Content, content, content.

If you’ve been looking into efficient online marketing strategies, you’ve likely come across that word a whole lot. And there is a very good reason for it. Content marketing has some serious benefits—ones that will definitely help you grow your business.

Here are the six main benefits of using content marketing to expand your outdoor adventure company:

1. Content marketing improves your search rank

When your customers use Google to look for information about the activities they love to do—and that you can help them do—the top hits in their results will include companies that frequently post relevant and engaging content about that subject. And you want to be among them.

Frequently creating and posting excellent content puts your page in front of the right audience at that sweet moment when the interest they’re searching for aligns with the services you provide—whether that’s ziplining or mountain biking or kayaking or multi-day hikes.

What kind of content will improve search rank?

Anything your audience might look for when they’re planning a trip, or even just daydreaming by looking around for cool stories and videos about the thing they love to do. Think of ways to inspire them, entertain them, take them deeper into their passion—or, best of all, educate them! How-to posts are always popular, because they solve a problem for your audience.

Say someone is planning their first solo trip, and they’re feeling anxious about it. You could ease that anxiety by posting a list of bright and inspiring tips for people travelling alone. Or a how-to post on breaking the ice when on a group tour. Or a short video on “truth and myth busting” for backpacking trips abroad.

The key is to draw on your own team’s expertise and passion to offer a benefit to people who are interested in what you do and know. Creating fresh, original and topic-focused content from that perspective often proves to be highly engaging and highly valued—and it makes your content highly findable when people are typing in search terms. All of which will greatly improve your search rank.

2. Content marketing increases organic traffic

Having to lay down a ton of money to get on the first page of a Google user’s search results can be frustrating when other companies are just showing up there for free. So become one of those companies with a great content marketing plan.

“Organic traffic” is any visitors brought to your website—for free—via links they find on search engines, social media or any other online source. Putting a bit of effort into attracting organic traffic is a great way to reduce your marketing costs and your reliance on online ad spending.

If you are consistently creating great content like helpful articles and how-to videos that help a traveller plan, pack or enjoy their favourite activity, you are going to find your pages and posts being shared, linked to, landed on and, finally, returned to—again and again.

What kind of content will increase organic traffic?

Again, it depends on what your audience is searching for. It could be inspiring or helpful information on the region or destination they’d like to visit. Or inspiring and helpful information on where your tours will take them. Or what activities they can try while they’re there. Just think about the customers you want to attract, and what kind of information they might be looking for. And then provide that information for them.

And you can do this in many forms, too. It could be blog post on your region, a photo essay of the activities you provide, or a simple iPhone video offering tips on how to enjoy a specific activity even more. Or you could even provide quick and easy checklists for packing, or for preparing for a specific type of trip.

3. Content marketing brings in new email subscribers

Do you have a newsletter that no one signs up for?

When you provide great content, your visitors will hand over their email to you without a second thought. That’s a lead, and leads are gold.

What kind of content will bring in new email subscribers?

How about a simple two-page visitors’ guide that your audience can download and save on their phone? Or a list of attractions that only locals know about? Leverage your expertise.

Another idea is to stop referring to your email subscription as a newsletter. Instead, think of something more creative, like what this tour company did:

Newsletter sign up example

People aren’t afraid of receiving too many emails—they’re afraid of receiving too many emails that don’t mean anything to them. Make your content useful, inspiring and relevant, and they’ll come clamouring for it.

4. Content marketing encourage more bookings

These days it’s hard to make a sale without giving some extra value first. Your content can be that extra value. When you are consistently sharing good tips and inspiring people to stop procrastinating and get to work planning and taking that dream vacation, it’s YOU who’s at the very front of their mind when they’re deciding who they’re going to book with.

Because you’re the one who first got them inspired, you’ll likely be the one they come to when they’re ready to make it happen.

What kind of content encourages more bookings?

Have you ever considered hosting a webinar? There are so many topics you could choose: anything from fun and little-known activities in your area to an in-depth look at wilderness survival.  It’s great way to use what you know (and what they want to know) to provide value, build awareness around what you offer, and encourage the people taking part in it to book a trip or activity—all while building trust by putting a friendly voice or face or name to your company.

Other content could be a simple FAQ page that answers all the common questions you hear from the outdoor adventurers who travel with you. Make them feel comfortable, make them feel reassured, make them feel excited, and you’ll make them come to you.

5. Content marketing improves your social media following

Content marketing can certainly help you boost your following on social media. By sharing helpful and entertaining posts, pics and videos, you inspire people to want to follow you for more. And when they like or comment on your post, there’s a good shot that their friends—particularly their like-minded friends—will see that post in their own feeds, too. And then maybe they’ll follow you as well. And so on, and so on. Before you know it, you’ll be seeing a healthy growth in your online audience.

What kind of content can improve a social media following?

Everything and anything I’ve already mentioned in this article.  The important thing is that it falls l into one of the three key categories: inspiring, educational or entertaining. Images and videos are great for this. So are blog posts that provide more information about a specific region or activity (or season, or piece of gear, or dos and don’ts, or bests and worsts, or . . . you get the idea).

6. Content marketing builds credibility for your brand

When customers who have used your services or bought your products or travelled on your tours then speak on your behalf and recommend you to others, that creates the irreplaceable magic that is brand credibility. Brand credibility is when people start to see that others have enjoyed and been satisfied by your service, making them more likely to bet their own dollars on you.

What kind of content builds brand credibility?

When a customer praises their experience with you on social media, engage with it, appreciate it, and share it. Sharing short testimonials that thrilled customers have posted on third-party social media sites like TripAdvisor helps demonstrate that you can and have delivered a consistently exceptional experience. If a customer emails you a great compliment, ask if you can share it on your site. If someone posts something happy about you on Facebook or Twitter, like it, and reply to it. You can even reach out to past customers who you know liked their experience and ask them to provide you with a review.

In some cases, even a negative comment can be turned into something that builds brand credibility—if you handle it with integrity and charm. Many companies have engaged positively with a social media complaint and have turned that complainer into a lifelong fan.

Over to you

There are some serious benefits when it comes to content marketing: everything from improved website traffic to more followers to an actual increase in bookings.

The key is to take the time to get to know your customers and your followers and to consider what types of information they might be looking for. Think about problems or concerns they have about a future trip or a favourite activity, and help them solve that problem or ease those concerns—whether it be through a post, a download, a video or an online Q&A. Keep it simple, and use your own expertise.

You have it, they want it. So share it!

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Marie Hunter
Marie HunterPresident & Chief Adventurer
2018-07-30T10:31:38+00:00 January 3rd, 2018|