When you sell holidays, you sell dreams! For many holidaymakers, the delicious expectation of delights to come is what convinces them to make a booking. What they're buying into is the perceived magic of the experience: sun-kissed beaches; lush, tropical jungles of Cairns and Far North Queensland; high-octane adventure; mysterious mountain retreats. The language of holiday marketing is one of enchantment. Above all, for holidays to sell, content has to tell a story which weaves a spell around the reader, before providing them with an irresistible invitation to turn words into stunning reality. Here we take a look at a checklist of key considerations which determine whether your content is working, as well as outlining some options if it isn't.
1. Structure Tourism customers, like many other people, are time short and sensation seeking. This means that lengthy paragraphs, or big blocks of text, are out! Bullet points, lists and short, focused paragraphs make the reading experience effortless. It also makes it easier for readers to retain key points, so break up text with stunning images, graphics or short videos. The old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words is particularly relevant to travel content! 2. Know your audience - refine your style The more you know about your audience, the easier it is to craft content which ticks their boxes. Whether you use pre-collected demographic data, online data collection through surveys, or solicit feedback, the more you know about your audience the better you can appeal to them. With your audience always in mind, use what you know to identify what is most likely to provoke the emotional response you want. Remember, this isn't about you, it's about them. If possible, try and imagine yourself in their shoes - what's going to convince them your travel experiences have got to be on their bucket list? 3. Make an impact from the first sentence Perhaps more than any other sentence (except the call-to-action), the first sentence is critical in setting the tone for your content. A stunning first sentence might: - Be direct - Be humourous - Be a question - Be designed so that it mystifies the reader - Make a powerful statement It's worth reading through your content and homing in on the first sentence of each page. The first sentence of each paragraph is also of importance: a strong opening sentence often means there's no need for lengthy explanations. 4. Engage the senses Holidays aren't just about the visuals, they're also about the sights, sounds, tastes and textures travellers are likely to encounter on their journey. Content for the travel market, therefore, needs to appeal at a visceral level. Tempting descriptions of exotic dishes (accompanied by high-quality images for optimal appeal), mentions of temperature, bird song, lapping waves, soft towels, attractive aromas and similar all help to captivate your audience. By creating a multi-dimensional image of what customers can expect, a more immersive, and therefore appealing, piece of content is created. By engaging the senses, customers aren't just gaining a mental picture of what their destination is going to look like, but also the smells, tastes, and sensations which are going to be part of their trip. 5. Use little details It's the little things which make a big difference, which is why little details matter. Your audience can probably get a good idea of the key sights on their trip from your images - they don't necessarily need a description of the beach, but a sentence on a local delicacy, drawing attention to the daily newspaper provided gratis or mentioning the sumptuous, soft towels in the accommodation really helps to bring the description to life. 6. Emotive language matters Once you've grabbed the attention of your reader with a powerful opening sentence, maintaining the momentum with emotive text is the key to keeping engagement. Travel customers almost need to be swept along on a tide of positive emotion, building up to their decision to book. 7. Don't overdo the practicalities Few people who want to be sold a dream need an untimely reminder of flight dates, travel vaccinations, or visa application deadlines. Although these are clearly considerations, the thrust of successful travel content is emotional rather than practical.