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Should You Use A Blog Or Email Marketing For Your Travel Brand?

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Should You Use A Blog Or Email Marketing For Your Travel Brand?

Less than five years ago, starting a blog was a huge marketing focus in the travel community.

Not only did the SEO bonuses have a lot of appeal, but travel blogging was also an incredibly popular format that promised a large target audience if you found the right niche.

While the majority of travel blogs are still going strong, email marketing has been having a moment in the last few years as well.

With its low cost, high ROI, and simple method of keeping customers engaged, questions have recently surfaced about whether sharing content via email is better than posting it to a blog.

First things first: This isn’t a post comparing the two approaches to crown an overall winner.

Blog content creation and email marketing are two pretty different types of content, and both have their benefits.

However, if you’re a new travel brand wondering which format to focus on, or want to change your marketing strategy by pouring more resources into an approach, it’s definitely worth examining each with several different factors in mind.

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This post will help you do just that.

The Benefits Of Blog Content

Blogging is a format that has been around for decades now.

Whether you’re a large travel brand with a blog on your website or a dedicated travel enthusiast running a blog to share your stories, there are plenty of benefits to this kind of content.

The first benefit is more applicable to brands with websites offering a product or service. Having a blog is a brilliant way of driving more traffic to your site and reaching potential customers that may not have been affected by traditional advertising material.

On average, companies with a blog see 55% more website visitors than those who don’t, so there’s massive potential for growing your customer base.

From an SEO perspective, having a blog that you regularly update with new content can do wonders for how well your website ranks on search engines.

Not only can you increase traffic by producing content that targets longtail keywords, but having a blog also helps indexation supports rankings of your commercial pages.

A blog can also be a really useful tool in link building, which again helps to boost your website’s ranking.

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Blog content can help establish your brand as a source of authority in your industry. By consistently sharing valuable and engaging insight, you’ll gain a reputation for being a reliable source of information.

This will lead to greater brand awareness and help to grow your customer base.

Finally, when it comes to brand image, blog content is one of the best ways to establish a “voice” and a tone that your audience will recognize.

Regularly sharing new posts on your travel blog that all embody your brand values will help improve recognition and strengthen your image, particularly if this tone is reflected across all your other marketing channels.

The Benefits Of Email Marketing

Email marketing has as many benefits as writing blog content, whether sending regular newsletters, moving potential customers down the buyer funnel, keeping in touch with existing customers, or increasing engagement among your target audience.

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More commercial brands tend to use email marketing to promote products and offers, but email marketing is often another channel for sharing content and communicating with customers in the travel industry.

One of the biggest benefits of email marketing is that it’s a pretty low-cost strategy, which is ideal if you’re a relatively small business or a travel blogger working on your own.

You can also run campaigns without too much effort if you’re willing to put in the work at the beginning, making this approach quite simple to carry out even without much experience.

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A key benefit often mentioned with email marketing is its impressive return on investment (ROI).

Exact figures will differ depending on your industry and the type of campaign but, on average, brands can make around $36 for every $1 spent on email marketing, which is an impressive statistic.

The nature of email marketing means that recipients of your content have to provide their contact details to join your mailing list, which means that everyone reading your content is already interested in what you share.

This means your audience is much more engaged with your content than any other channel, leading to greater levels of interaction and more successful conversion.

Another benefit is that uninterested recipients can opt out, so you won’t waste time or resources pitching your content to people who won’t engage with it.

Engagement is a general benefit of email marketing, both with existing and potential customers.

When you send out email content, you’re delivering (sometimes personalized) messages right into your audience’s inboxes, which means they’re much more likely to interact with this content than any of your other marketing efforts and will feel closer to your brand because of it.

Sending out regular email content can be very useful for travel brands that want to keep their offering in front of their audience’s minds.

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When potential customers decide they want to book a holiday, for example, that brand’s website is where they go first.

Email marketing ensures that you maintain regular contact with your audience and builds up a relationship with this communication that will hopefully lead to customers thinking of your brand independently and increasing conversion rates.

