Marketing 3.0Strategy planning & executionTourism marketing

The Marketing Plan 3.0: General tips for the content strategy

So long as the content strategy deals with many target profiles, in many countries, with many languages, through many platforms and many devices, etc. it turns to be more and more complex, and you need to embrace this complexity in order to obtain the best possible results. Consider these tips when formulating the content strategy:

  • Provide translated content for all your target audiences speaking different languages
  • Use high quality images with your text content whenever possible
  • Make sure you are informed about the hot topics and sensitive issues for each of your target audiences, and that you only deliver relevant content for them. Content segmentation is advised.
  • When targeting different countries, try to collaborate with local influencers who know their audience interests and sensitive issues, and who in turn can reach a broader audience.
  • Make it easy for readers to find links to related contents, to the content source or to the content version in other languages.
  • Think of strategic keywords that should appear in your content when your target audience is searching for information on their interests. Consider SEO in our content strategy.
  • Make your content responsive to all the supports and devices your audience is likely to use.
  • Consider the social media platforms where the audience is likely to view the content, and adapt it.

What other tips would you consider ?

Marketing 3.0Strategy planning & executionTourism marketing

The Marketing Plan 3.0: Content marketing phases

The content marketing system entails four cyclic phases:

  • Create, refine and deliver. Set content creation goals and guidelines, fuel your sources to produce high quality content; control its adequacy and readiness for delivery and give feedback on the necessary changes to make it suitable. Adapt to different formats or cultural contexts, and translate into different languages if necessary. Then, once the content is ready, organize the delivery according to the established calendar for each type of content and deliver accordingly.
  • Converse and listen. Encourage your audience to comment by stimulating debate to ultimately engage them in a conversation. Then, figure out what they think about the destination, its mission purpose, its stories, life-changing experiences and the content pieces. Get all the possible customer insights and find out about possible misconceptions that they might have about the destination activities or that you may have about their habits, concerns, motivations and aspirations.
  • Measure and learn. Track the results of the content delivery in terms of virality, generated discussion, likeability, conversion and other parameters, and learn about what content features are more effective in relation to each of these indicators for every target audience. Learn about the extent to which there is a need or a convenience for micro-marketing or tailored marketing for each target audience and identify new target niches.
  • Repurpose content in new formats. Having assessed the success of every piece of content, try to envision if it could be reconverted to other content formats, it could be split into smaller pieces of content or it could be somehow adapted to other target audiences. Create marketable products out of the most successful content, like books, DVDs, calendars, etc. Finally, research the market to find new formats or products to leverage your most successful content. Ask the followers for ideas too!

Would you consider other stages within the content cycle?

Marketing 3.0Strategy planning & executionTourism marketing

The Marketing Plan 3.0: Establishing a content delivery calendar

In order to generate the desired impact and to keep our brand in the targets mind without overwhelming them it is convenient to release content with a pre-established frequency, and it is recommended to draft a content delivery calendar. To properly formulate the content rhythm strategy, take into account the following tips:

  • Be consistent. Commit to a rhythm you are sure to comply with, so your followers know what to expect from you and never be disappointed.
  • Accelerate over time. Once you are complying with the established rhythm, try to add some more progressively, and monitor the reaction of the audience to see if some of them are overloaded and how many of them are welcoming the new content. Try to adapt accordingly.
  • Find the right balance. By experimenting, listening to the audience and tracking their engagement it is possible to optimize little by little the mix of content types and the appropriate frequency for every sort of content.
  • Create a stock. To guarantee the established delivery pace, it is convenient to have a content stock that provides you with some room for dealing with the unexpected. Furthermore, as long as the system depends upon volunteer contributors, the risk of running out of new content is significant.
  • Create a content creation calendar. Even if most of the content creators are free contributors, there is a small team of professional content creators and many actions to stimulate the content creation. Estimate when you need to take action to obtain the desired results.

Would you consider other tips to manage content delivery?

Marketing 3.0Strategy planning & executionTourism marketing

The Marketing Plan 3.0: Designing purpose driven content

Even if some contents may work for various purposes, an effective strategy has to consider specific content to move the audience in taking a role: motivating to become a follower, a client, a contributor, a brand ambassador, or a volunteer requires different types of content, and some targets may need content adapted to their taste.

