Last week an infographic surfaced from RedRocketMedia about the influence of content in the travel industry. You can view it on the right. (be sure to click to read in detail!) Here are some of the biggest takeaways for those working in the hospitality industry:
- 63% of travelers say they are influenced by others’ testimonials and 55% are influenced by online searches
- 50% of travelers download these kinds of apps before their vacation: guide books, weather and restaurant
- 50% of travelers are influenced by travel provider’s content
- While on holiday, 33% of travelers browse the web to research for their trip
- When planning trips, more than half of all travelers are inspired by social media on topics such as hotels, activities, destinations, restaurants and attractions
- 1/3 of travelers would create content if they thought it would benefit their friends or family members.
What does this mean for your hotel’s marketing strategy? Content is king in the travel industry. Google’s purchase of travel guide publisher Frommer’s and Zagat’s restaurant reviews last year also reveals its importance. Content is not only web copy on your web site, but also photos, social media, reviews, videos, applications, and so much more.
There are many different kinds of strategies the hospitality industry can use from this data to create content that will lead travelers back to the hotel. Here are just a few ideas:
- Encourage guests to review your hotel on sites like TripAdvisor, Yelp and even social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter.
- For an even higher chance of being found, start and maintain a Facebook, Google+ and/or Twitter page for your hotel so that you can interact with current and potential guests. On these sites you can even start conversations on attractions or restaurants in the area to create more opportunities to be found by travelers.
- Be sure to house content on the vacation area on your actual hotel website. Sounds like common sense, but why make your guests look elsewhere to find information on local services, attractions, restaurants and more? If you have these resources right on your site, travelers will be less inclined to search elsewhere.
- Incorporate visual content, not just text into your strategy. According to RedRocketMedia, holiday photos are the most shared content during and after vacations. Take lots of pictures and post them on your social networks or blogs. Encourage your fans to share them on sites like Pinterest, Facebook or Twitter. Video is another particularly engaging visual strategy that often leads to high ROI.
- Further, encourage your community to create content for you. How about hosting a contest asking for photos from guests taken during your stay? Afterwards, you will have a wealth of content in the form of photos to share.