We’ve been parking cars at Heathrow and other UK airports for over 20 years and consider ourselves experts in our sector but we’ve faced a challenge over the past couple of years. How do you create dynamic content for your website that’s inspiring, compelling, visual and, most importantly, genuinely useful to our customers?
What we did was fairly simple but hugely effective. We defined and researched all of the different types of people that use our services. Families going on holiday book airport parking with us, so we looked at what issues they may face when traveling to the airport. They tend to be carrying a lot of luggage plus buggies and their children and, as a result, can take longer to get to the airport than most. This means that the start of their holiday is often a stressful time but how could we help them further when they book with us?
We went a step further and delved into various parent forums online to see the kind of questions mums and dads were asking before they went on holiday. Questions like ‘what are the regulations with taking food and drink through security?’ We then created in-depth content to answer these questions including a guide to Heathrow security as well as full family travel guide looking at what to pack; researching and booking a holiday; getting to and what to do once at the airport.
Another strong theme was the different add on charges that different airlines add. There was no easy way for customers to research all the different airlines and the different charges they have from booking fees for paying on credit and debit cards, baggage fees and check in fees.
We also made in-depth pages for those traveling with sports equipment, including a guide to golf baggage allowances for golfers wanting to take their clubs on holiday with them and a ski baggage fees table for people going on a ski holiday.
After creating the pages, we needed to let people know they were there, so we created a seeding plan. Tactics included comparing the prices to that of last year to create a news hook so we could write and sell in press releases announcing when new sections of the site go live. Features also played a large part in the seeding. We wrote holiday guides which websites used, linking back to relevant content. For example, we looked at cheap ski destinations to link back to content about traveling on planes with skis, and examined the best golfing destination to help seed the golf content.
This may seem time consuming but our efforts have been well worth it as we’ve seen big increases in traffic to our website. For example, September 2012 compared to September 2011, non-brand traffic to the site increased by 210.8%, exposing our brand to new audiences and creating brand awareness. The content has also seen better conversion results and increased overall revenue.
Looking forward we hope to create more dynamic content. For example, we serve many business travelers who have entirely different requirements to leisure travelers and will benefit from targeted information and advice to smooth their journey. Our aim is for the site to become an information hub where certain customer types, business travelers, for example, get used to dropping in for relevant guidance that will in turn build authority, amplification and influence for our site.
We’re lucky in that we are used to working with the best, trusted experts in the field. We purposely search out the best talent who specialize in different content areas. Whether we want to write about golf, ski, or summer holidays, we will find the right person for the job to produce high-quality work that will resonate for our audience. As ‘Google Author Rank’ comes into play, using these authoritative experts will become increasingly important as who you use as a content producer begins to affect SERPs results.
Therefore, we aim to keep finding answers to the questions customers are asking, produce something excellent and authoritative first, and adapt content to the customer type we’ve identified. By customizing and personalizing the customer journey, we help build trust in the site and guide travelers in making the right decisions based on reliable, informative, and up-to-date content.
We also aim to tell a story. In marketing, engaging people in a story often gets lost in the delivery stage and so we aim to inform, entertain, and illuminate by using the dynamic content. It many ways, this is because you cannot now divorce content from its means of distribution; it is about respecting that language has changed, is often non-linear and narratives are often fractured. In the future we’ll be looking not just at words, but animation, slideshows, video, image galleries, infographics and many other types of dynamic content that are only now just emerging.