Though Austria is a beautiful country blessed with sports-predestined landscapes it still has its struggles like relatively high prices, relatively short summer, no sea, and high competition. Last years were indeed generous of sun and advantageous political issues, making Austria especially attractive for summer tourism. This summer hit operators hard. Some of them have to cope with turnover decrease up to 30%. As competition in the business becomes harder it is time to become serious with content strategy and revise the approach of using social media.
Every sports and activity provider in Austria is familiar with the social media and has at least a Facebook or a Twitter account. However, only for a tiny part of them, the effort pays off. The others think of it as of a waste of their time. Why?
The absence of a strategy is the main reason. However successful content strategy requires a high-quality content foundation. To create one a content lifecycle management should be considered. During its lifecycle content should go through four stages: Analysis -> Collection -> Management -> Delivery. Each stage must use an output of the previous one as an input so that the effort would not be wasted. So what is happening in reality?
AS-IS: Prerequisites for doing well at this stage are brilliant in this business. Being usually a small company, operators are working with their customers directly and know exactly what they are up to or interested in. However, this knowledge is being wasted as no actual analysis is being done.
TO-BE: Use the knowledge and experience, think of the situation and come up with the ideas which content can be of a special interest for the customers.
AS-IS: Sport and activity providers in Austria are enormously strong here, even though most of them are not aware of it. To make it clear I give an example. A diving base having its location, personnel, equipment, knowledge, and guests has lots of opportunities for content collection. Making photos, filming the next scheduled theoretical course or taking a GoPro camera next time they go wrack diving – just to name some of them. Lots of content is being created impulsively – with no strategy behind it.
TO-BE: Use the outcome from ‘analysis stage‘ and create less but aim-oriented content. This approach lets to increase the efficiency of content and decrease the waste of resources.
AS-IS: At this stage of content lifecycle the sport and activity providers are actually at their weakest. Firstly, most of them are not professionally familiar with information technologies and all the opportunities they offer as it is not their core competence. Secondly, they do not have time and energy for it. Guiding a canyoning tour twice a day is pretty much demanding, so managing created content will be the last idea such an instructor would come up with in the end of the day. Thirdly, sports instructors are seldom at the base. Guiding rafting tours on all different rivers, instructors are geographically spread and ‘offline‘ most of the time. This is a huge obstacle on the way to structure, standardize the content or even to bring it all onto the one common repository.
TO-BE: Instead of hunting every created content, focus on the content needed according to the ‘analysis stage‘ output. Managing a small amount of useful content is way easier than managing lots of rubbish content.
AS-IS: Shoot a picture with a smartphone and post it on Facebook. Content delivered! This is the way most of sport and activity providers work.
TO-BE: Though this is not the only way of content delivery, it is okay to shoot and post as long as this process is driven by previous three stages of content lifecycle management. Otherwise, you deliver low-quality content.
This brief comparison demonstrates how lots of content and effort is being wasted for the sake of occasional delivery of spontaneous low-quality content. No wonder it does not pay off.
These TO-BE tips will help to improve the quality of the content. Social media is a great channel for a low budget marketing, so use it fully to persuade guests to take a windsurfing course at YOUR base next summer.