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Content creation

How to drive sales with creative content

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posted May 19, 2021
nocomment

Are you finding that your phone is ringing again?

Do your clients have the itch to get back out there?

Would you love to start bringing on new staff?

If you’re seeing that life is starting to turn over a new leaf—including enthusiasm for post-pandemic, in-person meetings, group tours, and travel shows—now's the time to utilize the right tools and create content for this new era.

Whether you’re planning your next sales mission or preparing to pitch some new tours to group leaders, you may want to consider revamping your social marketing collateral or jazzing up your presentations so that you wow and win new clients.

Nurturing relationships and enhancing communication is the No. 1 reason to create new content. Yet many savvy marketers aren’t sure what types of content appeals to prospects and clients during each step of the sales journey. Many marketers make the mistake of creating and dripping out the wrong content at the wrong time.

Don’t go down that road! Here’s a road map to navigate content creation and repurposing:


Sales journey 

Let’s explore the sales journey and dive into the types of content that work each step of the way. This will pave the way for a straighter path to recovery success.

  1. Awareness: In this step, a prospect (pied piper, student group planner, or church group planner) is becoming aware of a problem or opportunity. They realize they need to plan post-pandemic group travel, as their clients are ready to travel again.
  2. Consideration: This step finds the prospect considering how to plan, book, and execute a group tour.
  3. Decision: Here, the prospect is researching tour operators—short-listing and meeting with them.

By creating content for each phase of the sales journey, you’re ensuring that prospects don’t fall through the cracks or get overwhelmed. When these prospects see the right content at the right step of their journey, they’ll feel you are speaking directly to them and meeting their unique needs along the way. Content creation is a powerful strategy for nurturing the relationship. When you ace this, you’ll be turning the path to more bookings from a long and winding road into one that’s shorter and smoother.


Content types 

Here’s a guide to the best content formats for each stage of a prospect’s buying journey. Consider creating different formats so that your content will appeal to the wide variety of ways people consume content. Many like bite-sized chunks of information—some like to listen or watch while others like to read.

  1. Awareness: During this introductory stage, content helps a buyer understand how your business can help them. Best Content Types: blog post, checklist, tip sheet, infographic, e-book, game, quiz, local newspaper article, animated video, explainer video, e-mail, or newsletter. In a previous article, we talked about tactics to grow your email list.
  2. Consideration: At this stage, the content positions your business as a leader in the industry. Best Content Types: podcast, video of past group tours and testimonials, video slideshow, webinar, checklist, or comparison matrix.
  3. Decision: Content for this stage showcases your unique way to meet the prospect’s unique needs. Best Content Types: tour catalog, personal consultation, planning meeting, group tour event, travel show, live video, or voice-over custom slideshow video.

With all these options for content, how can you save some time pulling all this together? The first step is to analyze and catalog the content you’ve created in the past. The second step is to get creative and see how you can repurpose, rejig, or recycle it into an up-to-date style that meets the needs of buyers in this new era.

Off

 


Existing content audit 

We all have content we’ve created over the years. Nuggets and diamonds may be hiding in plain sight. Start with these steps and you’ll soon realize how much great content you already have.

  1. Gather all of your content titles into a spreadsheet.
  2. Create columns for target keywords, buyer persona, buyer’s journey stage, format, date created, and main topic.
  3. Add columns for your key metrics, such as page views, shares, engagement, open rates, past usage type, and client feedback.
  4. Finally, categorize each post/piece of content (using highlights or another column) by those that are doing well, need improvement, could be rewritten, or can be merged with another content source. Indicate which content can be reinvented in another format as repurposed content.

Repurposing pathway 

I’ll bet that once you study your content spreadsheet, you’ll realize that you already have a ton of great information—probably more than you realized.

Now it’s time to re-imagine how you can use this content in different formats so that you engage and enlighten. We all know that people learn and retain information differently, and a format that works for one prospect may not work for another. By creating written, video, and audio content, you’ll be able to satisfy every type of content consumer.

Here are some quick ideas to repurpose existing content into a different format:

  • Blog to audio podcast: Use “talk to text” tools to do this quickly.
  • Article or checklist to infographic: key points highlighted in a visual format
  • Still images to slideshow video: immersive, fast-paced excitement
  • Destination guide to e-book: downloadable and easy to digest
  • Employee handbook to multi-media guide: explainer video, voiceover, or animated video
  • Printed tour catalog to online tour catalog with video embedded: voiceover or live video shoot

Tools to create content 

Here’s where the fun starts! Creating or refreshing content that meets the needs of your prospects starts with the right tools to make an impact. Here’s a chart showing the type of content that savvy travel marketers create and some top tools to make it easy and effective:

Chart 1
Figure 1
Chart 2
Figure 2

The bottom line is that creating new content doesn’t have to be a long and winding road. Armed with your content audit, these tools make it more efficient than ever to repurpose your existing information into creative, eye-catching, higher-converting communication. Nurturing prospects through the buying cycle becomes a drive in the park!

Catherine Heeg, president of NTA associate member Customized Management Solutions, focuses on social media marketing strategies for the tourism and hospitality industry. Connect with her at www.cmsspeaking.com and socially.

Top photo ©bongkarn/Adobe Stock