I’ve been hearing this great term now for the past few months and is now a new part of my vocabulary.
Back in the early days of the web (Jan 1996) Bill Gates wrote a little story about the internet and a few ideas on how he saw it working. Content was a major part of where he saw the growth. “Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting.” Click here to read story.
When running your own website, blog, newsletter, publication etc. you should follow that same simple premise that “Content is King”. People will follow you if you provide good relevant content that they are actually looking for (SEO is also greater if done correctly). The challenge now is that a lot of the same type of content is being provided by numerous media outlets, in print and online, so it is getting much tougher to attract and grow a following. You keep people’s interest by offering a unique angle on information, by providing information that they can’t easily get anywhere else or more importantly nowadays you start engaging with these readers.
Now as the world is trending more into the online mediums we must now provide good content AND additionally “engage/connect” with these followers.
We all have heard about Social Media and how powerful it is supposed to be and most of us are now getting involved with it for our businesses. Im really starting to get so much more involved in this aspect of my own business, not necessarily from a Facebook perspective but via other social media avenues. Its become so popular as society has changed and we the consumer are tired of the one sided relationships. We want our voice heard, to provide feedback on our experiences, and also to be part of the decision making process. It’s because of the engagement factor that is created by using these mediums.
We get to know people and companies, interact with each other and build relationships. A strong relationship is hard to break, hence the importance and values that many great companies now fully understand that they budget for a focus on this part of their overall marketing.
NOW, switch focus into our little golf industry and specifically at your particular facility. How do you feel you rate in “Content” in the marketing you are providing in newsletters and website? Of the many sites visited and the correspondences I receive it seems like many are getting this aspect of the equation. It’s hard for me to fully understand though the effectiveness as I don’t know what your members and guests are really wanting. Do you track open and click rates on newsletters and website? If you don’t I suggest you start now.
I’ve been heavily involved with iseekgolf.com and its online member forums over the past year as a moderator. I’m interacting with the readers on a daily basis through a wide variety of topics. Some topics get a lot of attention others don’t and eventually die off into the massive database archives. It is such a fascinating world of like-minded people, they all love golf, sport in general, and love to chat about it in this very popular online community. It’s an integral part of our website and the website’s continued popularity over the years. Members have gotten to know me and our other moderator and we keep involved where we can. What’s even greater is that members will introduce members and invite them for a hit, and the community keeps growing. Contests, giveaways, and surveys are other ways to engage with our audience as well as allowing golfers to comment on their experiences on golf courses they have recently played. Some real powerful stuff!
Readers are behind the computer screen enabling participants to be extremely honest in their opinions. You ask a question and you will get some seriously honest answers. Social Media is powerful, because you get the truth spoken on a regular basis and in real time from readers who value and respect the opinions of fellow readers (well most of the time!).
NOW, back to our little golf industry- how do you feel you are rating with “engaging” your members and visitors to your facility. Do you interact with your members on a regular basis or regularly greeting guests and making them feel welcomed? Are you providing an easy avenue for members/guest to provide you with feedback on their particular experience? Are they so happy with their club that they are our promoting to the world that others should join? Have you started utilising social media tools such as Facebook to help build your own little community?
Yes. engaging with the consumer is more work, but it is work that we must now do to stay ahead of the pack. Do it well and you will reap big rewards. It’s actually a lot of fun!
The value in social media and online forums is that they are real feedback, that if managed correctly, can be turned into a positive resource for your particular business. In the past an unhappy guest would tell 9-10 others; today’s unhappy guest can easily notify 90, 900, or even 9,000 about their perception of bad service while they are still experiencing it! Turn that bad experience into a positive by utilising the same social mediums to your advantage. Create positive PR online by other readers seeing that you “did the right thing”.
“90% of consumers trust peer recommendations.”
— Neilson Global Online Consumer Survey
In closing, “Content is King, Engagement is Queen and behind every good King is a supportive Queen”
If you are need of any assistance with your marketing drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0415 682 259.