For instance a story about a tourist living a life-changing experience is to convince the audience to become a follower or a tourist, whereas a story about a contributor’s experience when making and telling his personal story is to engage tourists in learning how to make and tell their story as a contributor. The same would apply for stories about volunteering or about advocating as a brand ambassador among their community.

Furthermore, when designing the piece of content, also think about what specific action you want the audience to take in order to direct them to the ultimate goal of the content: share or retweet, comment or vote, engage in a conversation, click a link to your webpage or blog, sign up to attend an event, buy merchandise from your online store, ask for further information, make a booking, like a page, etc. and measure the success of the call to action!

When adding the “Call to action” to the content, make sure it stands out at the end of the piece to catch the reader’s eye and that it is conveying the value that the user is about to get by taking this action.

What other tips would you consider when drafting goal driven content?

Marketing 3.0StrategyStrategy planning & executionTourism marketing

The Marketing Plan 3.0: Research on the target audiences

When formulating the Content Strategy, the first step is to refer to the communication goals in relation to each of the target audiences. Then, from the goals for every audience, it’s time to decide what type of contents and formats are more likely to effectively convey the intended message or to motivate the intended action by the target audience. In this step it is necessary to conduct research on the target audiences’ needs, concerns, preferences, motivations and habits to figure out which is the appropriate content for every occasion. Together with the research on the social media channels, it is necessary to find out, for every target audience:

  • What kind of issues arouse their interest and attention?
  • Which social media platforms do they use and for what purposes? What kind of content do they read or view for every purpose?
  • What supports do they use when using social media and reading or viewing contents?
  • What types of formats and styles do they prefer for each type of content?
  • Which is the preferred extension of the content pieces and their flexibility in this regard?
  • Do they miss any type of content? Is there any type of content they would appreciate receiving on a regular basis? What types of content are they most likely to share?
  • How much time do they spend connected to the social media?
  • What activities and contents would motivate them to interact with our brand in social media: participating in contests, discussion forums, etc.?

Bear in mind that the content strategy should not only consider the different audiences and different formats adapted to the social media platforms and devices, but also what is the intended purpose of the content in relation to the audience: is it trying to entertain in order to gain brand awareness and popularity? Is it trying to educate in order to create concern? Is it trying to establish an emotional connection? Is it trying to encourage constituents in becoming brand ambassadors? Is it trying to motivate contribution to the content system?

To map out an engagement process applicable to the majority of the target audiences, there may be consideration of five main roles or engagement stages that most targets may take, so the content strategy has to consider that engagement has a sequential process as follows:

Follower > Client > Tourist > Contributor > Brand ambassador

Which other insights would you research on?

Co-creationMarketing 3.0StrategyStrategy planning & executionTourism marketing

The Marketing Plan 3.0: Content strategy development stages

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?

Marketing 3.0StrategyStrategy planning & executionTourism marketing

The Marketing Plan 3.0: Communication strategy

The communication strategy challenge showcases the strategic shift that entails embracing Marketing 3.0. As in the case of the targeting strategy, there first has to be a sound analysis about the cost-effectiveness of every marketing tactic and marketing channel used to reach the target groups, assessing also its strategic value in accessing the most profitable targets and achieving other key objectives, to eventually streamline the operational system.

Once the objectives are formulated, it’s necessary to foresee the transition process and set intermediate objectives along the path between the present starting point and the desired achievement at the end of the period for which the Plan is elaborated. These intermediate objectives are to be the turning points that determine when the communication strategy has to leap forward to the next transition stage.

Therefore, the strategy has to determine all these intermediate goals and their corresponding strategic shifts, which may consist of a change in the budget allocation –from one channel to another, for instance- or a deployment of a new channel. This way, the new marketing contents, channels and activities are to gain precedence in the overall budget, as long as they obtain the desired results and manage to optimize profitability. However, there has to be consideration of both the impact of the new marketing and its social media reach on the current –and specially the most profitable- customers, as well as the need to find the right balance between the new and the old marketing activities to keep on attracting the most profitable current clients.

Along with the content marketing system, the strategy has to take into account that the destination also intends to develop a business unit marketing branded products and to partner with mission driven travel agents which are to create significant marketing impact on the target audiences. Along with these channel partners, other mission driven partners should be taken into account to reach the desired targets, considering also co-marketing agreements with other mission driven destinations.

