//HOW TO STAND OUT WITH YOUR CONTENT MARKETING
Use your content budget wisely with director and photographer, Lester Jones
Content marketing is one of the most powerful and effective ways to build your audience and attract more direct guest booking opportunities. By sharing interesting, relevant and helpful content (blogs, guides, brochures, photos, video….) with your audience you will build trust in your brand and increase the chances of them making a direct booking with your accommodation business.
The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) defines content marketing as “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience – and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
But how much does all this cost? Can you still cut-through with a relatively small budget?
We recently caught up with photographer and filmmaker Lester Jones to ask his advice. London born, Lester now lives by the beach in Bondi, Sydney but travels the globe working on projects for Highsnobiety, Nike and Mercedes Benz to name a few.
Q. When it comes to producing great blogging and video content for hotels we believe it needs to be more about the idea than the size of the budget. Can they still produce content that will cut-through and still get the most bang-for-buck?
Ah, the dreaded ‘b’ word; budget. It goes without saying that when making content every dollar helps and probably the 2 most valuable things money can buy in the content world are time and expertise.
As we become increasingly immersed in social media and lives spent gazing into the abyss of the ‘black mirror’ we are bombarded by content like never before. It can become white noise after a while and for something to make you stop, and not only look, but really invest in it, one key thing seems to be a consistently engaging hook for strong content; a good idea.
What that idea is will vary greatly from client to client and what they hope to achieve, but across the board, an honest, clearly communicated and well actioned idea is the key starting point for any project.
So once you have thought about your idea, is it just a matter of throwing more and more cash at it, and does more money make a better idea?
Quite simply, no. Not everything needs to be a rampaging Michael Bay style production, and establishing that core idea at the start means that a sliding scale of budget can dictate how you action this.
For smaller budgets you could look to create more lo-fi intimate work, utilising human story and real people through basic but still relatable filming. As the budgets build you can look to spend more time shooting, and in more elaborate ways. Engaging cinematographers, filming over more expansive time periods, and shooting beyond the confines of the hotel with the excitement of drones and maybe underwater coverage too…but that’s only if it suits your story and what you want to achieve.
Q. The current social media landscape has changed the game. You no longer need large production crews to build an audience online. In fact influencers and brands often find their lower budget videos have a far greater connection with their audience as they are more authentic and believable. As a multi-skilled content producer (photography, directing, cinematography, editing…) what is the best advice you would tell a hotelier when it comes to their content marketing plan for their hotel? What should they do and what shouldn’t they do? Any tips you would give them if they are doing their own ‘home job’?
The greatest asset we all have to sell ourselves with is our ’self’. We all have a story, something human that makes us unique and I think exploring our own individual, organic sense of personality is a very valuable commodity right now.
Authenticity is key, and unless there is a clear and valid tie in, I think the notion of what an influencer is or does seems to be becoming increasingly unclear so I think we will see less ‘insta-famous’ social media personas fronting content.
Be true to yourself and your customers, don’t get sidelined about what other competitors are doing, just make the best of what makes you, ‘you’.
If you need help with your content marketing plan speak to the team at No Vacancy Agency and find out how content can drive you more direct bookings.