Written By: Andrea Sedlacek, Managing Editor of The Compass – VAX VacationAccess
We launched The Compass on VAX VacationAccess in February 2018 with one goal: to help travel advisors grow their business. And we just took a big step to make The Compass and your content marketing efforts even better.
First, what’s The Compass? We like to think of The Compass as a travel agent’s true north – a place where you can go to find content just for you. We publish new content every day that’s a mix of education and business betterment, articles and interviews from industry leaders and, probably most importantly, shareable content that you can send to current or prospective clients to inspire their travels.
Though it’s a tough time right now in the industry, you can use articles on The Compass right now to inspire your clients for their future travels.
The Compass + the Customer Journey
Before we go any further, let’s take a step back and first talk about the customer journey and content marketing.
Let’s think about someone who wants to go on vacation and the journey they take to make that happen. Using content (i.e., articles, blog posts, etc.) to reach clients and promote your business is content marketing. We’ll break the customer journey down into three basic steps and show you the content within The Compass that you can use in each one to jumpstart your content marketing efforts.
Step 1 – Awareness
First, there’s awareness. Let’s say this traveler wants to go somewhere warm, like in the Caribbean, maybe somewhere in the Bahamas but they’ve never been there before, they don’t know if they even can go right now, there were some hurricanes there kind of recently and they don’t know the first step to take to figure this out. This person is scrolling through their Facebook feed and they see that you’ve shared “10 Reasons You Should Use a Travel Agent in 2019” from The Compass on your agency’s Facebook page. They say, “Huh, I wonder if a travel agent can help me with my Bahamas trip,” and click on your Facebook post to read the article. And they see #10 on the list that really says it like it is: “Like any professional advisors, travel agents really do know more than you do.” If I read that, I’d say, “Fair enough, I don’t know what’s happening in the Bahamas right now, so I’m sold – give me your contact info so you can put together this trip for me.”
Step 2 – Interest
This person then sends you a Facebook message or an email asking for help planning their trip. They tell you they’re interested in the Caribbean, maybe the Bahamas, but are feeling a little wary because they don’t know if it’s possible to go there right now because of Hurricane Dorian, they also don’t seem to know the geography of the Bahamas but, oh well. Instead of you having to do your own research, call the Bahamas CVB or ask any of your peers what’s up with the Bahamas, you go right to The Compass on VAX and send them an article titled “14 Islands of the Bahamas are Ready to Welcome Visitors With Open Arms” with a message that says, “Don’t worry, check out this article that lists what islands are open and which ones are not yet.” They tell you this information helped calm their anxieties and are more than ready to start planning with you. Boom – you amped up their interest in the destination and calmed their fears with only having to do one or two quick searches on The Compass.
Let’s do a little rewind. So first you’ve created awareness with your Facebook post – this person found you, they know you exist and that you are helpful. Then you created deep interest in the destination by showing them they can go to the Bahamas.
Step 3 – Purchase
Next in the journey is the purchase. Your client needs some options on what to actually do when they go! Now you can turn to The Compass again to help them narrow in on that decision.
Instead of you researching all the details and explaining each option to your client, you can send them a few pieces like “2019’s Coolest Caribbean Cruise Experiences” or “Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line Brings Unique Cruise & Stay Program to Nassau” so they can read a little bit, get to know their options and come back to you with their decision. There you go – this is how you can use content marketing in the customer journey.
But Wait, There’s More!
If you know VAX, you know we’re always listening to our travel advisor users and doing what we can to make our site easier to use. We heard from you that you wanted it to be easier for you to share articles on The Compass and guess what – we made it happen.
In early April, we added buttons to every article on The Compass, allowing you to share articles with just one click. We also gave you options – there are buttons to share via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and email, plus a button to simply copy the article link if you want to share it another way.
The Compass is the trusted wingman for travel advisors, your true north, providing you time-saving information, tools and peer advice to grow your business, connect you to your clients and make a living off your passion. Turn to The Compass to learn practical ways to grow your business from experts and peers.