How to Build Your Content Marketing Strategy

In the travel sector, content is vitally important.

Travel is visual, immersive, personal and emotional. And your content can potentially create an amazing online experience that represents the amazing real life experience travelers are hoping for.

You’re priming your prospect with digital content that’s more relevant and inspiring to them — to create bookings. Where satisfaction and performance can be improved is via the right content strategy. Its the strategy itself that generates brand value, leads and bookings. Lead conversion is a key benefit, however, you have to optimize the content experience to attract leads and motivate them to follow through with their intent.

Given the massive size of the travel market, wouldn’t it be nice to reach “Expedia/Bookings.com level” traffic? I’ve doubled a major hotel’s traffic from 1.2 million to 2.5 million visitors per year, so yes it can be done. I’ve written blog posts that have drawn a million views. Confidence to do this comes from clarity of your content strategy and your intent to grow your business. With the right strategy, you’ll be aware of what to do and how much to spend.

Importance of B2B Content Marketing 2023
Content is Important whether B2B or B2C. Screenshot courtesy of Content Marketing Institute

Clarity is the ultimate asset in business. Let’s work toward that!

If demand, SEO and persuasive content aren’t you cup of tea, then why not get all that with a new content marketing strategy, bringing in the right person for the job? Hire people who love what they do. Their travel blog will hint at their potential.

The Mind Travel’s First

As they say, “the mind travels first.” Travelers begin their journey looking for the content we can create. Most content campaigns are simple with ads, banners, promotional deals, incentives, photos, and videos. They might integrate actual travels of a real traveler with their stories, accounts, experiences and visuals. And let’s not forget these are vital for changing traveler’s minds about a trip.

You may already have posted interesting engaged travel stories, but still need to add additional elements to move your blog and website into the high traffic category. Some well selected travel content ideas will contribute to that. Of course, SEO and blogs, emails, PPC ads/landing pages, along with YouTube videos will be the workhorses, so it’s important to get those right first.

The key objectives of your content strategy in priority is to:

  • communicate your uvp and brand clearly and strongly (they won’t buy from a weak brand)
  • produce interesting sought after information, visuals, stories, guidance for your products (impact and engagement)
    give the visitor confidence in your company and to buy from you (trust and credibility)
  • give the visitor confidence and to validate their intent to travel (encouragement)
  • choose and use the marketing channels you can afford and which will generate leads (cost effective, high performing)
  • create content that keeps your customers loyal and repeat buyers (top of mind, new deal/destination/tour awareness, maintaining comfort)
  • create content that’s quirky, fun with personality to build a genuine relationship, but also make easy to consume
  • create generalized content that answers practical travel matters and revs up their booking intent
  • create potent expert written SEO content that ranks well on Google (expertly designed to resonate with Google’s complex ranking system)
  • build content that raises your domain authority and powers up key pillar content, which competes better
  • create content that is shared via Google and social media channels (outreach campaigns to industry publishers)
  • create content for paid placements on top travel portals and for any PR you want to do
  • keep revising your marketing content to nurture the sale and help complete the booking

Short articles with videos, that lead to a live event/podcast might be the winning mix.

Content type that produced the best results.
Content that produced the best results. Screenshot courtesy of CMI B2C Report.

Content Marketing Priorities

First things first, because everything is built on it. 7 easy steps:

  1. Establish your target audience profile with their pain points, preferences, habits, and travel desires is key. That profile helps you design the ideal content experience from tone of voice, topic selection, and your content experience.
  2. Establish your significant, personalized unique value proposition comes next. Creating the UVP statement for your target and laying out your offering specifically that makes your product/service “the only one for them.” It’s an exclusive engagement with your company.
  3. Research your best content topics, themes, assets, keywords, stories, narratives, and messaging that fits your brand perfectly.
  4. Create your brand tone of voice(s), contributing authors, promotional strategy, key points of differentiation, and visual style.
  5. Redesign your web graphics and blog layout to support this new communications strategy.
  6. Create trip stories, destination guides, videos, events, infographics, photos, and other collateral to complete your prospects pre-trip needs
  7. Set a smart publishing schedule that’s natural and in tune with audience availability/attention, at key times to cut through the intense advertising noise

Definitely Commit to This and Step it Up!

