If you knew there was a way to turn your one time visitors into brand evangelists without any extra cost and minimal extra effort, wouldn’t you be chomping at the bit to know how? Well, let me introduce you to the dynamism of content marketing.
Content marketing is, at its core, a smarter version of traditional marketing
The Content Marketing Institute defines it as:
“a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action”
In this ‘era of the online’, consumers are constantly bombarded with ads, marketing ploys, social media campaigns, branding, images, slogans, tag lines (I could continue but I think you get the picture) *all the time*. Traditional marketing methods are decreasing in value as they increase in volume, consumers have evolved to become very savvy especially when they feel they are being told what to like/want/need/consume. This is especially true of the tourism and hospitality industry. Content marketing offers an alternative, it’s a way for your tourism or hospitality business to break through the noise created by the seemingly endless stream of competitor ads, and come out on top through the use of valuable and relevant material that people want to consume.
So, how can we take our understanding of the importance of valuable, relevant and consistent content and use it to “drive profitable customer action” within your tourism or hospitality business?
1. Content Marketing Helps Increase Brand Awareness
In order to understand the importance of content marketing, we must also understand the role of brand awareness in the customer buying cycle.
As you can see, awareness is the first point of action in the buying cycle. At this point, a customer is aware they have a need so they begin to research solutions. Having a strong brand awareness makes your tourism business more visible to customers during steps 1 & 2.
Great content provokes sharing. Social media and word-of-mouth can make your content spread across the world overnight, as long as it’s valuable and interesting. Take, for example, the social media giant Unilad. The average post that they share gets well over 1 million views, and a large portion of their content is travel related videos. Creating a quality video that showcases a beautiful destination could be your tourism business’ shot at fame.
2. Content Marketing Builds Trust and ‘Expert’ Brand Identity Perception
Many people usually place lots of effort on their logo and slogan. Yet, in a market where hundreds of competitors try to make themselves look good, what makes you special is the value you offer through useful content. This is what sets content marketing apart from traditional marketing efforts: content marketing adds value for the customer. This is also what defines which content a consumer will skip over given the chance, and which content they will really pay attention to and appreciate.
If you are consistently creating content that your audience views as valuable and informative, you attach an expert perception to your brand. The element of trust is what convinces a customer to purchase, and moreover to keep them coming back in the future. Quality reviews and informative guides for destinations, activities and holidays are all examples of potentially powerful content marketing methods for tourism and hospitality.
3. Content Marketing Helps you get Found
Now that most consumers rely on a search engine for information and decision making, getting found is vital for your business. Forbes suggests that the bulk of a company’s SEO efforts should be focused on content marketing because of the wealth of benefits it provides for other channels of digital marketing. Good quality content should naturally help you appear higher in the SERP (search engine results page), and also gives an opportunity to support your company’s inbound linking strategy (if you don’t have one, then you probably should). Content marketing also provides material for your tourism or hospitality business to promote through social media channels, which has proven so powerful that it has all but transformed the industry.
If you need further proof of this, just look at FRHI Hotels & Resorts (this is the parent company of Fairmont, Swissôtel and Raffles, to name a few). Through employing content marketing strategies and by optimizing their content, they generated in excess of $1 million in advertising revenue.
4. Content Marketing is More Cost Effective than Traditional Advertising
One of the key elements of the definition of content marketing is the part that notes your “clearly defined audience”. Defining your audience in detail and targeting them specifically will be much more effective than blindly pushing out your material to the wider world- whether or not they want it. For example, if you are selling luxury holidays in the Maldives you should create content that will be valuable for people who are wealthy, middle or upper-class couples or families- not young, millennial backpackers.
By employing content marketing strategies you are greatly increasing your chances of being relevant to your audience. Not only will a targeted strategy be more effective, but it will also cost less since you can eliminate the expense of marketing to those who are outside your defined demographic.
5. Content Marketing Generates Leads and Attracts Ideal Buyers
Content marketing can attract potential customers, even before they have demand. With good content, you can engage your audience easily. If they find value in your content and thereafter make the decision to contact you, you don’t need to use the same hard core sales tactics as you normally might because the customer has already made up their mind. If a consumer has already identified their need; they just have to find you to make their decision, and great content makes that happen. For example, if a visitor to your website has seen your detailed destination guide to the Maldives and has found value in it, once they contact your business to inquire about holiday packages the ensuing conversation will be far less of a hard-sell than if you had been the one to direct an ad to them with no contextual background.
How Do I Get Started?
If you need advice about how you can employ content marketing strategies in your business, why not drop our team of expert consultants a line. Dagiac offers full-scale content marketing solutions for tourism & hospitality businesses.