Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise – there is no such thing as one-size-fits-all travel content writing. Every travel business is different, as are its consumers and the service or product it provides. Travel content must address the needs of those readers (both existing and potential clients) whilst simultaneously promoting and adding value to the brand. In short, it must be personalised to you, individually… starting with choosing the right form of content.
There are many aspects to consider before deciding on the type and style of content writing. Ask yourself some of these questions: What would I like my readers/potential clients to know? What content can I provide them with to help them plan/buy/choose my brand? Who is my demographic? How will this ultimately benefit my company?
To help you choose the right form of content, we’ve created a breakdown of your options, and how to best utilise them for your travel brand. We’ve already covered travel blogs in detail, so we will begin with destination pieces…
Destination Pieces or Features
Destination pieces are the sexy, glitzy prima donnas of the travel content world. They are used to hook a readers’ interest and send them to the travel-related website. They serve as an armchair trip to a place, revealing unique angles to well-known destinations or highlighting unusual places. They might include unique journeys, first person narratives or special interests such as food, hiking or skiing. They are by no means a travel guide (see guides below) but rather allow the writer to cast their own personality on the piece. Why did they travel there? How did they perceive it? The tantalising image they paint of the destination serves to fuel the wanderlust you want in your readers to encourage them to act. For example, this is a short but sweet article from National Geographic Traveller on swimming with dolphins in the Amazon, which is sure to whet the travel appetite.
We regularly write destination features; here’s one we wrote for Luxe Magazine about Monaco’s jet-set lifestyle.
Providing your readers with valuable, up-to-date, nuts and bolts travel content raises your brand’s credibility to stratospheric levels. The big boys of travel guides – think Lonely Planet, Rough Guides et al – produce free and thorough online guides which only serve to enhance their guide books. It generates a trust from their readers which ultimately converts into book sales. For the same reason, several travel companies choose to free, in-depth travel guides in order to demonstrate their expertise and therefore inspire potential customers to book with them.
For example, here is a guide to Crete we wrote for the holiday villa company Oliver’s Travels.
Much like with travel guides, creating service articles that provide your readership with useful, bite-sized travel advice is always a good idea. It will enhance your status as a travel expert, keep your readers coming back to your site and boost the image (and, ultimately, the sales) of your product or service. The articles can be hugely varied, from money-saving tips to bag packing advice to cultural etiquette guides; basically, anything you think is helpful for your readers. Just remember to always be three things: authoritative, informative and entertaining.
For our readers, this means advice about writing travel content. And we’ve written plenty of articles about that.
These are often under-used but hugely valuable travel content tools. Providing a reader with a detailed, tailored itinerary for a trip flaunts your expert knowledge and gives them a reason to keep visiting your website. The trick is to ensure it is perfectly crafted for your demographic, so you are reaching your target audience. Take this itinerary by Eurail, which gives younger backpackers a detailed itinerary for visiting Europe’s highlights. Links to recommended restaurant, hotel, flight or attraction websites can also do wonders for your site’s search ranking.
Here’s a recent itinerary we wrote on Cuba for the travel photography company PhotoXpeditions.
Slide shows or round-ups
With glossy images to accompany them, slide shows and round-ups are easy to read, inspirational and quick bits of exciting travel content. They are also wonderful for sharing on social media and driving traffic to your website. Rough Guides do some lovely illustrated round-ups and slideshows, such as this one about wildlife encounters.
Here’s a slideshow piece we produced for From the Grapevine, all about picturesque funiculars around the world.
Looking for more travel content tips? Then take a look at our writing advice blog feed, or follow us on Twitter. If you’d like to talk to us about how we can help you get more out of your travel content, simply get in touch.
– Article written and photos sourced by Samantha Wilson.
Great post, I’m still finding my way with travel writing so it is great to have some ideas of different types of articles to try.