As the new year rolled around, many hotel internet marketing companies featured webinars discussing new strategies that hotels should be implementing for 2015. Of all these new trends mentioned, one of the most necessary themes was that of content marketing and the importance of consistently telling your hotel’s story to the traveler consumer. As one of the biggest trends of 2015, content marketing is by far one of the most impactful ways to convert an online visitor into a potential guest along the booking journey. A key to content marketing is to develop a story that keeps your hotel’s brand message consistent and that would deliver relevancy and value to the consumer. Here are a few guidelines to follow in order to get your hotel’s content marketing strategy on the right track:
If you want your content to have the most impact both from a search standpoint and marketing and sales aspect, then develop content that is dynamic. With dynamic content, you are able to constantly update your hotel’s online story while creating a consistent stream of fresh content and relevancy to the visitor and to search engines. Blogging is a great way to keep your website from being static and dull. Make sure you are providing content to consumers along every stage of the customer journey, from research to booking to traveling. An effective way to amplify your brand’s online presence is through the creative use of visuals coupled with a compelling story.
Before you begin your hotel’s content marketing strategy, gather some information about what your ideal guest is and tailor that personalization to your hotel’s message on the website and social media channels. Keep your story consistent across all channels and make sure to add value by providing consumers with relevant information at the right time and in the right context. Be the local expert in the community by adding informative content that would speak directly to your target audience. Informative content includes things to do around the area, travel tips, specials, new renovations and other hotel updates.
When devising your content marketing strategy, don’t forget to align it with your social media efforts. With social media, you are able to encourage interconnectedness through user-generated content, especially when you share valuable tips about local attractions nearby. Social media allows you to keep the relationship going with the guest prior to booking, during their stay, and after checking out. Be everywhere your guests are, so that your hotel is always top of mind during the research and booking phase.
What you share and how you display the content should depend on the device the consumer is using. That said, make sure to tailor your content to fit the preferences of a mobile, tablet, and desktop user. There should be a good balance between how much content and visuals you put on the page. Remember to always keep the user in mind when designing your hotel’s strategy. Make the experience on all devices as seamless and accessible for the user as possible, in order to drive greater guest satisfaction that would lead to increased conversions and ultimately increased top-line revenue.
An effective content marketing strategy consists of dynamic, personalized, sharable and scalable content. If your goal is to drive more direct bookings and minimize your commission costs to OTAs, then take advantage of the benefits of content marketing. Don’t let booking just be another transactional or impersonal experience. Let your hotel’s story speak to the consumer on a personal level and let the relationship built around that content be the result of brand loyalty.
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