Finally, another of the key benefits of email marketing is that it’s a brilliant channel for distributing personalized content.

80% of consumers have said that they are more likely to make purchases from brands that offer personalized experiences, so tailoring your emails and providing your mailing list with relevant content means that you’re much more likely to grow your audience.

Audience Engagement

Trying to pit email marketing and blog content against one another is unproductive. The two approaches have very different intentions and are often used together as part of a wider marketing strategy.

However, one area of overlap between the two is audience engagement, which provides some interesting points of comparison to investigate.

Engagement is an essential part of customer experience, and good customer experience is the key to a positive brand image, repeat customers, and business growth.

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Today’s consumers have more choices than ever regarding their content and the brands they support.

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The travel industry is a sector where competition is particularly fierce, so engagement is something that almost every brand strives to improve.

Travel blog content can improve audience engagement if you take the time to craft interesting, emotive, and valuable content that your audience is genuinely excited to read.

Once a reader is on your site, use banners and calls to action to get them to engage with other blog posts and landing pages, establishing your brand more firmly in their mind, and hopefully starting to move down the buyer funnel toward booking.

However, you need to get interested readers arriving on your blog in the first place.

And if they don’t make a purchase or inquiry on their first visit, you need to make a strong enough impression that they’re going to come back to your blog of their own accord and read more of the content on there.

That’s one hell of a challenge.

The state of the world we live in today means that brands aren’t only competing with one another for the attention of potential customers. They’re also competing to fill the limited amount of time that modern consumers have each day to read and engage with new content.

Most people don’t have the time to seek out new things to consume; they want the content to arrive at their fingertips to instantly engage without too much effort.

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This is where email marketing comes into its own.

Blogging certainly had its heyday and remains a very valuable channel that isn’t going anywhere soon.

But to catch your customer’s attention while they’re commuting, boiling the kettle, or scrolling before bed, reading an email that is already in their inbox containing a curated selection of stories, ideas, and further reading will be a clear first choice over seeking out a blog post to engage with instead.

Is there still a place for blogs that regularly post long-form content for their audience?

Of course!

But with attention spans dwindling, device separation anxiety growing, and the desire for instant gratification higher than ever, email marketing has plenty going for it that makes it the perfect format for reaching and engaging today’s consumer.

When Should You Create Blog Content?

As outlined at the start of this article, there’s no “winner” when comparing blogging with email marketing.

There are plenty of instances where creating blog content is the best choice in a travel marketing strategy, which we have listed below.

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  • You can produce large amounts of content.
  • Your target audience enjoys engaging with long-form, informational content.
  • You are skilled at writing content that keeps the reader engaged, emotionally resonates with them, and helps transport them from the present moment.
  • You already have an established blog with some repeat readers.
  • You are a travel brand that values sharing unique advice and insight as much as you value bookings.
  • You are targeting longtail keyword phrases as part of an SEO strategy.
  • You are looking to increase the amount of traffic coming to your website.
  • You want to establish your brand as a thought leader or reliable source of advice in your sector.
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When Should You Create Email Content?

Some factors indicate that creating email content like a newsletter or regular “round up” would be the best approach.

  • You have limited content writing resources which means producing short email newsletters is more manageable.
  • You have a limited budget for building out your marketing strategy.
  • You have a knack for writing shorter, instantly engaging pieces of content.
  • You want to develop a sense of “community” between your customers and build closer relationships with them.
  • You already have a good amount of content on your website that you can share.
  • You are looking for ways to move more potential customers down the buyer funnel.

The Best Way Forward

If possible, the best way forward is to dedicate time to developing both blog content and email content as part of your wider marketing strategy.

Email marketing can take various forms, from automated messages reminding customers what they viewed on a website to more personal messages from brands sharing stories, insight, and advice.

Many brand newsletters include links to the content on their blog, which is a fantastic way to link these two approaches together and encourage more website traffic while also appealing to the customer’s need for instant, easily consumable content.

The best way forward is to combine your approaches and use both blogging and email marketing in an integrated way.

