Three Key Steps to Creating an Effective Content Marketing Strategy for Your Travel Agency
Written By: Cris De Souza, Vice President, Sales & Marketing – Nexion Travel Group
Part one of our Content Is King Series focused on seven ways content marketing can help grow your travel business, the benefits of content marketing and how content marketing works for you in your travel business.
In part two of our Content Is King Series, we’ll share three of the five essential steps you need to follow to create a content strategy that works. Our final edition of Content Is King will wrap up the series with the last two steps to create a content strategy that works. We’ll begin with the first step below:
Step #1: Define Your Content Marketing Objectives.
Creating great content is a part of a successful content marketing strategy. However, content marketing for independent travel professionals goes beyond creating content. It’s not enough to create content, it is also important to know what you are creating and how you will be achieving your business goals for your travel agency with the help of your content.
Content marketing can get complicated if you are unclear about how you want to go about it. Getting clarity is extremely important, which is why you should outline your content marketing objectives and define them before actually starting work on your content.
Now, the question is how do you create content marketing goals objectives that align with your overall business goals for your travel agency? How do you focus on reaching these objectives once you have set them?
It’s very simple, here’s how you define your content marketing objectives:
1. Know the Purpose of Your Content
2. Create a Detailed Plan of Action
3. Have a Backup Plan in Place
While producing quality content should be one of your top priorities, it should not be done at the expense of defining your content marketing objectives. Your content marketing strategy can make or break your travel marketing campaign, which should be carefully crafted and executed.
Step #2: Know Your Target Audience.
Understanding your target audience and their wants and possible pain points is crucial for finding success with content marketing for your travel agency. It’s one of most important steps you need to take to create a solid foundation for your content.
There are three things you need to do to learn more about your target audience before moving to the next steps.
1. Focus on Your Best Customers First.
If your content marketing is focused in the wrong direction, you will find it difficult to see results. This is why it makes sense to choose one customer segment with your best customer and focus on it. By doing this, you will be able to tailor your marketing efforts better by creating a proper buyer persona.
For example, if your best segment of your travel business is wellness travel, focus on that segment first with your content marketing for your travel agency.
2. Know What Your Customers Truly Care About.
One advantage of using content marketing is that it can help you gain more awareness of your customers’ journey toward a purchase. How? When you create content, you are forced to learn about their unique situation or what they stand for. You will surely not do it based on assumption.
You may want to go a step further and try to understand what your customers care most about. Try to look into their problems, agitations, motivations and pain points.
In the example of Wellness Travel, organic food, animal welfare, meditation & yoga, tranquil environments & responsible (sustainable or green) tourism is important to this segment of customers.
3. Have Small Conversion Goals.
Knowing your customers and their buyer journey is useless if you don’t know what actions you want them to take after reading or viewing your content. Every action that leads them towards a purchase becomes a conversion.
The goal of your content marketing campaign is to convert more of your prospects into customers, which is why your content marketing strategy should have small yet clearly laid out conversion goals.
In the example of Wellness Travel, obtaining 15 percent more fans to your Facebook business page as the result of a paid social media campaign targeted at the Wellness Travel segment would be a conversion.
Here’s what a typical content marketing conversion funnel looks like:
At Nexion Travel Group, our Escape omni-channel business-to-consumer campaigns provide our travel professionals with content that is aimed at all stages in the buyer’s journey. Our Summer Fun/Family Travel campaign, which ran in early December last year, is a great example of targeting the right content at a specific segment and aiming it at the stages of the buyer’s journey.
The content marketing strategy that you create for your small business goes a long way in getting you the results your travel agency needs. And like any independent travel agency, these results lead toward converting and retaining customers, which is why having meaningful conversion goals is a must.
Step #3: Create Content for Each Business Objective.
Day by day, content marketing for travel entrepreneurs is becoming important for generating quality leads and higher sales, which is why your travel agency should seek to incorporate well-crafted content into your marketing strategy.
However, the content that you create should help you grow and reach business goals. You need to connect your content marketing efforts to your main business objectives, or there’s no use producing it.
Aim to publish content that helps you achieve the following three real business objectives:
Objective #1: Generate Awareness.
Creating awareness is the first step toward building the relationship with your target audience. If your audience is not aware about your travel agency and the travel segment you specialize in, then it will be difficult for you to generate leads and close sales.
In order to create solid awareness, you should work on producing informative content around your target keywords or topics, because that’s the only way you will be able to attract prospective customers who are already looking for a trip that’s aligned with your travel specialty.
In the example of Wellness Travel, it’s important to use keywords like sustainable tourism, responsible tourism, yoga retreats, spiritual renewal, organic cooking, etc., in your content marketing efforts.
Examples of such content include social reviews, blog articles and positive customers’ testimonials.
Objective #2: Demonstrate Expertise.
Showcasing your expertise in your travel niche will help you connect with your audience on a higher level. Your target customers will see you as someone they can trust and do business with. Every travel entrepreneur who specializes in a unique segment or niche has a unique solution or story to share, and yours is no different. This is why you should create content that educates your target audience and helps them realize that what you offer is different than your competition.
In the example of Wellness Travel, Travel Leaders Network offers an Active & Adventure Travel Specialist certification in partnership with the ATTA and also the SELECT Wellness Hotel Collection offered by the Travel Leaders Group Select Hotel program.
If you fail to educate and teach, your prospects will start comparing you on other grounds such as pricing. Your aim should be to use content to demonstrate your knowledge and industry experience, so that it becomes easy to convert more of your prospects into customers. Executing content marketing for your travel agency will become much easier after building authority.
Examples of such content include publishing newsletters, broadcasting Facebook Live, attending specialty travel niche events and FAM experience chronicling.
Objective #3: Get Referrals.
Every travel agency needs referrals to grow. The whole process of getting a referral from your customers becomes simpler when you have a formalized process laid down. At Nexion Travel Group, our members enjoy the benefit of having Agent Profiler 2.0 included in their membership, a powerful tool to help them generate referrals and new prospects to their business.
Remember, when you interact with your prospective customers, you have the opportunity to use or integrate referral content into each of your interactions. This not only helps you to generate more referrals but also creates a positive image in the minds of your customer. They begin to see your referral content as a way to help others in their social circles.
Examples of such content include gift certificates, coupons, special amenities and referral videos.
We hope you enjoyed part two of our Content Is King Series, where we shared three of the five Key Steps to Creating an Effective Content Marketing Strategy for your Travel Agency. Our final edition of this three-part series will unveil the last two steps, which are guaranteed to help you create a content marketing strategy that works for your travel agency; stay tuned!