What, where and when
To me, content strategy can be distilled down to a few words; provide the customer with the right content, in the right place at the right time. It helps focus on the idea that customer needs vary depending on where they are in their journey; this could be the part of the holiday booking process they are at, where on the website they are or the channel they are interacting with the business through. For example when someone is thinking vaguely about going away somewhere, we want our content to inspire, this could be a photograph on Facebook or a blog post about African safaris. If someone has booked and wants to know how heavy their case is allowed to be, we should provide easily found, concise and understandable content to guide them. If someone is using their iPad on the sofa we should provide them with optimised content that looks great and doesn’t force them to reach for a laptop.
Don’t forget the “why’
We should not publish a piece of content because we have been given it by a supplier or because it is quick and easy to produce. We should publish it because it helps our business interact with customers and potential customers in a way that adds value to their journey. We are in the business of sending people on amazing holidays; our content must inspire, it must show our expertise and it must be useful. Usefulness depends on context; a piece of practical information that clinches a booking is useful, but so is the smile on a potential customers face, when they read an entertaining tweet, if it makes them remember our brand. All content should have a proposed audience, purpose and channel before it is produced, but it is ok to adapt the content for secondary publishing.
In content we trust
Selling anything to anyone is all about trust. A customer wants to know that they are buying something of real quality, from a reliable source, at a good price. We must build trust with our customers by producing high quality, rich content. A holiday is likely to represent the largest regular yearly household spend, before a customer parts with their money they want to be 100% sure that they are making the right decision. Explaining the size of our business, the bonding we have with ATOL and our brand mission statements are important, but only the start. If a customer needs a cot in their room we need to make sure this information is easily found, likewise if someone wants to go to Asia but avoid monsoon season we need to help them decide when to go. If a customer went into a high street travel agent and the salesperson couldn’t reassure them that a cot would be present, or recommend avoiding the rain between June and September, the customer would begin to wonder if they should go elsewhere. We must make sure that a customer’s trust in our ability to send them on a fantastic holiday is never in doubt. If a customer is provided with all of the content they need to book and go on holiday, they will be happy and content.