Begin by focusing on creating engaging, evergreen blog content. Once you’ve reached a good stock of content, shift your focus more to email, where you can use that content to build community and engagement more actively.

If you’re an established travel brand it’s likely you already have both of these techniques in your marketing strategy.

In this case, it’s worth considering the impact your email content can have on customer engagement and whether you could adapt the content you send out to improve this while also keeping your blog updated and linking back to these new posts in your emails.

If you’re a new brand developing a marketing strategy, consider the conditions above and decide where you want to focus your efforts depending on your goals and capacity.

As this post has highlighted, both email marketing and blog content creation have their merits. Both are incredibly useful methods that travel businesses can use to establish a recognizable brand image and engage their audience.

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Instead of crowning a victor between the two, consider the value that each of these formats has to today’s consumers and adapt your offering accordingly to get the best possible results.

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Featured Image: ra2 studio/Shutterstock

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How To Create Your Instagram Content Plan

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How To Create Your Instagram Content Plan

Are your Instagram posts not bringing desired results?

Then maybe you need to think about reshaping your strategy and create a content plan.

Content plans can help guide how you release content to make sure you’re hitting certain goals and help your content perform better.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to create a content plan that increases brand reach and conversions on Instagram. You’ll also learn some helpful tips to help boost your content.

1. Define Your Goal

The first thing you want to do is create your Instagram goal or goals.

What do you want to accomplish? Is it to grow your audience, drive more engagement, or generate sales?

Once you figure out your plan, you’ll be better prepared to tailor your content to meet those goals.

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Then, you can set the key performance indicators (KPIs) to mark different points of analysis you want to observe along with your Instagram campaign.

After you select your goal and some KPIs, it’s beneficial to break down your goal into different milestones you would like to reach along the way.

For example, let’s say you want to grow your audience by 20% by the end of the quarter.

What are some milestones along the way you can mark to achieve that goal? What types of content, topics, or content series can you create to increase engagement?

Now, that you’ve done some brainstorming, it’s time to start building your content calendar.

2. Plan Your Content Calendar

A content calendar is important because it’s your roadmap to guide your path, help you meet your goals, and set an end date for a campaign.

This way, you’ll know when you’ve met your goal and can readjust and analyze ways to improve your content strategy for your next campaign.

In addition, a content calendar can help keep ideas and campaigns organized, help you identify any content gaps, and help build consistency (which is critical for Instagram).

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When creating your content plan for the month, quarter, or recent campaign, it’s helpful to plot out which days of the week you want to talk about what.

Next, choose the topic and then form the right caption.

Break content planning into smaller actionable steps makes it easier to make a content calendar.

Then, if you have your goals, topics laid out, and captions, you can move to the next step: Create the necessary pictures or videos.

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Finally, you can compile your topics, days you’re posting, and captions and hashtags into a simple Google, Word, or Excel doc so you can easily copy and paste when you’re ready to schedule out your content.

Bonus Tip: Align Your Content With Marketing Initiatives

If you already have some marketing initiatives, it’s the perfect time to incorporate them into your marketing campaign. For example, maybe you have a new product release.

Then, you can create a content series for that. Create a couple of posts teasing the release of the product, include a giveaway, have an influence to promote your product or a video with them using it, and market those benefits.

Events or holidays are another great way to get consumers engaged and turn more consumers into customers.

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If you have an event coming up, you can create a campaign hyping the event and discussing the speakers involved, products that will be there, or awesome grab bags you’re giving away at the event.

Holidays are another fun and positive way to get customers talking about your brand. Holiday giveaways or deals are another way to grow brand awareness and gain followers.

3. Keep A Consistent Theme And Tone

Creating a tone or brand guide can be an effective way to make sure you keep posts consistent. You also want to maintain a similar theme throughout your posts, including style, font, and colors.

For inspiration, you can look at your website, content, and logos to help create the proper tone and theme for your posts.

In addition, Instagram has the tools in stories that can help you get a color scheme that complements your brand.

