If You’re Failing to Engage Customers, Try This Content Strategy

Frida Kops   ● 5 min read
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I watched a video interview this morning hosted by PhocusWire with Lola Åkerström, a travel writer, photographer and founder of Geotraveler Media. Her company specialise in bringing travel stories to life through visual storytelling, multimedia and digital publishing.

Åkerström identified 2 changes happening right now in terms of content marketing strategies for travel companies.

1️. We are moving away from the sleek, perfect, cotton candy images on Instagram. Travellers are seeking out travel companies that form a real connection with them through the use of imagery and storytelling.  

2️. Emerging from the Black Lives Matter movement, there is an increase in diverse content that focuses on inclusion and diversity.

For tour operator businesses, this means by becoming more real, transparent, inclusive and vulnerable in your content, you will be rewarded with loyalty.

“Travel brands need to realise that being very transparent and vulnerable is what builds loyalty because people don’t connect to companies, they connect to people and emotion.”

How tour operators can be more transparent, vulnerable and real:

In Åkerström’s opinion, a travel company doing this successfully is Intrepid Travel. Here’s why:

  • They were honest in their need to maintain cashflow by immediately explaining to their customers why they were issuing credit vouchers instead of refunds. 
  • They dedicated their social media platforms to sharing stories of human connection throughout covid-19. For example, stories of tour guides they had met. These posts had some of the highest engagement rates they had ever received.
  • They have been vocal in explaining the reasons why they have pivoted their business to local tourism. 

I understand that showing vulnerability or trying to establish loyalty through content might be low on your list of priorities right now. 

So here is one simple strategy to build connections…

Go back to your why. 

Why did you start your tour operator business?

If you begin openly communicating what your purpose is and what you want your customer to experience or feel by taking one of your tours, then you’ll create emotional bonds with your target customers.

“Being honest, open and human will always serve you.”

How tour operators can attract more inclusive and diverse visitors:

Representation is key, according to Åkerström.

People identify with images of people who look like them. If you show a diverse range of travellers enjoying your tour or experience, people resonate with that. They will think, “that’s a place where someone who looks like me is accepted.”

Go beyond words, and show people.

Do you feel your tour operator business has been as real, diverse and transparent with your target customers as it could be?

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Here’s last week’s…

There’s been a shift in content marketing strategies for travel companies recently as we follow what travellers want and need. Creating inclusive and diverse content is at the heart of this which I dive into below. 

Let’s get started.

Generate more leads with a sales funnel for travel

Here's this week's roundup:

20 Countries on the WTTC Safe Travels Stamp List

Source: Travel Pulse

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) launched its “Safe Travels” stamp of approval for global safety and hygiene in May, which a long list of destinations have worked hard to achieve. This article explains what specific actions the following destinations have taken to welcome back tourists: Aruba, Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Croatia, Ecuador, Egypt, Grenada, Indonesia, Jamaica, Jordan, Mauritius, Mexico, Panama, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Turkey, and Ukraine.

COVID vaccine

Thailand Reopening Phuket for Tourism Oct 1– Visitors Must Stay 30 Days

Thailand is implementing an innovative strategy to kickstart tourism again. Flights into the country will land directly in Phuket with foreign visitors undergoing a mandatory 14 day quarantine at their chosen hotel and agreeing to take PCR tests. 

If this pilot program proves successful, then it could be rolled out to the rest of the country.  

What’s your thoughts on this? Innovative or a recipe for disaster?

Social Cycles Supports Local Projects Through Group Cycling Trips

I wanted to highlight this tour operator for having responsible travel at the core of their business. Their cycle tours not only give customers the opportunity to speak with local communities about their culture and local issues, but they ask for a minimum donation of $140 USD which goes directly to the non-profit organisation of the collective tour groups’ choice. 

As a result, this raises awareness for the charities and creates a new, much needed revenue stream for them. 

Could your tour operator business take a leaf out of Social Cycle’s book and incorporate an initiative like this?

Here are my top-tip articles:

Making Your Social Media Content Accessible To The Visually Impaired

This article is written by Ted Tahquechi, founder of Blind Travels. He is legally blind and has a passion for travel. 

Tahquechi raises the point that you may be isolating an entire segment of traveller by failing to add alt text and image descriptions to your social media images. He provides examples to demonstrate what the difference is between an alt text and image description, and also gives step-by-step guidance on how you can add them on Facebook and Twitter. 

By making your visual content more inclusive, you’ll also boost your search engine visibility and ranking

Does your tour operator business add alt text and image descriptions to its social posts?

5 Tips From CMI’s Most Popular Visual Content Articles

The first tip and most viral visual article that the Content Marketing Institute recently published interestingly is about the importance of creating inclusive content by adding alt text and image descriptions as mentioned above. 

The third tip relates to gifographics as a way to convey information in an engaging way. Not sure what a gifographic is? Head to the full article to read more.

How to Make All of Your Content Engaging (Even If It Isn’t!)

If you’re feeling stuck right now on how to capture your target customer’s attention, then this article provides a refresh on ways to make your content more exciting for your readers. Think quality over quantity if you’re struggling to write a lengthy blog article or social post.

A statistic I found interesting:

Whilst 25% of marketers are investing in promotional content marketing, only 20% are taking the time to invest in branded storytelling. (HubSpot)

A question for you:

What type of content does your tour operator business get the most engagement from?

Share your thoughts and comments on our Facebook and Linkedin page or drop me an email at [email protected] – I’d love to hear from you.

Did you enjoy reading the above?

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