The customer journey of a modern traveler is becoming more and more sophisticated, which creates both challenges and opportunities for travel and hospitality companies. Travel consumers start researching for their destination, accommodation and recommended activities way before the journey begins. Besides, they keep going online for inspiration during their holidays and share their experiences and thoughts weeks after their vacation is over.
On the one hand, this means there is a wider array of touchpoints for the travel companies wishing to build relations with their target audience. To illustrate, according to Expedia Media Group, 75% of U.K. Internet users consume travel content, which results in 2.4 billion minutes spent on travel content every month. And this number continues to grow. On the other hand, the competition for user attention is becoming fiercer every single day.
Therefore, the ability to come up with meaningful and differentiated content is becoming an essential component of the leadership in the travel industry of tomorrow. Practically, it all starts with building a scheme for building innovative and outstanding content marketing for travel brands.
Let us take a closer look at how this could be implemented.
Why hospitality and travel brands need content marketing?
Regardless of all the talks and studies around content marketing and its importance to all modern businesses, including travel and hospitality companies, many hotels and travel agents still question the need of investing their resources in it. The principal reason for it is the sales-oriented approach, lack of focus on the marketing & brand building and their significant dependence on the OTAs.
However, in reality, content marketing has the power to help them build stronger brands and long-term competitive advantages. It is a way to tell your unique brand story and show your customers that you are much more than just a bed-and-breakfast under USD 200/night. In practice, it involves boosting brand awareness, attracting more direct clients to our websites, improving your position in search engines, spreading brand advocacy and strengthening customer loyalty.
By the way, content marketing creates 3x times as many leads as outbound marketing and costs 62% less. Sounds impressive? Check more inspiring stats on content marketing here.
How to make your travel content break through the competition?
Great, now we know that travel content marketing is something we really need to work on. Besides, there is a great danger of having our content buried together with hundreds of other travel articles, pictures, and videos. Needless to say, it is a great challenge as we are competing with other businesses, travel bloggers, media companies and even the user-generated content.
Luckily, there are only two key elements of truly successful content marketing for travel brands. First, it is the relevance of your travel content to your specific target audience. Second, you should consider its uniqueness and authenticity.
Finally, having these two criteria fulfilled, all we have left is to make sure we meet the industry standards regarding the visual representation and take care of such technical matters as SEO.
Tips on measuring the relevance of your content:
- Study your audience and talk to your customers. Clearly, the content of hotels with middle-aged family guests would be completely different from the one created by a hip hostel chain.
- Always check what huge travel magazines, travel blogs, and your competitors are publishing.
- Use online tools like Google trends and BuzzSumo to search for hot topics.
Tips on creating authentic travel content:
- Curate others’ content in a smart way. Even if you can’t build a unique piece of content, make sure to compose the information you find online in a way that will be valuable to the reader. For example, gather together the data from different sources so that our travel consumers have it in one place.
- Work with freelance travel writers. It is a great way to make your blog more personalized, save a lot of money and get access to unique content.
- Collaborate with travel influencers. Not only you will get high-quality travel content, but you will also be able to share with much bigger audiences.
Have a look at this guide to SEO for travel bloggers to get some insider tips for your corporate travel blog.
Some ideas on content marketing for travel brands
Now when we know the golden rule to create successful and shareable travel content, it is time to decide on the tactics. In other words, let’s define what are the formats dominating the content marketing for travel brands in 2019.
To begin with, we should publish our travel content on social media and our corporate blogs. There is no doubting the role of social media, while the travel blogs remain one of the most essential tools for both SEO & website traffic and brand building. For instance, according to Social Media Today, 49% of users look at travel content sites when planning their trip, and travel brands do want to create this touch point with their customers.
Moreover, it is widely known that blogging helps with SEO and link building. To illustrate, according to HubSpot, companies with corporate blogs receive 97% more inbound links. It is especially important for travel companies since the competition for paid keywords is intense, while 63% of travel consumers are now turning to search engines at some point in their purchase journey.
Besides, it is always great to be more creative and come up with travel content marketing projects that will amaze your audience.
Creative content marketing formats for travel brands:
- Video series. Think of a unique storyline and a plot, use new technology like drones and cinemographs to create a new perspective, collaborate with influencers to produce high-quality content and tell people something that matters to them.
- Merge online and offline. Add the local focus to your business, participate and organize events and projects & stream it all on your owned digital media.
- Convert your travel blog into a real magazine talking about a broader set of topics. This is a way to become a truly valuable source of travel information, and you should not worry about publishing something that is not directly related to your area of business activity.
- Use your travel articles to create more comprehensive travel guides that could be both published online, printed and sent to customers as PDFs.
- Aim to make the world better. Actively promote environmentally – friendly and socially responsible movements and ideas spread the word about it using your content marketing tools
Five travel content marketing cases for your inspiration:
- Brand USA: National Parks Adventure Film
Monetize your creativity
Content marketing for travel brands is something you could use to make your company stand out from the crowd and create a sustainable model of growth. The key to success lies in your ability to think out of the box, bearing in mind the srategic focus, to learn from others and to collaborate with the right people.
Looking forward to starting your own travel content marketing story? Contact us to talk about the best model of action for your specific case!