As the Content Marketing Institute defines, “content marketing is the marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience, with the objective of driving profitable customer action”. The marketing contents are created and delivered to educate, inspire, entertain and ultimately to motivate sharing, interaction and engagement with the brand’s marketing activities and its mission purpose. In destination marketing 3.0, the content marketing encompasses not only images, text, audio and video, but also graphic designs to be used for branded merchandise products.
The content system has three development stages:
In the first stage, along with some professional writers employed for these purposes, the priority is to engage the industry influencers who are more likely to contribute in content creation for their expertise in doing so: bloggers, journalists, travel industry leaders, NPO leaders, etc. It’s time to leverage the most skilled and influential stakeholders to start developing the content creation and storytelling virtuous circle. As these are often busy professionals, sometimes it may suffice to have a partial contribution within a piece of content, as long as they feel it is their own creation, so as to deliver it to their follower audience with their signature, guaranteeing a broad readership.
In a second stage, the circle of contributors should expand encompassing the corporate employees outside the marketing team and the most committed community members. Through storytelling training courses, all these non-professional but potentially skilled writers and storytellers are to develop confidence and skills to eventually become talented contributors. In this stage, there could be schools included whose teachers are interested in developing these skills in their students, along with the motivation for the mission driven purpose. In this stage, there should be also included the co-marketing partnerships, consisting of a content delivery exchange with other mission driven partners, as long as both partners’ contents are relevant to both sets of audiences.
In the third stage, the network of contributors is to reach all kinds of profiles, and the content marketing system starts fuelling itself through the aforementioned creative activists who eventually take control of the brand. In this stage, the destination executives role is no longer about pushing stakeholders to convince them to contribute, but mostly about tracking the results and managing the operational system to streamline and develop communication and sales tactics. In this point, it is necessary to remark on the importance of following the conversations about the brand, the mission accomplishment and the stories, and prepare a strategy for managing crisis in case some issues threaten to damage the brand’s reputation.
These development phases are closely related to the network development strategies explained in the “Network development” section, where the specific strategies to engage every profile are explained.
Would you add other stages or include any relevant point in these three?