Writing online content is something that takes not only time, but careful consideration. You need to decide on the tone of voice, the message, the style, the images and ultimately the point of the content. Getting the right formula is not always simple, and it’s easy to end up with your blogs sounding similar to your ‘about us’ page – that is to say, decidedly salesy. And that’s just not what customers (and, crucially, your potential customers) want to read.
In this article we look at how to create engaging blog content that drives traffic and promotes your brand without bombarding readers with unwelcome sales speak. As we will see, subtle tweaks in your language are important, but ultimately it’s the content you produce that will play the biggest role. Scroll on down to read our expert tips…
Ditch the sales speak
No one likes to be sold to, and no one wants to read a blog which feels like one long sales pitch. You have done the hard work in sharing and promoting your blog, and driven traffic to it with an enticing subject title. What you don’t want to do now is lose the readers on the very first paragraph when it becomes clear they’re being sold to.
So how do you go about creating a blog that isn’t salesy but still promotes your brand? The answer is tactfully and carefully – focus on giving your customers what they want first, then think about how to convert this to sales later.
Ultimately, your goal with each blog post is to:
- Become an authoritative voice on a particular subject i.e. travel
- Build trust in your brand by producing usable and informative content
- Increase brand awareness by answering people’s questions
Become a trusted source
You will no doubt be familiar with the types of questions your customers ask you, and that’s a good starting point for creating useful, meaningful information that is relevant to your target audience. If you often get asked ‘Where is the best holiday destination for a family with young children?’ then use that as the basis for a blog post titled ‘The best holiday destinations for families with young children’. It really can be that simple – at least to start with.
As a prospective customer searching online, you will be focusing on the things people want to know, and in turn generating trust in your brand as an authoritative voice on the subject. Compare that to a blog whose content is more along the lines of ‘Why you should book your family holiday with us’, and you can see how this very subtle difference might immediately put people off. You want to give them what they’re looking for, and gain trust as a source of useful information without a clear, up-front agenda. Ultimately, that trust in your brand will lead to sales.
Educate, engage and entertain your readers
To achieve being a trusted voice in travel, you have several angles you can use that don’t involve sale speak, or even explicitly mention your brand. The fact people are clicking on your blog and being drawn into your engaging content is a powerful thing all by itself, and will naturally lead some to explore more salesy areas of your website.
Your blog subjects could aim to educate your readers, giving them useful and practical information or answering questions they’ve asked. They could engage them too, using first person accounts of travels; experiences your customers could also enjoy. Or they could entertain them through a light hearted tone of voice and content which is amusing, eyebrow-raising or quirky. Blogs which evoke emotions create positive perceptions of your brand.
Whichever angle you opt for – and ideally, you would have a mix of all of them built into your content schedule – make sure you are always focusing on what your readers want to hear and not what you want them to know.
Taking the advice above into account, here are a few types of blogs that give your readers value-added content:
- Informational posts: These educate your audience about topics which matter to them but are also relevant to your brand. For example, an African safari specialist might discuss the Great Wildebeest Migration in detail.
- Problem-solving posts: These answer questions that your customers may have. For example, when is the best time to book a Caribbean cruise? You can even cover similar territory to the FAQs on your website.
- Customer story posts: Far from a testimonial from an existing client about your business, these types of blogs allow readers to gain insight into what your customers really felt and experienced. They can be first or third person, but if they aim to connect emotionally this will have a much bigger impact than a simple testimonial.
When to mention your brand
If someone has made it to the end of your content, you’ve already won. They have spent time engaging with your brand – not an easy thing to accomplish in the fickle online world. Now they are primed, emotionally invested in what they’ve read and most of all, they trust you. This is your opportunity to tell them what to do next.
A good way to do this is with a closing ‘call to action’ sentence or short paragraph, with a link to another page on your website or a number to call. Whether you want someone to get in touch, book a trip, or just read more about your brand, this is your chance. And if you’re looking for an example of a call to action, there’s one directly below.
For more ideas on how to create impactful travel content, you can read some of our other travel writing advice blogs. If you are looking for some expert help with your company blog, get in contact with World Words today.
– Article by Samantha Wilson.