Six steps to developing a content strategy

For me, content marketing IS marketing these days. People no longer respond to one-way advertising. They want rich, varied content that fills their emotional cup. From detailed written content and interest-based niche articles to engaging video and inspiring imagery – the consumer demands so much more variety these days.

Before you start creating content for alllll the channels, you need to create a content strategy. I’m not one for massive, 100-page strategies that get put in a drawer and forgotten about, but I am a fan of succinct and flexible strategies. Things are constantly changing and adapting (hello, COVID) but as long as you understand your content pillars, audience and customer journey well, you can adapt to fit the environment.

Here are my top 6 tips for creating a content strategy.

  1. What results do you want to achieve?

Sounds counterintuitive, but think about what you want to achieve before you set out. What is your goal? What’s the KPI? How are you going to measure it? Once you know what you want to achieve, you can decide which form of content will help you achieve that goal.

For example, if you want to create a niche group of loyal customers, you may need to create a range of in-depth content like e-books, feature articles or podcasts. If you want to increase brand awareness and reach new people, you may need to invest in high-quality imagery and video to help capture people’s attention.

  1. Who do you want to reach?

I recently attended a webinar by Kate Toon and one of the things she said really stuck with me. Your audience is not just who you want it to be, it’s also the people that are drawn to you. Before you map out your ideal audience, think about your own USP. What makes you and your product unique, and who would this appeal to? If you’ve got a dry sense of humour and like to have a laugh, think about the type of person this will appeal to. Think about your existing audience, and your desired audience when creating content. Whilst different content may help people at different parts of the customer journey – be true to your brand and yourself throughout. This ensures the content is authentic and showcases your brand at all times.

Look at your current followers on social media, your Google Analytics, your customer reviews and really dig into who your customers are. If you want to go further with this, you can build customer personas within this audience so you can really start to imagine who you’re making content for and who you’re talking to.

  1. What do you already have?

Now you know who you’re talking to and what you want to achieve, you can think about how you’re going to do it. Before you delve into creating new content, it always pays to audit your existing content. I like to create a spreadsheet and have columns for every type of content – images, videos, blogs, articles, media coverage, audio etc. List down everything you currently have, and then you can spot the content gaps.

You’ll soon start to see what content is missing and where you need to focus your attention. Think about the areas you’d most like to fill and focus on those. Are there gaps in the market you could fill? Or are there areas you’d like to excel in?

  1. What are your content themes?

Now we’re into the fun part. It’s time to bring your passion and brand to life through content! To help categorise your content, I’d suggest creating content themes or pillars. Some people call these pain points, but I prefer to think of them as themes – whatever works!

Use what you know about your audience to set themes. What does your audience currently like? What performs best? What part of your story can you not tell without this new content?

Then think about your brand. What are you passionate about and what do you align yourself with? What can you bring to those themes and how can you be a useful voice?

As an example, Tourism Western Australia recently developed the below content pillars for its new Spirit of Adventure campaign.

  1. What’s your customer journey?

The customer journey is a well-versed theory that people move through various stages before converting. This details 5 main stages – awareness, consideration, purchase, usage, and advocacy. There are various versions, and a travel one also exists which is a bit more detailed.

I find it useful to overlay your content pillars and types onto the customer journey. This will help you clearly see which content will appeal to the customer at each stage of the journey. This also helps you spot which parts of the funnel are empty, and where you need to create more content.

For example, your product imagery may be part of your brand awareness / top of funnel activity and will reach potential customers. Your website and blogs may appeal to people in the consideration phase, helping them learn more about you and build more trust. Your advertising or sales pages will catch people in the purchasing stage, so these need to be as efficient as possible.

  1. What are you waiting for?

Now you’ve mapped out your content strategy it’s time to get creative! Let your personality and brand shine through everything you create. Keep the tone of voice and messaging the same throughout, but make sure each piece of content fits into your pillars and serves a purpose in the funnel. Good luck and have fun!

We’ve helped many brands create and execute their content marketing strategy. We can work with you to create a strategy, nail those content pillars and help create your content. We’d love to chat, so feel free to get in touch if you think we can help!

Facebook’s News Ban and How It Will Affect You

Well … it’s been quite a week in Facebook land.

Today, Facebook properly threw its proverbial toys out of the pram by banning any news sharing on the platform. Although this is throwing a spanner in the works for news organisations (and currently the many government/sport/travel pages which also seem to have been removed), this is going to be a pivotal moment for the way we all think about Facebook.

Facebook has made billions of dollars from the words, videos and imagery of others and although taking away the route by which hundreds of thousands of people get their news is harsh, it could be the way to pave a fairer way forward. If you want the full background to how we got here, check out this BBC article.

What can you do?

• Do not panic. Do not delete content. Do not start another page.

• If you’re not a news outlet, but your page has been disabled anyway in the mayhem, you can try and lodge a request through Facebook now. We’re not sure how far that will get you as apparently, there will be an appeals process where you can request a review to have your page reinstated starting on 25 February. That’s hearsay right now though so no harm in lodging the request.

