After you finished your digital marketing strategy its time to start creating the right content to influence and convince travelers to book with you.
In your strategy you set your target markets, define which persona's are most easy to sell too, understand why people book with you (your Unique Selling Points) and have a clear idea of the positioning of your travel products and destinations.
Now it's time to act and create content that influences your persona's to take a next step towards a booking.
Creating Targeted Travel Marketing Content, that makes your reader coming back
The content you create: text, photos and video's should be in line with your strategy, strengthen your brand, helps the reader trust your company more, get them closer to a future booking and makes them come back for more content.
To be effective, it's wise to start with creating better content for those travel products that you earn the most money with. To know what kind of content to make, you can ask yourself the question, what does a traveler need to know and feel before they can book my best travel products (hero experiences) with confidence.
An interesting concept to work with to write inspiring and valuable travel marketing content is the golden circle from Simon Sinek:
Simon can explain this much better then I do, so i recommend you to watch this video.
If we look at our best selling travel experience and we apply the golden circle concept on it, we can ask the questions that will lead to the most valuable content we can write for travelers.
Why are your persona's buying this experience ? Why do they choose for your company ? Why do they choose for the city the experience is in ? The country ? But also why do you love selling this product and how does it relate to what your company stands for and believes in ? The answers to those questions are much more compelling then only describing what you offer.
The trick and this is the difficult part, is to translate the answers in an easy to understandable piece of content.
Lets sum it up for now:
Take the travel experiences you make the most money with
Fill in the following answers
Why are your persona's buying this experience ?
Why do they choose for your company ? - Unique Selling Points - should come from your strategy
Why do they choose for the city, region and country the experience is in ?
Why do you love selling this experience
How does the experience relate to what your company stands for (purpose)
A very good example, though not from the travel industry is Apples Marketing Slogan for it Ipod - 1000 songs in your pocket. There is no mention of features, the name of the product : an mp3 player, just very compressed a revolutionary technique that transforms the ability of having a bulky cd with one album replaced by your favorite 1000 songs in your pocket.
Start collecting photos of your personas smiling in the camera while experiencing your best travel experience. Create content specifically targeted to convince your personas. Dare to choose for who your product is best: solo adventure travelers, wildlife loving family travelers, be sure to make your text specially written for them.
General content is working less good these days, because there is so much content available this days. Its really hard to stand out in the crowd and every small little company in theory has the ability to appear on the phone of every consumer in the word.
Therefor to reach travelers the quality of the content needs to be better almost every year to be noticed, and or your niche has to be sharper defined : less competitors, but easier to find the people in my niche and deliver them exactly that content that they love to see.
Getting bookings with your content, isn't easy, how do you have the right content that can compete with all those other pieces, be consumed, builds trust, influences and convinces to do business with you ?
For me it starts with understanding that travelers don't just book, they go through a whole process often called the customers journey, google has a quick article about it, that states the customer journey ranges from days to months, and till booking can have thousands of visits and views on social media platforms, magazines, your website, etc.
Inspire, Help, Proof & Sell
However it always starts with inspiration.
The best way to inspire your personas is to show photos and videos and of people like them experiencing your best products.
Not only you need to inspire travelers, you also need to help them. They might have tons of questions that need to be answered before they can comfortably choose your company and product as the best option for their upcoming holiday.
And even if all their questions are answered they want some proof to back up their decisions, photos of peer in social media doing the same, peers saying on review platforms like Tripadvisor how great your travel company is.
And only then travelers are ready to book with you.
Summerized Travelers are looking for inspiration, to be helped, to discover new things, feel confident they are at the right spot (proof) and then buy from a travel company that earned their trust and provides the best available deal, that makes them happy.
I call this frame work: Inspire, Help, Proof & Sell,
Each page on your website needs to have these four elements somewhere on the page. And because a journey always starts with inspiration, this means that the first peace of content on your page should inspire.
Not only should each page inspire, help, proof or sell, you also need to be very clear on how you define each block on your page: each block should : Inspire, Help, Proof or Sell, sometimes it can two things in one, some videos can do even 4 things in one. That is why a video is so power full, a video can cover a message in the fastest possible way. However to let people watch a video, you need a very good still and first 2-3 seconds.
Humans work with images for thousands of years, think about cave drawings, our brains are wired to quickly extract a message from an image too. Understanding that every single detail of a photo communicates something and should be in line with your message is important but mostly overlooked.
95% of human decisions are taken are taken unconscious and very much based on feelings, with the help of triggering the right feelings you can guide the consumers of your content to the next step in their journey. If the traveler is inspired the next step might be, who else delivers this experiences, how do i decided who provides the best experiences, how do i get to this place, how long will it take, who else is doing this etc.
Make highly relevant content
The content you serve to customers should be relevant, personalized and actionable and should assist your visitors towards a sale. To get attention, in the first place, you need to create a "wow this suits me" feeling to impress people within seconds. People are making decisions faster than ever before, they scroll through feeds and then act on an impulse that triggers them, of course then you need to serve the right follow up content without hassle and distraction or the back button is hit as fast as the impulse clicked on your served content.
To make this wow content, you have to make sure your content appeals to the people you are targeting it too and that you preferable give it a unique message that is aligned with your Unique Selling Points. You can't make content that sells if you haven't defined a clear strategy.
While making content you should always make the next action simple, learn more, get more tips, book, think about what the person who reads the content needs as a next step.
To make relevant follow up content, its important is that you ask, why does a traveler come to consume this piece of content and what does it expect the content to do / help him or her with.
Make sure your teaser content, doesn't shout to much and make over promises you can't follow up with your next piece of content, stay believable, authentic.
What kind of content has value for Travelers ?
Make sure you have content that travelers need while they are selecting which country to travel to, all the way to why they should choose your company and how you make sure they will have the best holiday ever.
Always stick to you angle, try to let each piece of content be a proof of your Unique Selling Points and the brand you stand for. If you can create a sense of belonging to your company, for example we are sustainble, care about the planet and its culture and nature and show people the beauty of the planet and ways to help them protect it.
Example of companies who try to do this are G adventures and Intrepid
A good way of staying authentic is to show experiences of previous customers enjoying your services, and travelers already share a lot of these experiences themselves. I'm hesitant with working with beauty influencers who show their nicest dresses, though this could work in some luxury segment i prefer to keep it as real as possible.
Only create content for your chosen persona's
Sometimes you are feeling not very creative and you don't know what to create, then its better to wait for a day instead of creating content that is not laser focused and helpful for the travelers you defined in your strategy.
To make your brand message work, consistency is a must. You have to be disciplined to stay in line with what you agreed in your strategy, that's why its impossible to work without one.
Contact Value Through Passion, to help you creation a digital marketing strategy and content plan.