What is content vs. context marketing and what does it mean to DMOs and other organizations tasked with attracting guests?
Content marketing involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in products or services. Obviously, social media is an integral part of content marketing.
Marketing destinations using a content strategy and social media feels natural. Telling stories, sharing imagery and inviting followers to engage with your brand creates the authenticity people who seek experiences appreciate.
The places you’re promoting have their own vibe and flavor. You’ve got the big attractions and local favorites to feature. The challenge is keeping it real and regularly promoting your destination’s offerings. We’ve written about building imagery-based content and harnessing stakeholder content to promote your destination. Recruiting local influencers and curating user-generated content to shape your social media presence can also add to the volume of fresh (and authentic) content you have to publish.
A team approach to curating content efforts can be enormously effective. However, making sure your marketing goals are met throughout the process requires more careful thought and planning, there is no point in posting if no one is reading or interacting.
This is where Context Marketing balances with the organic nature of Content Marketing. Smart Context Marketing delivers the right message to a target at the right time in a way most appropriate to the platform it’s delivered on. Getting context right means being well-informed and strategic.
Knowing who your targeted audience is, understanding their role in your success and what they need to believe in order for you to succeed with them allows you to determine what message is delivered, when it is delivered and how it is delivered. This knowledge is the foundation of successful Context Marketing. Example: if you knew highly-valued target visitors were senior citizens who desired a tour of local historical sites, common sense would suggest that marketing your destination to them would take a different course than marketing to millennial foodies.
Use the knowledge you’ve gathered about your targeted audience to form the kinds of content you deliver across different channels. Create content to fit the most appropriate channel to reach the targeted visitor. Good content often becomes Great content because of its context. For example, a six-second video on SnapChat can be far more effective than 500 words of the best kind of storytelling if Millennials are your target.
Research, strategy and planning enable you to make these crucial decisions about how to most effectively reach desired visitors via social media. Once you understand who you are talking to, you can build context around them and develop personas based on this knowledge. Personas give a face—a humanity—to your marketing efforts. Your social media calendar can be built around their consumption habits and filled with content that appeals specifically to them.
Consideration should be given to where, geographically, your visitors are coming from and when they are in market. Mobile technology in particular has created the ability to harness the power of proximity. Geofilters and Geofencing technology can allow you to interface with mobile devices in specific places. That kind of contextual knowledge can be used to promote events happening in your community to increase traffic to a venue immediately or encourage a return trip.
Ever changing context is influenced by the device used, channel preference, location, time of day, language, past behavior, and purchase history. Gathered insights about these factors matched with the demographic profiles of potential visitors creates a very specific picture or persona for you to communicate with via your marketing efforts. You should know a lot about them. Now let them get to know a lot about you and your community. Woo visitors with the words and pictures you’ve learned they love.