Want Enticing Travel Content That Sells? (Hint: Your Customers Have Already Written It For You!)

travel content


You know content marketing is important for your travel business. You’ve made it a priority. You’re blogging and tweeting and instagramming. You and your team have worked incredibly hard to create a website with stunning images and a clever headline that is on-point with your brand.

But how do you know all this content you’re producing will actually engage your audience?

The very first place you should look for messaging is your customers, both current customers and the ideal guests you want. Forget what you want to say, and focus on what your best prospects need to hear. Listening to travelers and truly understanding what they are thinking, feeling and wanting to experience helps them to trust you. When they come to your website or visit your social media pages, they know that they have found exactly what they’re looking for.

Where do you find this information, you ask?

Gold Mines of Travel Content

  • * Customer Surveys & Interviews
  • * Reviews from Travel Sites (like TripAdvisor)
  • * Social Media
  • * Travel Forums
  • * Emails from Customers

Use Their Words

The types of words and phrases you should look for:

  • * The natural and conversational language people use when discussing your destination
  • * Memorable phrases that stand out
  • * Adjectives that are used most often
  • * Descriptions that engage the senses
  • * Specific benefits and amenities they want
  • * What current customers love most about your business
  • * Problems or pain points they mention, and how you can help ease their worries

Now What?

Once you’ve gathered your treasure trove of content, browse through it to find recurring themes. What are the phrases and ideas that travelers tend to repeat over and over? Pick the strongest 3-4 topics, and you’ve got a pretty clear picture of the exact type of message you should be communicating on your website.

For more ideas and articles on how to create compelling travel content that converts to leads and bookings, click here and enter your email address.

Content Marketing Strategy for Travel and Tourism: 9 Best Practices

Content Marketing


Creating great travel content and posting it to your social media pages doesn’t necessarily mean that travelers are engaging with it…or even seeing it. That’s why it is so important to have a plan. Travel has almost limitless potential for content, but understanding how and where to share it is a huge factor in how successful it will be.

Think of it like this: If your website is your company’s front door, then your blog and social media channels are your living room. It’s that comfortable spot where stories are told, questions are answered, ideas are shared…and trust is built. So, how do you build that sense of comfort and trust? Here are 9 best practices to get you started.

1. Know Your Ideal Traveler

The whole purpose of content marketing is to create value for your guests by sharing relevant and educational information. If you don’t have a solid understanding of your customer, it’s going to be really difficult to give them the help they’re looking for. What do your typical guests like to do? What are some of their most common requests or frequently asked questions?

2. Start Collecting Ideas

Brainstorm various topics and sub-topics around your destination. If you’re feeling stuck, try mind-mapping by starting with one of your key attractions, and let your mind flow from there. Or check out last week’s post full of fresh ideas to get the creative juices flowing.

3. Create a Conversation

Now take those ideas you came up with in #2 and start a conversation. Just be sure to make it about your customer and their needs, not about you. Leave your sales pitch at the door. Be authentic and above all helpful when providing travelers with the information and inspiration they need for planning their trip.

4. Optimize for SEO

When creating your posts make sure you use relevant keywords that your customers are actively searching for online, e.g., “Florida beaches,” “Colorado mountains,” etc. And don’t forget to optimize your content for searches by including your destination, business name, attractions, activities, tags, hashtags — whatever is appropriate for the social media platform you’re using.

5. Share User Generated Content

Invite your guests to share their pictures and stories on your social media channels. All of a sudden, your customers become your brand ambassadors and engage in word of mouth marketing. Remember that your guests are the heroes of the story. Giving them the power to tell their own stories can lead to massive levels of engagement.

6. Know Which Channels are Best for Different Types of Content

Every social media platform has its own rules and formulas. For example Facebook and Instagram are great for posting and sharing guests’ images. Twitter, on the other hand, is useful for posting timely, up-to-the-minute info for travelers en route. Spending time on all sites, along with some trial and error, will help you figure this out.

7. Develop a Posting Schedule

The number one obstacle to developing a content plan and sticking to it is finding the time. As a hospitality or tourism professional, you’re busy. Determine how often you think you should post, develop an editorial calendar, and then stick to it. Just like you clean a room or check in a guest, posting to social media has to be a priority.

