Travel Companies Doing Great Content Marketing
I talk a lot about how much I love working on content and SEO for travel companies. It’s a competitive, rewarding area to work in and the target customer loves to talk about their travels. That’s partly why it’s such a great area to be involved in.
But with a competitive sector in particular, getting your content seen and making content work harder for your marketing is tough. Some are doing it well and some are doing it really well. Here are some of my favourite examples of travel agents and companies using content effectively in their marketing:
- TripAdvisor – Content at the Centre of Everything
- Just the Flight – Sweary Tipping Advice
- Discover Northern Ireland – Winning Games of Thrones Fans
- Thomas Cook – Turning Users into Content
- WestJet – Christmas Miracle
- Holiday Gems – Where Should I go on Holiday?
- Trivago – Checkin Magazine
- Discover Africa – Herd Tracker
TripAdvisor – User Generated Content
This seems like a really obvious one to start with. But I can’t not mention TripAdvisor when talking about content marketing in travel. Content is everything for TripAdvisor. The company, you could argue, is less a travel review site and more a travel magazine with user reviews.
TripAdvisor benefits from reams and reams of user generated content from user reviews. But they create their own content based on these reviews too. The scoring system allows them quickly and easily (and without necessarily having to produce lots of editorial) to produce in depth guides of the best things to do in various places (like this ‘Things to do in Paris,’ page).
Just The Flight’s Howmuchshouldifuckingtip.com
This is less about making content a part of everything and more about a big hero piece of content that delivers for you. HowMuchShouldIFuckingTip.com is a cracking website. It’s simple, asking you just one (rather sweary) question:
It then tells you (again with plenty of swearing) how much you should tip:
Simple. And let’s be honest, content about how much to tip in various countries and cities has been done before. The idea of advising people on tipping etiquette is nothing new. But it was executed in a funny and therefore memorable way.
The site has links from close to 50 other domains and, of course, therefore has an SEO benefit for Just The Flights (linked to from the tipping site).
Discover Northern Ireland’s Game of Thrones Locations
When an award winning TV show with an army of devoted fans is filmed in an area for which you’re responsible for attracting visitors to, you’ve got to capitalise. And that’s what Discover Northern Ireland did. Their Game of Thrones filming locations content uses a map and plenty of visuals to show fans of the show where and how they can see the real life locations used to create the fictional world of Westeros.
This piece of content is 2nd in organic search (Google, UK) for ‘Game of Thrones filming locations,’ and a lot of variants, driving a large volume of relevant traffic that might well turn into tourists flocking to the real life Westeros.
Thomas Cook – Turning Users into Content
One of my favourite campaigns of the past couple of years, Thomas Cook’s Be a Brochure Star essentially turned the users into the shareable content assets.
With links from over a dozen sources and loads of users sharing their own generated brochures, the campaign is likely to have benefitted the wider site’s SEO campaign and gotten a group of potential target customers talking.
WestJet – Christmas Miracle
In 2013, WestJet made the news with its ‘real time giving,’ stunt, in which passengers on a flight answered questions about what they wanted for Christmas before boarding. Then, WestJet went out and bought the presents while the passengers flew and delivered them on the baggage conveyer belt at the end of the flight.
Impressive. Topping that was going to be tough call. But in December 2014, WestJet took that spirit of giving to a part of the Dominican Republic where locals are, in some cases, struggling financially. Going to the heart of one of travel’s luxury destinations, showcasing a part of it that isn’t luxury laden and taking the spirit of giving there made for a superb combination.
How does this tie into content?
Well, their video (below) has been viewed over 3 million times:
The blog post they created around the video with more behind the scenes information has links from over 50 websites. And this sort of festive stunt does WestJet’s reputation no harm whatsoever.
Holiday Gems – Where Should I go on Holiday?
So, full disclosure – I was heavily involved in this one as I work at Holiday Gems’ agency. BUT I’m including it for good reason. We’ve created a LOT of content for Holiday Gems and it’s this piece that consistently delivers relevant traffic, that delivered inbound links and shares and that also delivers bookings.
The Where Should I go on Holiday? piece is a interactive outcome based quiz designed to give you destination inspiration for your holidays. It asks questions like how far you’re prepared to travel, who you’re travelling with, the sort of weather you want etc and then gives you suggestions.
Ranking first organically in Google UK for ‘where should I go on holiday,’ and a number of variants, we’ve found this piece drives thousands of visits per month and both direct and assisted online bookings. A direct link between content and revenue.
It’s the direct revenue link that contributed to this piece being referred to as “content marketing gold,” in this Forbes article.
Trivago – Checkin by Trivago
Trivago has taken the ‘brand as a publisher,’ thing to a new level by investing in its own digital travel magazine – Checkin.
The content is consistently great. There are easy read lists, lots of visuals and video thrown into the mix too. The whole of the Checkin publication is of a standard that would pass as a standalone magazine. Free of Trivago branding, this is a place where people can come to be inspired.
The Checkin subdomain has links from over 300 websites and content here consistently racks up thousands of social shares.
The widest share piece of content on the site is #GoBeKind piece, which is well worth going checking out.
By inspiring people with recommended hotels and destinations (with ‘book now’ calls to action that take people straight into the Trivago booking journey) this is a way to win customers and fans through content.
Discover Africa – Herd Tracker
Discover Africa’s Herd Tracker is an interactive map allowing users to follow the wildebeest herd migrations across the Serengeti and Masai Mara national parks.
As well as the map itself, the Herd Tracker includes a feed of recent events with images from on the ground, with information coming from safari guides and similar people actually there.
With links from over 200 different websites, this is a cracking piece of content. Discover Africa specialises in safari holidays in Africa – so this content, that appeals to those interested in wildlife migration within the continent, is a real draw for people who could very well become their customers.
Great Travel Content Marketing Examples
I hope to keep this roundup updated with new examples (and add to it great ones I’ve missed), so give me a shout over on Twitter if you’ve got an example of great travel content being used to good effect in marketing.