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The ongoing debate in content marketing discussing quality versus quantity isn’t subsiding any time soon, as it shouldn’t. It is important to understand both angles of this debate and look at past campaigns to analyze the pros and cons of each side and how they relate to your company’s needs. To let you in on the secret: both are important, and depending on your company’s size you should be utilizing both in your content marketing strategy.
Over the past few years, we have seen a huge increase in need for unique and original content, specifically within the travel industry. With the amount of resources travelers now have at their fingertips, you want to make sure you have content they are looking for (which inevitably leads to booking sales). Let’s walk through how to successfully scale your content campaign, specifically in the travel space, to make sure you don’t miss a beat (or a lead) on your content marketing needs.
Image via Flickr by Gary Bembridge
Every company’s needs are different in terms of size and budget. Those two factors heavily determine the strategy that will need to be laid down before you can begin to scale any content marketing efforts. Here is a brief roadmap of kickoff essentials that need to be covered when attacking a large content campaign.
Just to note, do not get concerned if it takes a while to get the wheels turning. As a matter of fact, you should be concerned if you feel as if everything is moving rapidly. Just because you are scaling in quantity, doesn’t mean you should ignore the small initial steps to ensure quality. It will be worth it in the long run, trust me!
Image via CopyPress
Like any other content project, an inclusive style guide is probably the most important aspect to ensure you have a uniform, large-scale content project. There will be multiple writers creating content, and you want that content to have consistency and flow as if the same person wrote all of it. Aside from the usual tone and format directions, there are a few more important things to cover in a style guide created specifically for the travel space.
“The average traveler visits 22 travel-related websites during the research and planning phase.” –GFK Global
It can be a daunting and unappealing task for a writer to have to conduct research for a large amount of destinations before jumping into the writing. It is best to take this step off their plates for consistency as well as the obvious time it takes.
For consistency, it is best to unify where the information is coming from. For example, if you have a list of 200 hotels that you need to write content for, provide three resource links for the writer as follows:
The sources will be reputable and accurate, will most likely contain similar information, and you will be able to keep consistency within all pieces of content without having the writer tackle the task of finding a mass of resources. It may take a few internal resources to get this done, but will be helpful (and appreciated by the writers) in the long run.
Image via Flickr by GotCredit
By creating different levels of landing pages, you will have the perfect opportunity to optimize your internal linking strategy. At scale, this is as easy as including a sentence in the style guide to incorporate X number of links to internal pages relating to the landing page. For example, if the writer is creating a landing page discussing things to do in Dallas, Texas, within that page they can link to a few hotels or landmarks around the area.
You also want to encourage user-generated content within the post. The call to action should be asking other travelers to share their experiences in that city or at a certain hotel. According to Chase Card Services and Nielsen, 95 percent of travelers read travel reviews prior to booking and the second most trusted form of advertising is consumer opinions posted online.
After you have your roadmap and style guides complete, initial content in production, and strategy in full swing, don’t stop there. Now is the time to push traffic toward that content creation through other sources of inbound traffic. The perfect place to start is with your blog content.
Every travel site has its own blog, which is imperative to utilize. For example, create listicle articles that can tie in a number of new content pages. An example topic would be “5 Must See Stops On a Road Trip Through Florida” – here you can link to city pages, hotel pages, and even landmark pages all throughout the state of Florida. You can spark reader engagement by pushing these out through your social channels and asking for travelers’ expertise and opinions as well.
Not every content campaign in the travel space is going to be identical (or simple). There are going to be challenges and setbacks as any initial campaign does, but hopefully you gain insight through the learning curves we tackled throughout our experience in this space. One last important note comes from a presentation given by Caitlin Domke at the Luxury Travel Advisor’s Ultra Summit, which said:
The quality of your output is only as good as what you put into it, so be patient and follow the needed steps that need to be done to succeed!