Travel agents have the difficult job of trying to provide value for their audience and promoting destinations to actually make a sale all at the same time. And with travel being a highly visual niche, it can feel like you need to present on ALL platforms ALL the time in order to make your presence noticed.
While having a strong presence is a must, if you get really strategic with your content marketing strategy, it doesn’t have to feel like a never-ending to-do list. If you are looking for fresh new travel agent marketing ideas, then you’ve come to the right place. Our team of travel marketing experts has all the answers!
What is Content Marketing for Travel Agencies?
Content marketing for travel and tourism agents is the act of creating content in many different forms for your online audience. The content can be published as blog posts, videos, or social media posts, but it is not there to promote your brand. Instead, it provides value to your audience and can subtly promote your products or service.
Why is Content Marketing in a Travel Agency So Important?
Content marketing is something that works really well for travel agencies because of its long-term benefits. While paid advertising can be very effective, as soon as you stop paying for ads, your traffic dries up, leaving you with no long-term payoff.
Content marketing works to provide valuable information for your audience and speaks to those who are already interested in your destination or travel packages. While it does take quite the investment to create large quantities of content, that content has a long lifespan.
Blog posts and videos, in particular, can continue to bring traffic to your website for months and even years. Content marketing is important because it builds credibility and trust with your audience, slowly walking them along the customer journey until a sale is made.
Content Marketing for Travel Agents
Content marketing is crucial to every travel agent’s marketing plan. But how exactly do you come up with a content marketing strategy and execute it? Luckily, that’s what we’re really good at. Here you’ll find everything you need to know about content marketing for travel agencies.
Decide Who Your Audience Is?
In order to tackle your content marketing, you need to decide exactly who you are targeting. If you aim to speak to everyone, then you end up reaching nobody because the messaging is simply too vague.
So you need to decide exactly who you are targeting with your content marketing messaging. This will help inform your tone of voice and even the subjects that you tackle. You want to address problems that actually relate to your audience, and provide them with solutions that will benefit them.
Your audience will even dictate what incentives you provide. For example, a monetary discount may sound great, but if your audience is wealthy elder folk, then it won’t be that effective. Instead, you could offer them a 24/7 hands-on guide that can help them with all of their travel needs.
So how exactly do you find out who your target audience should be? The best way to do this is to create a customer persona.
Creating a Customer Persona
To create a good starting point for a customer persona, it’s a good idea to do the following:
- Take a look at your current customers
- Pay attention to your competitor’s target audience
- Rule out anyone that is not your target audience
Assessing these aspects should give you a general idea of who you want to target. Next, you should go about creating a persona for your ideal customer. Your customer persona should include the following:
- Job title
- Living situation
You can also add other factors relating to their personal life or personality that might affect their purchasing decisions.
Creating this persona is important because when you are writing your content, you can use subject matter and a tone of voice that would captivate this particular customer.
Set Goals and KPIs for Your Travel Content Marketing Strategy
Before you even start to create content for your content marketing strategy, you need to know where you’re headed. You need to come up with goals – what are you trying to achieve with your content marketing?
Are you trying to increase brand awareness? – in this case, your KPIs will revolve around views (on videos), reach (on social media platforms), and traffic (on your website).
Are you trying to increase your revenue? – in this case, your KPIs should revolve around the number of sales you are making and the value of those sales.
Here are a couple of goals to consider for your travel agency content marketing:
- Increase brand awareness
- Generate leads
- Attract more website traffic
- General sales or revenue
- Build customer trust and loyalty
- Promote new products
- Become an authority in your niche
- Build a mailing list
When you are creating and choosing the goals you would like to achieve, ensure that they are SMART goals.
Run Your Goals Through a SMART Goals Checklist
I’m sure you’ve heard of SMART goals before, but when you’re deciding on KPIs, assessing your goals with the SMART analysis is particularly important. A SMART goal means a goal that is:
If you stick to setting goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely, you’ll be on your way to creating a great content strategy.
