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As I wrote in last post, I wanted to delve a little into content marketing and how it can help your travel business. This excellent Copyblogger post from Sonia Simone details how telling a story creates memorable and shareable content – the major factors that can lead to higher Google search engine rankings. She lists the five components that every marketing story should have:
- a hero
- a goal
- an obstacle
- a mentor
- a moral
So let’s take the example of an adventure travel business that wants to use a story to preface its marketing emails for its latest vacation packages – diving trips to the Big Island in Hawaii, from the fictitious Blue Turtle Adventures. It’s sent out to a list of prospects, particularly those who are beyond stressed and are in serious need of a break.
Who’s the hero?
Now don’t make this about how your company solves the problem of offering this awesome vacation. Focus instead on how your prospect’s current life situation demands a vacation like this. In other words, it’s about them, not you.
What’s the goal?
This one’s seemingly a no-brainer, but be careful. Sure, you want your prospect to click on your links, take a look around and book the trip (after selling his partner or spouse on the idea, of course). But you’ll also want them to associate your company with a great experience…and to be relieved of the stress they’re experiencing. So here you’ll want to paint a picture of how amazed he’ll be once he’s diving with the sea turtles and gliding around the coral beds. Important: don’t mention your company just yet.
What’s the obstacle?
Usually this point involves a prospect’s doubts and objections, and that could be any number of things – tight work deadlines, not enough vacation time, babysitting for the kids. That could also include the price of your vacation package, but that’s not something you’ll want to mention just yet in the story. Save it for later, when you can explain your offer in terms that can make it more attractive and affordable.
Who’s the mentor?
Well, that’s you, dear reader! You can be the answer to your stressed-out prospects problem and provide a great getaway. But don’t make your company sound like it’s going to take care of everything. As Simone writes, the aim of your business is to “guide, coach, mentor and help.” Present yourself as someone willing to offer assistance, not be the answer to all of their prayers.
What’s the moral?
The thing to remember here is to refrain from overstatement. Don’t say, “Because of this fabulous diving vacation, you’ll come back a better person who will bring world peace!” Just simply state, “You’re going to return from your Blue Turtle diving vacation refreshed and renewed, so you can get back to your work and ready to tackle anything.”
How has your company used stories for your marketing efforts?