Content marketing Trends - user generated content for travel

Our last webinar, “Content Marketing Trends” conducted on 22.08.2014 saw quite a bit of participation from the audience end. Many interesting questions were asked; we have tried to compile them here for others to benefit as well. If you were unable to attend the webinar, you can access the recording here any time. You can access our past webinars as well.

 View the Recording

So, here are the questions as they were, along with our answers to them.

Question 1

What kind of content can one create in travel domain?

In travel domain, there is a lot of opportunity to create engaging content, because you have to sell the experience, and what better way to do it than in the form of visual content (images, videos etc.). For, instance, if you sell travel packages, you can have your tour guide take video clips and photographs during the travels, to share later.

User Generated Content

1. You can even ask the people who bought the package from you to share their experience with you in the form of photographs, videos etc. You can then promote that on your website (and social channels), along with the testimonials of these travellers about their experience in the place, the stay (hotel experience) and everything else.

Before people take a trip, they want to make sure of what kind of experience they can expect at a particular destination, and photographs, and testimonials are a great way to do that. Instagram is great for sharing this kind of content, even though it’s just growing in India – you already have the content (photographs etc.), you just need to promote them on the right channels.

2. If you have some social following, you can even run contests on social media channels, like Facebook and have your followers share photos, and their experiences with your service. Not only is it a great way to get user generated content, but it can be used as social proof as well. Here is an example:

Content marketing Trends - user generated content for travel
Image Credits:
Content marketing trends - User generated Content for Travel Industry
Image Credits:

You can even create an app that can help people plan their trips. It is not only highly engaging thing, but would also build your credibility in front of potential customers, thereby encouraging them to buy from you.

Question 2

For Corporate Training (video training courses for entrepreneurs), what is the correct strategy to get people on-board? (Our strategy is sending emails through auto-responders containing demo videos, but they are not able to understand this kind of course).

Sending video links in emails is a very good idea for training businesses. However, for any audience to understand and trust your service would take sometime. Entrepreneurs are generally smart guys, and they really need to see value in what you are offering. For that, you have to play on promoting the course in a manner that would most appeal to them – by talking about how it would help them get more ROI on their efforts, more productivity etc.

Get more people to find you

Besides trying to get these guys on-board, your another aim should be to allow more people to find you. You already have these videos, so you should upload them on YouTube, DailyMotion, Vimeo and other video sharing platforms as well. This would make your content highly discoverable, and sharable. You would therefore be targeting people way more than your emailing list right now, thus broadening your chances at closure.

Content marketing Trends - Video Sharing Channels

Question 3

What kind of content is interesting for real estate sector?

1. Customer Stories and testimonials

Like travel, experience is what you need to sell in real estate as well. So, you can create stories about your real customers and their experience of working with you. It isn’t really interesting, eye-grabbing content, but it would help people make decision about your service, and that is also one of the objectives of content marketing.

2. Help Articles

You can also write content that would help potential buyers make a decision about investing in the real estate sector in general – articles like “How to go about buying a property”. This would not only make you discoverable, but would also provide value to a potential buyer, thus building credibility for you. Even topics like how potential buyers can go about getting loans would be interesting.

3. Property Videos

Question 4

Could you specify some tools for creating non-text content, like infographics etc?

There are multiple tools available online for you to create infographics, like PiktoChart,, etc. One great thing about these tools is that there are hundreds of pre-created templates, and you can modify them according to your requirement. There is another great new tool called Canva that can help you create images (for your social media channels, blog posts etc.) in no time at all.

Question 5

What are the prime points that need to be considered while starting off with content marketing?

i) The very first thing you need to do is understand what are your industry peers doing.

ii) The next point is to find out who your audience is (persona), and where do they hang out (channels). Not everyone is on all digital channels, so you need to identify your ideal content sharing platform.

iii) The third thing would be analyzing what kind of content works best for your audience, this you can once again find by looking around, and after you begin your own content marketing efforts through experience.

Question 6

Is it compulsory to give source or credit when I create content taking reference from someone’s prior work?

