As a content marketing manager, you will be aware that the internet combined with the proliferation of web-enabled 4G or Wi-Fi compatible mobile devices have fundamentally changed the way in which people find, discover, share, shop and connect with each other.
With smartphone and tablet searches now outstripping those from a desktop PC, this change in technology and search behaviour is having a direct impact on many businesses especially those involved in the tourism industry or anyone running a B&B or hotel in Cornwall or Devon.
With the current economic situation annual holidays may become more spur of the moment and setting out on a weekend break with the intention of booking accommodation en route is certainly more commonplace.
This makes it critical that your business is found through search and that it is easy for searchers to book via the internet and more importantly via their mobile devices.
There is a great deal of choice out there and online attention spans are reducing, people expect to find what they’re looking for quickly and easily and there is an increasing trend towards visual stimulation, hence the rise of video and social media sites such as Facebook and Pinterest.
What’s that got to do with my responsibilities as a content marketing manager? – Everything
Content drives search, without content Google wouldn’t exist. Content persuades people to make decisions and is a key part of lead generation activities. In addition, the recent Google algorithm changes focus on the users intend behind the search query and rewards RELEVANT content in the search rankings. Today content marketing and search engine optimisation (SEO) are inseparable.
When people are searching online they’re normally constrained by time, they don’t have the luxury of a face-to-face discussion to ask their questions. Your content is taking the place of customer-facing sales staff and you need to ensure you provide the answers they’re looking for, first time wherever they are in the sales process.
Through your digital body language, you’re attempting to replicate the face-to-face conversation online, to build trust and authority through the correct tone of voice and relevant content.32 ways a content marketing manager can improve occupancy rates tell a friend
So from a content marketing managers perspective what steps can you take to ensure your business gets chosen over the competition?
While you’re thinking about that, here are my 32 content marketing ideas for a full house:
- Make sure your site is fully optimised for the search engines (SEO). This includes pages, images, URL’s and you have moved your site to https://
- Ensure that your web content concentrates on the needs and wants of your audience and is not inwardly focussed on your own business
- Plan your activities well in advance, add everything to a spreadsheet or else it won’t happen
- Search is becoming more conversation through the rise of mobile devices and voice search. Consider “I” questions in your web content such as “how do I”, “where do I” “how do I” etc.
- Google is using “featured snippets” which provide answers to searchers questions without taking the searcher through to a website. Consider this in your content strategy
- Regularly refresh your content and your images, no one likes a stale site. Re-visit and update older blog posts or articles
- Make sure your marketing collateral is on-brand and reflects the quality of your offer
- Plan upfront how to repurpose any content you create and where you can distribute this to reduce your costs and improve your ROI
- Identify your key strengths and the value you offer to provide stand out services to differentiate yourself from the competition
- Keep an eye on the competition, don’t follow them but find out what they’re good at and try to do it better and identify their weaknesses and try to exploit them
- Make sure you have a responsive website optimised for mobile devices
- Make sure you have Google Analytics added to your site so that you can track your visitors and ensure your site is optimised properly
- Not everyone who visits your site will make an immediate conversion, create content for each stage of the buying cycle and encourage return visits
- Implement a Google or Facebook remarketing campaign, perhaps with an incentive offer for those users who’ve visited your site but not yet booked
- Ensure your site is visually stimulating through the use of photographs and video to highlight your key features. If you have a unique property with interesting, individual rooms, let people see them. Put together a video tour of the whole hotel with separate videos for each room. A 360degree video of a room is much better than a still photograph or dry description
- Upload your video to YouTube, by including a voiceover you can also upload the keyword rich script helping to improve your search rankings
- Create a Facebook page and upload your photo albums, got a great menu? Take photos and upload them daily. Don’t forget Pinterest and Google+. Social media sites are playing an increasingly important part in getting found
- People won’t be spending all day in their accommodation, even with our weather. Make sure you add information about the local points of interest, attractions, local walks, restaurants, pubs and facilities nearby. Become a local information hub
- Make sure you’ve added a map and directions on your site. Link the “find us” page to Google maps. Clearly show the postcode for Sat Nav users
- Have clear “Calls to Action” on every page e.g. your phone number and/or email address and/or a link to the bookings page
- Do you cater for dogs or are you child-friendly? Publish it so that searchers know this.
- Ask your satisfied customers for testimonials/endorsements and publish them on your site. These can be the deciding factor on whether searchers book or not
- Start a newsletter, offer to keep your audience up-to-date with any special offers you’ll be offering throughout the year (take account of GDPR)
- Start a blog promoting your hotel/village/surrounding area and amenities. This is important for Local SEO
- Canvass your audience for ideas on how you could improve their visit, act on it and promote it in your blog
- According to Google 92% of search is local and 70% of local search is acted upon within one hour. Claim your Google My Business name and fill in the details, it’s free and helps your local SEO
- Give your content a leg up, start a Google AdWords campaign. It can be very targeted and give immediate results especially if you can tie it into a local or national event focussed on your region. One of my clients saw his clickthrough rate double recently when a TV travel show focused on his area. Doing it yourself might be cheaper than using an OTA
- You can also use the click to call ad extension in AdWords to show your contact number in your ad, handy for mobile searchers. Note: get expert advice before you start
- Introduce dedicated landing pages for any campaigns you run. Don’t send people to your homepage you’ll get a high bounce rate
- Try SMS messaging, there’s nothing better than a text that says “The weather is great here and we’re looking forward to seeing you later today” or “Thanks for visiting, hope to see you next year”
- Start a loyalty scheme whereby frequent visitors get various discounts or extras, especially off-season
- Team up with local pubs/restaurants/attractions to offer discounts to your guests and highlight this on your site
As a content marketing manager you have a lot to consider. This is not an exhaustive list and I’d love to get your ideas and feedback on anything I’ve missed, please get in touch or leave a comment.
If you have responsibility for delivering marketing results and need help to improve your marketing returns, there are several ways I can help. Check out my Effective Content Marketing services or visit my Marketing Consultancy page. Call 01803 413481 or email email@example.com for more information.