November 3, 2015

The Importance of Content Marketing

by Malek Murison

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Ah Content Marketing; a simple, effective way to build trust and authority with your chosen customers. Let’s face it; nobody likes being sold to in an overly direct manner. When it comes to travel services, as with many other industries, customers want to be gently encouraged and subtly informed about what you can offer them, not harassed at every turn. Because of this, Content Marketing is one of the most valuable tools to develop authenticity and spread the word about your services – all while building a loyal following which ultimately translates into gains in traffic and sales.

Here are the top benefits of having a strong Content Marketing campaign…

A Loyal Community of Customers

In the travel services industry loyalty is hard to come by. With a huge range of providers to choose from, it takes a lot of work to build a base of customers who regularly return to your services. The key to keep them coming back for more is to radiate authenticity, and there’s no better way of doing this than by producing content, ideally community led, which informs your customers and helps make you a thought leader in your field. If you publish interesting, engaging content, it won’t be long until customers effectively check in on your site just to see the latest content.

Make Your Travel Services Provider an Authority

Carefully selected your content allows you to target specific niches and develop a trusted source of news and information for your customers. Not everything you publish has to have obvious and immediate sales drive attached to it. Sometimes it pays off to play the long game, and build an audience that will eventually appreciate your authenticity enough to purchase from your marketplace.

Customer Engagement Outside of Normal Channels

It shouldn’t only be during and after a transaction that you engage with your customers. In many ways Content Marketing is the best customer research you can ever do. Publishing relevant content through your social media channels allows for immediate feedback from your audience, while offering some insight into what they’re thinking. Taking advantage of this is the key to creating further content which resonates with your audience. If your material is good enough, your content will be shared and provoke discussion, eventually reaching people far outside your sphere of influence.

Great Content is Great for SEO

Often overlooked but key to consistently improving your traffic from search engines, solid Content Marketing make you more appealing to Google as well as your customers. Meaningful blogs, articles, and general content will see your search engine rankings improve, which can only be good for your traffic and sales in the long run. Which leads us to...

People on the web are searching for something – content marketing provides the answers

When people go online they don't get their information from adverts or popups. They get it from thoughtful, well put together blogs and articles. In fact, in 2011, a study conducted by the Custom Content Council showed that more than 70 percent of users preferred to get their information from articles rather than corporate advertisements. So now put yourself in the shoes of that person. What are they going to search for, and how are they going to come across your website? The most likely answer is through search engines. This means that to reach your target audience, you need to join other businesses and produce content that will act like a magnet to the people you want to reach.

Content Helps You Build Your Brand

Sometimes everything you want to get across about your services, offerings and distinct brand features can’t be said in a single ‘About Us’ web page. Content Marketing allows you to develop the voice of your marketplace over time, tailoring it to suit the feedback you receive from customers. You want people to be visiting your site because they are searching for information, insight or entertainment, and ultimately because they get something back from their visit. Marketing via great content helps to create the foundations needed to become a successful travel services provider.

Good content stands the test of time

So you've created a strong social media post, or a particularly interesting blog or article - what now? Well, the foundation of content marketing is that enduring legacy. Having captured a potential customers’ interest with a one-off piece, the next goal should be to reinforce that connection. Exceptional content marketing has the ability to turn quick visits into longer stays and even returns. This can have a long-lasting effect for any website. If you've created a strong foundation of content, then your website will likely generate traffic over the course of months or even years off of those cornerstones.

Content is king for email marketing

It's an obvious one, but it goes without saying that any email campaign is going to struggle without a good amount content, both in email and externally linked. Fresh newsletters and blogs are a simple way to engage with your target audience, and if you can link them back to your website, even better. This kind of content strategy is far more effective than simply sending out mail saying 'don't forget to visit our website'. Provide value, either with a teasing blog post or some thoughtful comment, and you will quickly see traffic rise.

Why Travelshift?

As we’ve seen customer loyalty is dependent on, among other things, the amount of authenticity your service is able to radiate. Travelshift software incorporates features which allow you to build a community of bloggers, whether they are local to your operating area or experts on your travel niche, and start out on the road to becoming an insightful thought leader in that field.

On top of our community-friendly blogging platform Travelshift includes the capacity to add customer reviews and testimonials to your products and proprietary SEO features. All these tools and more allow you to quickly build a successful travel services marketplace.