NB: This is an article by Laura Jennings, head of strategy and client service at Headstream Content Marketing Agency

For the travel industry, marketing should be easy, as holidaying or travelling by their very nature create anecdotes and stories (not to mention great pictures) that customers often want to share.

But how can you be more tactical and do your best to encourage actual sales rather than just interesting and attractive marketing materials?

Sequential storytelling can help, especially at this time of the year when many people are beginning to think about their summer holiday, but haven’t necessarily decided where or what they want to do.

The aim is to build knowledge of a product or service gradually with potential customers, then to narrow down your audience, increase the sales message, and target those most likely to purchase.

You are effectively emulating the customer journey – from not knowing about the product to hopefully buying it.

A great place to do this is on Facebook as it allows you to really focus on those people who are relevant, so your efforts (and advertising budget) are not wasted.

The plan is simple but effective:

1. Identify your desired audience
Drill down – by demographics, affluence, location, household size, interests etc.

2. Raise awareness of your brand with that audience
Brand-led content: Awareness focus
A general awareness advert could tie it in with wider national campaign, local advert, a seasonal or current event. Video content works particularly well as a format that has higher engagement levels than simple text or even images.

3. Target your ‘primed’ audience with more specific message
Linking to specific product or service pages: Awareness/ Direct Response focus.
You can be more specific about offers/services with those who have now seen your video, with a link to a website for sales/bookings.

4. Follow-up
Targeted to web page visitors, linking to specific product pages: Direct Response focus.Send a reminder out to those who didn’t purchase.

Here are those stages in greater detail:

1. Identify your audience

It all starts here. It’s vital to figure out what inspires or motivates your desired or potential customer.

This could be someone you want return custom from, or someone new to your brand. Obviously there are a whole range of ways of doing this, some more effective than others, and that would be a whole separate article.

For argument’s sake, let’s say you have an idea at least of who you want to target. Then you can segment even further with Facebook.

For example, you could target families with children who you think may be interested in summer cruises. You could find lookalike audiences based on existing customers / existing page fans / website visitors / video views and more.

2. Raise awareness of your brand with that audience

This stage is to tap into something that your audience will like to hear about. It could be seasonal, extremely likely if you’re selling cruises. However, it is not a sales-pitch and you’re probably not talking about specific products or prices at this stage. It’s just for awareness.

This is an ideal opportunity to use story-led content to introduce/ remind the audience of your brand values and what experience you offer in the broadest sense.A video is a great platform to show off the amazing scenery, on-board facilities and kids club for example.

3. Target your ‘primed’ audience with more specific messages

Read rest of the article at: Travolution