After an exciting restructure and recruitment phase in January, 2019 has started with a bang here at ItinerWord. And, having now had time to catch our breath, we thought what better way to re-kickstart our blog than with a whistle-stop guide to why your content is such an important reflection of who you are as a company.
Think about it: imagine going to buy a new car and when you turn up it’s filthy or dented. Picture promising your partner a romantic meal for two, yet the food arrives raw and the waiters are poorly dressed. That long-awaited concert arrives and they haven’t bothered to do a sound check, so you have to leave early… you get the idea!
Well, why is the expectation on your content any different to the expectations you place on others, when about to spend sizeable amounts of your own hard-earned cash? Why shouldn’t your online audience expect that content to be perfect, original, personal, interesting and exciting, just as you would expect a waiter to look smart or your new car to be spotlessly clean!
ItinerWord has known the importance of great travel copywriting for years; it’s all we do. We understand that to have the best content marketing service at your disposal is an invaluable asset for every business. But why?
First impressions count
For your new clients, existing partners or potentially repeat customers, deciding if you are the best choice for them is hinged on the style and standard of your content. It’s your first, most crucial sales tool before engaging them in a conversation; by which time it may be too late, as opinions are formed very, very quickly. Studies show that first impressions are formed in under 10 seconds, so why wouldn’t every company out there ensure that they are showing themselves off in the right light? That those 10 seconds are each entirely enjoyable for the reader? Thankfully, ItinerWord is here to help. We still work with every partner that has ever found our service, they are true friends and we always do them proud – the word is getting out!
Quality of writing reflects your brand
If you have two luxury hotels in Bangkok, both in a similar part of town and prices not too different, for example, yet one has an elegant website written by ItinerWord, flawless and engaging English, descriptive content that clearly describes the beauty of this property while also subtly drawing you in to make it too good to refuse, while the other has been hashed together by an overworked marketing exec with no formal creative travel writing training, in Thai, then put through Google translate and pasted onto their website – which hotel are you most likely to choose? Who is going to win that booking? Why would you go with the latter…?
Put yourself in your clients’ shoes
As another example, let’s imagine that you’re a potential client looking to book a tour operator or experience provider. You plan to travel across the world to a country never visited before, you are taking your family and need to know that everything will run like clockwork, you’ll be safe, but also have lots of fun along the way too. A friend has recommended two potential companies for you to book with. One of them has been a travel partner with ItinerWord for many years, so the website, tours and itineraries, company ethos, staff profiles, hotel overviews and regional descriptions read beautifully, sound exciting and make complete sense. They are clear, thoughtful, ORIGINAL, and reflect a company that knows exactly what they are doing. Yes, you trust these people to take care of you and your family – there is no reason to doubt them.
The other travel company has no professional writers to create such content, but instead leans on their employees who already have a long list of daily tasks to complete and, let’s be honest, content is often the least enjoyable part of the day (unless it’s your passion and you simply love creating the best travel writing in the industry, as we do). So, this second company has confusing tour descriptions, generic explanations of a region or island that you have read a million times before, spelling mistakes, content copied from other websites (even though this is illegal in the eyes of Google, it happens a lot) and nothing that really stands them out amongst any other tour operator at all; why on earth would you book with that second company? You simply wouldn’t.
Invest in your content to get results
The point is: even beyond the 10-second rule, while people engage with your websites, brochures and wherever else you put your content – however much energy you have put into it, however it reads and whatever the style, the typos, the generic descriptions, the lack of originality and so on – an opinion is being formed, often wrongly as in fact you are a fantastic company worthy of their custom! You just haven’t expressed it, let them really see it or subliminally told them so…
If this is the case, you’re unwittingly forcing the reader, client or partner to sadly believe: ‘If you can’t even create proper content for me to read, how can I have trust in your service at all?’ And for us at ItinerWord, that is both a fair enough question and correct assumption to make. On the flip side, if what’s being read has perfect use of English, is engaging and actually reflective of you as a company, then trust is built, sales are made and reputation is enhanced; it is a complete no-brainer and everybody wins. Time needs dedicating to your written word, it cannot be rushed or squeezed into an otherwise busy day, and not every English speaker is a natural-born writer, trust us!
Where does Google fit into all this?
Then there is our old friend Google. Google is getting cleverer by the day and so knowing how to rank your business higher on Google is more important than ever, with almost 70% of users only ever navigating the first page alone. However, long gone are the days of simple PPC ads or pumping your website full of Google keywords, as today the world’s most popular search engine is far, far more intelligent. Google looks for readability, it looks for language use, originality, fluency, sentence structure, relevance, plagiarism and actually, will now even discriminate against websites it can see have overused generic searchable terms.
The reason is that the top rankers on Google need to be the best, most relevant, reliable and trusted businesses, or Google itself is letting down the very people it looks to serve. So, if on one hand Company A has just packed a page full of keywords but sentences across the site are otherwise poorly constructed and clearly not written to an ItinerWord standard, while on the other hand Company B still has a flurry of those essential keywords yet the rest of the site is also a fluent, gentle, informative and articulate journey through the experience or property on offer, Google places its trust – quite rightly – in Company B, and that’s who appears in front of the user! Having great written content is only part of the Google matrix of course, though it is an absolute pillar of that matrix that simply cannot be overlooked.
Don’t get left behind
All of this feeds into the same story: that brand reputation, image, sales and reputation are built on having the best, most original travel copywriting for both the search engines and potential clients to read. Content says everything about you, it tells the reader how much care you will put into them as an individual, it shows them how professional you are (or are not), it does you justice when written properly and needlessly lets you down when not. Great content marketing is like a badge, a personal window into your business. Get it wrong, ignore it or fail to prioritise this essential element of being a success in the modern world and you will only ever get left behind.
There is psychology involved in true travel copywriting, and being a native English speaker or being able to type is no longer enough. The answer is to continue relying on the team here at ItinerWord to always do you proud, always create fantastic, original creative content for your readers and partners to enjoy; it’s what we do and we love doing it!