According to a Stanford report there are some 1.5 billion passengers who fly each year.
On a very conservative estimate I’ll go with about 10% of them being business travelers. That’s 150 million people. If they all lived in one country, they would be the 9th largest country in the world; larger than Russia, Japan, Mexico. That’s a lot of people.
I remember the first time I went to India on business. It was exciting, exotic, fun. The 2nd time? It was just far away. Singapore, Bangkok, Shanghai, Manila … all far away.
World business travelers have a LOT of down time. On the plane, at the restaurant, in the hotel – and sometimes they use that time to consume content.
How Content Marketers Target World Business Travelers
World business travelers are a great target audience for content marketers.
Brainstorming (with just one brain!) I can think of 17 ways a content marketer can reach business travelers. All of them can be done offline, too:
- Articles, in depth blog posts: I have on a number of occasions downloaded to my laptop articles and posts that I wanted to read at a more leisurely time (when I'm not distracted). Website links can be bookmarked to read off line as well.
- eNewsletters: Getting called on to conduct seminars in China, I have opted in to many e-newsletters put out by expats in the Middle Kingdom. If I just open them up in my email box, I can read them on my cell or laptop while on the plane.
- Case studies: Who doesn’t love a solid, relevant case study? I have made changes to my presentations on board the plane or in my hotel room because of some new information I learned from reading a case study enroute to my presentation or meeting.
- Videos: Yup! These, too can be downloaded and watched off line on your laptop. More than once I have come upon a great video that I ended up using in a presentation after finally getting a chance to watch it while filling time on a business trip. And if it’s downloaded to your laptop, you don’t need to worry about countries where you can’t watch YouTube. Been there! Done that.
- Whitepapers: Seven hours into a long flight, travelers are looking for one of two things. Something to put them to sleep or something to keep them awake. Either way your whitepaper can be for them.
- Webcasts: Make sure they are downloadable!
- Infographics : I often ‘cut’ infographics up, giving credit of course, and place them by pieces into my presentations. I could do whole presentations with someone’s well-done infographic!
- Research Papers: By nature, research papers are deeper and provide sources for even more study.
- Print magazines: Sure enough, some organizations still use paper! Who would have thought? I remember reading through an entire paper magazine on a recent return trip from Shanghai to San Francisco.
- eBooks - In an online community for content marketers I operate, we often poke fun at one another because of the ‘library’ of great eBooks we have accumulated but never have time to read. I catch up on my eBook reading while on business trips. I can read a 10-page eBook while making a fool of myself at a breakfast buffet in Manila.
- Books: Remember those? A 300-page book can be read in 4-5-6 hours … or about the time it takes to fly from Beijing to Singapore. I love my e-reader.
- Mobile apps: I don't even touch 80% of all mobile apps until I get on a plane and have time to figure out how to really use them.
- Digital magazines: Download them. Bookmark them to read offline.
- Podcasts: Some people like to read. Some people like to watch. Some people like to listen. And some like me don’t really ‘get it’ until they have done all three.
- Annual reports: On my most recent trip to Shanghai I was conducting training for some pretty big multi-nationals. I could drop names, but that’d be uncool. You can be sure, however, that I was reading their annual reports or some version of them on my way to get as much background as possible on what their companies were up to. All so I could be as relevant and recent as possible.
- Print newsletters: These are great for sitting on when the curbside or bench is dirty. They can be used as a fan or to swat really big bugs. And for reading, too!
- Games/gamification: I have never played a game on my cell phone or laptop … ever. But if I did, you can be sure I’d remember who made it. And to be sure there are a lot of business travelers who DO play games to pass the time.
Content Marketing at Its Best
There are indeed a LOT of very meaningful and effective ways the content marketer can reach out and serve the world business traveler.
Which are you using?
Done well, the business traveler will start looking for your content for when they are likely to need it most.
And that is when the content marketer is at his/her best, isn’t it? When your audience comes looking for you.
What type of content do you prefer to read while you're traveling? Let me know in the comments!