It is not compulsory, but very important nonetheless. Not giving credit to a source is not just unethical, but would also be penalized by Google. Google has been really active in the past in trying to find and clean up duplicate content. You don’t want to be hit by Google’s penalty. Besides, someone worked hard to create that content, so it’s only fair that you give them credit.

Question 7

How should we develop the best content marketing material?

1. Talk to your existing customers

The foremost thing would be to look at what interests your customers (or your prospective customers). Talk to your existing customers, and ask them what problems they were trying to address when they opted for your service; chances are that if they faced a problem, others in your audience would also face something similar. Create content around that. Your focus should be to solve a problem.

2. Look at Webmasters to find popular and relevant search queries

Also, look at your Google analytics reports and webmasters reports to find out the search terms that people are using to find you, and if they are relevant, create content around that. That would give you better context.

Website Redesign - Search queries in Webmasters

3. Use Google Trends to find trending topics in your industry

You can even use Google Trends to see the kind of keywords that are trending in your space, and then work around that.

Look at Google Trends to find the best content marketing trends
Use related queries in Google Trends - Content marketing trends

Also, you need to understand that to create the best content, you need thought leadership, which would come by problem-solving approach discussed in point 1.

Question 8

What ideally should be the content marketing approach to attract the decision makers of Indian SMEs and ensure fast sales closure? We are using various assets including whitepapers, blogs and social media.

What you have to realize is that content marketing would first and foremost guarantee that you get found, and that you differentiate yourself from other players in the market. So, you are first making sure that they see you. Fast sales closure is hard to guarantee with anything, however, once they are in the buying process and they know you and are considering you, then setting up auto-responders that have customer testimonials etc. can help them decide in your favour.

What you are doing right now is good to get the attention of people.

Question 9

What would be the minimum ticket for a micro enterprise to invest in content marketing?

To answer this question, you have to understand 2 things:

i) What kind of content would make sense for your target audience,

ii) What are your goals?

For instance, let’s take an example of a website. You can get a template for a few dollars and set the website up in-house, or outsource a complete project to develop your website – what you decide would depend on your goal. Like, are you trying to get 10,00 website visits, or 100,000 per month. The same rule applies to all the content marketing activities you do.

The foremost thing is investing in hiring a capable person who would create the content depending on your goals.

Question 10

What could be the right metrics and methods to measure engagement of the content?

There are many metrics that would help you analyze how engaging your content is.

1. Google Analytics: For starters, you can look at bounce rates and time on site (both pagewise and overall). This would tell you which of your content is most engaging. The following is a custom Content Efficiency Analysis report created by Avinash Kaushik. You can add this report to your Google Analytics through this link. Just remember to be logged in to your Analytics account. As you can see, there are metrics like average time on page, bounce rate, and goal conversion rates here; these are the ones relevant to you for measuring blog/website engagement.

2. Social Stats: Facebook and Twitter have their own insights that you can access to see the kind of content that’s getting most attention. The simplest metrics you can look at are Reach and Engagement (Likes, Comments). You would find them under Insights –> Overview.

Content Marketing trends - Facebook Insights

If you have a blog and you have a social sharing plugin on it, then the plugin can tell you which of your content is more popular on what particular social channels.

Question 11

I have a blog and I am writing content for bank CMOs/other descion makers. Currently the blog is in a budding stage. So I would like to know what kind of content would interest them.

Take a multi-pronged approach, as your target audience (Bank CMOs) are hard to catch attention of. In-person events (conferences etc.) can be one approach, but it certainly would be expensive, and is not really helping them find you in online search. If you haven’t already, you should try to find out what are the typical challenges that bank CMOs face, and create content around that.

You can create a simple tool/app that would be of business interest to them to grab their attention, and make you stand out.

Question 12

What kind of content should go into a invite mailer to bring more CXOs to an event in case of B2B?

You have to consider a few things while sending event invites to CXOs:

1. Do you have their permission: The very first thing is to make sure that you have the permission to email the CXO (don’t send unsolicited emails).

2. Are the emails too long: Keep the email short and to-the-point because CXOs don’t really have a lot of time to read emails.

If your event information is quite a bit, then instead of a long emailer, you should create an email with a few lines, and a link to a page where further information, videos, list of popular speakers, popular attendees etc. is present.

