The winning formula for travel marketing is about combining the right content to tell your brand story and put travellers in the picture.
Travellers want to see what they will be able to experience. So, you start by producing the experience and producing the content that sells it. Then you broadcast your story into the spaces where they play, buy and dream.
Assembling your product story requires content elements that hit the emo spot, including:
Be your own photographer if you’ve got the skill, but it’s well worth investing in a professional to capture your product beautifully, factoring in light, colour and composition. High resolution rendering means the difference between fuzzy images that get overlooked and clarity that catches the eye.
- Video media
Travel video is marketing gold. Shimmering, moving images attract the human eye like no other. With video in your marketing toolkit, you can inject other dimensions into the story you’re telling. With sound and movement, it has the power to mesmerise, energise and inspire in ways a still picture cannot do on its own.
62% of travelers want to watch videos of tours, sightseeing and cruises (as well as hotel rooms and properties).
- 360˚ images and tours
Invite prospective clients on a virtual tour of your location that puts them right on that lodge verandah or up in the sky surveying stunning panoramas below. Google Street View technology now enables travellers searching your brand online to access your property and go right inside, virtually.
- Text descriptions
A succinct, accurate description of your offering must complement the imagery you use to tell your brand story. Do you mean to project a vibey, busy, hip and happening sort of experience? Or is it a grander, more elegant, sumptuous and high-brow sort? You can’t go wrong with a copywriter to get your content copy right.
- Translated content
As a reflection of how well you know your target customers, you want to ensure that your marketing content is accessible to them all, in deference to their preferred languages. English has been getting away with being the travel trade’s lingua franca but imagine the return on goodwill when a traveller encounters a brand that cares enough to address them in their own language.
Finally, and crucially, if your marketing assets can’t be accessed, consumed and distributed digitally, your online campaigns will falter.
Marketing the experience
The days of presenting a potential client with paper brochures that you hope don’t end up in the bin and expecting your salesman’s gift of the gab to do the rest, have gone the way of the dinosaur.
The way you present your property, activity, restaurant or attraction must inspire visually to inspire confidence, first of all. Secondly, people feel reassured when they know they’re engaging with an innovative, tech savvy brand – it makes them feel that they’re being serviced by professionals on top of their game.
With consumer statistics pointing digital as the way forward, your website plays an increasingly crucial role in the way you present your content to the world. Is your website mobile friendly? Well, hopefully you have a website.
Produce for mobile. Present mobile-friendly. Or expect the sound of crickets…
More than 148.3 million people use the Internet to make reservations for their accommodations, tours and activities
Intelligent web design should really take your content further. Consider the benefits in the way it empowers your content:
- Good quality design will extend visual consistency across the various platforms that speak to your identity. Don’t want to look wishy-washy? Then try not to have a Facebook page that looks completely different to your website.
- SEO and User Experience (UX) considerations can direct the right kind of traffic to your site, attracting more visitors who stay on-site for longer. These are very specific skills that drill deeply into the science and psychology of online consumption. So don’t try winging this.
- Clever placement of appropriate clickable buttons and researched Calls to Action can generate the right kind of engagement with your content. Do some research into the colours of buttons on websites – best practices for marketing are regularly updated, so brush up on the latest to stay up to date.
Rocking the experience
What you want to achieve here is ubiquity: to be visible everywhere, all the time, on any device. Digital is your best route. The right digital tools can take you there – from widgets to URLs to APIs. Leverage the social media space and launch your messaging effectively around the world.
In the travel game, they say content is king. In the kingdom of travel content, bland, generic imagery is an ugly old frog, and technology is the fair princess that smooches the frog. If like me, you have an aversion to warts and a desire to hop right across the globe, then get busy marketing with some techno magic: produce, present and promote the kind of content that rocks and rules.