Analyse Your Current Content
Before you start piling all your resources into creating content, you need direction. A good place to start is to analyse your current content to see the kind of content that performs best and on which platform. This will help to inform where you should be focusing the majority of your content marketing efforts.
While you are reflecting on the content that has already been created, it’s a good time to update old content and make improvements so that it stands the test of time. You can also analyse what is not working; this informs what content you shouldn’t create in the future.
While auditing your content, take a look at what kinds of content are driving engagement. Notice which content is bringing the most traffic to your site. This should inform your future content marketing decisions.
Don’t want to audit your own content? Let us do it for you!
Create a Content Marketing Strategy
Now you have a solid starting point and understanding of the content that is currently working for your travel agency, and of course, the content that is not. This means you can create a content marketing strategy from a far more informed position than you were in before. Here’s exactly what you need to do to develop a travel agent content marketing strategy.
1. Find Topics to Write About
This can seem like a mountain of a task. Where do you even begin to find topics that will be useful to your reader? A great place to start looking is at your best-performing competitors.
Audit your top three competitors and find topics that all of them have covered in their content marketing strategy. This is a great place to start, but remember to cover one topic completely and entirely before moving on to the next.
2. Organise Topics Into Content Clusters
You want to become an expert in every sub-niche of your niche, and the best way to do this is to focus on one content cluster at a time. If you are a travel agent that takes people all over Thailand, then that is quite a large niche.
So you’ll want to focus on sub-niches until the whole of Thailand has been covered. For instance, you could cover every travel topic to do with Chiang Mai before moving on to the next city. But these content clusters don’t only have to be location-based.
You could cover “packing for Thailand” in a variety of posts. Broken down into sub-topics such as “best travel bag for Thailand”, “best versatile outfit ideas for Thailand”, or “best shoes to pack for Thailand”.
3. Create a Content Funnel
Before you start with your content creation, you need to decide on the targeting of each post. Take a look at your customer journey, and decide which piece of content is best suited to each portion of the customer journey.
In general, you want to ensure that you are publishing a good spread of content so that no matter where someone is in the customer journey, there is content that can help them move down the funnel.
What is the customer journey?
The customer journey consists of the following steps:
- Awareness – the content created for those that are still in the awareness stage should address any initial concerns they may have. It can also work to create brand awareness, entertain the audience, or keep them informed.
- Consideration – the content created for those in the consideration phase should address any concerns and let them know why you are the best travel agency to solve their issue.
- Decision – the content created for those in the decision phase should be aimed at asserting your own authority. Case studies and client reviews act as a great way to assert your expertise and build their trust.
- Retention – the content created for those in the retention phase should be aimed at letting customers know why they should remain a client, e.g. to use your services more than once. You can also let them know about the broad scope of your offers or other destinations that you can take them to.
- Advocacy – the content created for those in the advocacy stage is created with the pure purpose of transforming your customers into advocates. This content should promote your business in a great light and could highlight the expertise of your guides or outline how your travel agency only makes use of ethical tours.
4. Plan When Your Content Will be Posted
The best play to plan your content is to create a content calendar and populate it with all the content that needs to be created. You should include the type of content, keyword or topic, the due date, the platform it will be posted on and the target audience, as well as who on your team is responsible for creating the content.
You should share this content calendar with the team that will be involved in creating the content so that everyone can stay on the same page. Your team should actively be encouraged to add to and even improve the content calendar so that you can come up with the very best strategy moving forward.
5. Decide Who Will Create Content
Do you have the marketing team behind you to create your content or do you need to outsource? There are pros and cons to each of these options. If you decide to bring your content creation in-house, you may need to hire an allrounder that can tackle content writing for your website as well as social media.
The only issue with this is that you will get someone who is not an expert at one specific thing. If you can afford to hire for a couple of positions, then hiring a marketing team would be ideal.
Your other option is to outsource your content marketing to experts in the field. We at Travel Tractions have been working with travel agencies and other pivotal players in the travel niche since the very start of our company and would be happy to help you out.
