Travel insights from Andrea Sedlacek, managing editor of The Compass

5 Ways to Make Content Marketing Work for You

Content marketing. Is that term new to you? If it is, that’s ok. If it isn’t, you’re already a step ahead, and you are on the forefront of the future of marketing.

Content marketing focuses on creating and distributing useful and relevant content to current and potential clients to promote your business. It’s not about using a deal or offer to get your name out there. It’s about positioning yourself as an expert and drawing people to you because of that.

The easiest way to get into content marketing is to start with simply committing to writing content and publishing that content on a regular basis. And the easiest way to do that is by creating a blog on your agency’s website to give you a home for all of the content you’re going to publish.

Don’t think you need to be a professional writer to have a great blog. You simply need to think of the authentic and personal experiences you’ve had as a travel agent: the amazing destinations you’ve visited, the beautiful resorts you’ve stayed in and the interesting people you’ve met. Look at that – you’ve already got oodles of things to write about. Now it’s on to the next step: think about your clients and their personal experiences. How did you help them achieve that experience? What role did you play? How did you add value to the memory? More content! Travel professionals are uniquely positioned to take great advantage of content marketing based on the industry you’re in. It really couldn’t be easier for you!

So instead of publishing a Facebook post promoting your latest family travel deals to Punta Cana, publish a blog post on your agency’s website with 10 Punta Cana travel tips for families. Instead of promoting great destination wedding packages, write an editorial arguing why destination weddings should be considered over a local wedding and submit it to your local community newspaper.

Now that you’re intrigued by the idea of content marketing (you are, right?), here are five ways to make content marketing work for you.

  1. Have confidence. You’re a travel professional, meaning you know travel. You know the ins and outs of this business better than anyone so don’t be shy – be confident!
  2. Consider your audience. Are you writing for your current clients or trying to attract new ones? That can drastically change the way you talk about something, because you don’t want to assume your audience knows or doesn’t know something. Either way, you can alienate your audience very quickly.
  3. Be personal. If you’re writing about yourself, your business, your experience in a destination, etc., this is all information coming from YOU. Don’t talk in third person: Andrea had a good time on Carnival’s newest ship. Don’t talk like a robot: I liked the waterpark on the ship. DO talk like you would with your friends and family: The restaurants on the ship were amazing – so many choices like seafood, teppanyaki and, my favorite, elegant dining at The Chef’s Table.
  4. Rules are meant to be broken. This goes along with being personal and not talking like a robot. Use contractions. Write in first person. End a sentence with a preposition. Maybe start a sentence with the word “and.” Yeah, some people don’t like that, but I do that when I’m writing because it’s how I talk. Even though I’m an English major, I’m not afraid to break some rules if it makes my content easier to read and feel more like mine.
  5. Promote! It can feel a little weird to promote yourself this way, but how is promoting your content different than any other type of marketing that you do? Publish that blog post, then share that baby all over social media! Link to it in your emails to clients! Send it to your community newspaper to publish as an op-ed! The point is, don’t just let it sit there. Get it out into the world!

About the Author

As the managing editor of The Compass on VAX, Andrea is dedicated to delivering valuable, fun and grammatically correct content to her readers (without Oxford commas). Her experience writing and editing in the retail and insurance industries made the move to travel one of the most exciting things to happen in her career. What's the next most-exciting thing for her? Whenever the newest edition of the AP Stylebook comes out.

Follow Andrea on Twitter: @SedlacekAndrea

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