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Adapting to a Post-Coronavirus Economy: Keep a Journal

coffee

Brands will adapt and lifestyle will change in a post-coronavirus economy. Morgan Stanley anticipates the U.S. GDP will shrink 30% in the second quarter due to record unemployment caused by Covid-19. Restaurants, retailers, museums and other organizations have laid off staff while consumers have cut spending on travel, dining out and entertainment. Creative minds are already at work envisioning a post-coronavirus society. Politico surveyed 30 thinkers who shared their predictions on what changes we may see in our lifestyle, technology, health, economy, and government. Research is accelerating to diagnose and treat those affected by the pandemic.

The U.N. has invited content creators around the world to come up with innovative messages to inform communities about Covid-19 and help stop the spread of the virus. Six key areas of interest were identified: personal hygiene, social distancing, knowing the symptoms, global solidarity, myth-busting and donation.

We are inviting our followers to keep a journal to record the changes they see in their lives. We can help publish a book, whether be poetry, memoir, essays, or illustrations, etc. Write or make art for the sake of history, but also to help process the changes all around.

Stay safe, and practice social distancing.

Greater Roxbury Business Association (GRBA) Celebrates Its Seventh Anniversary This Summer

GRBA Seventh Anniversary

This year the Greater Roxbury Business Association (GRBA) celebrates its seventh anniversary. The organization was founded in the summer of 2012 by a group of entrepreneurs who identified the need for the Town of Roxbury to have its own coherent business group to promote local businesses in a cohesive fashion to ensure the economic vibrancy of our communities.

The founding of the organization coincided with the implementation of the Town’s current Comprehensive Plan, which was adopted in May 2013. The Plan identified a number of positive as well as negative elements that characterized the local economic climate.

Strengths included:

  • Small town atmosphere and friendliness;

  • Historic rural environment;

  • Attractive Main Street with distinguished historical architecture;

  • Outdoor recreation opportunities, including hiking, skiing and golfing;

  • Air and water quality.

Weaknesses included:

  • Hamlets are disconnected;

  • Lack of cohesiveness and coordination;

  • Lack of a common marketing plan for tourism activity, lack of economic development, lack of Main Street businesses;

  • Lack of incentives for retail and restaurants;

  • Not enough hotels.

The Esopus / Delaware Study, which was conducted around the same time, also identified a series of challenges: lack of business training, lack of social media expertise, lack of customer service skills, limited social infrastructure for youth, not enough promotion of cultural activities.

Since its founding in 2012, GRBA has made its mission to capitalize on the Town’s assets while at the same time address some of the shortcomings identified both in the Town’s Comprehensive Plan as well as The Esopus / Delaware Study. The first organizational task we set to accomplish was to increase awareness of existing businesses in the community; afterwards, we worked tirelessly to improve coordination and communication across the board to create a focused agenda and spearhead economic vibrancy within our town and throughout the region.

The overall vision for Roxbury as outlined in The Town’s Comprehensive Plan has been to maintain its historic character, ambiance and quiet lifestyle while expanding economic opportunities and increasing local businesses, particularly those “oriented to tourism so that the town is known as a historical, recreational, and cultural destination.”

The Greater Roxbury Business Association has positioned itself as the Town’s marketing arm while launching Visit Roxbury campaign to promote the Town and support its economic development. Over the past seven years, GRBA has increased the Town’s visibility through a series of initiatives, has provided business training opportunities for local business owners, and has coordinated tourism-related activities that make Roxbury a destination.

As this year marks GRBA’s seventh anniversary, the organization has been awarded a tourism grant that will make possible the acquisition of a new logo, the design and distribution of a rack card with map included, and the production of two guidebooks with itineraries that will help visitors explore the area. These are exciting developments that will make us stronger as a business community.

None of us could imagine Roxbury today without the Greater Roxbury Business Association. We’re looking forward to many more years to come.

Learn more at visitroxbury.com.

Catskill Mountain Story Festival

 

Catskill Mountain Story Festival

Presentations by Writers in the Mountains and Silver Hollow Audio, including a Food Panel with chef Bryan Calvert from Binnekill Tavern, author of “Brooklyn Rustic: Simple Food for Sophisticated Palates.” 

Catskills Visitor Center

Mount Tremper, New York

June 15, 2019

 

At Writers Unbound Sixth Annual Catskills Literary Festival

 

April 28, 2019

Union Grove Distillery

Arkville, New York

How to Leverage Content Marketing to Boost Reputation and Sales

Content marketing is a critical component of digital marketing given its effectiveness in increasing brand awareness, engaging online communities, generating new leads, and increasing sales.

