By Karen Osman, Managing Director, Travel Ink
In 2014, 30 million people looked for travel-related information on their mobiles . Armed with this kind of knowledge, the majority of hotels have already established an active social media presence and blogging should be a key part of that strategy, especially for an industry such as travel and tourism industry which lends itself exceptionally well to this type of content. The experiential nature of travel is ideal for sharing, and platforms such as TripAdvisor, Airbnb, Gogobot and so on, are a testament to the manner in which travellers effortlessly create free content.
Travellers are keen to read more than just a line or two about the kind of experiences that await them – they want to be as well-informed as possible. While it’s beneficial to have content on third-party sites, building your own audience through channels such as blogs is an effective way to ensure repeat visits to your brand website.
Here are a few more reasons why blogging can make all the difference to your brand: 1. Improves the SEO
By creating engaging reading material and maximising the use of industry keywords, video content, and incorporating venue and experience imagery in your blog posts (content with relevant imagery has 94% more views than content without  ), you not only enhance the search experience for your prospective guests, but also allow search engines like Google to find you, index your posts and take you higher up their hotel listings. 2. Allows you to share content
By creating your own appealing content, you can share the same across the social channels you manage, reaching an even wider market. Through user generated likes, shares and comments, your audience will begin to trust and recognise your brand as an industry leader, making your blog or website a popular choice with the audience. 3. It creates trust
By planning ahead and preparing a content plan that covers key topics relevant to the industry and its audience, you can ensure information shared is always relevant, interesting and enjoyable. Staying in touch with your audience and their preferences allows your brand to develop a personality that is trust-worthy and on the pulse of the market. 4. It lets you indulge in the art of storytelling.
People enjoy a different perspective, especially one that makes them feel genuinely connected. Telling your audience about events, programmes and features in a unique way not only piques interest, but also allows your brand to stand out from the competition. Several hotels also have loyalty programs and through such experiential blog posts, previous and potential guests are encouraged to visit the website time and again. The travel and tourism industry is one of the biggest in the world, and the Professional Travel Bloggers Association recorded over 65 million visitors in the last year alone. Blogging is steadily growing and the industry can only benefit from incorporating such a content strategy into its communication efforts.
You can contact me with any questions via Twitter (https://twitter.com/KarenTravelInk
) and I will be at ATM 2016 to provide further advice on blogging, content planning and strategy.
 MDG Advertising