What do you need to know to build a correct tourism content marketing strategy? What kind of content to produce, which language to adopt and through which channels to communicate?
Doing "content marketing for tourism": what does it mean?
Doing content marketing for tourism means producing unique and valuable content that tells and promotes a destination, a territory or an accommodation facility. The contents must then be declined in the various communication channels (blog, website, social media, etc.) to reach the highest number of target users with business objectives. Doing content marketing therefore means creating a reasoned communication, visibility and promotion strategy.
For this strategy to work it is good to be able to sympathize with storytelling , the ability to communicate the brand by telling stories and therefore going beyond mere product descriptions. And tourism is certainly one of those sectors that lends itself best to implementing a storytelling strategy.
First steps to create a content marketing strategy
The success of our content marketing strategy is closely linked to some preliminary reasoning.
There are three first steps to take to get off to a good start:
1. First of all, we must clarify our ideas regarding our target of users , that is the preferred audience to whom we want to address our communications and our messages (families? Sportsmen? Young couples? Solo travelers?).
2. We must identify our strengths , the things for which we are unbeatable and which best characterize our destination, our accommodation or our tourist offer. A large part of our messages will revolve around these strengths.
3. Finally, we must decide the type of language and style to be adopted in our communications and which channels / tools to use to ensure that our messages reach our preferred target.
The fundamental rules for the production of content
Content marketing = content marketing. The word itself says it: content is the key element of the strategy , the one on which we must focus most of our attention.
It is also true that the content must be thought of in relation to the medium / channel that will disseminate it (for example, a text of 2000 characters is easier to adapt to a blog than to the "fast scroll" of the Facebook homepage). However, there are universal rules that always apply, whatever our reference sector, the type of our contents and the channel through which we present them:
· The contents must be original and respect the style and language that characterize us.
· They must not be purely informative / advertising nor monotonous and repetitive.
· A good content marketing strategy for tourism must in fact leverage curiosity, but also emotion. Our content must provide all the information a user can seek and, at the same time, tell real stories and experiences.
· Finally, and fundamentally, the contents should not be updated haphazardly but must be organized, planned and published with precision and regularity. Putting the content editorial plan on paper is essential for anyone involved in content marketing.
What to tell?
Our hotel or our destination must be the undisputed protagonists of our content. But, as mentioned before, these must not be limited to illustrating only the services we offer to travelers or the richness of our tourist offer, but must tell stories and experiences .
Furthermore, the contents must not only be self-referential: a hotel, for example, must also know how to tell its surrounding territory, the traditions and typical features that distinguish it, the events that concern it, etc. In this way, the hotel will make storytelling of itself and its territory and will place itself in an interesting and attractive context for the traveler who will be more tempted to book his holidays.
The tools to use
What are the main channels through which to implement a correct tourism content marketing strategy ?
The first is certainly the website , the showcase that is now impossible not to have. On the site we must give the best of ourselves: we must provide as clear and complete information as possible about our offer. The texts, in addition to being updated and informative, must be convincing, the photos captivating. Through the site we must capture the attention of the traveler , our potential customer, and convince him that a holiday in our area, or in our hotel, is an unforgettable experience.
And then there is the blog . The tool that, in addition to being informative, must make good use of evocative and emotional tones. On the blog we can talk about us, our services and our news in a less institutional way than on the website. And then we can (we must) also range to surrounding topics : has our territory entered the top 5 of places to visit? Well, let's announce it. Will one of the most important events in the region be held in the city soon? Let's write about it. We will give the tourist one more reason to come on holiday with us. In the editorial plan we can occasionally insert the contributions of bloggers and external authors that give added value.
Social Media Marketing
Let's move on to social media , Facebook and Instagram first of all, fundamental tools for anyone planning a content marketing strategy for tourism. Also in this case it is important what we tell and the way we tell it. But, equally, how we connect with our audience is crucial. If on the website and on the blog we have always spoken alone, on the social networks instead dialogue, interaction and involvement are fundamental. And it is clear that the relationship with the fans should not be improvised but managed in a professional and conscious way by an experienced Community Manager . Otherwise, it could affect our reputation.
Finally, another important tool for tourism operators is the digital newsletter: this can represent a creative, unobtrusive (if sent with a reasoned periodicity) and interesting way to whisper a "remember me" in the ear of our subscribers. Let's take the example of the hotel again: this can choose to send a newsletter with special offers reserved for those who are already customers to encourage them to come back. Or launch promotions for special occasions and holidays to all members. And so on.
Content marketing for tourism: what kind of content
The main contents that those involved in tourism content marketing have to deal with are texts, photos and videos.
So far we have talked about informative and evocative texts . All true, but it is not enough. If we want the number of visits to our site and our blog to grow, we have to write texts that wink at search engines, that is, that are SEO friendly . The SEO Copywriter is the expert figure who knows how to write optimized texts for the keywords most in line with our business and our goals.
If we talk about Social Media Marketing, however, the texts (in addition to being much shorter) must be captivating. They must seek dialogue, address fans more directly and push them to take action in response (be it a like or a comment).
An important role in increasing visibility and therefore interaction on social networks is played by advertising campaigns, as long as they are properly studied and programmed.
In the travel sector, photos and videos are essential. Especially on social media, where they have a greater hold on fans than texts.
It is not enough to equip your blog posts or the posts of your social channels with classic postcard images taken with screaming tools: you also need a good photographic eye, a passion for photography and a certain familiarity with photo editing . And, also in this case, it is necessary to propose both descriptive images and the most evocative subjects.
If we want to try our hand at making high-impact videos, all this becomes even more important. The video must be professional and not amateur. Especially if we want to make videos that go viral on social networks: in this case we need ideas, teamwork and a lot of creativity.
The videos of the Instagram and Facebook stories deserve a separate discussion , where what matters is not so much the beautiful shape as the immediacy of communication and the dimension of the story in real time.
The role of blogger and influencer
Blogtour and presstour are moments of promotion and visibility very much in vogue in the tourism sector. In practice, a tourism organization, an accommodation facility or a tour operator decide to promote itself by inviting a group of journalists, but lately more often travel bloggers and social influencers , to spend a couple of days in their own territory or in their hotel. Who organizes the blog tour plans a series of representative activities of the territory (such as tastings of local products, guided tours, etc.) for bloggers to try. They tell everything in real time on their social channels and then, once back home, they also write a piece for their blog.
Or, we can devise a special project tailored to a single blogger or influencer, especially if the latter has a particularly targeted audience with our market objectives.
The added value of blog tours and projects with influencers consists in the fact that every blogger, in addition to documenting what he sees, tells the destination or hotel by putting his own, with the style and personality that so much appeals to those who follow him. Not to mention the gain in terms of visibility that the hotel or destination obtains, especially if we are talking about influencers who have thousands of followers on social networks or bloggers who take care of a blog that is very well positioned on search engines.
The role of experience is fundamental: the better we treat our bloggers, the better they will talk about us and, consequently, the greater the chances of attracting the audience that follows them.