8. Measure It

You don’t know whether or not your content marketing is working if you don’t measure it. Decide on your goals for social media and the metrics you want to measure like reach, post views, traffic to your website, or likes and shares. This will help you use your time and resources wisely and effectively.

9. Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment

Explore various strategies and social media channels. Mix things up until you figure out what works best for your niche, your business, and your customers.

The most powerful aspect of content marketing is how you help your customers. With a little bit of effort and commitment, you can take advantage of the endless possibilities that content marketing has to offer.

Get in touch with Shoofly Copywriting to find out how I can help develop your content marketing strategy and grow your online presence. 

Ten Fresh Ideas for Your Travel Business Blog Content: An Infographic


As a hotel, travel agency, tour operator, or other hospitality vendor, your company’s travel blog should be active and engaging. Delivering interesting, relevant content nourishes relationships with your past clients and helps to build new connections with potential guests. A good, results-producing travel business blog should be posting at least once a week, which means you’re constantly having to come up with new content ideas.

Are you out of ideas and exhausted already? Here is an infographic with a few of my favorites to beef up your blog posts and stir up some creativity in your content creation.

If after reading this, you’re STILL stuck for ideas (or you just don’t have the time to write it yourself), drop me a note and we’ll talk about how I can help.



3 Ways Savvy Travel Marketers Use Social Media to Boost Sales

BEACHESIf Facebook were a country, it would be the third largest in the world. And that’s just one social network. There’s Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest and countless others. No wonder 93% of marketers use social media for business.

Thanks to social media, travelers do more than just research trips online. They actively share their photos, itineraries and experiences, which have a serious impact on how potential guests decide where to book.

Travel is largely seen as a luxury. Therefore, travelers tend to invest more time educating themselves before spending their vacation dollars and booking their trips. The two biggest factors in a traveler’s decision making process are destination and price. On the heels of that is a strong #3…REVIEWS.

Social media allows travelers to review previous guests’ experiences before they decide to book. Then during and after their stay, it creates a limitless path for word of mouth. This virtual sharing by your guests can have a tremendous impact not only on your company’s revenue but your reputation as well!

Here are a few ways savvy travel marketers use social media to increase revenue:

1. Announce news & offers and launch contests that can attract an enormous amount of interest and brand exposure at very little cost, all leading to additional revenue.

2. Implement a booking engine on outlets like a Facebook page to convert social media traffic into direct bookings.

3. Actively engage with guests before, during and after their stay. Social media has become a de facto customer service and is commonly a traveler’s first line of contact with a company. By monitoring those channels and getting involved you are in greater control of your online reputation and present yourself as authentic and trustworthy, showing your customers that you listen, and more importantly, that you care. This can result in more frequent, positive reviews.

Make Your Search Engine Rankings Soar


Travel begins with research. Travelers spend an average of 40 hours researching their trips. If you aren’t prominently displayed on search engines, then it’s like you don’t exist. But gaining top rankings gives you a powerful competitive advantage. With high rankings in increasing demand, search engine marketing has become intensely competitive.

You may think your ranking is well beyond your control and have given up on trying to work the search engine system. But the science of search engine optimization (SEO) has evolved, and there are simple steps to take that will boost your rankings.

1. Add fresh, new content to your website through a blog. Continual and consistent updates drive traffic to your website. And when you provide interesting and compelling content, that traffic turns into bookings.

2. Utilize social media. Search engines now incorporate social media data on their results pages. And with the ability to search social media pages, people are likely to look for information on Facebook, Twitter, etc. (since they’re already there) rather than using the traditional search engines. If you aren’t on there, you won’t show up in their results.

3. Make your content shareable. When people like the information you offer, they link back to your site. Links indicate to search engines a certain amount of value and trust, which cause them to rank your site higher on their results pages. And don’t forget to add share and connect buttons to your site.

4. Save time and headache by hiring a professional to research keywords, create interesting articles, and develop a content marketing strategy that will boost your page to the top of search engine results.

Need help with your SEO strategy? Contact me today for a free consultation. jrtucker@shooflycopywriting.com

Transform Your Website into Your Best Travel Marketing Tool with These 8 Easy Steps

image (18)Before travelers go into the great wide world, they go to the World Wide Web.

