+49 30 208.989.780

4 reasons tour operators should practice content marketing

Last updated on 03/14/2020 at 02:21 PM.

In our Crispy Content Sector Review we examine what companies within a specific sector can achieve with content marketing. We’ll start by taking a close look at tour operators in Germany. And we’re stunned by our findings: Only a few of the big players utilise content marketing – and not really in a manner that might intimidate a niche provider. In other words: As it stands, awesome opportunities are opening up to forward-thinking companies that want to provide relevant and useful content for their target group.


In 2013 the tour operators in Germany were TUI Deutschland, Thomas Cook, DER Touristik, Alltours, FTI, Aida Cruises and Schauinsland Reisen – all big names. Big enough to eliminate niche marketing opportunities within the travel industry?


TUI Deutschland is achieving the highest sales figures of all tour operators in Germany. (Source: DRV; fvw; Deutsches Reisebüro according to Statista)

Rankings and Keywords: Long tail keywords as an opportunity

Let’s start by taking a look at the rankings and keywords of the big players. TUI and Co. primarily use short tail keywords, for which competition is fierce and which are consequently very expensive: For obvious search phrases, such as “book holiday”, “book trip”, or “holiday offers”, the likes of TUI, Thomas Cook and FTI are clearly ahead of the game and fill the first results pages on Google. Here, they fight for their positions with price comparison portals and aggregators, such as, and It’s virtually impossible to make any headway with this approach.

Since Google added the Hummingbird update to its algorithms, long tail keywords are becoming increasingly important. Our project manager Thomas explains how to identify search phrases comprising three or more keywords in 7 simple steps to fit your own marketing strategy. These help to achieve better Google rankings than would be possible with short tail keywords alone. This is an awesome opportunity for niche travel companies with little interest in the mainstream market and clearly defined target groups with particular interests. Seizing this opportunity requires a well-thought out SEO strategy and good content, which brings us to the heart of the matter.

Who practices content marketing?

Out of the seven tour operators with the highest sales figures, only three keep blogs that can be considered a content marketing instrument: TUI, Thomas Cook and FTI. DER provides its magazines Unterwegs and Oceanview as ePapers – which clearly serve as advertising – and Aida Cruises’ PR efforts include blogs by the AIDA crew. That’s three efforts to provide content, or five with a slightly more relaxed definition. Whether or not users define content as broadly remains questionable – and a company should not presume that they do. Relevant and useful content is at the heart of content marketing and with respect to tour operators, there’s a lot of room at the top.

Content marketing via social networks

The situation on the social networks is not much different. Of course, there’s no need for every company to have an account everywhere. Less is often more, especially if resources are scarce. However, there’s no excuse for a tour operator not to have an Instagram account in 2014.

It’s pictures that make us want to see the world. Nevertheless, only Thomas Cook is maintaining an Instagram profile. Bearing in mind the tour operators’ high advertising spend, this is difficult to understand. An image collection tailored to a particular target group is a valid form of content marketing – and a cost-effective one at that.

A look at Facebook shows how little tour operators value content compared to advertising and PR: In the ten most recent posts (as of 31/07/2014), four of the posts by Thomas Cook referred to content, three by FTI and only one by TUI – most of these pointed to their own blogs. In contrast, a rather large number of posts were clearly of an advertising nature.


What type of content do the ten most recent Facebook posts of the tour operators with the highest sales figures refer to?

4 reasons tour operators should practice content marketing

These brief analyses show that a number of arguments point towards content marketing for tour operators. The four key points are:

1. The content marketing cake has not yet been shared out.

Only three of the seven biggest tour operators in Germany utilise some form of content marketing by keeping blogs. Content marketing and blogging are not the same thing. Relevant content isn’t limited to text – it also includes pictures, audio and video. This leaves a lot of room at the top and therefore an enormous potential for other tour operators. Develop your content marketing strategy – and do it now!

