Last month, I attended the trade day of the New York Times Travel Show – always an excellent start to the year for getting new industry information and fresh ideas for travel writing. I get a lot from the “Focus on Travel Media” track of panels, because this is where the latest and most innovative trends in digital and print media—as they relate to the tourism industry—are discussed.
It was telling that this was the first year a session was offered dedicated to content marketing. Those of us who have been writing content marketing pieces for tourism destinations for years know how successful it can be, and that its potential has yet to be realized. The case studies presented there told the story well.
Sarah Chazan, Senior Editor at Wall Street Journal Custom Studios, explained that custom content—such as the program they produced for the Chase Ritz Carlton credit card—resulted in high brand engagement and improved perception, and fostered trust. This was mainly due to three factors:
- Authenticity – Story-telling was authentic to the brand
- A singular focus – Stories had depth and reflected quality reporting
- Authority – Content reflected the caliber of the Wall Street Journal
Ben Baer, Managing Editor of Forbes Brand Production, shared the success of the “Guide to the Globe” package they produced for Celebrity Cruises, which included 16 original stories on Celebrity destinations that were published on Forbes.com. In addition to 558,000 page views, the content resulted in tens of thousands of social actions within social media channels.
Looking ahead, Chazan pointed out that given the measurable success of content marketing in the tourism industry, she expects the focus on content and native distribution to grow.
Which is good news for all of us who enjoy sharing travel stories, and for those of us who know how to incorporate them into a marketing campaign.