Technology is everything in today’s travel market, and developing a digital storytelling content strategy is literally a do or die scenario. Step up to the plate or prepare to get crushed by your competitors. All travel players must start using localization techniques to create travel content that performs well with tagged locations and map features.
Although we are talking about digital tools, don’t make the mistake of believing that machines and algorithms can deliver a standalone storytelling technique. Technology is no doubt amazing, but it’s not yet capable of this level of content curation. You’re going to need real humans for the task.
Think of compelling writing, versatile editing, and the endless personal touches curated by talented individuals. People are responsible for creating the enticing travel content that performs well when paired with algorithms and machines. After all, people know best what real people want to read and machines know best how to package it so real travelers can find it.
Genuine guest knowledge, local experts, and quality writers simply can’t be overlooked when it comes to localization and personalization of your travel content. The curated scenarios and targeted data collected from such people are the winning elements in writing believable local knowledge.
While the machines won’t do the actual writing for you, there are many publishing platforms that are beneficial for creating travel content. Such platforms can help facilitate writing tasks, translate, edit, and publish material. Then, real humans add their creative flair, storytelling abilities, and natural personalization before the machines resume their background duties.
Once you have chosen the appropriate publishing platform, you are ready to begin the curation of storytelling content. Three basic needs of this content strategy include gathering authentic local knowledge, finding a talented digital writer, and/or a mix of both.
1. Commit to Real Local Knowledge & Quality Content
Although it might be tempting to try to cheat the system on this one, don’t. Real experience-based knowledge is vitally important. If you fake it - your customers, readers, and search engines will see right through it and lose trust in you. Search-generated top 5 lists are not authentic. However, a local holds legit knowledge about which places in the city are truly the best (and why).
Don’t try to cut costs by writing travel content yourself. This is not a personal blog, this a business strategy. Just as you would in other areas of your business ventures, hire a professional. Find a writer with a clear storytelling ability and be willing to pay them what they are worth.
If you get lucky enough to find someone who can do both (a and b), snag them up as fast as you can. Getting one person capable of meeting both goals is a dream. Companies with a larger content strategy may find this doesn’t work. In that case, bridge the gap between the locals and your writer. Collect the localization insights from, well, a local. Then, let your writer do the magic in applying personalization and storytelling for amazing content results.
2. Work With a Digital Content Expert
Not only do you need a local expert and talented storyteller, but you also need a digital writer. The online editorial world is not the same as print, editorial, journalism, or basic blogging. For your full content strategy to come to fruition, the writer must also be well versed in the methodology of digital tools.
The ability to tag places on a map correctly is an important element. Your writer must have the intel to add new places, verify existing places, and correct location inconsistencies. The writer must also be able to effectively use digital tools to create map-based travel content. This involves listing places, tours, and routes correctly within a digital platform.
Digital writers are the glue between written content and digital technology. They must know everything from text formatting to image placement and how to casually mention tagged places within the content. A digital content expert can mingle it all together in one comprehensive piece, allowing you to best capitalize on both localization and personalization.
3. Define Your Branding Elements
It’s important to identify early on any defining elements of your brand as they should be a prominent part of your content strategy. Knowing who you are and what you want to say from the get-go will help you develop winning travel content rich in value, consistency, and transparency.
Branded content should incorporate important literal aspects of your company like physical locations, features, and highlights. It’s important to curate travel content with both direct and indirect approaches that reference your own hotels, restaurants, tour site, etc.
Decide if you want to affiliate with other people in your network, like business partners, neighbors, and friendly competitors. Doing so can be a beneficial localization tactic for cross-marketing. This falls into the ‘you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours’ philosophy. Giving a nudge up to others in your local network may lead them to do the same for you.
Establish from the fist content exactly what kind of voice you want to put out there. Will you speak to your readers in the first, second, or third voice? Will your content strategy be casual, formal, or something in the middle? Funny, highly creative, or even educational in nature? After you choose the tone, stick to it so your content is easily recognizable, reliable, and predictable.
Be prepared to work with an editor. An editor is someone who will monitor the work of your content creators. This person ensures that your branding elements and standards are being met. Hiring one is a necessary step to safeguards that all efforts do indeed transfers to the end goal: a successful content strategy.
Take all of these things into account and your storytelling travel content will succeed. On the first reflection, you might be thinking that this project sounds quite expensive. However, that is not necessarily the case if you correctly outsource with the appropriate platform. The solution is choosing one that already has experienced digital writers and the capabilities to connect with experienced locals.
At Arrivedo, our aim is to provide your company with a digital transformation of their travel experience through our interactive routes. This effectively translates to superior experiences for your customers. You can boost online user engagement and delight visitors with a unique online journey, watch a FREE demo, here.