Trip planning is an intensive process for many travelers. Whether planning a vacation for a family of four, a romantic honeymoon or a summer-long cross-country road trip, juggling the different components for traveling can be stressful. In order to take just one trip, a traveler must determine a destination, choose and book transportation and lodging, plan activities and itineraries and pack. While travelers are in the initial planning phase, it may not occur to them to visit travel service providers or booking portals for anything beyond price comparison. Many customers may not visit until they are ready make to reservations and ticket purchases.
Content marketing affords travel brands the opportunity to reach out to customers during the crucial planning phase by offering trip planning resources and relevant travel advice. By investing in a content marketing strategy, companies offering travel services can go beyond the initial sales pitch to enhance branding, become a reliable source and build relationships with customers.
Five Reasons to Invest in Content Marketing
1. Advance the brand message.
Content does more than offset the sales copy—it helps set the tone for a brand. Quality content works to enhance the branding message and improve brand perception. Through content marketing, a travel brand can address the specific needs and concerns of its target demographic. For example, if an individual travel service caters to business travelers, the content would be focused on tips and information relevant to business tourism. The specialized content will draw customers and establish the brand’s position in the travel marketplace.
2. Demonstrate expertise.
For both foreign and domestic trips, customers do lots of vacation research prior to making final purchase decisions. Because content is a reflection of the brand’s knowledge of its niche within the travel industry, a travel brand that understands the customer’s needs and provides support through travel planning assistance and educational resources increases its value to that customer. Using travel experts as part of a strong content marketing strategy, a travel brand positions itself as an authority as it guides customers through the vacation planning process, from exploring possible destinations to finding the right accommodations.
3. Attract new customers.
Compelling content that incorporates long tail keywords will improve search engine ranking and, as a result, increase visibility to customers in the early vacation planning phase. Content such as destination guides and sample itineraries give potential customers much more to consider beyond travel services and package deals. Travel brands that stand out from the competition will sell customers on the fantasy of traveling and then demonstrate how they help to realize those fantasies.
4. Establish a bond with customers.
Over the course of a lifetime, people find assorted reasons to travel. From weekend getaways to overseas holidays, day trips to road trips and holiday family reunions, there are travel arrangements to be made and customer loyalty to be earned. In addition to providing high quality travel services, rewarding customers with trustworthy advice and engaging editorial helps reinforce favorable views of a travel brand. Employing a content marketing strategy across the website and the brand’s digital marketing collateral will offer useful travel information year-round and remind customers of their experience with the brand and keep it top-of-mind when it’s time to book a new trip.
5. Improve social media engagement.
Content marketing—blogs especially—can ease the pressure of generating daily content specifically for social media. Shareable content prevents Twitter and Facebook accounts from turning solely into customer service help lines. Even evergreen content is worth sharing via Twitter if there's a fresh way to present it. Links to destination guides and travel how-to’s along with updates on services and travel offers will provide a healthy balance of content across social media platforms. When followers are engaged, they are more likely to share content with their own networks.
By providing content that addresses concerns, answers questions and alleviates the anxieties of travel planning, travel brands can trade the sales pitch for a subtle call-to-action and integrated sales proposition. For brands that prefer to focus on providing excellent travel services to their customers, Prose Media offers assistance in developing a successful content marketing strategy using professional, knowledgeable travel writers.
Content on this site was originally written by Katharine Miller between 2000-2015. Many feature articles and interviews were published in print and on websites that no longer exist. Katharine is reproducing her written material here for portfolio and archival purposes only. Links and credits to clients and original publication will be included where possible.