2. The relevant social networks are waiting to be discovered.

The seven big players haven’t claimed their ground yet. Only Thomas Cook even has an Instagram account. It’s a similar story on Facebook; the big tour operators mainly use the social network for PR and advertising, which plays into the hands of competitors looking to position themselves.

3. The content already exists; it only needs a strategy.

The holiday sector is almost made for content marketing. Few other industries can claim that. Every single traveller has a story to tell. People are fascinated by travelling. Travelling means discovering something new, doing unusual things – things that anyone sitting at their desk enjoys clicking on. Images and information are already at hand – they’ve been prepared for advertising. All that’s left to do is to transform the existing material into useful and relevant content.

4. The target group is keen to provide content.

In 2014, holidaymakers are moving from one Wi-Fi hotspot to another. They happily post, share and type their experiences. Such generous voluntary involvement shouldn’t go wasted. This content is waiting to be incorporated into a strategy!


Obviously, we focused our analysis on the seven biggest players amongst the German tour operators. The market is significantly larger. Yet, the principle is obvious: Supported by a solid strategy, a tour operator can achieve a lot with content marketing. Whether this content is created in-house or produced by external professionals who specialise in content marketing and brand communication is secondary.

Subscribe to our newsletter and receive regular content marketing tips and analyses – 100% Crispy Content and naturally 100% spam-free! Simply register and we’ll keep you up-to-date!

Photo credit header image: Photograph Beach Palm Trees Riviera Maya by Grand Velas Riviera Maya, edit licenced as CC BY-SA 2.0

Gerrit Grunert Founder & CEO Gerrit Grunert

Gerrit Grunert is the founder and CEO of Crispy Content®. In 2019, he published his book "Methodical Content Marketing" published by Springer Gabler, as well as the series of online courses "Making Content." In his free time, Gerrit is a passionate guitar collector, likes reading books by Stefan Zweig, and listening to music from the day before yesterday.

Crispy Content® Mailing List

100% Crispy Content® and 100% no spam!


More topics you might like

15 Content Tools We Still Use In 2020 | Part 1

We present the tools we use at Crispy Content® to realize content production. Today: Content Discovery and Content Planning.

#Decoded: Content Marketing und SEO mit Brian Dean Teil 2

Die besten Hacks von SEO-Genie Brian Dean: Erfahrt, mit welchen Strategien ihr euer Ranking verbessert und packende Online-Videos erstellt.

#Decoded: Content Marketing and SEO with Brian Dean Pt. 1

The best hacks from SEO genius Brian Dean: Learn which strategies work best for content marketing, PR and landing pages.

TikTok Marketing: 6 Reasons B2B Brands Should Use It

TikTok is one of the quickest growing social media platforms at the moment. We show you 6 reasons why B2B brands should use it too.

Decoded: Content Marketing with Gary Vaynerchuk Part 2

Learning from the "Content God" - Part 2: Learn from GaryVee which social media strategies will make you successful in 2021.

Decoded: Content Marketing with Gary Vaynerchuk Teil 1

Learn from the "Content God": Find out how GaryVee reaches millions of fans with micro-content, storytelling and an authentic brand - part 2 follows.

An Entrepreneur's Guide to Social Media Management Software

Still wondering what sets real social media pros apart from the rest? Social media management software they pay for. We list the ones that are worth to pay for.

Content Marketing: Email Marketing with Noah Kagan Part 2

Do you want to generate leads and more sales through effective email marketing? Discover tips 6 to 8 from online marketing expert Noah Kagan.

Content Marketing: Email Marketing with Noah Kagan Part 1

Want more leads and sales through effective email marketing? Discover the first 5 tips from online marketing expert Noah Kagan - part 2 follows.

The Customer Journey

In "Content Marketing 101" Crispy Content® highlights the most important topics in Content Marketing – here we focus on the customer journey.

The Conversion Funnel

In "Content Marketing 101" Crispy Content® highlights the most important topics in Content Marketing – here we focus on the conversion funnel.

