Travel is moving online. One would have to be completely oblivious to miss this. In 2015, 39% of travel bookings made from the United States were done online. Online travel sales made up for more than $533 billion.
Marketing, and especially content marketing, has an important role in this story. So, tour operators, read on.
Their projections have this number rise by about $50 billion each year in the next few years. As for even further down the road, it is too soon to tell, but it is very obvious that more and more people are going online for their travel needs.
For this very apparent and very simple reason, people who are trying to make a living in the travel industry cannot afford to lose online customers. This, of course, includes tour operators too. And simply being online has stopped being enough a long time ago. A tour operator needs to be visible.
Which brings us to the star of today’s article – content marketing.
Content marketing entails creating relevant and valuable content which will be used to promote a brand. While some people think that it is a modern invention, it is actually not.
For instance, a famous manufacturer of farming equipment, John Deere, did content marketing in the 19th century, publishing their own magazine called The Furrow where they provided farmers with useful and informative content. Of course, the ultimate goal was to promote the John Deere brand, but also to give their readers and potential customers new insights.
This is where content marketing becomes different from printed ads, TV and radio commercials and other types of advertising – giving the potential customers more than just an invitation to try out a brand.
Of course, with the advent of the internet, with its increased speed, options, and capabilities, content marketing started developing rapidly. Research from Kapost showed that two-thirds of B2B companies (which are traditionally more fact-driven in their marketing) consider content marketing one of their highest priorities.
The ultimate goal of content marketing is to bring in more customers. In the world of online marketing, this is all about becoming more visible and more popular online which can be done very naturally and effectively through producing fantastic content.
To be even more technical and crude, it is all about bringing as many people as possible to the web page where they can book a tour.
More likely than not, the question that most tour operators will ask at this moment is what kind of content can and should they produce. The good news is that they are not in the slightest limited by certain industry idiosyncrasies that make some other business owners’ content marketing efforts quite difficult.
Moreover, tour operators have a much wider array of content to choose from. These case studies from Online Marketing Gurus should get your hopes up. If they have managed to do great content marketing for plumbers, imagine what can be done in the travel industry.
Once you have mastered your basic content creating and sharing, it may be time to take things to another level with some advanced content marketing. And once again tour operators have plenty to choose from.
Content marketing and tour operators definitely mix. Thanks to the ever-increasing number of “web-based tourists” and the fact that the travel industry is so visually and emotionally attractive, content marketing should become a huge part of every tour operator’s marketing efforts.
AUTHOR: James D. Burbank has spent more than 15 years in the world of brand promotion. If you have the time, you can check out his blog – BizzMarkBlog.
on May 10, 2016
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