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Content makes it possible to create a connection between you and a traveler, to build a trust-based relationship, and to add value and sense to the very process of preparation to a trip. Travel industry content marketing is not only about beautiful pictures and fairy-tales about travelling. Today, the competition in the travel market is so high that single advertising is no enough—one needs to use marketing promotion tools to the fullest. One of such tools is content. By the way, in the field of travelling, this tool can become of the most powerful ones in terms of business development.
Content quality depends quite a lot on the type of a website where it is published. Figuratively, one can distinguish these main types of travel websites.
Tourism is one of the topics where a rule ‘better less but better’ works. Sometimes a website of one country can give more complete information about the country that a large tour portal about the whole works. Texts for these websites are often written by Russian-speaking people who live in these countries. This is almost a guarantee that everything will be written by first-hand experience, up-to-date and interesting. A large tour portal where one needs to make descriptions of 200 countries by deadline just does not have that luxury.
Top 3 platforms with the best travel texts also include websites of tour operators. Tour operators try to create unique products—author’s routes, to which they generate content of high semantic exclusiveness: texts, video, pictures.
Definitely, there are blogs of enthusiastic travelers—this is where one can go deep into reading and gain inspiration. These are articles with the highest semantic uniqueness, exclusive pictures, true facts beyond standard descriptions of cities and towns, and, what matters most, with their hearts put into work!
What is more, there are dozens, if not hundreds, Russian travel bloggers who maintain not just pages in social media, but separate, properly done blogs! If you need content of good quality (or even a number of articles) about your country, city, hotel, or restaurant, go right ahead and contact bloggers! At the nearest time we will do a selection of the best Russian travel bloggers; in the meantime, we are going to share with you travel content marketing examples - three interesting travelers’ blogs.
Young natives of the Omsk city, Stas and Anya, do not simply tell about their trips, short and lengthy, but inspire to trips! Here are Asia, Caucasus, Russia, and former Soviet republics. The guys write quite a lot about Asian countries. Moreover, as a rule, it’s not about separate articles, but whole series of them. For example, the bloggers wrote 12 articles about one of their last trips to the Phú Quốc Island (Vietnam) and more than 20 ones about the last trip to Vietnam. Nothing matters more than the fact that they devote their blogs to topics that excite Russian tourists most of all: how can one get somewhere cheaper? Where can one go (tours’ review)? What can one eat? What beaches are best? There are also other topics that are really of concern for Russian travelers and that they look up the Internet for most often.
If you offer culinary journeys, feel free to contact blogger Alexey Onegin. Unlike the previous blog of fans of Asian countries, the list of Alexey Onegin mostly includes European cities. An amateur cook and a traveler from Saint Petersburg, he writes in a very absorbing way not only about cities, but also shares national recipes. He also makes great reviews of restaurants in European cities with wonderful pictures. His readers do not only use his reviews on how to choose a restaurant, but also recommend their favorite eateries in the cities that he writes about and ask to share his opinion.
Besides, he actively maintains his pages in social media—at the time when this article was written, more than 30,000 readers have subscribed to his accounts.
The third travel bloggers Yulia travels across the world, usually with her backpack and her dog. In her blog, she shares her impressions and feelings, trying to catch the ins and outs. As the blog author often travels with her dog, she also tells a lot about how to choose a carrier for travelling with a dog, what ‘dog beaches’ there are in Spain, how to book a hotel or an apartment where one may stay with a dog etc. Her list includes cities and countries from almost all continents: Europe, Asia, America, and the Caribbean. During her travels, she makes videos and shares them not only in her blog, but also on her Youtube channel.
Technologies are what always arrests attention, regardless of the field. In travel industry content marketing, visual content is pretty much a basis of all materials. At that, content visualization technologies do not rest on their laurels: there are 3D tours, 360 degrees pictures, and in 2019, virtual reality is on trend.
The use of VR technologies will let a travel business take a quantum leap in marketing. You must agree that just watching pictures or video is nothing compared to those feelings and dipping into a new atmosphere that virtual reality will let create. If a traveler likes your VR tour, he or she will definitely want to learn more about your country, region, hotel, or landmarks and experience all feelings and impressions not virtually, but actually. But please, do not show too much—give a traveler an opportunity to open even more new things during the very travel.
For some, the definition of content means only texts, but this notion is much wider. Content is everything that you create and communicate in public.
