Instagram has changed how we experience travel. Gone are the days of visiting agencies and leafing through holiday brochures to get inspiration on where to go on your next trip. People now search for ideas online. In fact, inspiration strikes them without them even actively seeking it. As many as 86% of people decide to visit a destination after seeing images on social media. Travelers want you to inspire them, and with a great content marketing strategy for your travel company, you can do so with little effort. Why Content Marketing Is Important for Travel Companies If you want to improve your company’s visibility in the SERPs and score more leads, you should focus on creating a solid content marketing strategy. Travel is all about exploration, inspiration, and authenticity, which is why paid advertising doesn’t really work anymore. A paid ad doesn’t have that charm. To spark curiosity and turn it into profit, you need to provide the audience with interesting posts. What’s more, by building a careful content marketing strategy, you’re working on a lasting solution that will bring you increasing amounts of traffic over time. That’s another thing paid advertising can’t give you. The best thing is that there are so many opportunities for quality content in the industry that you’ll never run out of ideas (we’ll discuss these later on in the article). The more you post, the more people will consume and share, ultimately resulting in your lead generation and conversion rates skyrocketing. What to Do Before You Build Your Content Marketing Strategy Before you start building your strategy, you need to gather some intelligence and understand what and who you need to cater to. Here’s how to lay the necessary groundwork. Define Your Brand A study by global PR firm Cohn & Wolfe has found that as many as 88% of consumers are willing to reward a brand for its authenticity by purchasing, recommending, investing, etc. The same study has shown that 78% of consumers don’t think brands are open and honest. As you can see, the importance of your brand image is huge, and it can impact whether customers will engage with you. If you want to start building your brand identity, you need to answer the following questions: What makes you unique? How do you want your audience to perceive you, e.g., funny, hip, sophisticated, creative, etc.? How do you want to make your customers feel? Do you have an interesting origin story? Know Your Audience Your brand identity helps you define the persona you want to present your messages to the public. However, you can’t just pick any random “character” — you need to think about who you want to cater to. Your web, social media, and email analytics can give you insight into who your audience is, what age group they belong to, what their income levels are, etc. Use the demographic data and think about what topics they research, what format they prefer, and what they want from you in general. Knowing your audience is key to making the right decisions in your content strategy. Without that insight, you could completely miss the tone and themes, and make your efforts futile. Know Your Goals Another important factor that will influence your content strategy is what you want to achieve with it — your goals. Of course, you want to increase your traffic, but there’s more to it than that. Ideally, you want to build lasting rapport with your audience and establish yourself as a brand they can trust. It’s great if you manage to convert many customers, but it’s much better if you work out a long-lasting way to keep them engaged with your brand, recommend you to their friends, and turn to your content for advice and guidance. Furthermore, you may want to achieve a more specific goal, such as hitting a revenue target. Establish Your KPIs Once you know what your goals are, you need to know how to measure your success in attaining them. Think about the key performance indicators you want to follow over time to check your progress. Whether you’re using Google Analytics or another tool, they will provide you with clear quantitative proof of whether the content strategy is fruitful. You can also gain valuable insight into which type of content gets the most traffic, likes, or shares, what your top channels are, whether you’re achieving more conversions than before, etc. The point is, your content marketing efforts should be based on measurable data. A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Solid Content Marketing Strategy Once you have laid the groundwork, established your brand, and found out what your target audience wants, devising a sound strategy should not be difficult. Here’s everything you need to do. Decide on the Type of Content You’ll Post First, you need to decide on the format of your posts. It’s best not to stick to one type of content only, especially in the beginning. As time goes by, you’ll see which format garners the most traffic. Blog posts are a staple of any sound marketing strategy, and starting a blog is a great idea. The posts need to be informative and provide value to your audience. Your goal should be to investigate what people search for in the context of your brand and match their intent. Apart from blog posts, videos, podcasts, pictures, and other visual content are a must. As a travel company, you shouldn’t have any problems finding inspiration for these, such as beautiful destination visuals. Bear in mind that 74% of marketers agree video is more effective than static images. Create a Content Calendar No matter whether you decide to create your content yourself or you hire someone else to do it, you shouldn’t post randomly. There should be a method so that your audience can get to know when to expect fresh posts. Moreover, you can decide on the ideal time for posting by looking into when your target audience is the most active on various channels. A calendar will help you keep your content marketing efforts organized. It will also allow you to review your strategy and revise it accordingly after you check your KPIs. Make Sure You Post Great Content Your content needs to fulfill two requirements — it should appeal to your audience and the search engine. Of course, the two factors are intertwined, and one is not complete without the other. SEO for travel companies includes all the elements that other SEO strategies involve — keyword research, technical SEO, link building, etc. Try to incorporate these elements into your content so that it achieves high rankings in SERPs. On the other hand, don’t neglect the quality and focus only on appeasing the crawlers. High