From the moment a person decides they want to travel to the point they find themselves sunbathing on a sugary beach, the process should be as simple and relaxing as possible. Deciding on the location is one thing, but booking flights and hotels can cause a user unnecessary stress. That is, unless, they come across helpful travel website content.
Travel content marketing should give users the information and resources to book their holidays with ease. It should tell them important cultural information, what activities they can expect to enjoy, and where they should stay to have the best experience. If your travel website can give users what they need before they fly, they’ll be more likely to trust your services and come back to you for their next getaway.
But how do you know what type of content you need to create to achieve your unique business goals? The travel industry is open to an abundance of creative formats, and each unique piece of content can help you thrive in different ways. It’s all about choosing the right content for what you do and what you hope to achieve.
What is travel content marketing?
Travel content marketing involves the strategic planning and creation of various types of content, such as engaging blogs, videos, landing pages, local guides, infographics, and content hubs. The aim is to engage and inform the reader while also building trust, encouraging them to use your services for their travelling needs.
More than 66% of people book holidays online, so there should be plenty of content waiting for them when they arrive on your website.
A strategically sound content campaign should give you a strong advantage over your competitors, as it is content that attracts and holds the attention of travel audiences. Once you’ve drawn them in, the work can then be shared organically and promoted through social media posts.
Every part of your content strategy should be created with your business goals in mind, while also harmonizing with the needs of both users and search engines. Whether the objective of your content is to encourage users to book flights through your website, or to improve customer engagement, everything you publish online should come back to one thing – your business.
Travel content can help build your authority and credibility among users and search engines. So long as your content is unique, informative, and uses the right key terms, it has a better chance of performing in the SERPs. Additionally, if your content is noticed by other digital creators, you may receive backlinks.
By deciding what type of content will work best for your content strategy and when you should publish each piece of content, the creation will better fall into place.
What are the different types of travel website content?
When planning your travel content strategy, you need to include various formats. Doing so will target and engage your readers while also better offering them what they need.
A landing page is a standalone page on a website where a user will “land” after following a link, typically from an email, ad, or organic search. For the travel industry, this may include some information on a specific location, but will always encourage the reader into action. Some of the benefits of a landing page include increased SEO performance and better user experience.
For example, let’s say you specialize in car hire. Your landing page may be dedicated to a specific city and include informative and engaging information on navigating that city and the best things to do while there. This information gives depth to your content and demonstrates you as more than just a business encouraging a sale.
However, no matter what else is mentioned on your landing page, the content will always come back to car hire. Ultimately, it’s what the reader was initially looking for, and it’s what you as the marketer intend to happen. You’ve just done it in a way that makes you stand out from your competitors.
Travel blogs are where you can stretch your creative wings and help user engagement soar. Unlike landing pages, most blogs shouldn’t include a call to action (CTA), but should in some way be related to what your business offers. As we already know, every piece of content should come back to your business goals, but it doesn’t always have to hit the nail on the head quite so hard.
For this example, let’s imagine you rent out holiday properties across Europe. It’s encouraged to shout about your selling points, but you can gently lean into them in ways that could help you reach a wider audience.
With this particular scenario, you could create an engaging blog all about romantic places to visit in France. Each section would mention a different place, and you may occasionally slip in a line like:
“Paris is undoubtedly one of the most romantic cities in France, with an abundance of ambient restaurants and cosy apartments to choose from.”
Mentioning apartments in a subtle way gives you a chance to naturally link back to the apartments you rent out to travellers.
Even if you create blogs that don’t link back to your services, creating content that reaches a wider audience and piques their engagement gets your name out there so they can remember you when they next want to use a service like yours.
You’ll have likely come across local travel guides on popular websites like Lonely Planet or World Travel Guide. Incredibly detailed and written with the typical level of creativity and enthusiasm you would expect of travel website content, local travel guides give users an abundance of information on the best things to do on their travels. If dedicated to a specific place, it should include some of the most popular experiences, as well as those off the beaten track.
Local guides should also highlight information of cultural and historical importance, the best way to get around, and even what the weather is typically like throughout the year. They should be expertly written and are usually created by someone who has spent a significant amount of time in the location.
No matter what services or products you offer within the tourism industry, your website content can be taken to new heights with local guides. Creating guides will bulk out your travel website content with detailed information and help you build authority in the industry of travel.
Even if a user plans to spend every moment of their holiday by the pool, they still need to know how to get around when they arrive. Transport information plays a vital part in travel content strategy, especially if you sell flights or work as a hotel booking service. At the very least, your users will need to know how to get from the airport to their hotel.
