The primary aim of content marketing is not to drive direct leads and business. The core goal is to build an engaged audience of people that know and trust your brand and to provide multiple touchpoints to convert your audience into paying customers in the future.
Assuming the content is there, getting these touchpoints right is what turns raw content into a content strategy. Without them you risk pouring all your content investments into a black hole with little hope of ever seeing a return.
This is where most content marketing efforts stumble, and needlessly so, considering there are several straightforward tactics to drive leads from good content. Here are just a few from the email channel.
Create a “magazine” style email
Most travel brands have an email list and newsletter of some description. Compelling content is a proven way of growing your email lists with highly targeted, qualified audiences.
The value of a strong email list cannot be overstated: these are people who have demonstrated an explicit interest in your offering and given you permission in good faith to contact them again and again.
Traditional “company newsletters” packed with branded content and promotional announcements don’t carry much weight these days. Instead you should repay your subscribers’ trust with the most useful and informative email you can create. Think about it from the perspective of the audience, what do they want and need to know?
A good email offers content, stories and information from authority sources across the web, not just your most recent blog articles. Create a “magazine” that curates the very best content for your particular audience and don’t be precious about sending clicks exclusively to your own site – engagement rates will skyrocket and, when they’re next ready to book a travel product, your email and brand will spring to mind.
Tip: See Outbounding.org for a reliable source of curated, high value travel content.
Smart email autoresponders
Autoresponders let you send a pre-programmed schedule of emails to each subscriber, simultaneously reminding them that they’re on your list and rewarding them for being there by offering some additional, uniquely compelling content, information, advice or offers.
When done right they’re an excellent way to capitalise on the initial brand recognition and good faith in the period immediately following an email subscription.
Again, this works best when not used for the hardsell. Instead offer a sequence of genuinely valuable content such as unique travel tips and advice for their destination of interest, upcoming events or other “insider” travel knowledge. The sequence can culminate in an offer or promotion that is relevant to the audience:
Segment lists & SEND targeted offers
If your brand offers multiple product types such as different destinations, experiences, etc, it’s worthwhile to segment your subscribers into lists and send highly targeted offers based on their personal interests.
For instance someone downloading a travel planning resource for skiing in the Alps has already given you some pretty major clues on their intentions. Segment these groups for tailored autoresponder messages and relevant offers.
It’s ok to use email to send product-based offers but only when they’re 100% relevant. Segmenting and tailored emails are the key to relevance and high conversion rates.
Tip: Mailchimp has some great autoresponder and list segmenting features. Get in touch with our strategy team if you need any help.