Chapter 6: Content: How to talk to anyone.


25 Sep 2019     |    Blake Ng

In 2007, a company made waves across the internet, consistently pumping out videos that went viral. Each video hit tens of millions of views. So what was so unique, so crazy? What was it that captivated the world? It was….

A blender.

Blendtec was on the verge of collapse when they started posting videos of themselves blending random things that nobody would ever throw into a blender. The videos were so unique, entertaining and shocking that people began sharing them with their friends. The series of videos turned Blendtec into a household name while positioning it as ‘the blender that blends anything’. They achieved this all because they made great content.

Content

It’s happened to the best of us. Going out with a guy you just met, let’s call him Brad. You think it’ll be a night of good food and great conversation but what you end up getting is 10 hours of him rambling non-stop about cars and video games. 30 minutes in and you’re already looking for an escape! 

Don’t let your website be Brad the car guy. If you want to build great relationships with your customers, you’re going have to deliver great conversations. Great conversations stem from great content.

Great content is attributable to two things. 

Think back to Brad. The reason you wouldn’t want to have dinner with him is that unless you’re into cars, he doesn’t talk about anything relevant to you. We don’t pay attention to things we don’t care about. So make sure you only make content about things your customer cares about.

Once you’re talking about something relevant, make sure it’s high quality. Brad could’ve talked about something you cared about but if he didn’t know much about it and he’s a boring person, you’d eventually stop paying attention too! It’s great to talk about something relevant but you still need to deliver quality! You need a good understanding of the topic at hand, you need to be engaging, that’s how you get people to care.

Types of content

While there are many forms of content, we’ll focus on the quick wins, the ones that are easy to get started on and bring the biggest impacts.

Images
As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. It’s true because images help you imagine yourself already there! The great thing about images is that they can be reused anywhere from your website to blogs to social media. Here are some best practices for images:

  • Ensure they’re high quality and high resolution.
  • Include images of people enjoying the activity you’re offering.
  • Ensure the colors are vibrant and the image is bright.
  • Ensure you’ve got multiple photos

Blogs
Blogs are a great way to get started with content. Why? Because all you need to get started is a keyboard. They’re a great way to provide useful information to your potential customers. They’ll thank you for it and therefore love you for it. Here are some best practices for your blog:

  • Format them into lists. People are much more likely to read your blog when you break them up into bite-size pieces rather than huge paragraphs.
  • Use easy to understand words. It’s not a novel, they’re not here to understand what Shakespeare meant when he wrote the sky was blue. 
  • Include images! Too many words together tend to scare people off.

Some other great forms of content for tour operators include videos, checklists, podcasts, etc.

Repurposing content

As the environmentalists say, reuse and recycle, save the planet!

I like to tell businesses, reuse and recycle, save money!

While it’s great to create new content on an on-going basis, you shouldn’t overlook the fact that you can repurpose content. For example, blogs could be read and recorded as audio files for the website, multiple videos and photos could be edited into a hype reel. Repurposing content is a great way to save time while still pumping out content your customers will love!

Content marketing

Content marketing is another word thrown around the digital marketing community as if it was the best thing since sliced bread. It’s another thing digital marketers bundle in with SEO to make you think only they can do it. But the truth is, content marketing is simple, it’s what it sounds like. Content, marketing. Marketing with content. And since we’ve already covered content, you already know how to do this.

Content marketing is essentially offering content to customers for free. You’re giving value to the customer and building a relationship with them so that in the future they choose you. 

It’s often bundled in with SEO because people are always searching on Google for answers when they need help.  If you understand the kind of questions your customers would have, you could create content answering their questions. Your content needs to be optimized for SEO with the right keywords so it actually appears when your customers search for answers. 

A great one for travel operators are ‘the top ten things to do while traveling in X’ or ‘best travel itinerary for visiting X’. By creating this type of content, you’re helping travelers plan their trips while allowing them to consider adding your activity to their trip. 

Too much content

Let’s face it. There’s a lot of content going around. With so much content being produced every minute, it’s so easy for your content to get lost at sea, never to be seen.

So how do you ensure people actually see your content. 

Make it engaging. Capture your audiences’ attention and never let it go. A great way to ensure your content will be engaging to your customer is to use the content honeycomb. The honeycomb shows you the 6 elements of engaging content. While it’s difficult to include all elements into your content, it’s best to include at least 2-3.

To be remembered, tell a story.

You want your content to be memorable because when people remember your content, they remember you. The best way to be memorable is to tell a story. Think about it. You remember most of the stories you’ve heard from The Lion King to The Great Gatsby. You probably even remember The Hangover (yes, even the 3rd one) because no matter how bad they may be, humans are naturally programmed to remember stories. 

The best way to bring out a story is to find the hero of a story. This hero could even be your customer, you could help the customer imagine himself going through tours that make him feel heroic. Once you’ve got your hero, channel their emotion, depending on what activities you offer, make them feel happy or sad. 

Check out our story-telling guide to tell better stories and be remembered!

Create Your Content Strategy

Now that you know everything(the most important parts at least) you need to know about content marketing, It’s time to create your content marketing strategy.

The first step to creating your strategy is to understand your customers. By better understanding your customer you’ll be able to figure out what kind of things they’re usually searching for and what kind of content they’d like.

Based on that, you can then develop your overarching theme across all your content. Is it to entertain or to be helpful? You can have multiple groups of content but each group needs to have a common theme. Then you’ll need to plan your content around the theme. For example, you could have a bunch of helpful blogs that link to each other and a series of exciting videos about your tours or tours around you.

Once that’s done, figure out the best place to post it. Blogs would be best posted on Medium or your website while videos could go on either YouTube, Instagram or Facebook, depending on your strategy.

