Writing engaging content with BUZZFEED's Edwin Hughan
Providing your target audience with good content might feel like a lot of hard work for free but if you do it right it will pay for itself in more ways than one. By giving away value to your audience puts you in a position of knowledge and people will look at this favourably. Most importantly, the next time they consider making a booking, there is a much higher chance of them choosing your business over your competitors who have provided no additional value.
One of the best parts about No Vacancy, is the opportunity to work with talented and interesting people around the world. Edwin Hughan is one of those people. Edwin spent the early part of his career as a creative in the advertising industry in New Zealand and Australia, and on the weekend he's known for being a pro-wrestler – oh and he's also the Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s cousin. But most importantly he's one of the lead content writers at BUZZFEED.
We had an opportunity recently to ask him his advice on topics to write content / blog about, he said to consider key demographics and then dive even deeper into them. A target audience of ‘males 23 – 34, who like to have fun’ won’t really cut it. Think niche, because in trying to talk to everyone we end up talking to no one. It may feel counter productive, but the truth is we all like to feel we are individual, but with shared life experiences.
No matter what content is created, it needs to link back to the brand or product being sold. People understand they’re being advertised or marketed to. But if the link from what they’re seeing back to what the product or brand has to offer isn’t clear, it leaves a bit of an average taste in their mouths.
These links can be in a straightforward call-to-action or even in theme. Always ask yourself, 'does the content share the same theme as the brand value or purpose'?
Also knowing when your guest wants utility content or just entertainment is important. Utility content provides tips or tools for them to enjoy an experience more. Entertaining content engages with them by just giving them a good laugh.
With so much noise out there and so much going on across platforms like Instagram, Facebook, streaming services and more, it’s advisable to create content that invites people to engage and interact with it.
If you can develop content that your guests actually want to engage with – an approach of ‘invitation’ instead of ‘disruption’ – then you have a far greater chance of developing a positive relationship with them.
With a small budget, I recommend reaching out to publishers and influencers with large, built-in audiences, whether that be a popular model on Instagram (who is all about selfies) or a ‘YouTuber’ who makes short-form video content. Consider inviting them to come and experience your hotel firsthand, then let them deliver a story to their audiences in their own authentic way.
It’s an approach we see in the video game industry, where invites are sent to YouTubers with built-in audiences to experience VIP treatment and test builds of games first hand. It’s like digital word of mouth. And as a marketer you can never beat word of mouth, when one friend tells another they have to try something.
At No Vacancy we agree with Edwin's approach. Don’t over complicate how you disseminate your blogs to your audience. Instead, we recommend simply posting to your website’s blog, and sharing it on your Facebook channel to begin with. It doesn’t need to be more complicated than that, especially if you have limited time to dedicate to social media.
Finally, make sure you include a simple subscription to your blog on all the articles you post so you’re able to build your database of emails. You can then add this list to your weekly, fortnightly or monthly newsletter list.