17 May Why Understanding Your Clients and Storytelling Are Important
by Kwin Mosby
Managing Editor, Vacation.com
Travel Leaders Group
More than 20 years of my work experience has been focused on content, and now more than ever, content is king. It plays a major role in everything we do here at Travel Leaders Network, and I’ve seen with my own eyes how effective it is promoting the value of our members to the world.
Traditional marketing is becoming less and less effective by the minute, and today, focus has increased on content marketing as an integral part of a travel agent’s digital marketing strategy.
Content marketing is a strategic approach in helping your clients understand your relevance and value to them. As part of your content strategy, you should think in terms of how to angle your message to get customers to “look forward to” receiving any form of correspondence from you.
Part of attaining your goals is creating authentic travel content that addresses why clients need a travel agent’s expertise, which includes perks such as creating a worry-free itinerary plan, offering extra value add-ons, connecting the client to a network of suppliers, and offering pro-traveler tips. You’ve been there, done that and can speak from experience!
In addition to touting the perks of working with a travel agent, it’s also important to understand your client’s journey. By knowing where they are in the trip-planning process, you have a clearer perspective on how you can meet their needs. For example, a couple choosing the perfect destination for their honeymoon are at a different stage than a solo traveler who already knows they want to book a multi-city trip to Brazil in November.
Understanding the value of storytelling to keep your audience engaged is also extremely important to content marketing. What storytelling formats work for your audience? Flat content (articles and blog posts), slideshows (used as an immersion experience or infographic format) and video are just a few ways you can keep travelers inspired, help dispel myths and get the truth out about what every traveler should know about a travel agent’s expertise in customized trip planning.
Let’s take a look at content marketing in action: You’ve been getting several inquiries for Colombia because it’s the hot destination now. You could use Google keywords to discover what people are searching for, but you probably already have a wealth of knowledge at your fingertips to help drive content creation. Focus on showcasing previously book itineraries to Colombia, including client experiences above and beyond the written testimonials. Use slideshows to inspire and highlight not-to-be-missed sights and cultural experiences. And if possible, use video to capture authentic travel experiences through the eyes of previous clients. Adding that relatable human-interest element can be a big difference in helping you create the perfect vacation for your client, while touting your successes at the same time.