Why content marketing matters for destinations

Creating relevant content that elevates your travel brand and appeals to travelers is essential to a destination’s marketing success. But in order to know whether you’re meeting your campaign goals or not, it’s important to understand if your content marketing strategy is having an impact.

It’s one thing to create stellar content, but the tourism industry is a competitive space, so how do you make sure your content is being seen by travelers who are looking and booking?

For destinations and travel brands to reach their ideal traveler, it’s imperative that an effective distribution and measurement plan is in place. While creating content can seem like a daunting undertaking, it’s necessary to reach, inspire and convert travelers. If your content doesn’t engage your target audience then all the effort you put into your content marketing strategy won’t deliver the results you’re looking for.

Data can play a pivotal role in content creation as insights like consumer preferences and behaviors can help you optimize your strategy, refine your messaging, and ultimately lead you to create impactful content that will inspire your audience to engage with your brand.

Effective content distribution 

To increase reach and engagement for your content once it’s published, it’s key to leverage an integrated channel strategy that shares your content across internal and external channels. This includes everything from utilizing your social media platforms to promote a blog post or publishing the content on internal channels to engage your organization’s stakeholders. Encourage internal stakeholders to share and distribute your content — this will extend your reach and can help you connect with more travelers who are poised to purchase.

Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority successfully implemented this content marketing for destinations approach. By partnering with us to raise their profile with vacationers in the U.K., they used social media, digital display and outdoor advertising to reach their target audience.

Hotel advertising that can reach any traveler, anywhere

Travelers looking to book a hotel use multiple channels to find their ideal place to stay, from social media to travel websites, and more. This is why it’s imperative that you know when — and where — to reach the right traveler. Whether you’re trying to reach early-bird or last-minute bookers, our targeting capabilities can help you connect with the right traveler at the right time.  

After creating its attention-grabbing content, the destination marketing organization rolled out a content marketing strategy to ensure its message resonated with the travelers it was trying to reach. By leveraging partnerships in their distribution plan, they were able to reach more than 3.2 million potential travelers through a two-month promotion that drove 13,000 clicks directly to their landing page.

Tourism Malaysia wanted to broaden the travelers it targeted and decided that one way to do this was to focus on ecotourism in its content marketing efforts. By collaborating on a series of initiatives with Expedia Group Media Solutions, that included display advertising, travel spotlights and work with our Media Studio team, the destination was able to expand its reach and appeal to a wider traveler segment.  

Why measurement matters 

While distribution is a key component of your content marketing strategy and planning, it also requires that you keep an eye on measurement. This means accurate reporting on content engagement for your destination is essential.

To start, it’s important to develop clear objectives and KPIs for your digital marketing strategy, otherwise you’ll be left guessing as to whether you’re reaching your target audience or not.

Setting up how you’ll measure the success of your campaign could range from conducting A/B tests on images you use in a blog post or on your social media platforms to implementing a full-scale analysis of content across a destination’s website to best understand travelers’ mindset.

For Destination BC, data-driven content optimization helped them meet their goal of increasing online engagement with specific traveler segments. Working with us, they created an interactive concierge microsite with content that targeted three specific audience segments.

Site analytics and engagement metrics enabled us to provide Destination BC with recommendations on how to increase engagement with specifically identified groups of travelers. By getting a grasp of what these consumers were most interested in, Destination BC had a clear path forward. With their strategy and access to site analytics, they successfully drove 7 million impressions and generated a 58:1 return on ad spend when it came to driving bookings.  

Putting a successful content marketing strategy in place  

When you’re planning to create a content marketing plan for your destination, be sure to understand where you stand in the broader travel industry – ask yourself if your destination is well known or if you need to introduce it to travelers. This will help you determine what content you create to reach your target audience, whether you choose to create destination guides or high-impact social campaigns.

With more than 20 years of experience helping destinations successfully execute their travel marketing strategies, we can help you reach your ideal traveler, create unique and compelling content that showcases your destination, and help you monitor the success of your campaign. Contact us to get started today.

Expedia Group Media Solutions

Expedia Group Media Solutions is the world's leading travel media network. We connect advertisers with hundreds of millions of travelers across the globe. Our exclusive first-party data on traveler trends, search behavior, and booking data provides travel marketers with unique insights to inform their strategies. We offer a full-funnel suite of solutions to help you convert travelers, and our digital experts can help you create advertising campaigns that deliver.

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