By now you’re evidently convinced of the value content marketing has for your travel brand. You understand that telling stories is essential to get your prospects inspired and to persuade them to book that travel experience.
But writing a travel story is not as easy as it sounds. Maybe that’s why your blog visitors or followers on social media couldn’t care less about your articles.
Here are 6 techniques from the writing pros that you can apply today to make your web content irresistible.
1. Start in the middle of the story
No story you publish should be told in a chronological order. The readers are not looking for the facts, one after the other. It’s most effective if you start with something unusual or surprising that happened.
♦ A buzzing of the microphone covers up the pilot’s words while he’s making an important announcement about the aircraft…
♦ As we opened the door to our room, we couldn’t believe what the hotel staff left for us on the bed…
If a story starts like this, you’ll want to read further. You’re hooked into the narrative, you got curious. That’s how a great novel or travel magazine article starts, and that’s how your stories should start too.
2. Spark an emotion
Visitors to your website look for reasons to be convinced by your offer, even if they don’t realize that. To book that hotel room, experience or day trip, they want to be inspired and persuaded. And as you know, nobody buys anything purely rationally.
Purchases are always emotional, so set off the prospects’ emotions in your story.
♦ Talk about how their children will love the colorful Kids’ Corner while they can lounge in the quiet pool area. They won’t resist the temptation of feeling serene while their kids are taken care of by someone else.
♦ Describe the stomach butterflies they will get as they admire Paris from a few hundred metres high in a helicopter tour.
♦ Tell them about the couple who got engaged on a gondola in Venice, at sunset. They will immediately think of their happy moments and wish to replicate them.
Spark the emotions of your web visitors and they will remember your business for a longer time. And maybe even talk about it with friends.
3. Include vivid details
The first rule of great writing is ‘show, don’t tell’.
♦ Show how the translucent, salty ocean water washes over the white sand of the private beach in front of the accommodation you sell. Don’t tell them the private beach has beautiful white sand.
♦ Show how they can feel their tired muscles melt, after a day of skiing, on the velvet sofas in front of the crackling fireplace of your hotel’s lounge area. Don’t tell them the lounge area has a fireplace and is open for all guests.
Paint the picture with rich details, bring the setting to life and make your prospects already imagine themselves in the spot. They will be one step closer to booking it.
4. Engage their five senses
Even if your story is just text, or just video, the details should appeal to all five senses. In travel storytelling, the sight is the mostly used sense, backed up by perfectly looking pictures. But if you take care to entertain the other senses, you’ll offer a complete experience to the site visitors, more realistic and convincing.
♦ Describe the flavors of the roasted chicken, your chef’s specialty, until even you salivate reading the text.
♦ Detail how the aged red wine feels on their tongue as they first taste it.
♦ Show them how brushing their fingers on the silky bed sheets will feel.
♦ Make them ‘hear’ the jungle sounds outside your private cabin rental.
5. Connect with your readers
Easier said than done. But how do you do that?
You’ll connect with your readers when you stop bragging about your excellent services and start telling a truthful story. And stories aren’t always perfect and positive. Sometimes you screw up, and then clean up. Tell that story too.
♦ For example, how you messed up a reservation, almost costing the group missing out on an important activity, and then how you managed to serve them, perhaps even better.
People relate more to failures and problems, because they happen to everyone. They will empathize with yours and then trust your brand more for showing that you care enough to repair your mistakes.
A travel business that shows only the positive side is less credible than one which is more humane and connects with guests, no matter the circumstance.
6. Use various types of media
Besides tactics like engaging the visitor’s five senses or using vivid details to pull them in, working with more types of media will convince your prospects better. Make your storytelling a mix of text, photos, video and even audio where possible.
For instance, when describing the sounds of the surrounding nature, try including real sound bites. It will make the experience that much more real and convincing for a website visitor. They’ll be assured that around your hotel you really only hear the nature, and not some nearby street traffic.
The biggest problem travel brands have today is credibility. They all show heavenly images online, but when guests reach the destination, the reality sometimes is quite different. Using various media will make your service more believable and will help increase your bookings.
Are you using these storytelling techniques in your content marketing activities?