Now you’ve got the foundation for digital storytelling in place, how about some strategies to take your brand further? Exposing your product content optimally is key to growing your prospects. Yes, it’s important to look great, but it still needs to be seen, accessed and engaged with widely to make its mark on your bottom line. It needs your content working for you in a variety of marketing and sales channels on a global stage.
It started with the story of your product
You’ve invested blood, sweat and tears to get your product content looking the part – the heart, in fact, of your digital storytelling. It’s vivid, interactive and visually-captivating: an amplified feast for the eyes and any computer mouse worth its cheese.
So your content has the means to attract the attention of your target audience by taking them on a sensory journey. They’re treated to moving imagery that draws them in deeper and invites them to engage with the info that most interests them, holding quality attention for longer. It’s an unexpected virtual experience of your offerings with the power to convert interest to action far better than the dull reams of customary cliched text.
Then you deftly bring your story to a call-to-action that makes it easy for travellers to act upon their decision the moment it’s made. Now to give your golden goose some wings. Next stop: the world.
Then came the digital strategy
In one flash of magic, technology brought us the mighty hyperlink! Its clever cousin, the embed widget not far behind. Before we knew it, these complicated-looking URLs and lines of code taught us how to move entire chunks of content from one place to another, effortlessly, super fast, without a drop of sweat spilt nor trees felled in the process. These tools empower content to reach the eyes of a broader global audience with ease and speed, exactly what a digital strategy should accomplish. Are you using it? If not, why not?
Do you know how versatile the hyperlink is? It’s a supersonic choo-choo train you can attach a single car to and send bite-sized content on its way, or attach everything in one go as a comprehensive, self-contained, content package. The big difference is, a train only runs as far as there are tracks – digital goes everywhere in cyberspace, and it doesn’t stop with you. Sharing it is as easy and sending it: highlight, copy, paste, send, repeat.
Like hyperlinks, an embed code is surprisingly unpretentious and simple to use – the geek gods made it so.
Wherever you want your content to display, from website to partner site, even blogs (want your operator clients using their version of your content or your own beautifully crafted content?), then make this part of your strat. If I can make it look this good and I’m no tech genius, imagine what you can do.
We talk a lot about consistency, which has nothing to do with pancake batter, but everything to do with how your products are perceived out there in the world. You should control that – digital empowers you. Because it’s all online, its reach pretty much global, timeless across time zones, access is optimal, around-the-clock. If you translate it into different languages, it reaches even more souls. More eyes on and more traffic to your content bring more interest in your product, and better global sales prospects. And the content representing your product was yours all along, firmly under your control and managed to reflect your brand accurately.
Along came social media strategy
In an age when social media (SM) has become child’s play, none of us has any excuse for not diving headlong into that resource.
I call it a resource because it comes ready-made with multiple audiences spanning age groups from Millennials to Baby Boomers and all Gen Xs, Ys and Zs #FOMO
This is after all where travel inspiration is most sought, destinations are researched and peer reviews are shared. You want to be present and visible in that space – a SM strategy can take your content into the communities influencing each other’s travel decisions.
Hyperlinks shared in Twitter and Facebook posts pull through the main image(s) attached to that piece of content for a show-n-tell product promotion. Tag trade partners, make them part of your story to foster credibility among your audience.
We sometimes post pretty pics from an image library on our Instagram account and add a live link to the same iBrochure in the bio section for viewers to click and consume. Thinking of running a direct-to-consumer campaign? WhatsApp or email a link to your contact list with a simple, succinct message. It’s as easy for recipients to share your link with friends and family, being social and caring – like talons reaching out, touching here and there, spreading further and further like a good virus.👾
Worst case scenario is one or two people get annoyed by the contact (like we all do after the umpteenth marketing cold call) but best case scenario is our focus.
People who are interested in your product content will appreciate the easy access, any time of day at their leisure.
Someone always knows someone who’s planning a trip and if your content is easy to share, that’s a nice nudge towards a prospective sale. It ultimately drives traffic to your content with permission, if you like, and you can participate in conversations generated around your content.
Taking a slightly different view, it’s valuable to keep your brand closely tied with your SM activity. Access to your SM platforms from your content achieves this very simply with your accounts linked to your iBrochure. First-time viewers of your iBrochure can peruse your content, then check out how you interact with fans, friends and followers, because that tells them a lot about who you are and the service you offer. The last salvo is the fact that with a SM strat, you’re exposing your products globally, 24/7, which is priceless.
Mobile strategy enters the fray
If it’s not mobile-responsive, forget about it! The need for a mobile strategy is directly proportional to the modern consumer’s propensity to live life on their mobile devices.
Content that looks weird or is unpleasant to consume on a smart/iPhone, is unlikely to gain traction much longer.
As great UX (user experience) design grows in demand, consumers will assume a brand isn’t very tech savvy (or considerate of them) if its content bleeds off-screen.
It’s got to be easy to use, navigate and interact with. Because they’re most likely to start their research on their phones in transit en route somewhere, or on a break.
Following on from SM strategy, consider how frequently people access Facebook while they’re playing on their phones – these are opportunities for your content to earn views and engagement.
You want your content operating in that space. Exposure made-for-mobile with access anywhere, anytime, in as many languages as you’ve translated your content. It becomes quite personal to your target audience, communicating with them directly, on purpose.
In the case of operators building digital itineraries, their outputs are already mobile-friendly; so it doesn’t serve them to use supplier content that doesn’t fit the format.
iBrochure content not only looks great in itineraries, it also offers mobile phone users convenient access on-the-go.
Collaborations bring up the rear
Speaking of serving trade partners with mobile-friendly content for itineraries, nothing says exposure like making it easy for operators, DMCs and agents to use your content for their own campaigns. Easy access to your digital content boosts their own prospects as it helps them sell an experience, and in the process re-market and sell your products. The wily widget works well here too – they can use your widget to display your content together with their itineraries and digital catalogues on their websites.
Did I just say 1 piece of content does double, nay, triple the work at no extra cost to you? There’s more.
We call it branding: re- and co-branding; or simply put, your trade partner’s logo either instead of or combined with yours on your iBrochure for double impact.
And so it is exposed to the world, entering channels you might not otherwise access.
It’s the difference between doing all your marketing solo and doing it jointly with multiple partners.
You score even more exposure, simply because you’ve developed a collaboration strategy of mutual benefit to trade partners to use your content in their presentations.
And so the story ends, just before it begins again on the digital content merry-go-round. Better access to your storytelling content and increased exposure in multiple sales/marketing channels can’t help but translate into better business prospects. With beautiful, inspiring content strapped to the magical coat tails of an iBrochure, you’ll experience first-hand what it means to unlock the power of your content. And sell happily ever after..