Content marketing is officially a “thing.”
Marketing professionals predict that the term content marketing will simply become, well, marketing (see Ann Handley’s take). Brands can no longer market without content. It’s a crucial element of campaigns, from email to social to paid media to lead gen. Strategies are now built to include content assets, and content assets are created to fuel these strategies.
However, with this shift, most marketers are pumping time and resources intro producing more content and faster. But more content, without a focus on quality, simply leads to a lot of useless noise. And not all of it will be in-tune with the needs and interests of customers.
This challenge is especially present in the travel industry. According to TripAdvisor’s TripBarometer, the majority of research and planning for travel is done online. And we’re talking a lot of research. The typical traveler shopper visits 22 sites before booking a trip!
All of these findings make content a must in the travel industry.
Let me be more specific. They make high-quality, entertaining, and informative content a must. Not only does useful content deliver bookings and purchases, it delivers trust and loyalty. And loyalty goes a long way when people are making travel decisions, especially when the competition is high.
“Building brand loyalty with travelers in the vacation rental industry is challenging because there are so many sites out there to choose from,” says Tara Gardner of FlipKey, an online vacation rental marketplace with more than 240,000 rentals in over 11,000 cities around the world. “Investing in content marketing allows us to engage in conversations with travelers and vacation rental owners in a way that forges a more meaningful relationship with our brand.”
To find out how marketers in the travel industry can amp up their content marketing, we interviewed Tara, a member of the content marketing and outreach team at FlipKey. Check out her thoughts below:
Get creative with ideas.
“It requires a lot of give and take; we want to find a healthy balance between sharing data and entertaining, which can be challenging. Fortunately for us, our product is one that we are able to have a lot of fun with. Ideas come from all over – from trends in the industry to what we are seeing shared via social channels, current events and interests.”
Identify target audiences and define goals.
“One of our key target demographics are families traveling with children and our biggest content wins have been those that provided valuable travel tips for families and also led to conversion of families booking vacations through owners on our site.”
Build relationships with content creators, and have a way to manage them.
“Identify your key go-to contributors and invest in making those longstanding, reliable relationships. Make sure you have a great system in place to manage who you are working with, who is working on what pieces, and stay on top of deadlines. Using a product like Kapost has helped us immensely with this process.”
Don’t be afraid to fail.
“Think outside the box and aim to create and test new content ideas that your audience will find both useful and interesting. Don’t be afraid to fail – what you may think is a great content piece might not resonate with your audience the way you had anticipated – take it and learn from it.”
In 2011, FlipKey made the decision to invest in content marketing software. As we mentioned in our recent infographic, it’s been a long journey for content marketing software to reach where it is today. FlipKey is ahead of the game, and as content continues to deliver results for marketers, increased efficiency and quality will become a must to rise above the competition.