Blogs have been around a long time. In fact, with a history stretching back into the dark days of the 1990s, in web terms they’re positively ancient. Yet there’s still life in the old blog – in fact, it has never been more essential for travel brands to have their own blog platforms. Research firms like PhoCusWright conclude that just shy of half of all travel sales in America and Europe now take place on the internet, while the number of people researching about travel online is likely to be even higher than that. The percentages are consistently growing year-on-year.
Yet despite the ever-increasing number of customers online, too many travel brands still steadfastly stick to old-fashioned marketing methods, failing to make the most of those exciting digital tools available, such as blogging.
Holidaygoers doing their research on the web are looking for up-to-date, candid and compelling information – so whether you are a hotel or a cruise company, a travel agent or a tourist board, you’re doing yourself a disservice by not having an active, relevant and regular travel blog. Below are five more reasons why blogging still matters.
It enhances your credibility
If you’re working in the travel business, chances are you have plenty of interesting tales to tell, as well as a passion for travelling. You are what marketing companies refer to as ‘in the know’. But with no blog through which to share your travel wisdom, your expertise and experience will go unrecognised.
A blog is the perfect place to share your insights, advice, witty observations and colourful stories. Offer readers a bit of escapist fun, canny discount-hunting tips or aspirational suggestion-packed itineraries; these kinds of posts will help establish your credibility and secure your reputation as an authority on travel.
It lets you interact with your existing audience
A website is a one-way experience. It speaks at your readers and tells them what is on offer. A blog, on the other hand, is a means of starting a conversation or a discussion. It’s more informal – you start a topic that may be of interest to your readers, who in turn can respond in the comments or on social media. It allows you (and your brand) to have eye-level, one-on-one interaction with your customer. And unlike Twitter, you don’t have to squeeze that interaction into just 160 characters.
It humanises your business
All too often, the word ‘business’ is equated with ‘boring’, or even worse: ‘non-human’. We are all guilty of seeing certain corporate businesses, like large airlines or online booking agents, as robotic enterprises not comprised of people, but of some unknown corporate species. Seeing a travel business this way can be off-putting and certainly does nothing to foster loyalty. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Blogging is one way to reveal a more relatable and human face to your travel brand, which will ultimately make it more appealing to consumers.
It helps you attract new customers
If you can create travel content that is fresh and inspirational, there is a good chance it will be shared. That means there is a good chance it will be discovered by someone who, up until now, didn’t know your travel brand existed. To introduce new visitors to your travel site, you’ll need to create truly engaging content. We recommend steering away from being too salesy and think about creating content that will give added value to clients and prospects.
It increases web traffic
When a site stays static, it’s unlikely to climb up Google’s rankings. SEO can be a minefield and misinformation is rife. Just when you think you have got a grip on the current best practices, Google swoops in with updates and muddies the waters. That said, there is one SEO practice that consistently helps sites perform on search engines and keeps readers interested: that’s creating high-quality content. A blog is one of the best ways to do this.
These are just some of the reasons why blogging is still relevant in 2015. Do you have another one? Then tell us on Twitter. To see some of the travel blogs we produce for our clients, check out our latest projects here.