By Tori Atkinson, lead content creator for Paragraft.
The impact of COVID-19 has hit fewer industries harder than the travel sector.
And while there is still a huge deal of uncertainty in the current climate, many travel brands are seeking ways to be proactive during these unprecedented times – and one way is to review and revamp your content strategy.
In such a saturated marketplace, it’s inevitable that many brands fall to the wayside and go unnoticed, but now more than ever, it’s essential for travel and hospitality brands to take the right steps towards creating top-tier content.
To help you on your way, today the content writing experts at Paragraft will be exploring the different ways that travel content can be upgraded from economy to first class with the right mix of creativity, strategy and innovation.
Know your audience
One of the most important elements of any content marketing strategy is to know exactly who you’re talking to.
Without this crucial detail, your carefully crafted content is likely to miss the mark.
Of course, there are some pieces of travel content that just perform well, but these are few and far between.
So, if you’re serious about taking your content from economy to first class, you should have a clear outline of your audience persona (or personas).
This step does require some research, but offers worthy rewards when you’re producing content that gets read and shared by the right people.
The most effective personas are detailed, outlining not just gender, age, occupation, but also particular pain points your ideal customer may have.
This gives you a wealth of knowledge on how to create content that answers their queries and makes their interactions with you feel more personalised.
Identify traveller touchpoints
With data showing that 40% of people now book their holidays online, it’s essential for brands to identify the various consumer touch points (both good and bad) on a traveller’s online journey.
From their initial destination and accommodation research to practical considerations like airport transfers, luggage, itinerary tips and more, all these pain points offer the ideal way for travel brands to engage with their audience in a more meaningful way.
Discover what information they’re looking for that’s relevant to your business and provide them with the right content that enhances not only their overall travel experience, but more importantly builds trust and adds unique value to them.
Champion compelling content
Knowing what your audience is looking for is one thing, but to take your content up to the higher echelons of the travel content world, you need to answer their queries in the right way.
In a crowded marketplace, there are likely to be tens if not hundreds of brands that churn out the same information, but the ones that reach the top of search engine results clearly do it better than the rest!
The key here isn’t just to serve up the same information in a different format though.
Instead, you need to offer up something better, more in-depth and more compelling that inspires people to want to know more and, ultimately, visit your destination or use your service.
To do this effectively, brands need to turn the tables on overly promotional content that talks mostly about what their business offers, favouring consumer-focused content that compels them to want to leave their homes and visit a destination or use a particular service.
Think about it – without any visitors, travel brands have no business, so find ways to promote the experience and feel of the destination in relatable ways.
This could be storytelling from previous guests, local insider insights and tips or unique inspirational videos and images to name just a few.
Tap into the right timing
Like most sectors, travel is often at the mercy of timing and seasonality, not to mention other unpredictable factors like global pandemics, economic disruptions and natural disasters that results in a variable window of opportunity.
However, if you’re looking to take your content marketing up a notch, you need to be more proactive with your strategy and think outside the box on how you can better navigate the peaks and troughs.
To do this, start by mapping out the key times of the year that offer the best potential for business, looking beyond the actual peak to either side of these times.
This will allow you to tap into a wider scope of potential travellers if you tailor your content to different times of the year.
For instance, before the peak booking season, look to create unique teaser content about your destination, or pique interest of impulse travellers with timely inspirational ideas for last minute holidays.
You can also look to local events or seasonal factors to hone in on a more targeted audience. This could be something like an annual festival or winter sun.
Whatever unique aspects you have to promote within your destination, be sure to shout about it well ahead of time to attract interest.
Set yourself apart from the rest
We talked above about bettering what your competitors are doing, but in a sector that’s inundated with content, it can be tough for users to differentiate who’s trustworthy and who’s not.
This is where your content marketing strategy needs to be robust, striving to be the best in your space and completely unique.
It doesn’t matter if you’re up against top brands or smaller enterprises, pinpoint your niche and run with it.
Leveraging your bespoke qualities as a travel destination and business can be an effective way to set yourself apart from the competition, but you need the right keyword research to back it up – ensuring your content ticks the boxes for users and search engines.
From a content perspective, this means finding ways of not just telling people why you’re different, but actually showing them.
Ditch the generic imagery and videos in favour of custom-made content that speaks to potential customers on a more personal level.
This could be interviews with employees about their favourite tourist spots or user-generated content that’s more authentic than anything brand led.
Finding new avenues to promote your business’s unique qualities through the power of content is a sure-fire way to elevate your content marketing strategy.
There’s no denying that content marketing in the travel sector comes with a host of challenges, from a highly competitive market to unprecedented events.
However, with the above approaches, you should have the right ingredients to help you leverage your position within the travel industry using content marketing as your weapon of choice.