• We’re pretty sure the pages and existing content are still there and it’s highly likely once Facebook gets its ducks in a row, everything will reappear.

• If your page is unaffected, you might want to stop adding external links *just* for a few days…. Although the ban is on news sites, other links like some blogs etc are also being banned. So for now, play it safe and give the links a miss.

• If you’re running Facebook ads, they will still continue to run. Yep, even if you’re a news outlet. Money certainly talks. Some people are ditching their ads as an act of defiance against Facebook, whilst some are actually pumping *more* into their ads to ensure their messages are seen.

• Don’t panic. Utilise your other digital marketing channels to communicate with your audience: Instagram, Pinterest, Clubhouse, your email database, EDMs, Google, SEM and even the phone or post!

This week, why not use the time you would have spent posting on Facebook to think about your digital marketing strategy. Are you too reliant on one platform? Have you worked hard enough to gather your own data and community? If you don’t like Facebook’s code of conduct, do you ethically want to keep spending your money there? Could you switch some of your budget or time to another marketing method that suits your brand better? We’re not saying to do any of those things tonight, but maybe use this as a good opportunity to consider the bigger picture.

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Lush UK exits social media (kind of)

The UK arm of cosmetics company Lush has just announced a drastic change to its social media strategy, basically exiting Facebook and Instagram in their traditional forms.

Lush famously do not pay to advertise their products online or offline. They focus on word of mouth, PR, events and partnerships to promote their brand – along with the amazingly strong scent that wafts up all the way up the high street from their stores.

Their media release said:

“Over the years we have created, published and cross-promoted organic content and conversations with the Lush community across multiple platforms and accounts. However, it has become more and more apparent that these genuine conversations with the Lush Community cannot grow without us paying for the reach and engagement. We are proud of what we have built organically using borrowed platforms, but it is time for a change. An audit of our social content and strategy demonstrated that on average, only 6% of our followers are serviced with our content in their newsfeed because we don’t pay to play. So in an effort to make Lush better educated as both technologists and consumers, we’re making the bold step to evolve our social media strategy.

Going forward the UK strategy is to primarily focus and invest more heavily in our owned platforms, where we have seen stronger engagement, rather than rely so heavily on third parties.”

This shift from social media to owned platforms is a bold and interesting one.  Lush will now be directing people to their website, their Lush Player (home to stories and interviews) and the Lush Lab website and app.

Lush will still be playing in the social space, but via staff profiles, partners, individual shop account and influencers.

I love this new approach and the stand they’re taking against the big boys. Driving people to your owned channels can only be a good thing.

If, as a brand, you don’t pay to advertise and rely on organic content, you’re basically talking to 10% of your audience on social media – so why not look for new ways to engage and inspire?

My biggest concern (if I was their social media manager) would be giving the power to the individual stores and staff members. I would imagine Lush are investing in some heavy-weight brand training for store managers to ensure a consistent tone of voice, content theme and visual look and feel for their social media. Creating a cohesive brand across so many subpages is a serious challenge, but if they manage it, these store pages are going to be able to tailor their content for local audiences, drive direct footfall and sales and build genuine relationships with their neighbours.

Stay tuned guys, this is going to be very, very interesting!

“There’s no better time than now campaign” with Australia’s Coral Coast

Wanderlust Communications has recently been appointed by Australia’s Coral Coast to assist with the social media elements of their Winter 2017 campaign. The campaign brief was to create a 3-month social media campaign, targeted at the inter and intrastate markets to encourage travel to the Coral Coast region this Winter. The campaign needed to highlight the amazing experiences on offer in the region and convey a sense of urgency to turn interested consumers into visitors.

Wanderlust Communications began by narrowing down and identifying individual target markets and aligning them with a  range of key campaign themes. These themes; including aquatic, beaches, off the beaten track and wildlife, were crafted to help tell the story of the region and bring the experience to life. The tagline, “there’s no better time than now” was chosen to underpin the entire strategy and add a sense of urgency to the consumer. Wanderlust Communications worked with branding and design agency, Kate Hayes Design to create a new logo to be used across the campaign.

 

Tactical elements of the campaign included a structured content plan for Facebook and Instagram to promote the entire region over a 3-month period, with regular posts crafted to support the overarching messaging. This content plan was aligned with the key campaign themes and supported by a Facebook advertising program. Facebook advertising was used to create a highly targeted and structured digital advertising campaign.

Australia’s Coral Coast have been executing the offline elements of the campaign including TV adverts, newspaper advertising, radio promotions, public relations and a billboard campaign. The “there’s no better time than now” theme has been used throughout the integrated campaign and can be seen here on a billboard in Perth.

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The campaign runs until the end of August and Wanderlust Communications are thrilled to be working with Australia’s Coral Coast again.

Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef appoints Wanderlust Communications

Wanderlust Communications is delighted to announce that they have been appointed by Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef as their social media consultancy.

Sal Salis is a remote, beach-side safari camp nestled in the dunes of WA’s Cape Range National Park, on the shores of the stunning Ningaloo Reef.  A highly-regarded property, Sal Salis has been named one of Harper Bazaar’s top 150 hotels in the world and came in at number four on Lonely Planet’s Best Places to Stay in the World!  