Simona David
Content Marketing Class for the Greater Roxbury Business Association

What makes content marketing effective is that people trust editorials more than they trust advertorials. In essence, content marketing is a form of marketing that focuses on creating, publishing and distributing creative content for a targeted audience to generate leads and sales while informing and entertaining. Traditional marketing focuses on pitching products and services, while content marketing focuses on publishing engaging content.

Although content marketing gained traction during the digital age, the practice is nothing new. In 1895 John Deere founded The Furrow, a magazine designed to educate farmers about the latest advancement in the field, and help them find solutions to their problems. The magazine continues to exist today, not just in print but in digital format as well; it has a large social media platform, and is published in several languages around the world. The magazine helped crystallize the John Deere brand, and grow its market.

Forms of content marketing include: how to guides, white papers, newsletters, presentations, blog posts, social media posts, videos, podcasts, infographics, product descriptions, reviews, testimonials, and others.

#GEInstaWalk is a clever example of content marketing which allows the company’s Instagram followers to take a peek into GE’s facilities where cutting-edge technology is being manufactured. Amazon’s Building Your Book for Kindle free e-book is another clever example designed as a free guide to creating and publishing e-books. This is a great tutorial during the consideration phase when aspiring authors are weighing in their options. An example you might be familiar with is the Phyllo Shells recipes on the back of the package – the recipe itself might be enticing enough to make one buy the product, or vice versa. This isn’t something unique to Phyllo Shells however; there are plenty of food brands that offer recipes on the back of their package. It’s an ingenious form of content marketing.

The Roxbury Motel
Breakfast at Tiffany’s Room at The Roxbury Motel (Source: Facebook)

Two local examples that stand out are the Catskill Dream Team’s real estate blog, and The Roxbury Motel’s whimsical themed rooms as featured on social media. How to Buy a Home in One Year: A Step-by-Step Guide, for instance, educates prospective buyers, but it also builds expectations of a lifestyle, and that’s exactly what a real estate blog is about. The Roxbury Motel’s internationally renowned themed rooms also have stories to tell. Breakfast at Tiffany’s, for instance, designed as a tribute to Audrey Hepburn, has the walls stained to match Tiffany’s flagship store on 5th Avenue. The chandelier that hangs above the bed matches the mini chandelier in the Tiffany window at the opening of the movie when Audrey is eating a croissant and staring in the window. The owners of the motel confess that in their twenties they would go around Manhattan re-enacting scenes from the movie. The following Audrey/Truman Capote quote guided the design of the room: “Tiffany’s! Calms me down right away. The quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there. If I could find a real-life place that’d make me feel like Tiffany’s, then – then I’d buy some furniture and give the cat a name.” These fun facts shared on social media are bold examples of clever content marketing.

Moz identified four phases of content marketing, which one of them carrying out distinctive goals and types of content to pursue:

I. DISCOVERY PHASE

Goals: educate, increase brand awareness, generate interest

Type of Content (educational): blog posts, webinars, guides, videos, newsletters, presentations, tours

II. CONSIDERATION PHASE

Goals: direct customer acquisition

Type of Content (solutions): case studies, how to guides, demo videos, product descriptions, data sheets, recipes

III. CONVERSION PHASE

Goals: customer transactions

Type of Content (unique value proposition): product descriptions, reviews, testimonials, comparison charts, direct sales pitch, streamlined sales process

IV. RETENTION PHASE

Goals: retention of existing customers

Type of Content (help, support, advocacy): customer support, help documentation, insider tutorials, special offers, follow-ups

 

Here are a few steps to help you design your content strategy:

  1. Clarify your vision (three – five year plan)
  2. Define your audience (i.e., demographics, media consumption preferences, channels, what are they looking for, who do they follow, what are their wants and needs, etc.)
  3. Audit existing content (inventory, metrics, patterns, etc.)
  4. Set goals (meaningful, measurable, reasonable)
  5. Align your content style, tone and voice with your brand’s personality (set up guidelines)
  6. Documentation (governance rules and workflow)
  7. Content ideation, creation, promotion and distribution (team, tools and infrastructure)
  8. Analytics (metrics to evaluate success)

 

Depending on the size of your project, building an adequate infrastructure will help carry out the tactics and the execution of your content strategy, both creation and distribution. Often enough the work is outsourced to content strategists, writers, editors, and coordinators equipped with tools to designing and implementing an effective strategy.

In sum, content marketing works because:

  • It provides valuable information;
  • It provides entertainment;
  • It sparks conversations that bring people together;
  • It forms communities;
  • It converts potential customers into actual customers;
  • It creates loyalty;
  • It establishes authority.