Whether it is blogs, videos, or your social media output, all travel businesses need to be putting careful thought into the content that they are creating.
Content marketing sounds simple on the face of it. By creating high-quality content that your audience loves, you will attract them to your brand, and create trust. This will build a long-term, mutually beneficial relationships that can be very valuable.
The main challenge with this type of marketing is that there are a million distractions. There’s only so much time in the day, and this type of marketing can quickly get forgotten under a pile of other commitments.
This is why it’s so important to be tightly focussed on creating the content that will actually work for you and to make sure that you are always working strategically.
When done right, content marketing can be a hugely powerful strand of your marketing – done badly it can be a colossal waste of time.
Here’s some advice to help you improve your content:
Know your customers
We’ve said this many times, but you can’t proceed with any marketing activity if you don’t know who your customers are.
Create your customer personas and describe them in as many details as possible – you want to know them like you know your closest friends and family.
This process will ensure that your marketing activities and efforts are going in the right direction and the audience who you actually want to reach is the one that is seeing you and hearing from you.
It will focus you in on serving their specific needs. Your business will thank you in future for investing time to create your customer personas.
Think about the sales funnel
Which part of your sales funnel is creating a bottleneck? Is it the awareness, engagement, consideration or purchase phases?
Do people know you exist? Are they are interacting with you, and what is stopping them from pulling the trigger and spending money with you?
Your content is there to help guide your customers through their buying journey. Create content that is designed to help you bolster the parts that are thin.
Know what you want to achieve. The content you’re publishing should be working towards getting closer to your goals.
Note that content alone won’t achieve them, but teamed up with other channels and efforts together, your content plays an important role in helping you to get there.
Create a content calendar
Your content calendar can be as complicated or as simple as you like. What’s important is to plan it right.
Personally, I prefer to keep the calendar simple so we can focus all our energy on the planning.
Putting that aside for now, what you need is to divide a calendar year into quarters and mark every important date or period of time – like the start and the end of each phase of the season, your internal business activity (like the preparations for the new season), upgrades of your services (if planned), any reconstructions (if planned).
Write down all of the important events related to your customers and your location – holidays, concerts, cultural events, anything relevant to your customers and your business.
This will help you to gain an overview, and plan out themes for your content. You will also be more aware of how active you should be with the content (for example, the focus of your output will change during the peak season).
Now you have a starting point that you will refer to and alter as you go through the next steps.
By the end, you should have the final version of the content calendar that is aligned with your content strategy.
Don’t get too relaxed and rely on the fact that you have planned the entire year precisely though. This will be an evolving document. You should always check the content calendar. At the end of each quarter, if necessary, revise it to stay on the right track.
To help you save some time with this step, we have created a simple but efficient content calendar. We are sharing it with you, and you can easily share with other team members and modify if needed. We are using that calendar template as well, so we hope you will find it useful. To create your own copy, just click the link below, no need for emails:
Define Cluster Topics
This will help you stay focused, and prevent you from spreading yourself too thin. Cluster topics are broad topics that you cover into more details.
Usually, you’ll have 3-5 cluster topics, each of them will have at least 3 more specific subtopics.
The content you create will address them in greater depth.
Perform the Content Gap Analysis
Before you jump in and start listing the pieces of content that you need, check what you already have and whether it is serving your audience as it should be.
This process is best achieved with what’s called a Content Gap Analysis. Once you’ve completed the analysis, you will have a clear picture of what content you should create, and what topics you should cover.
To learn more about the content gap analysis and how to perform it, check out our article Content Gap Analysis.
Content Creation Batching and Repurposing
When creating content, always plan to create in batches, and have the content created at least a month ahead, to avoid any last-minute issues.
If possible, try to have as much of the content ready as possible, early in the first quarter.
Of course, some types of content need to be created in real-time, and there will always be some situations where you have to be reactive. But aim to have a proactive, prepared approach. In general, you can create this in advance.
That way you can also have time to revise and ensure it’s high-quality, on-brand content, aligned with your strategy and plan. You can also promote it properly.
Don’t forget that every piece of content you create can be repurposed in at least one more way, if not more.
For example, you can repurpose one blog into one or more email campaigns and one or more social media posts.
You can have one photo-shooting session and create photos that will cover you for the majority of the year. Use them across your social media, brochures, websites, guides and marketing materials.
Using all of your content in this way will not only save you the time and resources, but it will also help you to stay consistent across all of your channels.
Consistency is the key
Being consistent in content marketing is non-negotiable. Every piece of content must respect your brand guidelines.
Being consistent with the way your content looks and feels, is how you build brand familiarity and help your audience to recognise you before they even read your name or see your logo.
It’s also important to be consistent about how frequently you publish. Whether you decide to publish once per day, week, or month, try to stick with a schedule that is realistic and achievable.
We hope this will help you to step up your content planning and execution. Let us know in the comments if there is anything specific you struggle with that we haven’t covered and we will get back to you.
Finally, don’t forget that you can always schedule a free 30-min consultation call with us to see how we can help you more.
Stay safe and stay healthy,
Until next time,