It’s likely that your current content, tone of voice, authentic authors/travelers, selling strategy need to be improved or augmented. Your product packages might need some revision too, as you discover they might not be impacting and resonating with the audience.

Your analytics and ppc performance might help inform the changes needed. We can discuss your current strategy, brand, assets, resources, talent, and opportunities and then decide on what improvements are best for you.

CMI Content Marketing Stats

Below, courtesy of Marketing Pros and the Content Marketing Institute’s most recent report, are some stats on channels, content type, performance and challenges which content marketers report.

Content marketers may lack a solid strategy and avoid competing with market leaders. They may not have a solid grasp of what better content is. Analytics won’t tell you this. It’s something that has to be analyzed in context of the market and your own brand strategy. Is it weak or uncompetitive, or is your content experience simply misaligned?

Marketer Differentiation.
Marketer Differentiation. Screenshot courtesy of Content Marketing Institute
B2C Content Marketing Challenges.
B2C Content Marketing Challenges. Screenshot courtesy of Content Marketing Institute.

Brand awareness, trust, product awareness, loyalty are working, but leads and revenue continue to lag.

Respondents believe content engagement and sales conversions helped them understand their content performance the most.

Content Metrics that Matter Most.
Content Metrics that Matter Most. Screenshot courtesy of CMI B2C report.

B2B marketers are more focused on engagement, conversions, and quality of leads.

B2B metrics for content performance.
B2B metrics for content performance. Screenshot courtesy of CMI Report.

There are some staffing issues companies are experiencing, with respect to quality content producers, audience understanding, content strategy, social media skills, and subject matter expertise.

Given budget constraints, the real challenge is finding talent who have multiple skills, who would inspire finding funding to invest in content marketing seriously.

Content Marketing Hiring Intentions.
Content Marketing Hiring Intentions. Screenshot courtesy of CMI B2B report.

Budget remains the top problem (companies need more financing to compete) along with content marketing expertise which includes the right content in the right voice, designed strategically.

Content Marketing Challenges.
Content Marketing Challenges. Screenshot courtesy of CMI B2C report.

Adding travel authors might be helpful as long as they adhere to the narrative, branding, and sales strategy and don’t set it back. Cheap labor leads to low quality content that doesn’t really engage and build brand.  If the company owner is the key voice in the marketing/branding/customer experience, then finding ways to improve their voice and grow their impact/engagement is wise.

Most travel companies are hiring travel authors (some digital nomads) to extend and empower their content — building on your agency’s current strengths.  Leaving content ideas, topics, messaging, keywords/SEO, engagement, and tone of voice to your outsourced travel writers is unwise. They’re conflicted by their other clients.

Their contributions could actually erode your value proposition, even if the articles are fun and engaging. Because visitors need to be certain that the content is authentic and yours. It has to be intertwined into your brand and strategy, and not generic and easily credited to your competitors or other major travel sites.

Generic, generative AI, and cheap article producers actually harm your UVP and connection with customers.

In the end, it is the built-power of your unique brand that sells bookings. Travelers don’t immerse or buy unless they trust the voice of your brand and the messages your content sends.

Content marketing might seem difficult but it’s just assembling your content within a strategic theme and executing in a natural, comfortable way to your audience.

Success might come down to the range of depth talent your content strategist brings. If you support them, guide their education and improvement, and welcome them into the world of travel and grow their travel experience, there’s little doubt you’ll enjoy a big and continuous payoff.

Call Gord now at 416 998 6246 to begin our content marketing success story.

Read more on Travel Marketing Strategy: Refresh Content | Advanced Travel Content | Powering up Travel Marketing | How to Change Traveler’s Minds | Travel Marketing Ideas | Travel Company Branding | Travel Marketer | Travel Marketing Services