6. Start Implementing Your Content Strategy
Once all the strategy and planning have been done, you will actually need to start creating and posting content online. As a travel agency, you need to ensure that you are putting out visually pleasing content on a regular basis to keep your audience engaged.
Make sure that your deadlines for content creation are being hit so that you can post content on the right days at the right time. This is something you will need to test and see which days and times are working best for you. Monitoring these statistics will be important in your content strategy going forward.
Travel Agency Tips for Creating Powerful Content
If you follow this step-to-step process of creating a content marketing strategy for your travel agency, you’re on the right track. But here are a couple of tips and tricks that will help you along the way.
SEO Your Content
If you want to ensure that your content has a long lifespan, then writing with travel website SEO in mind is very important. Applying a great SEO strategy to your content and getting it to rank in Google SERPs means that it can keep working for your business for years to come.
If you target the right kinds of keywords, you could bring potential customers to your site on a daily basis without any extra budget being used on advertising. SEO can be a lot to learn at first, but it is one of those practices that pay off in the long run.
Create Content That is Original
Creating content that is original is not just about creating content that is not plagiarised. It’s about creating content that presents unique ideas, new formats, etc.
When it comes to blog posts, gathering your information from other reliable sources is important as it shows that you have done your research, but that is not enough. Ensure that you are adding your own unique take to the content you are producing.
When it comes to social media, trending videos are often replicated, and this is a good way to make viral content. But ensure that you are creating enough truly unique videos or posts. You want people to not only enjoy watching your videos but actually follow you because you are coming up with interesting new concepts.
Use a Range of Different Content Types
It’s important to keep your audience interested and engaged, as well as meet them at different stages of the customer journey. You can do this by adding a wide variety of content types to your content calendar. Here are a couple of content types that you should keep in mind:
- Video – this could be a YouTube video, short videos such as TikTok or Instagram Reel, podcast, online conference, or live event.
- PDF – downloadable manual, checklist, template, tutorial, or e-book.
- Text – informational articles, research and studies, news or interview.
- Visual – slide presentation or infographic.
- Interactive – quiz or test.
You don’t need to try each and every one of these content types. Instead, stick to the ones that speak to your customer base best. Remember that travel is a very visual niche, so it’s always good to give your audience some visually pleasing content, whether that is imagery or video.
Repurpose Old Content
Once you have published a piece of content, you can use the same research and information to post on multiple different platforms in a different format. This is so that the same information can be shared with a different type of audience.
You can turn blog posts into infographics, videos or even podcasts. This means that you can reach those who don’t have the time or willpower to sit down and read an entire article.
You can also break up long content into shorter, more digestible videos and create a series out of it. This helps to engage with a younger audience who have a much shorter attention span. Doing the exact opposite also tends to work, taking short pieces of content and making a long blog post or informational PDF.
In its simplest form, you can take blog posts and use short snippets from them, making social media posts that aim to inform your social media audience, as well as encourage them to visit your website to read the full blog post. This could even nudge them further down the sales funnel, which should always be the goal.
Track Your Performance and Adjust Your Strategy
Once your content strategy is up and running, you will need to continuously monitor the performance of your content on each of the channels you are using. This way, you can see what is working and what isn’t – allowing you to adjust your strategy continuously.
It’s this sort of continuous improvement that sets many travel agencies’ content marketing strategies apart. If you want to be one of the travel agencies that get it right, then making adjustments along the way is all a part of the journey.
Travel Content Marketing For Agencies That Converts
If you are a travel agency hoping to stand the test of time, then coming up with a killer content marketing strategy is where it all starts. Content marketing helps you to gain an audience that is interested in what you have to offer, and nudges leads down the buyer journey until your leads convert into customers.
What are you waiting for? There are hopeful travellers all across the world that are in need of travel inspiration. It’s time your travel agency puts itself out there and turns those hopeful travellers into your future clients!