Nothing grabs the attention of a consumer quite like a great story. That’s why marketers rely on captivating storytelling to sell a whole range of different goods and services. For tour operators, storytelling holds a wealth of potential. Not only does it allow companies to connect with target audiences, but it also gives marketers a way of inspiring their audiences to think about their next trip, setting them straight on the path to making a booking.
There are many ways to use storytelling in tourism marketing, so it’s a good idea to read up on the different methods before you choose the best option for your company. Take a look at some of our top storytelling tips for tour operators and get started with content marketing that sells.
1. Do your research
If you’re thinking of embarking on a new content strategy that champions storytelling, you may already have a few interesting ideas in mind. But if you don’t, there’s no need to be put off. Start by researching the art of storytelling, looking into some of the world’s best-loved stories. Keep an eye out for any messages that may be particularly relevant to your industry or your company’s USPs.
Consider why these famous stories may hold particular appeal and what it is that makes them stand out from the crowd. Once you’ve got a better understanding of storytelling and how it works, you’ll be in a far better place to craft your own compelling stories.
2. Get to know your audience
Great marketing campaigns rarely happen by accident. Invariably, there’s a huge amount of data powering the insights that result in those highly engaging, immersive content marketing campaigns. So, if you’re hoping to create a content marketing campaign full of stories that resonate with your audience, you’re going to need a good amount of data to get you started.
Begin by getting to know your target audiences in as much detail as possible. Find out what they like, what inspires them, and which content they find most engaging. Learn about their viewing habits, their image, video and written content preferences, and whether any seasonal trends might affect the success of your storytelling campaign. Put information like this to good use and you’ll significantly improve the reach of the stories you’ve put so much hard work into.
3. Keep stories relevant
Once you have that Eureka moment, it can be difficult to contain your excitement! But sometimes even the best ideas fall flat when they’re used incorrectly. Relevance is key here – it’s vital if your stories are to have the impact they deserve.
While creating content, keep relevance at the forefront of your mind. Ensure that all content regularly circles back to a real benefit that your company can offer viewers and that the mission of your brand is never lost amongst the content that you create. Look at competitors in your industry to see how they’re using storytelling in a way that’s relevant to the trips they’re selling, then try to beat them at their own game.
4. Make a connection
An emotional connection dramatically boosts the impact of any story, so it’s well worth focussing on this to make sure your storytelling content has a real, lasting impact.
While it can be tricky to create an authentic connection in marketing content, it’s entirely possible to do so. It’s just a case of creating highly engaging, relevant stories that encourage viewers to think about the adventures they could have with your company.
Don’t be afraid to inject some personality into your storytelling. If you give viewers a glimpse behind the scenes you’re more likely to be able to create a real connection with them – and that could make a huge difference to the success of your content campaign.
5. Surprise your audience
Shareable content is enormously valuable from a marketing perspective. When you create something that audiences want to share, you’ll see an enormous uptick in the reach of your campaign, and rapid improvements in the campaign’s ROI tend to follow. But how do you make sure audiences click that share button and talk about your content? Well, you just need to surprise them!
Create stories with a twist in the tale, or share a message that audiences aren’t expecting, and you could soon find yourself launching a highly engaging, shareable piece of content. Creating an emotional connection will also improve a piece’s chances of being shared, and if you can make an audience laugh while you’re at it there’ll be no stopping you.
Think carefully about how audiences will perceive your content to create stories they can’t resist talking about. For more ideas and tips, take a look at this guide to creating shareable content.
Grow your tour company with storytelling
If you want to connect with new audiences, spread the word about your company and entice loyal customers back to your brand, storytelling is a great way to do it. Think carefully about the stories you could tell your audiences, to come up with inspiring ideas that will engage viewers and encourage them to share your content.
The power of storytelling is incredible. Use it in an authentic and engaging way and you’ll soon see it transformed into real results for your tour company.
About the author:
Sean Begg Flint is the founder of Position Digital, a digital marketing agency for ambitious startups and growing brands. He is passionate about purpose-driven content marketing and using outreach for good.