Social inspiration has become a key decision-driver among travelers.
They see a friend’s photos of landscapes in Thailand, and suddenly, they’re keen to visit Southeast Asia.
Or maybe they browse a pal’s Pinterest board and start thinking a Caribbean cruise is the way to go.
Travel marketers are an obvious fit to harness the power of inspirational marketing to attract new tourists to their sites.
But inspirational marketing easily extends beyond the travel industry.
A recent AT&T survey showed that 71 percent of respondents look to their mobile devices for inspirational content.
Whether they’re researching vacation spots, looking to spice up their culinary routines, or need motivation in their personal lives, smartphones serve as the gateway to the inspiration they’re seeking.
And marketers are in the perfect position to provide that inspiration.
Reaching Your Audience Authentically
When you’re delivering branded messaging to your audience members’ smartphones, you’re providing content in a way that’s convenient for them.
This could be through your own website, mobile app, or even social media.
Each platform allows marketers to engage prospective buyers through compelling visual content and strategic partnerships.
There’s no telling what will spread through social media.
A clever tweet about laundry detergent has just as much of a chance of going viral as the cute cat video of the day.
It’s all about packaging the inspirational marketing message so it resonates with users.
YouTube has become an especially effective inspirational marketing tool.
My company noticed more and more travelers getting ideas through videos.
Now, we use YouTube to create and share travel guides for popular cities.
These videos, in turn, inspire viewers to make the most of their vacations.
Our video content is just one example—photos, blog posts, tweets, or even GIFs allow brands to share an inspirational marketing narrative with consumers.
Create Inspirational Marketing
Consumers are drawn to brands that align with their vision of how life should be.
Inspirational marketing tells them your company will bring them closer to their ideal lifestyle—and that’s what wins loyal customers.
Here’s how to stoke the fires of inspiration and loyalty one post at a time:
Share Meaningful Content
Don’t just promote your products—share content people want to engage with.
With our video travel guides, we’re educating travelers about their destinations.
When we share a traveler’s Instagram photo, our audience members get excited about the trip they could take.
Rather than spamming them with promotional content, we inspire these consumers by sharing other people’s experiences.
Your campaigns should have a coherent storyline people can follow and invest in emotionally.
Photos, videos, and articles that educate consumers, motivate them, or tap into their nostalgia do particularly well.
The end goal is to convert them into customers, which you can achieve by crafting content that helps them live their best lives.
Keep Users with You
Once you’ve sparked that inspiration, you must offer something actionable.
You’ve convinced audiences they can pursue a particular goal, but how do they get there?
Don’t make consumers dig all over the web searching for follow-up content.
Make sure your site has relevant information that will keep users engaged or direct them there if they’re on another platform.
For instance, any content my company shares will have a link back to our main site or our blog, where our audience can get plenty of supplementary information.
Let Your Customers Provide Inspiration
For consumers, there’s not much more inspiring than seeing someone like them achieve something incredible.
The numbers agree—Headstream conducted a survey in which 66 percent of participants said the best stories are about average people.
Consumers seeing a regular Joe or Jane doing the remarkable makes them want to pursue the same outcome.
When users tag your brand on Instagram or mention you on Twitter, retweet them or respond asking to repost.
Sharing a customer’s experience is about as authentic as it gets for real-life inspiration—not to mention it makes for a great connection with that customer.
Whether you’re streaming video on Periscope or pinning project ideas on Pinterest, you’re partnering with your audiences to engage and inspire them.
Consumers are already looking for inspiration on their mobile devices.
It’s up to you to provide it.