Finally, figure out how to monitor and track the results. What kind of performance indicators will you be using? Is it more traffic to site, video views count, etc. 

You’ve made it to the end of Chapter 6!

Download the checklist below to ensure you’re making the best content possible!

If you haven’t already, check out Chapter 5: SEO.

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Chapter 6: Content: How to talk to anyone.

, ,

In 2007, a company made waves across the internet, consistently pumping out videos that went viral. Each video hit tens of millions of views. So what was so unique, so crazy? What was it that captivated the world? It was….

A blender.

Blendtec was on the verge of collapse when they started posting videos of themselves blending random things that nobody would ever throw into a blender. The videos were so unique, entertaining and shocking that people began sharing them with their friends. The series of videos turned Blendtec into a household name while positioning it as ‘the blender that blends anything’. They achieved this all because they made great content.

Content

It’s happened to the best of us. Going out with a guy you just met, let’s call him Brad. You think it’ll be a night of good food and great conversation but what you end up getting is 10 hours of him rambling non-stop about cars and video games. 30 minutes in and you’re already looking for an escape! 

Don’t let your website be Brad the car guy. If you want to build great relationships with your customers, you’re going have to deliver great conversations. Great conversations stem from great content.

Great content is attributable to two things. 

Think back to Brad. The reason you wouldn’t want to have dinner with him is that unless you’re into cars, he doesn’t talk about anything relevant to you. We don’t pay attention to things we don’t care about. So make sure you only make content about things your customer cares about.

Once you’re talking about something relevant, make sure it’s high quality. Brad could’ve talked about something you cared about but if he didn’t know much about it and he’s a boring person, you’d eventually stop paying attention too! It’s great to talk about something relevant but you still need to deliver quality! You need a good understanding of the topic at hand, you need to be engaging, that’s how you get people to care.

Types of content

While there are many forms of content, we’ll focus on the quick wins, the ones that are easy to get started on and bring the biggest impacts.

Images
As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. It’s true because images help you imagine yourself already there! The great thing about images is that they can be reused anywhere from your website to blogs to social media. Here are some best practices for images:

Blogs
Blogs are a great way to get started with content. Why? Because all you need to get started is a keyboard. They’re a great way to provide useful information to your potential customers. They’ll thank you for it and therefore love you for it. Here are some best practices for your blog:

Some other great forms of content for tour operators include videos, checklists, podcasts, etc.

Repurposing content

As the environmentalists say, reuse and recycle, save the planet!

I like to tell businesses, reuse and recycle, save money!

While it’s great to create new content on an on-going basis, you shouldn’t overlook the fact that you can repurpose content. For example, blogs could be read and recorded as audio files for the website, multiple videos and photos could be edited into a hype reel. Repurposing content is a great way to save time while still pumping out content your customers will love!

Content marketing

Content marketing is another word thrown around the digital marketing community as if it was the best thing since sliced bread. It’s another thing digital marketers bundle in with SEO to make you think only they can do it. But the truth is, content marketing is simple, it’s what it sounds like. Content, marketing. Marketing with content. And since we’ve already covered content, you already know how to do this.

Content marketing is essentially offering content to customers for free. You’re giving value to the customer and building a relationship with them so that in the future they choose you. 

It’s often bundled in with SEO because people are always searching on Google for answers when they need help.  If you understand the kind of questions your customers would have, you could create content answering their questions. Your content needs to be optimized for SEO with the right keywords so it actually appears when your customers search for answers. 

A great one for travel operators are ‘the top ten things to do while traveling in X’ or ‘best travel itinerary for visiting X’. By creating this type of content, you’re helping travelers plan their trips while allowing them to consider adding your activity to their trip. 

Too much content

Let’s face it. There’s a lot of content going around. With so much content being produced every minute, it’s so easy for your content to get lost at sea, never to be seen.

So how do you ensure people actually see your content. 

Make it engaging. Capture your audiences’ attention and never let it go. A great way to ensure your content will be engaging to your customer is to use the content honeycomb. The honeycomb shows you the 6 elements of engaging content. While it’s difficult to include all elements into your content, it’s best to include at least 2-3.

To be remembered, tell a story.

You want your content to be memorable because when people remember your content, they remember you. The best way to be memorable is to tell a story. Think about it. You remember most of the stories you’ve heard from The Lion King to The Great Gatsby. You probably even remember The Hangover (yes, even the 3rd one) because no matter how bad they may be, humans are naturally programmed to remember stories. 

The best way to bring out a story is to find the hero of a story. This hero could even be your customer, you could help the customer imagine himself going through tours that make him feel heroic. Once you’ve got your hero, channel their emotion, depending on what activities you offer, make them feel happy or sad. 

Check out our story-telling guide to tell better stories and be remembered!

Create Your Content Strategy

Now that you know everything(the most important parts at least) you need to know about content marketing, It’s time to create your content marketing strategy.

The first step to creating your strategy is to understand your customers. By better understanding your customer you’ll be able to figure out what kind of things they’re usually searching for and what kind of content they’d like.

Based on that, you can then develop your overarching theme across all your content. Is it to entertain or to be helpful? You can have multiple groups of content but each group needs to have a common theme. Then you’ll need to plan your content around the theme. For example, you could have a bunch of helpful blogs that link to each other and a series of exciting videos about your tours or tours around you.

Once that’s done, figure out the best place to post it. Blogs would be best posted on Medium or your website while videos could go on either YouTube, Instagram or Facebook, depending on your strategy.

Finally, figure out how to monitor and track the results. What kind of performance indicators will you be using? Is it more traffic to site, video views count, etc. 

You’ve made it to the end of Chapter 6!

Download the checklist below to ensure you’re making the best content possible!

If you haven’t already, check out Chapter 5: SEO.