How to Create Content that Converts Clicks to Cash for Your Tourism Business
This article forms part of a weekly newsletter series that’s sent directly to travel industry professionals every month.
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I cover the various routes your tourism business can take in terms of how to create content that converts this season. Going beyond just the basics, I share how you can harmonize your content marketing with your social media strategy to ensure consistency in messaging.
Let’s get started.
Here's this week's roundup:
Is Content Marketing the New SEO?
Source: Marketing Insider Group
A few years ago, SEO used to be about stuffing your copy full of keywords, often making blog articles awkward to read. Gone are those days (mostly). Whilst keywords and back-end elements such as page loading speed are core to SEO strategy, top-quality content marketing is taking over in terms of site optimization.
It’s important to understand the relationship between SEO and content marketing in order to generate copy that converts clicks to cash for your tourism business. Evaluate ‘how’ you use your keywords, more so than ‘what’ your keywords are.
The aim is to utilize your chosen keywords to produce content that shows authority within your travel niche.
What do I mean by authority?
Asserting authority through your content means showing your audience that you are an expert on the destinations you serve.
This can be done through blog articles, broadcast emails, and incorporating testimonials into your content strategy.
How can we create content that asserts this authority?
Create copy that encourages others to link back to you in their own content. The more links your content earns, the higher your site will rank in Google search results for your chosen keywords. Take this previous article as an example.
Consider producing ‘Best 10 Places to Eat/ Visit’ types of articles that will inspire travel bloggers to reference you as a useful resource within their content. Alternatively, collaborate with relevant local businesses, such as restaurants, by suggesting you reference each other as recommendations within your articles.
In a nutshell, you are what you E-A-T. Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.
But don’t stop there.
Here are a few more top tips for creating content that ranks high in Google search;
- Include clickable contact information. Ensure your contact information includes a ‘clickable’ number, and email address, to ease the UX (user experience). The more contact information you have on your site, the better.
- Make the most of ‘list’ type formats. Instead of writing in chunky long paragraphs, consider whether your message can be condensed into bullet points. Separate long sections of text with subheadings and images as well.
- Organize your content into category pages. The big search engines, such as Google will thank you for it. They prioritize easy-to-navigate websites, ranking them higher for internet users to find. Put this into practice by making sure your website has a clear menu in a similar structure to the example below from East Africa Wild; Destinations, Experiences (Tours), Resources (blog), About, Contact.
- Find your niche and leverage it. Find your competitor’s gap and fill it for your audience. What problems aren’t they addressing that your tourism business can? Tailor your content to this.
- Repurposing your content. This isn’t about merely reposting old blog articles. It’s about creating ‘evergreen’ content that just needs refreshing now and again. Evaluate any ‘Top 10 Places to Visit/ Eat’ style posts: are they still the Top 10? Keep your content current to establish your E.A.T principles.
I recently listened to a Tourpreneur podcast with marketing expert Dorene Wharton on the value of repurposing content to expand your reach as a tourism business. Listen to the full version here to get more insights into this topic.
How to Write 5-Star Worthy Tour Descriptions
Source: Marketing Profs
One aspect of a tour operator’s website that I often see overlooked is the product description of the tours or experiences you offer. If your website traffic looks healthy, you’re publishing fresh blog content and updating your site with new customer testimonials, then you may be asking yourself… Where’s the friction that’s stopping visitors from making an inquiry?
The answer: Thoughtful, robust product descriptions that convert.
This article provides useful advice on what makes for winning product descriptions. Even the most fantastic tour offering will be hard to sell if you’re unable to properly express what makes it worth experiencing.
Here are the ultimate 5 hacks for writing 5-star tour descriptions;
- Think about your core customer: Brainstorm the ways your tour fits into their lives. Frame your product descriptions from their point of view, considering your competitive edge by truly selling your unique selling point (USP) to potential customers.
- Pre-empt questions: Use your descriptions as a chance to answer your customers’ questions before they even have to ask them, and you’ll avoid delaying the time they take to choose you.
- Use an SEO keyword strategy: this helps search engines identify your product pages as relevant to your ideal customers.
- Write with intention: Avoid overused/empty phrases like “great value,” or “high quality”.
- Focus on buyers, not browsers: Use high-intent keywords that convert those searchers who are more ready-to-purchase than someone who’s merely looking for more information.
How do your tour descriptions measure up?
Engineering the Bounce-back Through Content and Technology
Source: Campaign Live
Technology plays a huge role in engaging audiences, especially within travel. This article explores how data, and technology can maximize engagement with the content you produce.
