How to Develop an Effective Content Marketing Strategy: Travel, Tourism and Hospitality
Whether you are just starting out in the online world, or have been operating on the internet for a while: The successes of your online presence lives and dies according to the effectiveness of your content marketing strategy.
Developing such a plan requires so much more than simply listing your company’s products and services and hoping that your target audience will find the information for themselves: It requires the regular creation of content that is relevant to all areas of the travel, tourism and hospitality market and targeted specifically at a pre-determined target audience. Approximately 94% of your potential customers use the internet when planning events and booking their holidays, so putting an effective content marketing strategy in place gives you the best chance of ensuring they come to you ahead of your rivals. Here’s some questions you should ask yourself when developing your travel and tourism marketing strategy:
Who is Your Target Audience?
To develop a successful content marketing strategy, you need to clearly define your target audience. This is especially important new businesses looking to establish their presence within the market. Although generally your target audience will be men and women aged between 25 and 55 (ie. Holidaymakers with disposable income), you might offer more nuanced services that allows for more specific targeting (family holidays, holidays for pensioners, extreme sports holidays etc.).
By establishing your target audience, you can tailor more relevant and valuable content that they’ll want to read and convert on. However, even if you feel you are already established in the market, you may have introduced new offers that would appeal to customers outside your current targeted audience group. Do you want to target a new group of people or expand your current target market? Do you want to keep the same target audience? Revisiting your audience parameters each year is crucial when it comes to broadening your target market.
Equally as important is defining which language markets you want to target. This will determine whether or not you need to translate your online content.
What Information do You Want to Deliver?
Once you have defined your target audience, you can start generating ideas for what information you want your content to carry. If your business specialises in accommodation, for example, then the most important content should include detailed information about each accommodation on offer. This would include information about price, hotel room descriptions, room sizes, amenities, hotel’s history etc.
However, when booking a holiday, most users want to know about more than just where they will be sleeping during their trip; they want information about the best places to eat, where the liveliest clubs are, what child friendly activities are available in the local area etc. Therefore, in addition to your detailed guides regarding accommodation, you should include information about each accommodation’s surrounding neighbourhood, as well as the city/area at large. This will ensure that visitors are provided with all the information they could possibly need when booking their trip.
How do You Want to Deliver Your Information?
Knowing what information you want to display is only half the battle when it comes to content; the other half is knowing how to deliver it. Traditionally, information is presented in the form of text content as it is the easiest to generate and in many-ways, the most search engine friendly. However, the value of image and video content cannot be under estimated. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words. Adding graphic elements to your website not only gives the audience a glimpse at their accommodation or destination but also adds a look of professionalism and style to your page. As useful as text content is, many internet users will be put-off by a webpage that shows nothing more than a huge block of text. Instead, by structuring your text around videos and pictures, you can provide valuable information in the most aesthetically pleasing way possible.
This said, there is no reason why your text content can’t also be made to look appealing. By using sub-headings, bullet points, internal linking and quotes, you can significantly improve the chances of your information actually being read in full. After all, the longer a visitor stays on your page, the more likely they are to use your services.
How Will You Generate Your Content?
It is vital to establish an effective method to generate your content. There are a number of ways to do this including hiring an in-house team, outsourcing to reputable content specialists such as Key Content, or encouraging user-generated content by asking users to contribute information and personal input regarding destinations, accommodations and even your role in their holidays.
Remember: Your content should be regularly updated, so it isn’t enough to simply gather all your content, publish it and hope for the best. You need to ensure new content is being published on a regular basis, so however you decide to generate your content, make sure you develop an effective publishing schedule.
These are the most important considerations that need to be made when developing travel and tourism marketing plan, and throughout this guide there will be detailed information about how to approach each question and develop an effective content strategy for the web.
Image copyright: Fotolia.comHow to Develop an Effective Content Marketing Strategy: Travel, Tourism and Hospitality