In the process of content creation, all formats can and must surely be combined. For example, if you upload a video, you must add a name and a description to encourage a traveler to watch it.
Let’s enlarge on the content types, on the choice of which a success (or failure) of implementation of your content plan will depend.
You can publish this content both in your website in a relevant section and share it on the pages in social media. This type includes news in the travel industry and your company, reports on events.
An interview with an expert/owner/employee of the company. You can make a series of interviews and turn them into a regular column in your blog.
- Expert’s commentary
Do you follow the news in the latest industry? Can you give an expert commentary? Go right ahead on the pages of professional communities in social media (such posts are more intended for B2B). It can be not just a comment, but a full-value comprehensive longread with a reference to a piece of news or an event that impelled you to make this post. Such posts with expert commentaries, especially ones that raise hot topics in your field, can become a useful aid to your PR promotion and score up mentioning ratings of your company: journalists use expert commentaries from social media in their articles quite often. The main rule is that a commentary must be timely and valuable!
- Mentions in mass media
Travel industry is one of those where a phrase ‘all publicity is good publicity’ does not make sense! Thoroughly monitor how and in what way your country or brand is mentioned in mass media.
- Users’ reviews
Review management and especially thorough management of negative reviews is a key to success and formation of a positive image of you and your business in the travelers’ eyes. That is why one should monitor not only how much they write, but also what.
- Tips for travelers
This is an excellent topic that can be developed in a blog of any travel business. A ministry of tourism can tell how a Russian traveler can get to a certain country. Airlines: how can one do it faster and safer? Tour operators: how can one get to a destination place cheaper and with more comfort? Hotels: how does one choose a hotel for the best vacation in life? And the like.
- A country/city guide
Tell travelers where it is best to go to your country and what venues to visit. Tell about new places and establishments that are opened in your city and can provoke interest of travelers.
- Traveler’s check-list
One more type of content that will be suitable for nearly any business is ’10 Steps to the Best Vacation in a Country/City/Restaurant/Hotel’.
- Advertising materials and posts
Discounts, specials, last minute tours—apart from publication on information on your offer in the company’s and partners’ websites, do not forget to communicate it in social media.
- Video reports
In the travel industry, visual content plays a special role. Almost any video that demonstrates a country’s landmarks or a restaurant’s tastiest dishes in combination with its unique interior can become its name card. That is why we recommend ministries of tourism of cities and countries, hospitality business owners to shoot as much video as possible.
- Viral content
This content type is pretty hard to create—it is impossible to foresee how the audience will react and whether users will share your content, but, we recommend trying it as an experiment. For example, in 2015 SCAT Airlines created a video, and it became really viral—six-figure views, reports, and mentions in republican mass media (the video was targeted to Kazakhstan).
There are several ways to conduct a poll: in the company’s websites (if its capacity allows it), in social media, by email, to print out a questionnaire and ask visitors of your restaurants or guests of your hotel to answer several simple questions, as well as by means of third-party services (for instance, testograf.ru). Polls are usually conducted for marketing purposes in order to, for example, get to know a traveler’s impression from a trip, whether he or she is content and would like to visit your country again. However, polls can be used in social media to increase the users’ engagement rate, which positively affects the page reach.
Inspire travelers to ask questions that are of interest to them, for example, about your country or hotel. The key is to answer quickly and not to leave questions unanswered (even if you already answered a similar question), do not react to negative—try to be constructive about every question. In future, you can collect the most popular questions with useful answers into a FAQ section in your website.
- Contests and quests
Such content is usually used not only to engage users, but also to increase brand awareness by means of a higher reach. To raise effectiveness, one can conduct joint contests, for example, between a hotel owner and a room booking service because the promotion will involve resources of two companies—consequently, the reach will be higher.
In the end, we would like to note once again that travel content marketing is an integral part and one of the key tools that must be included into a marketing strategy to promote travel business. As for strategy of winning Russian travelers, read our article ‘6 Steps to Improve Your Destination Marketing Strategy in Russia’.
Experiment with ways of content presenting, use various formats, and do not forget to communicate content via all available channels: the company’s website, partners’ websites, social media pages, and emailing.
If you decided to go forward in the Russian market, come to RMAA Travel. Our experts will help you create an effective travel industry content marketing plan that will let you win hearts of Russian travellers.
Ready to partner with the specialists in Russian travel marketing and advertising?
About the Author
Digital marketing manager, editor-in-chief of the RMAA Group Blog