Keep tabs on post-pandemic data
Understand your ideal customer’s mindset and be prepared to pivot to new markets. Raza Akhtar developed his data management skills through our Accelerator program and he then used these skills to make cost-effective marketing decisions, pivoting to new unexplored markets.
The world of post-pandemic tourism is in a state of constant change. Mining the data available to you will help you to predict your ideal customer’s next move, enabling you to prioritize where to focus your marketing spend.
Level up your video content
“What we’ve seen in many Asian markets, is the use of short, targeted videos often focussed around a hyper-local destination” – Ho Humphrey, Managing director of Hylink China.
Could your tourism business take inspiration?
Ho, whose expertise lies in selling travel destinations such as Brand USA, NYC & Company, and Hawaiian Airlines to Asian audiences, suggests these short videos be between four and six minutes in length. They should showcase the local destination in as much detail as possible, and from the traveller’s point of view.
Even when travel is off the table, your audience wants to feel they are on a journey when consuming your content. In terms of your domestic market, this taps into a new craving for experience. To break the routine of everyday life, and discover hidden spots in their local area.
Still not sure about video content?
According to OptinMonster here are some useful statistics to know before deciding.
- Did you know 89% of video marketers say video gives them a good ROI
- 83% of video marketers say video helps them with lead generation
- 87% of video marketers say video has increased traffic to their website
- 80% of video marketers say video has directly helped increase sales
For even more video content insights re-watch episode #9 of The Get More Bookings Show here.
Ensuring your content highlights your brand’s inclusiveness will also be pivotal to engineering the travel bounce back. For example, many Americans do not speak English as their first language.
“There are 4.5 million Chinese Americans who do not speak English and who use WeChat daily. You can turn your Chinese-language travel content into a domestic asset” – Ho Humphrey
This blog article details more ways your tourism business can champion inclusivity going forward.
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How to Create a Social Media Strategy in 8 Steps
Social media and content marketing go hand-in-hand to drive traffic and convert customers to booking your tours. But, creating a social media strategy can be a daunting task to undertake.
Recent feedback from 10x Tourism’s ever-growing Facebook community group for travel industry professionals shows that our members find ‘time’ the biggest constraint when forging a social media strategy.
This article from Hootsuite serves you with the exact blueprint on how to create a social media content strategy in 8 steps with examples and free templates. Think of your social media content as the promotional gateway to your brand. Leading traffic to your website, where your engaging content copy, such as blogs and tour descriptions encourages them to the next stage of the buying process.
One key point I’d like to address is the importance of content consistency. When your social media and content marketing strategy are in sync, your brand voice becomes more authentic and authoritative within your travel niche.
Here is a brief breakdown of the 8 crucial steps to creating a social media strategy for your tourism business.
#1 Set S.M.A.R.T goals to ensure your strategy aligns with your business objectives.
- Specific: Does “increase bookings through Instagram” mean you want to drive your Instagram traffic to your booking inquiry form?
- Measurable: Instead of vanity metrics, such as followers and likes, focus on engagement, and click-through rates of posts. Use tracking links to measure the scale of clicks from your social media to your website for instance.
- Attainable: Challenge yourself, but don’t make your goals ‘unreachable’ under the circumstances.
- Relevant: How will using Instagram benefit your tourism business? Make sure you understand how your goal relates to your business overall objectives.
- Timely: A time frame ensures accountability. However, due to the uncertainty of the tourism industry right now, I recommend setting yourself milestones along the way to check-in. Making changes if the market demands so.
When setting your goals keep in mind the overarching objective you want to achieve through your social media content strategy.
Below is a list of the top 10 social media goals identified by Hootsuite research.
#2 Learn everything you can about your audience
How can you create authoritative and trustworthy social media content unless you know exactly who you’re targeting?
Mind map 3 or 4 audience personas, covering basic demographic points such as age and economic status of course. But go beyond this and deep dive into the problems and challenges they face when travelling, and how your tourism business can address these needs.
Use data from your social media analytics to help you discover who your audience is. For example, Jugnoo, an Indian rickshaw service similar to Uber used its Facebook analytics data to target its ads, resulting in a 40% lower cost per referral.
#3 Know Your Competition
Learn from your competitors’ strengths and mistakes on social media. What are they doing that you can do better and take to the next level? What gaps are they leaving in their content that you could fill?
Perhaps they’re skilled at showcasing beautiful travel pictures but missing the story element in the copy that drives engagement.
Or maybe they’re driving traction through promoting guest testimonial posts, in which case could you implement this also?
#4 Conduct a Social Media Audit
Now it’s time to turn the magnifying glass on your current social media strategy. Conduct an analysis of all your social media platforms. These types of audits are extremely beneficial when deciding which platforms to focus your marketing efforts on.
