Before we really get into it, I saw this on Visit Scotland's website and thought it was a good bit of background reading before you dive into content creation. Generally speaking it talks about the importance of engaging with your customers, but not promoting any kind of call to action.
I hear so often from businesses that they want to focus on their marketing activities and get things set up properly, but that they are so bogged down actually running their business, that they simply don’t have the time. Great content acts to nurture and build desire with new, as well as your existing audiences.
I approached Pamela at Content Clarity, an expert in her field, to pull a feature together on her subject which would inspire businesses whilst they may not be caught up with the day to day running of their accommodation, restaurant or events.
Working for over 12 years in the marketing industry, Pamela has done everything from client side to agency side and corporate giants to start-ups, whilst also growing a personal blog, Scottish Family Living, with an online audience of over 20,000.
Pamela takes up her specialist topic here -
Content marketing is something that has bamboozled many businesses in the past. Why? because Content marketing goes way beyond the traditional advertising “buy my thing!”. Instead, it works to attract, nurture and build desire for your business, so that people are jumping at the chance to buy from you.
Now just why is this important? Well, for one it’s doing a lot of the hard work for you. Think of how perhaps you have had business development work done in the past that has required someone to cold call prospective customers to use your hotel accommodation for their business employees. Or an article in the press where you hope that your ideal customer reads it. Or advertising on TV… Everything was aimed at the sale. That final bit of the jigsaw.
But there’s so much that comes before that. There’s attraction, nurturing, consideration and then finally sale. Content marketing is like a little swiss army knife in your marketing toolbox. Out there working like a little sales army on those initial stages… You can have lifelong blog posts out there to attract interest, SEO’d for the right keywords so that your ideal customer can discover you. You can have video tours of the resort and rooms, with the view to nurturing those interested parties and building that all important desire and passion.
A lot of businesses haven’t gotten around to executing a strong content marketing strategy in the past, due to time or other pressing business issues. But that’s ok, because now you might have the time?
Let’s remember, while it may take time to get your head around it, and the thought of creating the content may seem overwhelming at first. Once those long-term pieces of the content puzzle are out there i.e. blogs, videos, etc. - they’re out there for good, working their socks off for you. The more you add, the more roads you’re laying for people to find you.
As much as the world ground to a halt with the current outbreak, the tourism industry can still be using this time to work on mastering the art of content marketing and get those first 3 pieces of the puzzle put together.
Think about using this time to attract a new audience, be that on social media or even grow your email list.
You can also be creating content that acts to nurture and build desire with your new, as well as your existing audience. If you are using this time to renovate, why not show behind the scenes on social media and even room reveals. If you are using Stories, you can poll or use the reaction stickers to encourage engagement with your audience… so that they feel valued by you.
You could even ask if people would like to join the waitlist for a certain room once the lockdown is lifted. Building up prospective future leads.
If you’re not renovating, don’t worry… you could instead look to list what it is that makes people come to you and the reasons for that:
Occasions - anniversaries, birthday’s etc.
Local area – tourist attractions, events.
What makes your hotel/venue unique? – the ambiance, the personal service, the pillow menu, the whisky bar, the food, the cat that sits in reception.
What have previous customers commended you on?
List everything and then start to build this up into content. Remember to always make sure you give each piece of the jigsaw the same kind of attention. Think attract, nurture & build desire and consideration.
Attract – would be a “things to do close by”. You don’t have to always create the content yourself. Keep your eyes peeled in local Facebook Group for What’s on or drone footage of the local area, so people can still visit from their living rooms. Are you near Edinburgh Zoo, share their live feed?
Nurture & desire – think about reviews or highlighting a member of staff who goes above and beyond. Or what about that exclusive bottle of Whisky you have in your bar? The exquisite grounds and how you maintain them. Or the story of how you sourced the unique embroidered bedspreads?
Consideration – Social proof & reviews. Have people share moments with a hashtag. Right now, you could even ask for people to post historic photos and invite them to create a weekend away memory from home. Heck why not make it a competition, where you pick a favourite and they win a stay. Or just show amazing reviews you've had in the past and wonderful moments with guests or customers.
Let’s remember that staycations are going to be HUGE when this is all over, so perhaps that’s not been an audience you’ve capitalized on before. Now is the time to stand up and be counted, so you don’t miss out on your share of the staycation action. How can you attract that audience? And when we say staycation, this might mean people VERY local to you - from your local city, your region, or how about trying to reach out to a new region through Facebook groups in that area?
Using this time to craft yourself a content marketing plan and putting those wheels in motion now, will pay dividends when lock down is over. It can take 8-10 touch points before someone is ready to buy from you… So, right now you could be taking care of those touch points.
Chic Scotland is a great way to see to that attraction piece of the puzzle. Benefiting from that exposure to a new audience, one which fits the demographic of your ideal customer. They personally curate the stylish places to eat, sleep & meet in Scotland, giving impartial recommendations to a large already engaged following.
If you need help & guidance on your business, then you can check out my resources, content planning courses or apply to work with me personally on your content marketing. I can help you get set for success for when this is all over.
You see, so there’s still plenty you can be doing right now to work on your business and create digital queues for when the doors do reopen. Thanks for reading, and do keep well and stay safe.