Think of a dynamic duo – what comes to mind? Batman and Robin? Lennon and McCartney? Thelma and Louise? If were to answer with my work hat on, I’d say a detailed content marketing strategy and robust digital capabilities. While it’s not as cool as the others, it’s the only combination you need if you’re serious about the future of your travel business.
Balance stability and agility
Any content marketer worth their salt knows how vital agility can be, and that’s never been more accurate than at this unpredictable time. You can take advantage of sudden developments, like the 100% year-on-year increase in searches for things like ‘travel to [destination]’ following an increase in vaccine availability, by putting out SEO-focused content.
But producing all your content on the fly is a recipe for disaster.
If you haven’t already, you need to prepare key messaging comms, particularly around the topic of being ‘open for business’, before you plan to deploy them. And, as Portugal’s sudden status shift shows, it’s also wise to plan for the worst to take the pressure off yourself at a stressful time.
Even if, right now, you don’t know when you’ll be able to get back to some kind of normal, it will arrive. It will also help to plan stable, engaging content ahead of time (think evergreen, light-hearted content that won’t require hasty re-edits if the situation changes). Meaning you can free up capacity to tackle urgent tasks if they rear their ugly heads.
The value of organic
While paid search has its merits, boosting your search engine ranking naturally will pay dividends in the long term. According to Hubspot, fixing customer experience sticking points and publishing regular SEO-focused content could be up to 5.66x more effective than simply going down the pay-per-click route.
Knowing what your target audience is searching for, drawing them in with engaging content and sealing the deal with a great customer experience is often better (and cheaper) than simply sticking up ads and hoping for the best.
Research by Amadeus has found that travellers aren’t just getting away for pleasure right now, particularly after countries such as Barbados, Georgia, and Dubai launched ‘digital nomad’ visas. So, if you’re looking for a fresh strategy, get creative and create keyword-focused content to draw in a new potential audience.
Conduct rolling content audits
Even though the situation isn’t moving quite as quickly now, things are still changing regularly in the travel sector. Building in time to review your content and ensure it remains fit for purpose will stop it from feeling out of touch and ensure it’s always addressing pertinent audience questions.
To stop this from becoming a never-ending task, you could commit to publishing short, regular updates alongside evergreen content. That way, you’ll keep your audience in the know about time-sensitive matters while still entertaining and informing them with content that can stand the test of time.
Back up your plans with tech
You’ve ticked off your content to-do list. Now all that’s left to do is get it out there and let it do its thing. But what happens if your perfectly keyword-ed blog post brings in a stampede of excited customers, and your digital presence crumbles under the pressure? It’s the stuff of nightmares, especially at a time when every booking could be crucial to survival.
Or, your nemesis could be a CMS that’s a pain to do even the simplest of tasks with, no matter how tech proficient you are. Excellent content has no value if it’s languishing on your laptop, unable to be published. Your content and SEO strategy and the tech you rely on should seamlessly dovetail to improve your rankings and customer experience. If they’re not doing that already, it may be time for an external helping hand.
A great content strategy and a solid digital presence will complement the rest of your marketing and customer experience efforts to project your brand’s voice over the hubbub of uncertainty. And that’s what we do best at 3Sixty. Get in touch to see how we could help to boost your travel company’s digital presence.