They research, investigate and consider all their options. Often, your website is the first (and sometimes only) experience a prospective traveler will have with you. It’s up to you to make the most of that initial visit.

The longer they stay, the more likely they are to book. And the key purpose of your website is to get them to book with YOU.

Here are some absolute musts to turn your site into your best marketing tool:

1. Be memorable. Be concise. Tell your visitors – in a clear, simple statement – what makes you unique and why they MUST book with you.

2. Engage your visitors with quality photos and video. Use attractive images to showcase your property or services in the best possible light.

3. Be sure your navigation is clearly visible and well-organized. Travelers often visit a page with a specific intention in mind. Make it easy for them to find what they’re looking for.

4. Update your content. Offer fresh, relevant details and information that will connect you with travelers and set you apart as an authority to be trusted.

5. Make your call to action prominent and easy to use. Give incentives and opportunities, and give them with a sense of urgency. Offer enticing deals that travelers won’t want to miss out on, and let them know the clock is ticking.

6. Enable social sharing with social media buttons on your website, making it easy for travelers to follow you and to share your information.

7. Equip your site with technological tracking tools that enable you to consistently target your desired travelers.

8. Create a site that is mobile-compatible. Site traffic and bookings are increasingly occurring through tablets and smart phones. Don’t miss out on those sales!

Need help creating or revamping your travel website? Contact Shoofly Copywriting today for a complimentary consultation.

9 Helpful Hints: How to Connect with Travelers Using Content Marketing

Roots and BranchesEffective content marketing = relevant and meaningful interactions with travelers that BEGIN when you offer valuable and engaging information and END when they book their trip with you.

It’s all about providing fresh, compelling content – shared across all online channels – that travelers deem useful. If someone finds your article, tweet or blog post helpful or interesting, they’re likely to share it with friends, giving you instant and organic exposure. In their eyes, you’re an authority on travel, and you become a go-to resource that travelers trust.

Here are a few ways you can use content marketing to stay on top:

1. Connect with travelers through custom content. Add value, not clutter. Listen to what travelers are talking about and contribute meaningfully to the conversation. Understand their needs and wants. Give them valuable information that builds a sense of community and will keep them coming back for more.

2. Educate travelers about who you are and what you offer, but don’t make it all about selling your product. This may seem counterintuitive, but if you focus on building relationships by offering relevant and engaging content, you’ll end up with some powerful word-of-mouth advertising.

3. Use lush, decadent images, videos, and interactive virtual tours – anything that will engage your travelers and offer a multi-sensory experience. The better the experience, the longer they’ll hang around. And the longer they hang around, the more likely they are to book!

4. Be genuine. People can see through a fake and will quickly move on if they sense you aren’t being real. Be yourself, and share your unique perspective and insights.

5. Don’t ignore people. It’s easy to post the information and then go on your way. You are running a business after all. But the point of content marketing is to engage your customers. Be sure to respond to people’s comments and continue the conversation. (P.S. The comment section is a great place to find topics for future blog posts and content ideas!)

6. Create content that hits all along the multiple touch points in the traveler’s decision making process, from just looking to booking.

7. Curate content. There is already a ton of information out there. You don’t necessarily have to make up stuff from scratch. You can even reach out to former guests and ask if you can share their images and stories.

8. Update on a regular basis. Travelers need to see fresh, informative and accurately up-to-date content. Set a schedule for your blog and social media posts. A neglected or abandoned blog is a quick way to appear like you aren’t involved and don’t care about your customers.

9. Creating and implementing a highly impactful content marketing strategy can be overwhelming and time consuming. Hiring a professional with knowledge of the travel industry can provide you with better value and save you hours of time spent doing research.

Need help with your content marketing. Contact me today for a free consultation.

Seven Easy Ways to Sell Travel with a Great Story

T i d a l  R i s eTravel and leisure are rich with hard to ignore and compulsively shareable stories. It’s the majesty of ice and snow, building your own igloo in a natural winter wonderland. It’s trying an alternative travel idea by volunteering to go on an archeological dig and connecting with Spanish culture and history in ways you never expected.

