Most small travel businesses know that publishing great content is one way to drive valuable traffic to their website and generate qualified leads. Not all of them know how to use it effectively to market their business though.
When promoted correctly, a well-written article or inspiring video has the potential to go viral and draw attention to your travel company. There are several content marketing mistakes that may get in the way of this though, and knowing what to avoid will help you succeed better with your marketing endeavors.
Common Content Marketing Mistakes To Avoid and How To Succeed Instead
1. Creating great content is just the first step
You may have heard on numerous occasions that content is key. Probably to the point that it really doesn’t need to be said anymore. What does need to be put out there, however, is just because you have a great piece of content, doesn’t mean that visits to your website will skyrocket and sales conversions increase.
This leads us to our point. One of the biggest content marketing mistakes that small travel businesses make, is to rely on the content to do the work for them. The reality is, this is just the first step and you are going to need to give it a boost so that it gets circulated.
2. Give it a push through an industry expert or media person in your network
Cue networking. You have a great piece of content and it deserves to go viral. Whether you have a connection in the industry, journalist friend, or reach out to a well-known influencer to promote your piece; it helps to push the content through channels which are widely read.
Ensure that your article or video is circulated within your niche as you want it to reach an interested and relevant audience. It will not be beneficial at all to have it shared to a platform or audience who weren’t browsing for travel-related content.
Leaving your piece to go viral via organic search is simply not a strong enough strategy and a common content marketing mistake. You have a bunch of competition out there, and like your small travel business, they too are vying for the top spot.
3. Promote on social media
Let’s use Facebook in this example. The social media giant has more than two billion monthly active users. As a result, your potential platform audience is huge. You will certainly reach more people marketing on here than you would anywhere else.
Which brings us to one of the next content marketing mistakes that small travel businesses make. Not using paid Facebook advertising, such as dynamic ads for travel or other suitable formats, to promote your travel content.
With the ability to customize your audience as well as reach lookalike audiences who have the same interests as your existing followers or website visitors, this should definitely form part of your travel content marketing strategy.
4. Try out native advertising
We took a look at native advertising earlier in our blog, and though it’s still considered fairly new in the paid discovery category, it’s fairly effective too!
Currently, Outbrain and Taboola are best known in this sphere, and their super focused efforts produce great results in a contextually related advertising environment. For example, they only promote editorial content and not products or pages across their advertiser networks. Also, the ads only deliver to an interested audience from a related website whitelist or relevant section on a large publisher site.
All in all, it makes content delivery highly relevant to the target audience, and excluding this type of strategy is one of the common content marketing mistakes that your small travel business can easily avoid.
5. Incorporate video
Think of the last time you were really moved by something you saw online. And we mean moved to the point that you had to find out more about the brand in question. It likely was delivered in a video format, right? Right, of course it was! This is why as far as content marketing mistakes go, not using video will narrow down your audience in a big way.
Producing and sharing video content, on the other hand, gives you another opportunity to send content viral. Why? Because video draws people in. It delivers an immersive experience, invokes emotion, and inspires interest.
Marriott Hotels are a commonly used example of just how effective video can be from a marketing perspective. In 2015 their in-house content studio put together a short film titled French Kiss. The video was produced to inspire people to travel, currently has over six million views, and is reported to have driven $500,000 in bookings in less than two months.
While not everyone has a budget as large as that of the hotel chain, it doesn’t mean that you can’t use a solid concept to produce great quality video, using a smaller budget.
6. Embrace user-generated content
Speaking of that smaller budget for video, how about creating it from user-generated content (with permission of course)? This extends beyond video too – think posts on social media, Instagram worthy images, Facebook stories, hashtags, and everything in between.
Essentially, it’s earned media for your small travel business. Furthermore, it takes very little effort on your part and is super affordable!
In terms of content marketing for travel businesses, user-generated content really can be used effectively. After all, nothing speaks quite as loudly as a happy customer personally recommending and showcasing your valuable travel product to their friends and the world.
As an example, take a look at Norwegian Cruise Line’s hit hashtag #cruisenorwegian. There are over 33,000 posts using the hashtag, essentially meaning 33,000 stamps of approval shared online for everyone to see. People share images on Instagram when they are having a great time- it’s social proof that they are living it up.
And what did Norwegian Cruise Lines have to do to get the coverage? Well, give people a great time and create a bit of awareness around the tag. It doesn’t take an advertising campaign budget to splash ‘use #cruisenorwegian’ across your website, or post signs around your cruise liner. People love social media, they will do the rest of the work for you.
7. Use SEO effectively
Last on our list of common content marketing mistakes that should be avoided, is not optimizing your content for SEO. Unless it has been optimized properly using the correct keywords neither travelers nor search engines will be able to find your amazing work.
Though there are many elements to mastering SEO, with the right on and off page practices in place, your content will soon rank online and generate loads of organic traffic to your website.