How did you plan your last trip?
Chances are you, like so many other people, turned to the internet for inspiration, to read reviews, seek ideas, opinions and suggestions, and to weigh up the practicalities.
Today, millions of travellers go online to plan and book their holidays, and they’re hungry for information that will help them find their perfect trip at an affordable price.
So the content on your website has a huge impact on how likely it is readers hit the ‘book now’ button for the experience you’re selling.
The question, therefore, isn’t whether you should use travel content marketing; it’s how best to employ it.
Here are five tips for producing travel content that sells.
1. Travel copywriting differs from travel writing
It’s important to recognise the difference between travel writing and travel copywriting.
Travel writing is a form of creative non-fiction. It’s filled with beautiful descriptions that help readers conjure up images of exotic destinations and different cultures.
While that remains an essential ingredient of good travel content, it isn’t enough on its own. Yes, you want your readers to be able to picture themselves experiencing what your travel business is selling. And vivid, descriptive copywriting will help travellers form a deeper connection with your brand.
But your main aim is to entice them to purchase your experience. What you’re aiming for is a delicate balance between content that speaks to your readers’ hearts, and that which makes logical sense to their business brains.
So avoid losing your message in a sea of descriptions, and concentrate on producing clear, convincing copy that will capture people’s attention, help to establish your following, and generate qualified leads.
To do this successfully, you need to know who your potential customers are.
2. Know your customers
One of the most important things to consider when producing your content is that it’s not all about you.
Forget your preferences when penning a hotel description, putting together a tour itinerary or describing your location. Every word you write and every piece of media you produce should be designed to speak to the travellers most likely to convert.
To achieve this, you need a clear idea of who your target audience is and what their preferences are.
Survey past customers and establish what they did and didn’t like about your travel experience. Find out their general travel likes and dislikes. Ask your website visitors what they’re looking for and how you can help them. Review fan mail from happy campers to see what made their holiday such a delight.
Once you’ve completed your research, set up buyer personas to ensure your content speaks directly to the needs of your audience. This will help you establish the tone and style of your content, spot content opportunities, and identify your customers’ wants and pain points.
It will also help to identify the most effective platforms to promote your content for maximum reach and engagement.
3. Mix things up
In our digital world, travellers document and share their experiences on a vast number of platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Tumblr, Snapchat, Vine, etc.
So bear that in mind when planning your travel content marketing strategy.
You don’t need to use all platforms, although it helps to be aware of them all. But those you choose should be the ones where your target audience hangs out and seeks inspiration and information.
Most importantly, when you’ve identified the platforms you wish to concentrate on, ensure your content is high quality and packed with useful information and good stories.
Success in travel marketing isn’t defined by how many people you reach, but by how well your material converts.
4. User-generated content is gold dust
Some of the most valuable content you produce and promote doesn’t have to cost you a penny.
Travellers love discussing their trips and sharing their experiences, and consumers lap up their stunning pictures, inspirational videos and entertaining stories.
Which gives you a unique opportunity.
Invite your customers to share their experiences across social media and your website. Encourage them to use specific hashtags to drive your marketing campaigns, and offer incentives to get them involved. Their experiences can become a useful engine for your content creation. Best of all, it’s free and impartial.
5. Be consistent
Capturing people’s attention is one thing, but you need to work equally hard to retain it. That means not sporadically publishing content when you feel like it or when you remember, but actively planning your content strategy and being consistent across your chosen platforms.
However, remember that quality always trumps quantity. Hastily publishing a handful of low-quality blog posts will do nothing for your audience. In fact sloppy, poorly produced content will have your readers running for the hills (and seeking out your competitors).
High-quality content gives you the competitive advantage, especially when it comes to travel marketing. All things being relatively equal in price and offering, travellers are more likely to choose you over your competitors if you have five-star reviews, offer in-depth destination guides, publish regular blog posts that are entertaining and informative, and if you’re active on social media.
Create a realistic schedule and stick to it.
Travel content marketing expert
Today’s tech-savvy travellers are far more likely to respond to high quality, informative content than older forms of advertising. A compelling video, entertaining story, or captivating image will be far more effective that a banner ad on an over-crowded page.
If you follow these five tips and techniques when planning and producing your content, your brand is more likely to stand out in a saturated market.
If you don’t have enough time to produce your own content, working with a travel copywriter could be just the ticket! As a full-time traveller and travel writing professional with an insight into the travel industry, I understand your requirements and your readers’ needs and desires. Hop over to my services page to see how I can help you with your travel content marketing needs.