rankings don’t mean much if your visitors don’t find your posts satisfactory. As a travel company, make use of your location and utilize as many local keywords as possible. Choose Your Distribution Channels Distribution is arguably the most important part of the process. You should strive to cover as many platforms as possible. Your primary channels should be: Your website and blog Your social media accounts Email newsletters Of course, these are your primary, i.e., owned channels, but you should also try to get posted in earned media. In other words, ask customers, influencers, and other people in the industry to share your content. You may do the same for them. The type of content you share will differ from channel to channel. It makes no sense to post a 3,000-word blog piece on Instagram, for example. Make Use of UGC As a travel company, you can tap into one of the best content strategies today — utilizing user-generated content. It’s one thing to see perfectly edited videos promoting a hotel experience, destination, or anything else travel-related. However, when the audience sees customer reviews, real images and videos, and genuine reactions, they really believe them. Studies show that 92% of consumers trust other people’s reviews, even when they don’t know them. People love to post holiday photos and videos from their travels, so use that to your advantage and let them promote you. Also, don’t be afraid to ask your happy customers to leave reviews. According to BrightLocal, almost 70% of them will do it. Review Results Regularly and Revise Your Strategy One great thing about having a solid content strategy is that data leads the way. With a data-driven approach, you will always know what’s working and which part needs improvement. Your KPIs and general analytics will allow you to see which type of content works, which channel gets you the most traffic, which posts are most likely to get shared, etc. This way, you’ll know exactly what changes you need to make each month. Ultimately, you’ll be able to fine-tune elements of your strategy to achieve even the most specific goals. Travel Content Ideas User-generated content may be the most convenient idea since you can get it for free and with little effort. However, when it comes to other types of content, your possibilities as a travel company are endless. Here are some ideas. Travel Guides The most obvious choice for travel content are comprehensive travel guides. People will appreciate advice and tips from you, and quality guides may establish you as an informational authority for your niche. You can use your knowledge to offer specific bits of information users can’t find elsewhere. You can focus on various different aspects of the travel experience. Destination-Specific Content Again, in travel industry marketing, it’s all about utilizing your location for promotional purposes. You can offer advice and information from a local’s perspective. You may offer ideas on what to do at the destination. Another idea is to write about unique customs, places, and people of the area. Bonus tip: People love fun facts. You can either write a blog post with fun facts about the place or post a fact by fact along with pictures on social media. Top (Number) Lists Some of the most popular travel articles are destination-related listicles. So you can write about the top 10 beaches, top 20 local dishes to try, top 6 murals in the city, etc. You may also use Instagram multiple-image posts to present these listicles. Lots of Photos There is one thing you will never have enough of — photos. You may post both staged and spontaneous ones, and do so regularly. You can post beautiful destination landscapes, cozy accommodation photos, behind-the-scenes with your team, and anything else that you can think of. Photos including happy customers and exciting events are also a great idea to get the audience excited. Insta Stories Instagram and Facebook Stories are short and sweet. Consumers love them because they are easy to digest. As many as 58% of consumers say they became more interested in a brand after seeing it in Stories. Here, you can post anything from pictures and short videos to memes. Reach Out to Influencers Travel influencers are extremely popular these days, and you can reach out to and partner with them. They could drive a lot of traffic to your social media and website, and they can do so in many ways. For example, you can get them to try some of your products and services and document their experiences on their social media account. You may also interview them for a podcast or have them interview you. Destination-Specific News You may also provide timely news for all travelers and tourists in your area. For example, you may write about upcoming events, local food deals, transportation disruptions, etc. In other words, you may cover anything that a traveler can find interesting or useful. A Great Content Marketing Strategy Goes a Long Way As you can see, it’s not that difficult to make an effective content marketing strategy when you’re in the travel industry. The consumption of digital travel content is on the rise, and there is a lot of space to get creative. FAQs What is travel content? Travel content includes any content related to travel, including blog posts, travel guides, destination photos and videos, educational and informative articles, and more. Its purpose is to attract and retain users’ attention, provide useful and entertaining material, and drive traffic for the company. How do I create travel content? There are many options for creating travel content. You can write your own articles, take pictures, create podcasts, and more. Another option is to hire a professional to create content for you, either based on your plan or on theirs. You can also utilize user-generated content, which is free and highly beneficial. How do I promote my travel company? To promote your travel company, you first need to research who your audience is and what they want. You can do that using various analytics tools. Check what search queries are trending for your niche and use popular keywords to entice your target audience. Provide them with quality content that answers their travel-related questions and desires. How do I use social media to promote my travel agency? Be present on a variety of social media, most notably Facebook and Instagram. Post a lot of quality and entertaining destination-related content that will attract a lot of followers. Be consistent with your posts and build a solid brand identity, so that your audience perceives you as a trustworthy agency.