Consider the following questions;
- What’s working, and what’s not?
- Who is engaging with your content?
- Which networks does your target audience use?
- How does your social media presence compare to the competition?
#5 Set Up Accounts and Improve Profiles
After you’ve decided which platforms to focus on, focus on tailoring your profiles and content to those specific platforms. Start by writing a mission statement for each platform, and what you want to achieve using your S.M.A.R.T goals.
#6 Find Inspiration
Drawing inspiration from your created audience personas you can curate content specific to their pain points, solving their problems. You could even ask your followers questions to gain feedback.
Don’t forget, while your tourism business has its unique selling point (USP), that doesn’t mean you can’t take inspiration from fellow successful businesses on social media too.
#7 Create a Social Media Calendar
You’ll thank me later, trust me. Keeping a social media calendar enables more efficiency when executing your social media content strategy. Instead of posting off-the-cuff when you remember, you’ll have a set schedule of what’s happening at all times within your strategy roll-out.
#8 Evaluate and Adjust Your Strategy
You can prepare all you can, but no strategy outcome is set in stone, (as we know from working 2020 in the travel industry). Revisit your S.M.A.R.T goals and gather data from your UTM parameter links to measure the scale of your strategy success. Adjust, as necessary.
Do you currently have a solid social media content strategy in place?
8 Tips for Responding to a Bad Google Review
We’ve all been there, the crushing moment you see a customer has left a bad review. When tackling a bad review, remember your tone going forward will influence how other potential customers view your business.
Your goal as a tourism business should always be to offer help (even when you don’t want to). Responding with this in mind will show future travellers that you’re considerate and trustworthy.
“The vast majority (89%) of users said a thoughtful response to a negative review improved their impression of a business and 90% of respondents said that seeing polite and respectful responses to reviews makes them believe the owner truly cares” – TripAdvisor.
Another Harvard business review found that replying well to bad reviews led to more bookings. Responding with compassion and empathy will go a long way in connecting with your audience, fixing any potential burned bridges.
Your review copy aids in your content marketing strategy goal of asserting your authority and trustworthiness within your travel niche. Every piece of writing or content you put out there will impact your reputation, keep your responses consistent with your content messaging.
Here’s a quick run-down of the 8 top tips for responding to leave a positive impact;
- Focus on what you can do to control the situation
- Be empathetic
- Address the situation quickly
- Acknowledge your guest’s frustration
- Apologize and focus on the solution
- Thank them for their review
- Act by offering to make amends
- Follow up with an email after
Now here’s what NOT to do;
- Calling out the guest or telling them they are wrong. They are describing their personal experience, which is fair and valid.
- Using negative language or offensive terms that might make the guest feel worse.
- Assume they had an opportunity to bring this to your attention at an earlier time.
- Fail to provide a counter that aligns with how you do business and reinforces what you can offer them now that you know you made a mistake.
How did you respond to your last bad review?
3 Instagram Tools to enhance your content strategy
Source: Sprout Social
A lot can happen in a year, 2020 proved that for us all. Keeping up with the changing landscape of social media can be tricky if you’re not seeking out the information.
Instagram remains a strong contender on social media, garnering 1billion active users on a monthly basis.
Here are 3 Instagram tools your tourism business should pay attention to
#1 Carousel Tool
A key tool for harmonizing your content marketing strategy with your social media strategy is the Carousel tool. The main objective of the Carousel tool is to optimize screen space during the mobile user experience (UX).
Think about how you can take one of your educational blog articles and spread it out over 6 or more digestible graphic slides. Use your carousel posts to promote your website content, and guide your audience into becoming potential customers.
#2 Educate or Summarise with Instagram Guides
Introduced to the platform in May 202o to help aid in self-care for audiences stuck at home during the pandemic, it has since been utilized by tourism companies to provide informative content on destination recommendations.
#3 Reel out Your Tour Offerings
Use this tool within Instagram to highlight stand-out locations from your tours or raise awareness of your ethical practices. See the below example from the content-rich tourism booking platform, Indy Guide.
View this post on Instagram
See how other tourism businesses are successfully using Instagram in conjunction with their content marketing campaign, here.
Which of these tools will you experiment with?
A statistic I found interesting:
According to Inc42, approximately 82% of travelers book destinations based on the content available online. 24% consider destinations endorsed by influencers, and 66% share trips in real-time through social media.
A question for you:
Which of these articles will you find most valuable to enhancing your content marketing campaign?
Did you enjoy reading the above?
The 10xpress is a monthly series curated exclusively for travel companies like you
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