You also want to think about the look of your content for both pictures and videos. Consider a consistent angle or filter to set the right tone and look for your content.

It’s also vital to think about your messaging, whether it’s for captions, comments, or responses to direct messages.

It’s crucial to have a standard operating procedure for how you respond to consumers on Instagram, especially if you have multiple people responding to comments and messages, to ensure it’s within the brand’s tone.

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4. Showcase Your Creativity

IG is more than just a photo-sharing app. There are many different ways to create content for Instagram that can highlight your brand and increase engagement.

Let’s talk through them and share some tips on when to use them.

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As you know, Instagram has pictures. Pictures are a great way to showcase products. It’s also great for sharing quotes, posing questions you answer in your image caption, or promoting deals or giveaways.

Videos are an excellent way to show sneak peeks of something coming up or create product teasers. You can also use videos for business BTS and show how to best use your product.

You can use Instagram Reels, or short videos, to showcase products, share stories, and grow your audience.

IGTV or Instagram TV are longer videos on an Instagram feed. Brands use these to go more in-depth into describing a particular topic.

Instagram Shopping is a feature that allows consumers to shop your products through your photos and videos.

Brands can create product tags and product launches where consumers can purchase products straight through Instagram.

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Then, customers don’t have to take the step to leave Instagram to go to your website. Instead, they can quickly buy through the app.

Stories are photos or videos that last 24 hours (unless you add them to your highlights on your profile) where you can share posts from your profile or post new content. It’s a popular way to gain more followers and engage with consumers.

User-Generated Content or content created by influences, customers, or other users is a great way to extend your reach to different audiences and further promote your products.

People are more intrigued to learn about a new product if it’s promoted by someone they already follow.

Likewise, it can help build trust with consumers new to your brand if they see a post by a customer who already loves it.

But what content goes viral? It can be beneficial to look at what your competitors are people on Instagram creating and put your brand’s unique twist on it.

5. Craft Compelling Captions And CTAs

While it’s great to have high-quality pictures and engaging videos, the captions and call to action still matter.

If you hooked the consumer with your picture or video, you want to reel them in with your caption and CTA.

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It’s essential to take time crafting the right CTA to ensure consumers follow your page, engage with your post, or purchase your product.

6. Choose The Correct Hashtags

It’s also crucial to research and choose the right hashtags to ensure your posts reach the intended audience and some new ones that might be interested in your brand.

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Hashtags allow your content to reach users beyond your profile’s following. As you create content for specific hashtags, note which posts perform particularly well.

That way, you can create future posts for specific hashtags that will increase your content’s visibility.

7. Know The Best Time To Post

Planning posts ahead of time can help alleviate some stress of social media strategy.

You can use Meta Business Suites to schedule posts for Facebook and Instagram and set posts for a week or a couple of weeks.

If you’re unsure when to post, they have suggested days and times where analysis points to where you’ll get the most engagement and views.

Although, it would be beneficial to do some research specific to your industry to see the best time and day to make your posts.

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One important thing to keep in mind when you’re planning your content is the upcoming holidays.

Are you going to make a post celebrating the holiday, use the holiday to do a promotion or give away, or choose not to post on that day altogether?

No matter what you pick, it’s important to keep holidays in mind.

8. Measure Results And Adjust

Instagram Insights, both on the app and through Meta Business Suites, can show how many views a post gets and statistics on the engagement with the posts to help you see which types of content are working best. You can see your content’s likes, shares, comments, and saves.

Brands can also use Insights to get metrics on the paid activity. Insights are a great way to see trends so that you can adjust your content strategy.

You’ll also be able to see metrics into your followers to see how many you’re receiving, the age of your followers, and information on when they are most active online. This way, you can adjust the times you post to ensure you are better at reaching your audience.

Wrapping Up

Content planning is the best way to help boost reach and engagement on Instagram.

Creating a content calendar inspired by current marketing objectives and tailoring your content with a theme backed by metrics is the best way to help meet your goals.

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More Resources:


Featured Image: alinabuphoto/Shutterstock

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