by Benjamin Potter | Creative Director, CLICKON
Why is content marketing so important to all of you out there looking to promote your destination on the global stage? It’s because it creates and nurtures relationships with the most important people in your working lives – your consumers.
While content marketing is key across all markets, it is perhaps even more important for the travel industry.
Instead of talking at consumers, what if you could speak with them using inspiring content that deposits value to their lives? By learning about what your consumers want and in what context they want it, you will become a leader in delivering useful.
1) Understand your audience like you know your wife or husband.
In 1963, David Ogilvy wrote “Confessions Of An Advertising Man” which has become my Bible when preaching content marketing and advertising to clients and fellow industry professionals. Ogilvy was a master of research, perhaps better than any other ad man in history. In “Confessions…” he helps both advertising men and women, as well as clients, understand that the most important people in their busy lives is, you guessed it, the consumer. By understanding what the consumer wants, it becomes easy to deliver content to them that will enhance their day, not make them annoyed.
So, what does this have to do with travel? Travelers, perhaps more than anyone, want answers to their questions. What’s the best way to tour the city? Can I survive on $50 a day? Where is the best place to grab a good steak?
Learning about your travelers’ questions is key for any content marketing success. Use the information that you gather in your research stage to drive the content you ultimately create.
2) Stop talking about yourself. No one likes people that are ego-centric.
“The world’s best beaches.”
“Our airline has satisfied more customers than any other.”
” For relaxing times, make it [your destination] time.”
If any of your content marketing has involved the above, you shouldn’t be in the marketing business. While it used to be acceptable to get caught up in your own story, modern day travelers are too smart. They smell your tactics from a mile away. Shameless self-promotion will get you nowhere in this new age of content. David Beebe, VP of Global Creative & Content at Marriott recently said, “Content marketing is like a first date. If all you do is talk about yourself, there won’t be a second date.”
It’s no coincidence that Marriott are setting best practices for destination marketing.
3) User-generated content is king.
While most agencies will advise you to keep spending money on their brilliant creative capabilities, the hard truth is that they do this simply because they want your dollars. User-generated content offers travel companies a massive opportunity to brag about their destination without doing it themselves.
According to Nielsen, “the second most trusted form of advertising is consumer opinions posted online.”
Perhaps even more important is that, “95% of travelers read travel reviews prior to booking” according to Chase Card Services.
Generation Y (that means 18-34 year olds for the dinosaurs that have found their way to this article) respond better to user-generated content than previous generations. They are also the demographic that is creating most of it. Over 97% of millennials post on social networks while travelling, sharing their experiences with friends and family.
4) This is a long-term relationship, not a one-night stand
Keep the conversation going. Content marketing isn’t a one-time thing, it’s about engaging and providing value for your consumers months and even years into the future. Take content marketers like Mr. and Mrs Smith and Marriott. They have understood the importance of this better than anyone as a means of continuing the relationship with their consumers.