Updated November 23, 2023
You’ve probably heard that you need to create content for your travel agency to grow.
You should create social media content, website content, travel blog content, email content, etc. The content creation list seems endless!
While I agree that creating content is important (after all, I do it myself and have a business that helps travel agencies create website and travel blog content!), there’s something that’s talked about less often but is equally important.
Your content pillars.
It sounds like ancient Greek architecture, right? Don’t worry. It’s not as complicated as it sounds.
Let’s dive into what content pillars are, how they help make generating travel content ideas easy, and how they help with your travel agency marketing efforts.
Understanding content pillars
Imagine you’re an architect designing a grand castle, something like Cinderella’s Castle.
The parts of the castle you can see, the towers and walls, represent the content you create. You have a fairly short wall if you produce a little content about many different things: no towers, no turrets, just a wall.
Pretty dull, right?
Content pillars give different parts of your castle additional height, creating those beautiful towers and turrets.
They’re central ideas you build content around - things like specific destinations, types of travel, or concepts like packing lists, travel tips and travel hacks, or sample itineraries.
For example, I specialize in 5 specific destinations in my travel agency. Italy, France, England, Ireland, and Scotland. Each of those destinations is one of my content pillars and (almost) every travel blog post idea and piece of social media content I create centers around one of those destinations.
As each piece of content based on one of your content pillars gets published, it helps strengthen that pillar, or tower, and make it more robust.
How to identify your content pillars
Each castle - or travel agency - is unique. Your content pillars should be distinct and resonate with your unique audience.
Your pillars develop around your travel niche and expertise, your customers’ interests and destination dreams, and the specific travel market you serve.
Choosing your pillars begins with asking questions:
What related topics get your customers buzzing?
What areas of travel are you an expert in?
Is there a specific destination or type of travel you specialize in, like family travel, solo travel or luxury travel?
Research and brainstorm to find out what type of content you’ve put out that has resonated well with your audience.
Look at your social media analytics, your travel blog views, your website reporting, or, if you have it set up, Google Analytics to see what content you’ve created has done well compared to other content.
As you dive into the data, you’ll probably see some trends that can help you identify the pillars you should focus on.
If you haven’t created much content yet, don’t worry! Create a list of 3-5 areas on which you’d like to focus your content, especially your travel blog. As you create content, pay attention to what does well and what falls flat. You’ll begin to see if those content pillars are working for you and your audience; if not, you can change them.
Why your travel content ideas need pillars
You might be asking: “Can’t I just create content about what I think my audience wants or what I’m interested in? Why does it need these pillars?”
It’s simple: Pillars give your travel content ideas purpose and direction.
With content pillars, you’re not just casting a wide net and hoping to catch someone’s attention. You’re using precision, targeting quality engagement that leads to conversions, and data backs it up.
Content pillars will increase website traffic, social media engagement, and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) rankings. It will also help convert readers into paying customers because your content demonstrates your expertise and builds trust.
If you have a travel blog, your pillars will help you come up with blog post ideas, and your content calendar can revolve around your content pillars.
Content pillars and travel agent website optimization
Content pillars and SEO go together like gin and tonic.
When your travel agent website has robust content pillars, search engines find it easier to understand, index, and boost your site’s ranking.
Think of Google as a giant file cabinet. Your content pillars are the files or entire drawers of original content you’ve created. When it’s helping people find what they’re looking for, Google is looking for a large file or full drawer of information about a topic.
After all, it’s much easier to point someone to an entire drawer about a topic than to try and help them find a single piece of paper about it!
As you develop travel blog ideas and build out your content, using keyword research to support your content pillars, search engines will point more people to that content.
The bottom line
As you develop travel content ideas and create your content, think about what you want your agency to be known for. Decide what those pillars should be, and build fantastic content around them. It won’t lead to overnight growth, but it will pay off over time.
To find out more about creating memorable, engaging content, check out The Travel Advisor’s Guide to Content Marketing.