One of my favorite things about google analytics and looking at traffic reports is that it can help us so much with our content strategy. And one concept that has been helpful for several of my clients is the idea of becoming an advocate.
This summer I had the pleasure of working with Katie Nohl of Mission Springs Resort. Her family owns this small group of cottages that has been in the family for nearly a century and has been rented out to individuals for recreational purposes for decades. It’s like their own personal mini-Airbnb in northern Wisconsin.
She considers local hotels to be her main competition, and her primary goal is to drive more of her traffic directly in order to pay less money to referring portal websites. So we talked quite a bit about content strategy, and topics for her blog, Facebook, and Instagram.
And I loved the way that she didn’t see herself in competition with other local property owners, but rather as part of the same movement. In brainstorming her marketing strategy, we gained momentum and clarity when we started talking about how she could see herself as an advocate for this movement and the other larger circles that she was a part of.
A large draw of the cottages is that they are within walking distance of Lake Superior, and the area is popular with families, as well as hunters and fisherman. She is located in northern Wisconsin, on the southern shore of Lake Superior, near several large cities but not in any of them.
Her target audience is people who are interested in recreational activities in northern Wisconsin, and are interested in staying at a cabin or personal property.
So if she sees herself as an advocate of these larger trends, she can rock some content on topics like:
- How awesome northern Wisconsin is
- How awesome cabins and family owned bed-and-breakfast locations are
- Family vacations in Wisconsin
- Hunting and fishing
- Visiting Lake Superior
- Getting out of the city for a weekend
Promoting any of those things helps build an interest in the activity that drives reservations at their cottages. She wants Lake Superior to be the lake to visit (it’s more beautiful and remote than that other one closer to Chicago), hunting and fishing to be the thing to do (along with family vacations), and family-owned properties to be the place to stay (hotels are so last year).
As we talked about typical strategies such as building an email list, Katie and I both had to acknowledge it as the classic advice you can’t really argue with, but it didn’t seem to resonate with her. But then she told me about this idea she had had to start a Facebook page about having fun in the area, and then she could get people in the area to follow, and also get other similar local businesses involved.
I love this idea, it fits all of her business’ goals and values, and will provide value to the whole community. Now she is part of a movement, with others who have the same interest in promoting recreation and family businesses in Northern Wisconsin, and increasing interest in travel to the whole area.
So as you are thinking about your content strategy, what should you be an advocate for?
For me, I believe that data and reports always hold useful information that can help guide us, if we simply take the time to look at it. So I am an advocate for analytics reports, but also for content creation, having independent websites (instead of just social profiles), and making decisions based on data instead of emotions.
I have a friend who is a craft blogger, so she is an advocate for moms taking time to be creative and crafty, using pinterest to get ideas, and buying materials at the store to try their own diy projects.
I know a photographer who takes pictures of people’s pets. Well she is clearly an advocate for owning pets. It would be totally on-brand and on-topic for her to write some content about how awesome it is to have a pet, and then of course get its picture taken, why not?
To get started on this, ask yourself what things need to be true for someone to be your ideal client.
What do they need to think, know, feel or believe? What do they need to be ready to do, or ask?
How can you make any or all of those things more true, appealing, or attainable?
When you feel a bit stuck with your content strategy, think outside the box a bit and ask yourself what trends you are in line with, that you could promote to build the bigger picture that your business or blog is a part of.
I hope this is helpful! If you’re curious about how analytics can help you nail down your content and marketing strategy, get started by signing up below for the custom dashboard and email series. If you’re interested in working with me, schedule a Discovery Call, I’d love to chat with you about your business goals, marketing activities, and maybe even how you are becoming an advocate with your content strategy.
Fun fact: when I met Katie online, I was at that moment on the northern shore of Lake Superior in Minnesota, visiting family and staying at a place we found on Airbnb.
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