The 7 Steps SEO Audit

In this article, content marketing expert Gerrit Grunert from Crispy Content® shows how anyone can perform an SEO audit in 7 steps.

Social Media Marketing Decoded mit Michael Stelzner – Part 2

You want to improve your performance on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and TikTok? Discover 6 practical tips from Social Media Examiner Michael Stelzner.

Successful Blogging: 14 Effective Example – Part 2

Blog success factors, blog millionaires and your next steps - all this in the second part of our little series on "Successful Blogging".

Content Marketing: SEO Hacks by Neil Patel – Part 2

You want to improve your ranking in the search engines and get more traffic to your site? Discover 7 practical SEO tips from digital expert Neil Patel.

Successful Blogging: 14 Effective Example – Part 1

We have collected 14 blog examples that have been successful over the last six years. And we have investigated why this is so. Here comes part 1!

Google Featured Snippets: Opportunity or Risk?

Featured snippets ensure zero-click searches, 50.33 percent of all search queries end up on the Google homepage. Is that chance or risk?

Social Media Marketing Decoded with Michael Stelzner – Pt. 1

Looking for ideas for your marketing on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and TikTok? Discover 7 practical tips from Social Media Examiner Michael Stelzner.

Content Marketing: SEO Hacks by Neil Patel - Part 1

You want to improve the search engine ranking of your website? In our series we present the most important SEO tips from digital expert Neil Patel.

FREE Online Course: "Making Content” (7 Lessons)

An online course with 7 lessons to produce high-quality digital content – quickly, easily and affordably.

10 Steps For Your Perfect Website Content Strategy – Pt. 2

A guide for content marketers who want to develop a website content strategy. The second part deals with features, structures, keywords and governance.

10 Steps For Your Perfect Website Content Strategy – Pt. 1

A two-part guide for content marketers relaunching a website. The first part deals with goals, target groups, positioning, topics and formats.

15 Content Tools We Still Use In 2020 | Part 2

We present the tools we use at Crispy Content® to realize content production. Today: Content Production and Content Distribution.

Post COVID-19: 10 Reasons Germany will be Your Next Market

There will be a future after COVID-19 - and it probably looks more promising in Germany than in most countries of the world. We show you why!

How to Do Content Production for Blogs with Airtable

In this detailed overview, we explain how complex content production projects can be completed with Airtable.

"Car dealerships need social media marketing"

The car industry has been severely affected by the corona crisis. Gerrit gives tips on how the crisis can be used as an opportunity with social media.

Content Marketing Agency – 10 Lessons Across 10 Years

With our ten lessons from ten years as a content marketing agency you can save time, money and stress by reading this now!

Gerrit Grunert: A HubSpot Interview with CIO Applications

What does an international company have to consider when choosing a German HubSpot partner? Gerrit Grunert reveals this in an interview. Read it now!

SEO in Real Life

Here we explain how Google works with a small, real-life theater game from our SEO workshop. Learn more here!

How To Create A Persona - Methodical Content Marketing

Why are personas important for content marketing? How many do you need? Read about this and more in Gerrit's new book "Methodical Content Marketing".

The Digital Transformation Of The PR Agency

How can PR agencies embrace the digital? This article by Crispy Content® reveals how PR agencies can master digital transformation in 4 easy steps.

An Interview With Territory’s Director Sandra Harzer-Kux

Crispy Content® interviews Territory's Managing Director about the hot topic of content marketing. Read about the first half here!

Campaign Management 101: Campaign Layering

Ever wondered how you can convey brand values in a more creative way across multiple platforms? This blog provides an intro campaign layering.

Methodical Content Marketing: Persona Pt. 1

What advantages does persona development have for both sales and marketing teams? What can they add to content marketing? Read more about this works.

Reputation Marketing and ROI

Reputation management has ROI? Yes! And it should be considered reputation marketing instead! How does this work? Read more in this blog to find out!

How Much Does A Content Marketing Strategy Cost?

