I was invited to teach at a local university. Sean Green runs a master's class. I got a chance to teach two different master's classes. The funny thing is he asked me, “Brian, do you have a master's degree because you can come in and teach these yourself?” I said, “No, I don't have a master's degree, because in the world of online marketing and social media, this stuff changes so fast. By the time I'm done with the degree, the information is going to be obsolete.”
The two classes were working with a travel company. They're creating a plan to try to communicate with the travel company to get them more clients. My speech was basically on how to capture the audience for that particular company or any company. It starts out with this.
1) Find Your Niche
The first thing you have to do is create a niche. You've got to figure out the niche that you want to get into. That means understanding your perfect customer. In the case of this travel company, they are catering to primarily retired people or executives. I told them to find their niche. Where are these people? What are they doing?
2) Where Are They Hanging Out
The next thing you've got to do is figure out where your perfect customer is hanging out. I suggested that 60-year-old men are probably hanging out on LinkedIn, and you can find them reading things like The Wall Street Journal. Then 50- to 60-year-old women might be hanging out on Facebook, and you can find them watching The Home and Garden Channel or reading something like HGTV Magazine.
What you have to do is figure out the two different groups. Number one, they have to like to travel if that's what you're looking for, right? Number two, they are probably going to have to have a decent amount of income. Number three, they're going to want to have to travel together, so you need to make sure that you're trying to identify people who are going to travel as a couple.
3) Create Great Content
The next thing you have to do is you have to create great content. What I talked about was not only creating things like blogs, but maybe you need to create some very specific to location kind of information. If someone wanted to go to Paris, France, you would create specific information about the culture, the best places to visit, how to make it through the Louvre, how to visit the Eiffel Tower or whatever. Let's say somebody else wanted to go to Brazil, South America, you would do the same thing there. If someone else wanted to go to Dubai, you're going to create information around that.
What you're doing is giving people very specific information about the locations and destinations that they want to go to. First, you identify who they are, you figure out where they're hanging out, and then you create great content around that. Then what do you do? Obviously, you post that information where they're hanging out. In the case of a magazine, you'd want to maybe drive them back to your website, which means that you have to take this content and segment it on the website and then drive people back specifically to the pages that they would be interested in.
4) Control Engagement
Next, you have to control that engagement. What do I mean by control the engagement? First and foremost, you want to create some groups specific to those travel places. In Facebook and/or in LinkedIn, you could create a group called Travel to Dubai or Travel to Paris or what have you. Then what you have to do is try to draw people into those groups. Identify people that like to travel and invite them to come to the group for interesting banter, maybe share some experiences from people that have already been there, which brings up another point. You want to try to get some testimonials from satisfied clients that have been to those specific places.
5) Create A Community
You're trying to create a community around this, where people can actually help each other know, like and trust the fact that this company is trying to create wonderful experiences for other travelers. Essentially what it boils down to is controlling the engagement means drawing them in. Another way of doing this is if you get them to your website, maybe you ask them to sign up for an email list. The email list is very specific to the location that they want to go to. What you can do then is drip market an autoresponder campaign to them about the same specific information. You've already got the content created, so why not drip little bits and pieces of the content to them?
What is the content? It could be blogs or videos. It could be videos you put up on YouTube and then, ultimately, get back onto your website. It could be podcasts. One of my favorite things to tell people is if you create a video that is a testimonial video, you could take that testimonial video and turn it into a podcast. Then you could take that audio and have it transcribed at something like Rev.com. Now you've got a blog post. All you have to do is wrap a little content at the beginning and end and you now have the perfect podcast and blog and video.
You've got all of that stuff, all of this content. If it's all the same, what you could do is send out an email or an autoresponder that says, “Hey, you can watch the video here, you can listen to the podcast here, and you can read the blog post here.” You've taken that same content, put it into three different platforms. Sometimes people like to consume their data differently. Some people will watch YouTube. Some people will just want to read. Now you give them the opportunity to consume the information in the way that they want to consume it. Then, ultimately, you have to distribute this information, so that's one of the places where I talk about email marketing and social media.
If you get people on these email lists, obviously you can do that drip campaign. If you get people into social media, then what you're going to want to do is put the content out there and get them to engage with it. Hopefully, this content is going to draw them back to your website. You create this closed-loop system, where they're liking the content on social media. They see the value in it. They then jump on your email list so now that you can constantly repeat to them, “Hey, for more information, check out these articles and don't forget to comment in our Facebook group.” You're really creating an ecosystem around the content that you're creating.
The kids loved it. The whole reason they loved it is because it was systematized. They understood, number one, you first have to identify the niche. The niche is the people that you're trying to communicate with. They understood that once they started to see and narrowed down specifically who it is that they needed to target, they had a better idea of how to communicate with them. Then you have to figure out where they're hanging out. One of the things that we talked about is that a postcard might work just as well as a post on a website. You just never know, but if it's very targeted to a specific location that people want to go to it might work. If you can find out that information, you're really going to grab their attention as opposed to, “Hey, you want to travel?” It's too ambiguous. It's too overarching, and people may not make the choice.
The next thing you have to do is go to the places where they're hanging out and get the content in front of them to make sure they're consuming it and interacting with it. Then finally, you control the engagement by trying to create that closed-loop system that helps them to better recognize you as the industry expert. Give them something that no other company is giving them. Ultimately, what you're trying to do is stand out from the competition, become top of mind and be the right choice for them when they're ready to make that decision. If they aren't ready to make that choice, you want to stay in front of them. You constantly remind them that you're there, so that when they're ready to travel, when they're ready to go take that chance, they already know, like and trust your business.
I also taught them the whole concept of know, like and trust. Getting to know somebody is that first impression. Getting to like somebody is building that over and over and over again by providing over and above great content. The like portion happens when they finally trust you enough that they're willing to whip out their wallets. When they're ready to make the decision that they want to take a trip and they know, like and trust you enough, then they're willing to trust you with their travel experience.
To learn more about this and other topics on Internet Marketing, visit our podcast website at http://www.baconpodcast.com/podcasts/