You know who needs a tourism marketing agency when the world can’t travel through a pandemic? Very few people it turns out.
But if three years of running a business have taught me anything, it’s that you don’t wish for more business, you work for it.
Needless to say, we’ve been busy these past three months through the COVID-19 pandemic, adapting our way of doing business to meet our market (the tourism and events industry) where they needed us most.
I wanted to share four ways we’ve changed our way of working to respond to these times, because it looks like we’re all about to take a step back into more restrictions across the country.
What I know for sure is that we all need to be ready to adapt again, are you ready?
1. We launched our podcast CONTENTious
In any other non-pandemic year, by August, I’d be seven or eight speaking gigs into the year.
But since COVID-19 wiped my speaking agenda, I decided to create my own speaking circuit – launching CONTENTious – a fortnightly content marketing podcast that debunks storytelling myths.
I now speak to hundreds of people without leaving my office, or in fact, my listeners having to leave theirs.
In fact, our Media Mortar voice is now heard by more people than any IRL speaking gig has ever allowed for – and it’s all through the power of a RODE USB Microphone and a Whooshka account.
While many people (*cough, ABC*) mocked those who started a podcast during the COVID-19 pandemic, to them I say – ‘it is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change’ –Charles Darwin.
And really, that’s what this is all about, adapting to change (something I’ve become quite adept at).
If you haven’t given it a listen yet, you’ll find our latest CONTENTious episodes over here.
2. We created a 365-day Content Calendar
Contrary to what our Instagram account might have you believe, 70% of our week is spent managing social media accounts for brands from behind the desk.
So, when the COVID pandemic hit and many of our retained client database could no longer afford our full social media managed services package, our model was forced to adapt.
We’ve always believed social media management should be accessible for everybody. We provided three levels of social media solutions from $21.99 (our Social Skills Handbook), a middle-tier social media bootcamp to teach you all the skills to run the accounts yourself and finally, our full-scale outsourced managed services where we take the reins.
What we didn’t have was something in between that took away the pain of running the accounts for businesses still reluctant to DIY.
Over COVID-19, we met the market where they needed us. We developed a 365-day Content Calendar for tourism and event operators – to provide a caption cure and thought-starter for every single business day of the year.
Essentially, it’s our brain, strategy and caption ideas if we were managing your accounts for 12 months, but all for an investment of 63 cents per week.
In one calendar, we eliminated the question “what will I post today” and banished any excuse for running unscheduled social media content.
Our 365 Content Calendar has now been downloaded by operators in three Australian States already and we love seeing it in action. You can get your mitts on a copy, over here.
3. We launched Quarterly Marketing Mentoring
If the COVID-crisis taught us all anything, it’s that a good communication manager is worth their weight in gold.
Over the past three months, we’ve all seen instances where a brand sent the wrong message into market (virus-protection leggings anyone?) and ended up in the media for the wrong reasons.
The pandemic provided clear demand for businesses to have a senior communications manager to set the strategic course for the business. But due to the aforementioned financial limitations, hiring one was outside most businesses scope.
But what if you could have a senior communications manager on-demand?
Enter our Quarterly Marketing Mentoring program, which includes a 1.5-hour strategy session with me, followed by two, one-hour accountability calls in the next two months.
The result after launching the Quarterly Marketing Mentoring on Instagram only? A fully booked marketing mentoring calendar with clients in a range of industries from tourism, construction, beauty to fitness.
4. We started showing our faces more
Despite telling everyone else (for years) to show up on Instastories and LinkedIn videos, we used the time over the pandemic to walk our own talk.
With production value officially out the window and everybody working from home, we experimented with DIY filming. We created a weekly Marketing Minute series on LinkedIn and made a commitment to show up in June on IG Stories (ashamedly for the first time).
Proving necessity is indeed the mother of invention, we had a heap of fun learning how to create video content for ourselves. It was a refreshing change of pace after spending years making content for everyone else (meanwhile, forgetting ourselves).
If you’ve already read our year in review, you’ll know we’ll be taking this to new levels this financial year. We’ll be introducing more regular eNewsletters, a formalised YouTube channel and LinkedIn appearances.
While I wish it didn’t take a global pandemic to give us as much perspective as it did – I’m certainly glad we now have these four rock-solid offerings to add into our suite of services for when we all return to the new normal.
How did your business meet the market where it was at during COVID-19?
By Hannah Statham
Hannah Statham is The Boss at Media Mortar. She’s a heavy weight wordsmith, punching with puns, analogies and metaphors that leave readers wanting more. When she’s not refreshing her Instagram feed, you’ll find Hannah walking her rescue greyhound Olivia.