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September 18, 2014

Guide to travel content marketing: part three

 

PART THREE: DEVISING YOUR CONTENT PLAN

As traditional marketing methods diminish in impact, travel content marketing is increasingly important. In the third of our five-part cut-out-and-keep monthly series, Melt Content’s Dan Hart guides you through the process of travel content marketing. Previously he has defined the marketing technique and its benefits, and highlighted how to make the most of your assets; this month he explains how to devise a content plan.

Define your goal

Regular readers of this column will already have determined a need for content, and tasked relevant assets with gathering content. Now we need a plan of execution – and that begins by defining your final objective. This can be done by asking yourself: What it is I would like to tangibly achieve from my new travel content? Do I want to build greater awareness for my brand? Would I like to promote a new product or service? Or am I looking to challenge our customers’ perception of us? Every outcome demands an individual approach.

Consider your approach

Let’s say that your goal is to secure a greater flow of traffic to your website. In this case, your approach may incorporate these three steps: 1. Conducting keyword research to ascertain the competitiveness of likely search terms, your current levels of optimisation and the search terms you wish to promote; 2. Determining where the content will land visitors and what this page(s) should achieve (will it be a refresh of your landing page, a new landing page or a microsite; and what is the call to action?); 3. Deciding how your content can complement your current and existing campaigns, like SEO tactics, Pay Per Click (PPC), social media and PR.

Support your content

Now you have clarified your goals and put a strategy in place to deliver the desired results, it’s time to make sure everything goes to plan. Great content is made even greater by surrounding it with other content, so if you are creating a fun video, consider what else you can create around this. Perhaps you can blog about the story behind the video, or encourage discussions around the video on social media. You could add stills of the video’s production on Facebook or Pinterest, or you could re-edit the video into trailer/teaser formats. Consider pushing out your video onto third party websites that will target the right audience for your brand.

Create a calendar

Next up, how to ensure all of this content is released at the right time and the right place? By creating a content calendar. This means coming up with a schedule for what content will be produced, by whom, and by when, followed by how and when it will be distributed. Calendars allow you to plan content around specific events (such as your business’ seasonal sales cycle, promotional activities and upcoming events) and to also consider the most effective channel for content (whether blog, video or social media) far in advance. Make sure you communicate your ideas clearly throughout the content production chain to ensure buy-in at all levels – this will also help you ensure you achieve consistency, style and quality assurance across all content.

Measure your success

There are numerous paid-for and free statistics and analytics systems that allow you to measure the success of your content, by almost every benchmark you can imagine – so you should make the most of them! Measure by increased search visibility, detailed web metrics (including demographics, page views, click-throughs, session duration and bounce rates), social media engagement and shares, sales performance (from page hits and sign-ups to measurable increases in income)… and even those elusive long-term outcomes like search ranking progress.

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