3. Are your subject lines to the point: Subject lines are very important, because these guys would get a lot of junk, so make sure your subject line immediately makes sense to them.

Question 13

Can you give difference between Article & Press release news? Which one will give more advantage for learning/education sector?

A good content marketing strategy would be much more than just 1 article or 1 press release. If you really have some interesting news to share, then press release would be a good option, however, if the news is boring, then it would not really get that much attention. Instead of comparing the 2, you should judge which format would make sense for the content that you are trying to share.

For instance, as you are in education sector, you will have a lot of opportunity to create content in all different sorts of formats – you can create articles, press releases, PDF documents for download (test papers etc.), videos etc. So, do everything, but learn to identify the best format for a particular kind of content.

Question 14

What is recommended keyword density as per Google?

You should not concentrate too much on the keyword density (especially if the keywords look unnatural). Of course, they need to be there, but concentrate on the context instead. Earlier 1-3% used to be recommended, but right now it doesn’t really matter; if the keyword appears 3-4 times naturally in the content, it should be enough. If you use WordPress, you can use Yoast SEO plugin – it would help you optimize your SEO, but once again don’t focus too much on the density.

Question 15

Can I use hashtags in the content? If yes how it can help in traffic?

Hashtags are searchable in the respective social media channels where you use them. So people can search for that and stumble upon your content/posts. Look at an example below. I searched for #marketingtips, and I got a list of related hashtags, and posts tagged with #marketingtips hashtag. This is for Google Plus. It applies for Facebook and Twitter as well.

Content Marketing Trends - Use Hashtags to be found

Question 16

Our target audience are the CXOs. What would you choose to market to them – a Whitepaper or a short Article?

Both are good options, but there is a lot of content out there; you have to put in an extra effort while creating the whitepapers/articles to help you stand out – use your own research, use 3rd party data etc.

You can plan on doing the whitepaper in association with a business or individual who has an authority in that particular domain. If you do that, the chances of it being read and trusted is more. One advantage that whitepaper has over the short article is that you can send across the whitepaper, but article needs to be discovered.

Question 17

In what ratio do you think we can share content – own and curated?

Generally, the most recommended strategy is 4:1:1, which means 4 content pieces of value from other sources, 1 soft promotion (like an offer), and 1 hard promotion (like buy). However, if you are creating original content that provides value, you can change this to include your content pieces in the 4 bracket as well. Just that you should not be flooding people with updates all the time. you would be able to figure out the best frequency by trial and error.

Question 18

Does repeating the same content on website & mini-sites helps in content marketing?

No, it is not really a good practice to duplicate content. You could even be penalized by Google for that. If you want to repurpose content, do it in different forms, for instance you have  a blog, you can convert it into a PPT, a PDF etc. and share it on relevant sites like SlideShare, Scribd etc, but never same content on different sites.

Question 19

If I update my website, is there a value in spun content?

You should generally avoid using content spinners, because they do not really provide very human results, and if you are copying content from elsewhere and spinning it, it’s unethical as well. You should look at manual spinning if you have an in-house team, or some time on hand. However, if you choose to use an automatic content spinner, then you should definitely use a human editor. We did a blog post also on the topic, You can read it here.

Question 20

What is the connection between content marketing and digital marketing?

Digital marketing encompasses everything that you do on the web. This means your website, your social presence, your blogs, etc. If you are creating a lot of good content in the form of blog posts, infographics, videos etc. (whatever is relevant for your business), you would be able to drive organic traffic as well as social traffic to your website/blog. Then, aided by good offers and CTAs on your website, you can capture more qualified leads. This is the basic goal of your any kind of digital marketing campaign.

Question 21

For education what could be the ideal content..testimonials ??

For education there is a variety of content and channels you can use. You can use the videos etc. that you create for training and upload them on YouTube, you can create mock test papers, news and updates about the exam/sector you are trying to pitch to.

Testimonials are just a part of the whole thing; and yes they can be very helpful in building credibility, and in encouraging people to buy your course. But you need to create actual content that people are looking for as well.

So, these were most of the questions that came in during the webinar “Content Marketing Trends”, along with their answers. If you have any question to ask, or anything to add, please leave a comment.

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