By Alan E. Young
From startups to Fortune 100, companies of all sizes struggle with keeping their content fresh, exciting, compelling and unique. Bill Gates famously proclaimed that "Content is King" in 1996 and now, almost two decades later, content has certainly become a major player in the world of travel technology marketing. With this in mind, we've compiled some easy to implement hacks that will help you in your efforts to create outstanding content.
1. Write Headlines Last
Although headlines are a very effective way to grab a reader's attention, your content must be substantial and interesting to create a memorable experience and a lasting connection to your brand. By putting in the necessary time to develop strong core content first, you can be sure that you don't lose focus on the importance of its relevance. When you write the headline last, you see the story as a whole and subsequently, create highly clickable and shareable headlines that accurately reflect your story.
2. Stay Current on Latest Industry Trends
Technology is moving at an exceedingly rapid pace. Platforms that were once considered the "next big things" are now commonplace and others are shifting to the side to make room for new players. By staying up-to-date with the latest trends, you can be certain to further your brand's relevancy while delivering content that's on the cutting edge of the industry. Follow journalists and influencers on social media, subscribe to trade journals and set up Google alerts to track keywords and competitors.
3. Don't Just Sell – Engage
Modern content marketing is primarily about engaging your audience. If you are merely trying to sell a product, most people will become quickly disinterested. Instead, consider a more subtle, less self-serving approach to content, which will, in turn, create a strong connection to your brand and lead to long-term loyalty. Of course, you don’t need to forget about creating branded content altogether. However, if you’re going to do it, then you need to make sure it is innovative and worth sharing.
4. Create Momentum with a Content Cadence Calendar
Content marketing is part art, part science. Quality content is a requirement, yes, but how often are you putting quality content out there? Creating a content cadence calendar will help you generate momentum and reach your audience. Consistency means you keep up with the strategy you’ve laid out. You don’t publish two new blogs a week for the first month and then abandon your blog for six weeks. Google and other search engines also reward websites that are updated often. This is why content frequency is likely to directly tie to your marketing, SEO and lead generation results.
5. Deliver a Variety of Content Formats
What qualifies as good marketing content? Instead of falling into the routine of creating a singular content type, you can develop a richer presence by utilizing a mixture of blogs, infographics, ebooks, landing pages, videos and thought leadership articles. Offering a variety of styles and mediums will allow you to reach a wider audience as well as help you test the formats that your customers and prospects consider to be most engaging.
6. Keep in Mind That Readers Have Short Attention Spans
Is it easier to market to goldfish? According to the-the U.S. National Library of Medicine, the average attention span of a human being has dropped to 8 seconds. This is less than the attention span of a goldfish. Holding concentration in the digital world is difficult. It is therefore increasingly important for your content-driven marketing to be both highly entertaining and useful to your audience. Instead of just creating more content, carefully strategize to develop the right content that captures reader’s short attention spans and keeps them engaged with valuable information.
7. Use Content Marketing Tools
There are many excellent tools that can be used to assist in developing engaging content, such as the following:
- When inspiration is hard to come by, try using Portent's Content Idea Generator to spark your creativity into action.
- To see the hottest topics and trends that consumers and prospects are searching for, check out Google's live tool.
- Use this Readability Tool to receive a breakdown of how suitable your content is for the level of your audience.
- Grammarly is a fantastic resource to help ensure that your content is error-free.
- Check out the ultimate list of content tools at http://www.curata.com/blog/content-marketing-tools-ultimate-list/
Content marketing is one of the most important keys to success for travel brands. It takes time, effort, and serious persistence to play the long game, not the short game. Those who commit to developing engaging dialogue are rewarded with a positive impact on both their brand and bottom line.