Dedicate space on your website to give users information on transport for the location they are visiting. This should include taxi services, car hire, bus routes and times, and even bike hire if that is the popular way to travel in the area.
Even if you give a short paragraph of travel information on your landing pages where you link to the right places so a user can find out more, all travel website content should have some transport information.
Every traveller needs somewhere to stay, so it’s important to recommend hotels, villas and apartments.
If your business specialises in hotels, then you’ll of course only want to recommend your own locations. If you work in other areas of the travel industry, however, you would do well to include varied options. Make sure you write about places that accommodate all budgets, ranging from humble hostels to the downright boujie hotels.
Look at online reviews and consider the location of each hotel – there’s no point recommending the “best hotels in Amsterdam” if it turns out one of your recommendations is actually closer to Amersfoort.
How to develop your travel content strategy
Now you’ve got a better idea of what type of content goes into travel content strategy, you’ve got a better chance of getting the gears in motion. No one travel content strategy will be the same as another, but there are some things every strategy plan should focus on.
Tailor your unique offering
It goes without saying that you need to have a full understanding of what your travel business does and what it can offer users. You might specialise in creating content that outlines the cultural differences travellers should be aware of before they arrive, or maybe you work for an airline or chain of hotels — your aim is to encourage your audience why your service is better than others.
Whatever your offering is, you need to make the content that promotes it uniquely so it stands out. Decide on your specific tone of voice and what perception you want others to make of your brand. This will help you create content in a way that is unique to your business.
Know your audience
You’d be forgiven for assuming that everyone who travels would be your target audience, as in some ways, that is true. Whatever your travel offering, you’d likely hope to attract people from every demographic. For the most part, however, this just isn’t the case.
Whether you market places to stay when on holiday or luxury flight experiences, your unique offering will appeal to one demographic more than another, especially when it comes to individual budgets. Where one person is looking for a luxury five-star holiday, another simply wants a basic hostel room to stay in before they head elsewhere on their backpacking journey.
Consider who your industry competitors are – they’ll be the ones that offer a similar service or product. You can see how they tailor their brand, who their followers are, and how they interact with their audience when you take a quick glance at their socials.
Are most of their followers fresh out of university and hoping to explore the world as cheaply as possible, or are they a mature adult who likely has more of a dispensable income? Whoever their audience is are likely the same people you should try to reach with your travel content marketing, so you should create your strategy in a way that targets them and their needs.
Conduct travel keyword research
If you’re not familiar with SEO strategy, then keyword research might not instantly come to mind for travel content strategy. But SEO and content go hand-in-hand, each powering the other to their full potential.
Creating interactive and descriptive content that targets and encourages your readers into action should always be the priority of your travel content strategy. However, the best way your content can succeed is by choosing the right keywords.
You might naturally include high-ranking phrases like “best restaurants in Berlin” without giving it much critical thought, but you need to find the right keywords that will put you higher on the SERP to compete against your industry neighbours.
Let’s stay with the Berlin example, but in this case, you manage a travel blog. You want to write about Berlin, but not sure what to focus on. Consider first who you’re targeting, which in this case would be any person looking for somewhere to eat in the city. Once you know that, pull up a search engine like Mangools or Ahrefs and type something along the lines of “Berlin restaurants” or “places to eat in Berlin”.
The search engine will then bring up more specific phrase-based or longtail keywords like “best Italian restaurants in Berlin”, or something even more specific like “best restaurants near Bradenburg Gate in Berlin”.
Finding these keywords will help you discover what users are searching for and allow you to create content that will be more easily discoverable on search engines. The keywords you pull can also help you choose what type of content you can create as part of your travel content marketing strategy.
Research seasonal trends
Those who work within the travel industry will recognize the seasonal trends, which can vary across the world and affect the way you approach your international SEO strategy.
Consider when your audience is most likely to travel, and where they are most likely to travel to throughout the year. Those travelling to somewhere like Thailand with a tighter budget may be happy to fly during the rainy season between June and October when prices drop. However, those who can afford to do so may prefer to visit that part of the world when they’re guaranteed sunshine.
The travel and tourism industry took a significant hit in 2020, which was a trend no one could predict. However, as borders began to reopen, travel marketers were given some idea of when tourism would pick back up again.
By keeping an eye on the dates and which countries travellers could visit from their own country, it was easier to create and tailor travel content that addressed the needs of the reader at that time. The key to seasonal trends is to recognise the regular patterns and keep an eye out for new ones.
Let your content soar
Developing your travel content marketing plan requires an abundance of research with a healthy dollop of creativity. You need to understand what you’re aiming for and think like your audience so you can create winning copy that will put you (and keep you) on their radar.