Do Not Read This!

Content Marketing?

Yep, I thought you wouldn’t listen. Luckily there is no harm in reading this, quite the opposite. I just wanted to prove a point: In content marketing, you are competing of customers enjoying an overflow of information and suffering lack of time. Therefore, your content marketing needs to be intriguing and catch the attention. Like hopefully this headline did. So, in case you are interested in content marketing, you should stick around and read rest of the post!

Let’s start with discussing the term. It can be mixed up with social media marketing. Creating an ad in Facebook is still not content marketing, just marketing happening in social media. The idea of content marketing is to create different types of content, like blogs, video material and online discussion with customers. The content is shareable and creates interest towards your business, increases your appearance in search engine results and should affect your sales.

How to start

So, let us say that you just established a hotel in Lapland. Should you now open accounts to every other social media outlet and fill them with room pictures and other posts? No, first comes the content marketing plan. For that you need to know your potential customers and their preferences. With bench-marking rival companies, you can learn what content they share and what social medias they use. Referencing the competition is a good start, but also personal goals need to be established. What does your company achieve with all the content you share? Who sees it and what do they do with it? When you can answer these questions, you can proceed with the plan.

Some No No’s

Next, lets dodge some common landmines of content marketing. First, the content can’t be all about the company. Do not always sell something, the customers are not always buying something. The key idea is to be on mind of the customers and when they want to make a purchase that you can provide, they will remember you.

Television was a one-way media, but social media is not. By forgetting this, you miss out on the potential of content marketing and might even do damage. Be attentive to the customers, answer the complaints and discuss the questions.

Do not do too much. If your customers discuss your services in Facebook and like your pictures in Instagram, but Twitter is not working, concentrate on the former. That way your company can be consistent and reliable online, which creates trust also in general.

Do not forget to track the impact of your content marketing: It is essential for you to know how it works and what should be developed or altered.

Entertain, Inspire, Educate and Convince

Content should be useful to both existing and potential customers. In general, you should follow these four guidelines:

  1. Entertain the customer with top quality content to spend time in your media and get them to know you.
  2. Inspire them and help them to create new ideas and new dreams.
  3. Educate the customer on the issues related to your business and create a feeling of trust.
  4. Finally, convince the customer to use your services to retain the best possible solution to his or her problem.

Know your customers to know the preferred social medias and content. Track the impact and you know what to develop. By being consistent and attentive, you are reliable and on people’s mind.

What is online business in tourism?

Online business in tourism, digital tourism business, e-business in tourism, e-tourism; call it what you will, it still has a huge impact on how tourism business is conducted. Most of tourism businesses and large part of marketing are now online. The internet is most often used medium to search for information about a holiday or destination. Skills and knowledge of online tools and channels are critical for the competitiveness of a tourism business or destination.

Director of our master’s degree programme in Tourism Marketing and Management, Juho Pesonen, has made his lectures on the topic freely available for anyone interested in the topic. The course was given for the students of Finnish University Network for Tourism Studies during Fall 2016. You can see the course content and access the lectures on YouTube through the course time table below. YouTube videos have links to SlideShare presentations if you want to take a closer look at them:

Juho Pesonen teaching the course

Thursday 3.11.2016 

9.00-10.30 Introduction to E-business in Tourism: history and context

10.30-10.50 Break

10.50-12.30 Theoretical background: central concepts of E-business

12.30-13.30 Lunch

13.30-14.30 E-business in practice: what to do

– website

– E-commerce

14.30-14.45 Break

14.45- 15.50 E-business in practice: what to do

– social media and content creation

15.50-16.00 Break

16.00-16.45 Practical examples

Friday 4.11.2016

9.00-10.15 E-business in practice: what to do

– analysing and managing online business

10.15-10.30 Break

10.30-11.25 E-business in practice: what to do

– mobile devices

11.25-11.35-Break

11.35-12.30 E-business in practice: what to do

– Search engine marketing

– Security

– Customer Relationship Management

– Marketing automation, artificial intelligence

12.30-13.30 Lunch

13.30-14.30 Destination management and marketing in the era of online business

14.30-14.45 Break

14.45-15.30 Future of tourism in digitalizing world: where are we going?

15.30-16.00 Final conclusions

 

These lectures provide an overview of a wide topic of marketing and managing tourism business in digital environment. A more in-depth view of the topic can be achieved for example in our Master’s Degree Programme.