How much does a content marketing strategy cost? Which aspects go into developing a strategy? The content experts at Crispy Content® break this down.

Mo' Money, No Problems – the Live Show from Searchmetrics Summit

How you can use an optimized customer journey to win over customers and many other topics in our Live Show from Searchmetrics Summit 2017!

Marketing Automation – From Persona to Personalization

Buyer personas are important, but how should you get your message across to individual users? Personalisation as an tool of marketing automation is the key.

Checklist: Competitiveness Analysis in Content Marketing

Only those with an eye on the competitiveness can position their content marketing strategy successfully. Here’s a handy checklist.

Return On Content Marketing Investment

You’ve invested in a content marketing strategy – but has it been worth it? We show you how to calculate the ROI for your content marketing.

Conversion Optimisation in Content Marketing

In this blog post, we show you how to optimise your conversion rate within your lead generation activities.

Content Marketing Strategy vs. Content Marketing Campaign

Campaigns are the beating heart of a content marketing strategy, not merely the icing on the cake. Here’s a recipe to try “at home”.

How to Find the Right Content Marketing Agency

Finding the right content marketing agency can be tricky. These are our insider tips:

Predictive Lead Scoring – A Glimpse Into the Future

Predictive lead scoring builds on traditional methods, but exploits the possibilities of modern technology much more effectively. We show, how it's done!

Big Data in Content Marketing

Here, you can learn why big data is so important to your marketing activities and how your company can best process user-generated data masses.

How to Create a Content Marketing Strategy

Those wishing to invest in content marketing require a tailored strategy. In six easy stages, we show you how to get one.

Lead Scoring: The Highest Form of B2B Marketing

We show you how to use lead scoring to evaluate potential customers more effectively and bridge the gap between marketing and sales.

Next Level Lead Nurturing

Turning leads into customers requires a care, time and a suitable strategy. Lead nurturing accelerates this process significantly.

Outstrip Your E-Commerce Competition

How can online retailers steer the purchase decisions of potential customers – in all phases of the buyer's journey?

The 3 Biggest Content Marketing Pitfalls

Bad content marketing is often marked by the same recurring errors – three of which are particularly severe.

Storytelling: Why the Brain loves Stories

Storytelling and mirror neurons? We explain how to use neuroscientific research to tell stories that will delight your customers.

7 Email Marketing Trends You Should Know

Those who allow email marketing trends to pass them by will soon be watching the competition do the same. It's essential to keep these 7 points in mind.

Conventional Marketing Doesn’t Work On Millennials

Millennials have announced it loud and clear: content marketing is the best way for marketers to reach their goals.

6 arguments why insurance companies should practice content marketing

How do insurance companies integrate content marketing into their marketing strategy?

5 arguments why financial services providers should practice content marketing

How important is content marketing to companies that deal with insurance, investment and financing and which strategies do they pursue?

Off-page analysis: Quality & quantity keywords

We’ll show you which SEO data is important for your keyword strategy and how you can benefit from your competitors’ success.

5 reasons hotel chains should practice content marketing

The Crispy Content Sector Review shows that hotel groups are still neglecting content marketing.

Six building blocks for successful localisation

We have created a checklist of the six building blocks of a high quality full service localisation.

4 reasons tour operators should practice content marketing

In our Crispy Content Sector Review we examine what companies within a specific sector can achieve with content marketing.

7 easy steps to the perfect long tail keyword

How can you improve your ranking efficiently and sustainably without spending money on it? We’ll show you how!

Storytelling competence check: How to spot content marketing talents

How can you even tell if an agency or freelancer can offer the required storytelling potential? We have compiled the key indicators for you!

Content Marketing on Instagram: 5 successful examples

We’ll show you how to realise your brand’s content marketing strategy using Instagram.

Content Marketing: 9 tips for a successful blog promotion

Networking, Social Media Marketing and Reposting: That's how you seed your Blog Content!

Your successful content marketing cycle in 6 steps

These 6 steps will help you develop your very own content marketing cycle.