By Karen Osman, Managing Director, Travel Ink
While its technical definition is more opinion and experience content based, blogging is an online phenomenon that has evolved into something much bigger. It is now a key tool incorporated into brand marketing strategies and a means by which to define you as an industry expert and thought leader. For purposes of this article, let’s simply define it as the distribution of content, online.
The experiential nature of travel is ideal for sharing, and tourists are keen to read more than just a line or two about the kind of experiences that await at holiday destinations. 75% of travel planning happens on a desktop at home – you have the attention of your audience, so use it wisely. With a focus on showcasing expertise or generating PR content, brands can choose to create blog content in-house or through professional media bloggers, but what is probably one of the most important considerations when it comes to blogging is your choice of topic – this is where content planning is crucial.
Here are five types of blog posts that are ideal for the travel and tourism industry.
1. Tell a story
Hospitality is all about making guests feel welcome. Every traveller wants to feel special, as though they’re embarking on a journey of a lifetime, no matter how small it may be. Blog posts that showcase story-telling techniques and human interactions are always well-read, allowing readers to develop a relationship with the brand. Consider incorporating imagery and videos into your posts – 94% more user views are attracted by content that incorporates imagery and according to the Content Marketing Institute, video was the most popular content marketing tactic in 2014.
2. Be informative
Today’s travellers are keen to learn as much about experiences as possible. Focus on topics relevant to your audience and always keep them at the forefront of your content selection. How will the reader benefit from this information? This means more than just regurgitating marketing speak, but involves adapting content to engage the reader by providing a unique, viewpoint on existing information. 90% of consumers find custom content useful, while 78% believe companies behind content are interested in building good relationships.
3. Create lists
When it comes to travel, people cannot help but resort to lists. Whether it’s essential items to carry on a backpacking holiday, or hidden must-see spots in the city, lists are a traveller’s best friend. It helps them stay organised, plan for a better experience and put their minds at ease, knowing they’ve trusted an expert. Ideal for the fast-paced nature of today’s world, lists make for quick, digestible pieces of content that always emerge as reader favourites.
4. Behind the scenes
Provide exclusive insights into what really happens on a travel or hospitality experience. This allows you to draw in your reader, enticing them with the ‘real’ story as opposed to the normal advertising campaigns they usually see. However, it’s necessary you manage such content carefully and tastefully, not giving away too much.
People like people and first person takes on industry experts are always of interest, along with success stories and case studies. From travel agents to banquet managers, every expert has something unique to share. Pick and choose the ones you think will appeal to your audience most.
By planning ahead and focusing on a well-researched content plan, your brand reinforces its expertise and demonstrates a keen interest in its audience, ensuring information shared is always fresh, interesting and enjoyable.
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.