If you're trying to market your travel firm online today, whether it's a booking site, an airline, a hotel chain or an all-inclusive travel agency, you're competing to be heard above the din of countless other websites with the exact same intentions as you. That is, to attract the attention of the holiday-going public and to secure their bookings. So what can you do to ensure that you capture the hearts and holiday plans of potential customers? Here we take a look at how you can use travel copywriting and digital marketing best practice to take web visitors on a tantalising voyage to their destination before they make the booking.
Selling your brand story
The individual holidays that you're trying to sell are not solitary islands scattered across a virtual sea (they may well be located on actual islands, but that's beside the point). They are more accurately part of a wider archipelago representing your entire offering.
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To sell a specific holiday then, you need to not only convince the customer of the merits of that particular destination, you must convince them that your overall archipelago your brand is a reliable and worthy place to spend their holiday.
All of your destination pages and other web content should feed into an overall image of your brand, with each one reinforcing the brand image and the brand in turn strengthening the appeal of each specific holiday. It's important to use a familiar tone of voice and similar USPs across all of your destination pages.
Sell the sizzle
It's an age-old marketing trope that in order to convince people to buy anything, you need to sell the sizzle, not the steak'. In travel copywriting it is particularly important to sell people on the benefits of visiting a destination rather than simply listing the features of it, such as popular landmarks or activities.
If the destination in question has lots of adrenaline-packed watersports, you might try emphasising the excitement that it can provide, and the opportunities to try new things. If it's a historic destination meanwhile, such as Rome, you might riff on the chance to walk in the footsteps of the ancient Romans, and gaze back through time at well preserved ruins.
Promote your values
People really engage with a brand when they feel that its values and beliefs are aligned with their own. If, for example, your target customer base is made up of people who care about ensuring that they're trip doesn't leave a negative footprint on the destination, or on the planet as a whole, you're likely to achieve more conversions if you convey these ideals in your copy. You should also be sure to back them up with concrete facts in this example you might include details of what you're doing to offset carbon emissions, or how your holidays benefit the local economy and people of the destination.
Use senses to evoke the destination
Holidays are not something which are merely seen as if through a projector; they are experienced with all five senses. Your content too then should make use of these senses. Your travel copywriters should evoke the smells that waft through the streets of the destination, the exotic tastes waiting to be sampled in traditional bistros, the feel of fine sand running through bronzed fingers at the beach, and the upbeat rhythms carrying on the wind from distant bars and clubs. If you can make the reader feel like they're already there enjoying all that the destination has to offer, you may increase the likelihood of them making a booking.
Chris Glithero is a UK copywriter at Big Star Copywriting, a Devon-based copywriting agency who create content for top brands around the world. He frequently blogs about content marketing, copywriting, search engine optimisation and other matters relating to the ever-expanding world of online marketing. Find out more at http://www.bigstarcopywriting.com.