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By Alan Young

It’s hard to believe that summer is just about over and we are entering the homestretch of 2016 --and planning time for 2017.  I am sure you already see the paradigm shift in the travel and hospitality technology industry ---and it is truly tougher than ever to break through the noise.   There’s a reason why CMOs at the largest tech brands report that content marketing is the second most important initiative, only behind measuring ROI. In fact, 75% of marketers are increasing investment in content marketing in 2017.

These days, if you want your business to succeed, it’s not enough to just produce and deliver your product – you have to produce high-quality, engaging content too. Almost half (47%) of B2B buyers consume 3-5 pieces of content prior to engaging with a salesperson and more than half (51%) rely more on content to research and make B2B purchasing decisions than they did a year ago.

And of course, we should not forget about the fact that content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads. LinkedIn still remains on the lead, generating 80% of B2B leads – more than Facebook, Twitter or blogs individually.

Content marketing is able to create not just brand awareness, but also the perceived and actual value of the products and services that companies offer. In the past, it would take years (and a big budget) to establish that level of credibility and trust. According to a recent B2B Inbound Marketer survey, 95% of B2B buyers are willing to consider vendor-related content as trustworthy. PR Newswire launched a content marketing strategy in an effort to accelerate their sales funnel within a year, the company shortened their sales cycle by 30%.

Lots of companies, of course, get this. A whopping 88% of B2B marketers in North America use content marketing and 94% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn as part of their content strategy. The real success of content marketing lies in that it is a way to showcase your brand’s personality and solutions - without being openly promotional, building trust and thought leadership. More and more brands are identifying the power of content marketing, so those who choose to ignore it will undoubtedly fall behind.

Digital, mobile and social media have all dramatically changed the way we communicate, interact and develop marketing strategies and tactics. It is a golden age of opportunity for travel brands to create messages that are more personal and engage with their target market to gain visibility, traction, convert visitors to leads, and ultimately increase sales revenues.  Simply put, content marketing is a big part of doing business in 2017. If your business isn’t already actively producing high quality (not quantity) articles, infographics, white papers, eBooks or reports, now is certainly the time to start.

If you’re wondering how the right content marketing strategy can benefit your business, look no further. We’ve outlined key points in the infographic below.

About Alan E. Young

Alan E. Young is the President of Puzzle Partner Ltd. and Co-founder of Next Big Thing Travel & Hospitality (nbtworld.com). Previously, Alan has held executive level positions with startup companies such as Newtrade Technologies, (acquired by Expedia), Hotel Booking Solutions (acquired by IBS Software) and TrustYou. Alan is past Chair of The Board of Directors of The OpenTravel Alliance and been very involved with other industry associations most notably AHLA, HEDNA, and HTNG. With over two decades of experience in the travel and hospitality technology world, Alan specializes in helping innovative companies achieve winning performance and dramatic growth. You can connect with Alan on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter.

Contact: Alan Young

alan@puzzlepartner.ca

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