Travel is arguably the most wonderful and challenging commodity to market. Everyone in the world loves and dreams about travel; so, easy job, right?
Try the shoe on the other foot: travellers are inundated with content and more information than they can process… while a growing number of folks out there believe they can make their own travel arrangements, with their Internet connections and willing credit cards.
Marketing to them all has to appeal to their wanderlust, their need for instant gratification and convenience.
The challenge for the trade
One thing we don’t need is archaic thinking and methods used by some travel professionals who still believe it’s them versus the world. We’re in this together as trade partners and service providers with the travelling public.
So, you’ve got these fabulous products to sell and here’s the challenge: how do you go from developing awesome tours to becoming first or preferred choice of travel brand? Content is the simple answer.
The road towards tourism marketing success starts with a quest to produce, present and promote the right content. As it turns out, the end-user is a glutton for good content.
Is your marketing content built around the traveller? Produce the experience, then produce relevant content that showcases it and touches the traveller on an emotional level. Your content has to be relatable and authentic to make a solid connection between your product and the prospective client. Tell the story the traveller wants to live!
The discourse is about moving your audience, inspiring them, seducing them, and of course, educating them.
Your marketing assets need more than a pretty face; it also needs substance. So, be mindful of the content you source – it needs to be a vivid, sensory seduction. Your preferred accommodation, restaurant and activity suppliers are best placed to give it provide the content that will enable you to showcase the experience you wish to sell. Communicate and collaborate with them – get them on board your mission to win over your target marketing with content that inspires the sale.
Feed the need for content with:
- 360° virtual tours
- high definition, full-screen imagery
- accommodation, destination and activity videos
- concise, descriptive text in the client’s own language
Visual imagery is the fabric that clothes the product you wish to sell, that your client wishes to purchase. So, dress it well.
There are still people that love paper, but the tide is turning strongly towards digital and mobile. Your web presence must also present a user-friendly experience. In the 21st century, you simply cannot be a travel company and have no website!
Your brand lives here; and travellers will judge a book by its cover, starting with how well it reads on mobile. Judge your website and its competency from the traveller’s perspective and invest in an objective review of your site by a reputable web designer.
People are keen to consume travel content in innovative, novel ways. Your potential client wants to know what they’ll be seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting and learning. And with virtual tours already part of our content reality, travel previews just got more vivid. Video is golden. High resolution photographic imagery appeases the aesthetic requirements of a traveller researching their next big trip.
How do you deliver your content? Is it user-friendly and efficient at servicing re-sellers and end-users?
Your client wants to access the content and destination information they need quickly, easily, anywhere, at any time. They have special interests and they’re price conscious. Many of them prefer to book immediately and directly as soon as they find an offering that matches their bucket list experience – it must have a secure, easily navigable payment facility and provide immediate booking confirmation.
A beautiful digital presentation accessed by clicking on a link on any device, says about a brand: count on us to keep pace with changes in the travel trade. Trust us not to spam you with overloaded emails and reams of paper with grainy, outdated images. We won’t leave you guessing, waste your time and force you to research destinations yourself. Indeed, we’re invested in covering all the bases and servicing all your needs. We even have a handy itinerary app to give you easy access to all your essential travel info, maps and documentation.
That’s an experience that’s both easy to buy and easy to sell.
The way to a traveller’s heart is through content – it feeds the traveller’s imagination. Distribution is its final push into and through the marketing funnel. Here’s where digital content really shines, considering that everyone’s got a smartphone and they’re very busy on them. FOMO has the world in a tight grip on social media and travellers are watching closely.
Which social sharing sites do your target markets frequent? Make sure your content is visible on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, and that it’s mobile-responsive. Manage your own account and post links to your digital assets for the world to view, follow and share.
Social Media is one of the most successful ways to market your travel services, with more than 50% of direct bookings coming from social media accounts.
Link your marketing content to staff email signatures and add it to the footers of your regular, outgoing communications.
Digital collateral can take your brand so far, you’ll wonder how you managed distribution in the past. There are apps and software integrations within the travel marketing space that can make your life so much easier, with tech like real-time messaging featured on the Umapped platform.
The Law of Attraction states that what we put out into the Universe comes back to us. Produce, present and promote content you’re passionate about and proud to share with the world – your content will bring the world to you.