The travel sector is an overwhelmingly crowded market, so if you’re writing travel-related content, it has to be better than the competition. If you think your travel copywriting will benefit from an upgrade, here are seven tips that will do the trick.
1. Avoid clichés
Unfortunately, the travel industry is packed with clichéd writing – soft white sands, tempting oceans, lush green forests, and so on. If your content is full of lazy language, people will not bother reading it. Audiences want to be inspired when they read travel content, not bored – why should they bother to read rehashed copy they’ve seen a hundred times before? Make your content exciting and new, and the audience response will be so much better – your social-media shares and likes will increase, too – and so will your conversion rates.
2. Tone of voice
Just as important with your travel-related content is your tone. You should be warm, friendly and conversational, but not too informal and flippant – and definitely not dry and stuffy. Think of someone who has just come back from a trip and enthused about it. You want to generate a level of excitement and intrigue with your content, but the overall tone will depend on point No.3 below…
3. Know your audience
Your tone will also be governed by your audience. Who will read your content? Or, more pertinently, who would you like to read your content? When you write, you must have an audience in mind. Are you writing for a knowledgeable, well-travelled crowd? Or an inexperienced audience eager to learn more about the world? Knowing your audience is a must – if you’re struggling with this, it may be worth calling in travel copywriting experts to look after your content for you.
4. Be specific
Generic descriptions don’t help anyone. There are so many places to explore – and regions and countries that weren’t possible to visit a generation ago – that the choice for people has never been greater. And because of that, you need to ensure your travel content gives them a real reason to go. What will they find in a particular country or destination that they can’t find elsewhere? If they love Mallorca, why should they visit Menorca or Ibiza this year? Your content needs to appeal to people’s adventurous streak and encourage them to visit somewhere new.
5. Be honest
While it’s not a good idea to say negative things about a place, being economical with the truth is an absolute no-no. If people are interested about a destination and are thinking of paying good money to visit, it’s only fair that what they read about it is accurate and honest. Don’t say that a resort has the best beaches on the island if there are nicer ones half-an-hour away. Likewise, don’t liken a beach to paradise if there are shops and noisy bars just yards from the seafront. Imagine someone arriving at their holiday destination and finding that it’s nothing like you said it was – this will create a huge amount of ill will to you and your company.
6. Shorter is better
There is a tendency for people to overwrite – you see this a lot, particularly in the blogging world. But trust me, less is more when it comes to writing. Your words will have so much more impact if you strip out unnecessary words and phrases. Compare these two sentences based on a skydiving trip:
You’ll jump out of the plane once it reaches a height of 10,000 metres, but don’t worry as you’ll be strapped to an experienced instructor. Although you might think that there will be lots of time to appreciate the panoramic vista, do make sure that you’re paying attention, as you’ll only be up in the air for anything from 6 to 8 minutes. If you’re a fan of adrenaline-fuelled adventures, you’ll want to make sure that you’ve got your GoPro with you to document the spectacular view.
You’ll jump out at 10,000 metres, strapped to an experienced instructor. You might think there’ll be lots of time to take in the views, but you’ll only be airborne for 6-8 minutes. If you’re a seasoned adrenaline junkie, make sure your GoPro is charged and ready to go.
The difference between these two is 87 words vs 48 words, and the effect is huge. The first paragraph is a real effort to get through; the second is much snappier and doesn’t leave anything out. Bloated copy is not a good thing.
7. Get to the point
Sometimes you’ll need to talk about the less glamorous aspects of travel, such as bus transfers, documentation and check-ins, but try not to go into too much detail. Just give the essential info and move on to the interesting stuff. Similar to the previous point, don’t get bogged down in the minutiae of a holiday – just give people the best bits. People on average only read 20% of a web page’s content, so don’t waste words!
Plenty of people want to write travel content/copy, but it’s not easy given what’s already out there. The seven tips above will improve your travel copywriting and put it one step ahead of your rivals. It helps if you have a passion for travel in the first place – this will really come through in your writing. Safe travels!
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