Amy Gough, owner of Wanderlust Communications, said she was thrilled to be working with such a unique and inspiring business.

“Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef is more than a luxury accommodation provider. They give their guests an experience that is truly transformational. They educate and empower their guests to love and understand the natural environment. People staying at Sal Salis experience the pristine Ningaloo Reef in the most magical ways; through sea kayaking, snorkelling, bird spotting, gorge walks and alfresco picnics.

“Sal Salis is a wonderful business with an amazing story. It already has an amazing reputation and we can’t wait to increase this further with a cohesive and engaging digital marketing strategy.”

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Image courtesy of Rachael Steadman for Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef.

Wanderlust Communications working with Shire of Dandaragan

Wanderlust Communications is delighted to have been appointed by the Shire of Dandaragan on a strategic project, working together with Economic Transitions.

The project was to create a business plan for the Visitor Centre in Jurien Bay, of which the Shire recently took over management. The Shire wanted to invest in some strategic advice and to make sure they were following industry best practice when it came to the management of the Visitor Centre.

Alison Slyns, Economic Development Coordinator at the Shire of Dandaragan, said: “Taking over management of the Visitor Centre is a big step for the Shire. We wanted to make sure we had a strategic and well researched business plan to work from, and Economic Transitions and Wanderlust Communications had the perfect combined expertise to undertake the project.

“Tourism is a key industry for our economy and we are passionate about developing it in the future. It’s an exciting time in our region, with a number of big projects being allocated funding including the new cycle and walks paths from Jurien Bay to Cervantes. We know the Visitor Centre in Jurien Bay will be a central point for tourists driving through the Coral Coast and we want to offer them a first class experience; encouraging them to stay longer and see more!”

Amy Johnston, managing director of Wanderlust Communications, said: “I’m so pleased to be working with Kim from Economic Transitions again. This is the second project we’ve collaborated on and it’s been a great experience.

“It’s been a pleasure working with Alison at the Shire of Dandaragan – the Turquoise Coast is certainly one of my favourite places to visit so I was thrilled to be involved with the strategic planning for visitor servicing.”

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Wanderlust Communications appointed by Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association

Wanderlust Communications has been appointed to manage the social media and PR for the Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association (MRBTA) on a short term contract.

Amy Johnston, managing director of Wanderlust Communications, said: “We’re delighted to be working with MRBTA on this interim project. We will be curating and creating content across all social media channels and ensuring digital activities are aligned with the current marketing strategy.

“We’re helping the organisation until the permanent internal position has been filled. Our understanding of the social media space, plus our passion for the region means we can seamlessly take over these channels whilst remaining true to the brand values and tone of voice.”

Wanderlust Communications will be curating and creating posts for Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, as well as monitoring all channels and responding to comments. In addition, they will be handling PR and media relations, including drafting media releases and blog posts for www.margaretriver.com

Amy added: “As big fans of “down south” we can’t wait to work with the tourism organisation and showcase this wonderful part of the world!”

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Customer Service and Getting Started Online training in Perth

Wanderlust Communications managing director, Amy Johnston, will be delivering two of Tourism Council’s industry-relevant workshops in Perth on 12 October. Don’t miss this opportunity to up skill yourself or your staff through these fantastic training workshops.

  • Customer Service WAy (Oct 12)Revolutionising customer service in WA’s tourism towns and precincts, improve your revenue, repeat business and word of mouth marketing through customer service and selling skills in this workshop.
  • Getting Started Online (Oct 12)This workshop covers the basic components of online marketing for tourism businesses, essential aspects of tourism website design, and overviews of search engine optimisation and social media avenues.

Registrations are now open for these workshops – click on the links above for more information or to register.

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Wanderlust Communications appointed by Hotel Northbridge

Wanderlust Communications has been appointed by Hotel Northbridge to assist with their social media and digital marketing.

Located in Northbridge, just a stone’s throw from Perth CBD, Hotel Northbridge is a unique heritage-listed property steeped in history, originally built in 1898. The hotel was established during the boom of the gold prospecting era with proceeds from the discovery of one of Western Australia’s largest gold nuggets named the ‘Golden Eagle’.

In November 1999, the owner and developer completed his innovative vision of restoring the Hotel’s heritage-listed features including the resurrection of the original balcony. Alongside this, was the opportunity to implement a unique and exciting modern 4-star accommodation facility.

Hotel Northbridge proudly introduced a true boutique style hotel. Incorporating luxury facilities which include a double corner spa in every room, the hotel boasts 48 Superior rooms, function facilities, bar and restaurant.

Wanderlust Communications will be working with the hotel to create an active and engaging online presence, as well as focusing on marketing campaigns aimed at the tourism and leisure market.

Wanderlust Communications Managing Director, Amy Johnston, said: “We are delighted to be working with such a prestigious and well known operator in Perth. I think there is huge potential for growth in both brand awareness and sales; it’s an exciting time for the hotel! We will be focusing on digital activities and partnerships with the local and regional tourism organisations to help grow the Hotel Northbridge brand and really engage with the tourism market.”

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