There’s a difference between copywriters and content marketers. The former sell products, the latter sell stories.
At Peacock Tourism Marketing, our birds-of-a-feather team are passionate about creating good online content and integrating it with digital marketing – in order to “sell tourism products.”
With a background as journalists and screenwriters, we are accustomed to telling stories, and stories sell. With experience as advertising and promotional copywriters, too, we’re clearly in the business of sales.
What do you need to connect to your audience? If you’re an accommodation, attraction or adventure tour company with a great product, you definitely need an innovative marketing plan that delivers your story in a way that makes travellers want to book with you today.
Money spent on hiring experienced content marketers – a team that understands tourism products and how to motivate buying consumers – will be a good investment.
-Principal Peacock Dee Farrell offers her two cents worth on selling a story vs selling a product.
I love the challenge of creating a website from a blank sheet of paper.
Since my first corporate website in 1996 – the Dark Ages, I know – I have orchestrated a few for myself and for clients.
I took a blank piece of paper and turned it into DeeToursDownUnder.com, then one called VinoVentures.net, followed by CopywritingCafe.com, and currently PeacockTourism.com, my niche marketing and web content service.
When asked to do content and images for an adventure tour website and social media pages, I packed up my “laptop will travel” bag and headed to Bali. The result: Vision-Adventures.com (a work in progress).
Let the branding begin.
Adventuring in Bali slideshow.
Being a tourism marketing consultant can entail a lot of sitting in front of the screen, writing about places one’s never been. Every now and again the opportunity comes for travel blogging from the field.
I’m currently working on branding Vision Adventures Bali as a concierge booking service for visitors – so I’ve been “testing” the product.
Life’s a daring adventure or nothing, said Helen Keller. Although she never visited Indonesia, her spirit of adventure is a mantra for my client, Vision Adventures Bali.
Hope you enjoy the slideshow. Someone has to do it, so why not DeeTouring Dee?
Less than an hour from where I lived in Pennsylvania, you see road signs that warn you to beware of horse and buggy carriages using the road.
The Amish people live a life very different from yours and mine.
For the most part they don’t use electricity. They avoid most machines, preferring a simple lifestyle that revolves around farming and handcrafting everyday items.
Amish furniture is coveted in some circles for its high quality and classic beauty. Their food is simple and delicious, and their household items are made with masterful craftsmanship and attention to detail.
The Amish don’t use computers, so what could they possibly teach us about web design?
The key to gorgeous site design if you’re not a professional designer is to keep it simple.
Does simple mean plain? Boring? Unadorned?
No. Simple — in this case — means effortless (as in, effortless to read and absorb), and accessible (as in, easy to find what you need).
In today’s post, we’re going to talk about how to achieve the kind of simplicity that leads to a sophisticated, ultra-functional website.
It’s easy, once you know how.
Start with a well-proportioned theme
Your design job will be much easier if you start with a theme that has “good bones.”
By this I mean plenty of white space, and an open, airy feel. You want your words and images to be surrounded by open space like you’d put a matte around a beautiful painting.
Plus, working with a solid WordPress theme gives a cohesive structure to your site, and makes each page look like it relates to the one before.
Use a reduced color palette
Amish clothing is very low key and modest.
The result is that when you come face to face with an Amish person, you really see them. You don’t see their flashy clothing or notice their hairstyle.
What you see are their faces. Their personalities shine through, unembellished by the trappings the rest of us use.
How does this translate to our web pages?
On your site, this means using a design style whose goal is to let your content shine through. Your message should be the star of the show, and your design style shouldn’t detract from the purpose of your pages.
One way to accomplish this is to use a reduced palette of colors. I recommend starting with two main colors in addition to black text and a white background.
Using a reduced color palette helps direct attention where it belongs, which is on your words.
Because — as we know, the writer runs this show.
But, the designer makes you look.
Do more with less
The Amish are masters at making the most of whatever they have on hand.
Used clothing becomes a beautiful quilt to huddle under in the cold winter months.
The sap from maple trees is tapped and boiled down to become delectable maple syrup.
Wood is reclaimed from barns and turned into furniture.
One quick and effective way to apply the “use what you have on hand” concept is pare your fonts down to two. Use one for text, one for headlines. Pick fonts that have a full family of weights: bold, semi-bold, and italic.
Then put those fonts to work all over your site. Use different weights, or try them in all caps. But don’t go beyond your two fonts.
Designing within these “restrictions” will set you free. Your pages will hang together and look cohesive because your fonts will be consistent throughout.
Lighten up your sidebar
Most of our websites have some sort of content area, as well as what I like to call the “business side of things,” which is usually a sidebar.
It’s tempting to cram your sidebar full of all sorts of ads, social media icons, opt-in forms and affiliate banners. The result is that each item competes visually with all the others, and no one wins.
Instead, approach it like the Amish.
They don’t use big, blinking neon signs to point out their businesses. They state their offerings simply, and present them in uncluttered surroundings so the customer has space to think and really see what’s there.
On your sidebar, this means paring down your offerings and making some hard decisions. If your theme allows it, it might mean running different combinations of sidebar content on different pages of your site. This allows you to spread your offerings out and feature them where they’ll make the most sense.
Look at your sidebar and decide what one action you’d most like your visitor to take. Then make a call to action that stands out visually. Make it larger and more colorful, and place it and higher up in the column.
The rest of your sidebar options should be less colorful and smaller so they don’t compete.
‘Tis a gift to be simple
Simplicity can be beautiful when your aim is to create a site that’s intelligent, effortless to navigate and easy to understand.
What can you do to apply some Amish craftsmanship to your site?
-Thanks to Copyblogger for this article; couldn’t have written it better myself as a long-time resident of this Amish region. This advice is spot on! – Dee
Use these three techniques to get your message out and engage with travellers and travel planners.
1. Showcase your product
Web video is ideal for showing exactly how your hotel or tour works, and why it’s the best on offer at the destination.
Your web video doesn’t have to be fancy. It’s more important to:
Take the time to develop your story
Write a script: don’t wing it
Edit carefully so your video comes in under three minutes
2. Share your reality
Any time you share some of your own reality, your two-dimensional Internet presence becomes more three dimensional, and that makes your company — and its offerings — more appealing to visitors.
Show readers you’re just like them by sharing a little about yourself on Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, your blog, and your email newsletter. You can post photos or short videos that show them the real you, both inside and outside of work.
Keep it light, tie it in with a topic you know your audience is interested in, and turn it around and talk about them the first chance you get.
3. Shatter your stereotypes
If your business is typecast a certain way – eg luxury hotel, spa and conference center – accept it and set the record straight online.
Showing your prospective guests a little personality is an excellent way to make your hotel or tour memorable.
A good example is Vision Villa Resort in Bali that now calls itself Vision Villa Bali, the Center of Adventure, with links to its new concierge desk, Vision Adventures. The stereotyped image of a luxury spa resort built for relaxation has been shattered by the “adventure centre” personality, taking advantage of the adventure playground at the resort’s doorsteps.
About the Author: Pamela Wilson helps small businesses grow with great design and marketing at Big Brand System. Her article has been adapted for tourism operators by Dee Farrell at Peacock Tourism Marketing. Together, we hope your blogs and fan pages will add some personality through your stories.