An annual holiday is something people look forward to - and something most are not willing to compromise on. Which would lead us to believe that the travel industry is catering to a captive audience. Unfortunately, this isn't quite the case. Instead, what the industry is faced with are travellers who are far more savvy, doing far more research and far more discerning than in previous years. They are also going to the Internet as their first port of call for travel and destination information.

Luckily, there is a solution - and it comes in the form of content marketing. This makes sure that your travel business is providing customers with the information they want and need in an easy to understand format. For most travel companies their audience is now global - and content marketing activity needs to reflect that. So, what are the essentials to make sure you are achieving the best possible results from your content marketing?

1. Honesty

Being honest is an absolute must for travel firms. User-generated content is big news in the travel industry and this can leave businesses feeling very exposed. The best way to handle user-generated content is to be open and honest. Your customers will recognise this and hopefully reward you for it. Customers want content that is of use to them (not just aspirational content) so make sure yours is relevant and helpful.

2. Video content

When we talk about online content we do not just mean words. Video is a type of content that can be achieved on a tight budget. It is an extremely valuable tool as it can be shared, give users useful insights into destinations and allows companies to get creative showing a bit of their brand's personality in the process. Whether you host it on your own site or on a YouTube channel, video will allow you to tap into a wider audience than before.

3. Sharing

People rely on recommendations when making their travel decisions - and social media is the way they do this. Make sure you have an effective social media strategy by ensuring your content is engaging and shareable. Facebook is still the favourite platform amongst travel businesses, but image-based Instagram and Pinterest both lend themselves very nicely to the world of travel.

4. Think multi-channel

It is easy to focus all of your efforts on the Internet, but it is important to include other channels in your campaigns as well. Different channels include social media, TV adverts, billboards, events and more - whatever you think will reach your audience. Make sure you create a message that is memorable and is consistent with your brand.