The communication strategy will therefore include a content strategy depicting the what, who, how, when, for who and for what purpose for all kinds of contents to be created; a social media strategy depicting which platforms to use, how to use them, for who, for what types of contents and for what purposes; and the traditional strategies foreseeing a progressive decrease in their budget allocation in favor of the new marketing powered by the open innovation system.

What other challenges do you foresee along the transition process?

Marketing 3.0StrategyStrategy planning & executionTourism marketing

The Marketing Plan 3.0: Communication goals

With the new marketing system, communication turns into a two-way conversation between the destination and all its stakeholders, who want to be listened to and want to contribute in the brand control and development. Therefore, the goals, the contents, the channels and the communication flows are to change radically over time. However, digital marketing is not to replace traditional marketing, but to integrate with it in order to enhance the marketing system capabilities.

Firstly, there are many goals to consider when formulating the communication strategy:

·  Increase brand or issue awareness ·   Letting stakeholders support your cause
·  Getting feedback from your constituents ·   Telling stories
·  Spur conversations about brand’s topics ·   Promoting events
·  Recruiting contributors ·   Connect with like-minded organizations
·  Getting people to participate in contests ·   Raising concern about a particular topic
·  Recruiting volunteers, trainees and employees ·   Knowing what is said about the brand
·  Building a community around a specific topic ·   Communicating mission achievements

 

When formulating the communication goals, it is necessary to state the target audiences they refer to, as well as to prioritize both the goals and their application to every target audience. It is also necessary to convert them into specific and measurable objectives.

Do you think of other relevant goals to include?

Marketing 3.0StrategyStrategy planning & execution

The Marketing Plan 3.0: Defining target profiles

To fulfil these roles there are many possible candidate profiles, some of which may play many roles at a time. This is actually the goal of the marketing strategies, to engage these targets in playing as many roles as possible, within their limitations. These are the following:

  • Local community members: followers, clients, contributors, brand ambassadors, volunteers and employees
  • Local community leaders: followers, clients, professional and non-professional contributors, brand ambassadors, volunteers and employees
  • Employees: followers, clients, contributors and brand ambassadors
  • Industry leaders and influencers (executives, experts, journalists, bloggers, politicians, etc.): followers, professional contributors and brand ambassadors.
  • Non-profit organizations & members: followers, clients, contributors, professional contributors, brand ambassadors, volunteers and partners.
  • Travel agents and Tour-operators: partners & sponsors, followers, brand ambassadors and professional contributor
  • Educational institutions (schools, universities & business schools): partners, brand ambassadors and they could bring in students as followers, clients, employees, volunteers and contributors.
  • Local government: investor, partner & sponsor, brand ambassador and professional contributor
  • Value driven communities (organizations and creative activists): followers, tourists, clients, contributors, brand ambassadors, volunteers and partners (in the case of organizations)
  • Communities of consumers: tourists, followers, clients, contributors, and even brand ambassadors
  • Financial institutions: investors, partners & sponsors, professional contributors, brand ambassadors
  • Skilled professionals: professional contributors, followers, brand ambassadors, employees
  • Private institutions: investors, partners & sponsors, professional contributors, brand ambassadors

Would you consider any other profile?

Marketing 3.0StrategyStrategy planning & execution

The Marketing Plan 3.0: Defining targets’ roles

Beyond the target tourists, the segmentation strategy formulation should also consider other groups and individuals who are not to become tourists necessarily but are also constituents of the marketing strategies, as they are about to play one or many important roles in the destination development. Hereby are explained all the types of roles that may be played by some of these constituents:

  • Tourist: occasionally or frequently visiting the destination
  • Client: buys merchandise products
  • Follower: follows the destination social media sites, shares content and votes in contests
  • Contributor: actively participates in bringing ideas and creating content through the open innovation system for non-qualified contributors.
  • Professional contributor: cooperates with the destination by bringing in his professional knowledge and skills to the innovation challenges reserved to qualified contributors. Here there should also be consideration for those leaders participating in the executive board.
  • Brand ambassador: actively advocates for the brands value proposition in all networks.
  • Volunteer: participates in volunteer programs in cooperation with Non-profit organizations.
  • Investor: brings in capital needed to financially support the destination platform start-up
  • Partners & Sponsors: establish long-term cooperation deals with the destination
  • Employee: works full-time, part-time or collaborates as a freelancer

 

Do you think of any other role that is relevant for the development of the destination?