When it comes to great stories, travel is a land of plenty, filled with vibrant and unique experiences.

But the sales funnel in the travel and hospitality industry is long. According to MSN travel, 68% of travelers spend an average of 42 hours poring over travel-related material online before they ever make a decision about where to go. Why not use that time wisely and make a lasting impression with some great storytelling?

Give life to your brand’s core values and identity with some of these storytelling strategies below:

  1. Tap into the local community. Give your guests a sense of belonging in your part of the world with guides to the neighborhood, interviews with local characters, or secrets that they’ll only find if they book with you.
  2. Share stories of former guests (with permission of course). Let them tell the experience of their journey, especially if it was a particularly unique one.
  3. Use stunning photos and video to tell a compelling, multi-sensory story. Ask former (or current) guests to share their images on your social media sites. Connect with local photographers and videographers who are based nearby to share images of their favorite local spots, and include their bio and how you’re connected.
  4. Go behind the scenes at your destination. Highlight a particularly dynamic service or feature that’s unique to your location. Does your chef have a distinct way of preparing tiramisu? What makes a guest’s experience with you like nothing they will get elsewhere?
  5. Get creative. Have a local artist create pieces that you display in your hotel rooms or lobby. Tell the story of her creative process through film and post it online.
  6. Do you have a pet that hangs around your lobby or office? Make him a mobile mascot. Where will he go next?
  7. Develop narrative-focused contests and campaigns that inspire your audience to seize the day.

Ready to get help telling YOUR travel marketing story? Schedule a complimentary consultation today!

3 Strategies to Help Grow Your Travel Business

Green watering can pouring water



In order for your travel business to be successful, you need customers…preferably great customers. Defining your ideal traveler is the first step to generating qualified leads.

Sometimes people resist identifying a target market because they’re afraid of limiting potential business. But trying to market to every traveler out there is exhausting and ineffective. When you know your ideal customer, your marketing becomes easier, quicker and more cost-effective. It doesn’t mean these are the ONLY people you work with, they are simply the ideal group you serve.

So, how do you figure out your ideal traveler?

  • Who do you like working with? What types of guests have been the most enjoyable?
  • Who is a good fit for your agency, destination, or business?
  • What do your travelers want? What drives them and impacts their decision to book with you?
  • Where do they hang out online? How do you reach out to them and how do they reach out to you?

Once you have a broad idea of your ideal guest, think about one person or group in particular. Get specific about age, personality, lifestyle, socio-economic status, occupation, etc. As you do this, you will begin to get a clearer picture of the type of customer you want to attract.

And once you know who you’re trying to reach, you can tailor your marketing to speak straight to them. Because now you understand their desires, needs and problems. Now you know what solutions to offer them.



What makes you unique? Once you know your ideal customers and what they need, determine why your business is the most qualified to meet those needs. What is your USP, or unique selling proposition? A USP guides your marketing techniques and messaging, your customer interactions, and even your branding.

To figure out your USP, think through the following questions.

  • What problem do I solve?
  • What am I doing that no one else is doing?
  • What am I good at?
  • Does my business have any distinctive benefits?
  • What is my personality, and how can I convey that through my business?

Don’t make your USP just a commodity. Use it to hone in on your ideal traveler’s emotional gratification. Touch on their problems and desires. Make them believe that you are the only choice for them.



You have defined your ideal customers and their desires and problems. You know how to solve those problems with your unique selling proposition. Now it’s time to bring everything together with a SWOT analysis. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.

  • Strengths. What strengths and characteristics do you have that make you stand out from your competition?
  • Weaknesses. Where can you improve? Look for areas in your business that customers may have questions or concerns about and address them.
  • Opportunities. Are there any trends or changes in the travel industry that you could use to your advantage? Is there anything happening in your local market that you could use as a selling point?
  • Threats. Are there any changes in the industry that could potentially hurt your business? What should you do to prepare for or avoid the threat? What obstacles do you face in growing your business?


What Now?

Using the strategies of specializing, personalizing and customizing, you have created a clearer picture of what you need to do to grow your business. Identify three to five goals that are specific and achievable. Come up with action steps to take in each area, and put them in a prominent place that you will see every day.