NB: This is an article by Melody Ciria, Destination Marketing Specialist at E-Marketing Associates
Every hotel has their own unique story to tell, therefore hotel’s need to make it a priority to use the power of content marketing to convey their hotel’s story and amplify that story to readers. Before devising your hotel’s story, it is important to develop a content marketing strategy that will resonate with your target audience.
Hotel copywriting isn’t merely about filling words on a page it’s about capturing and engaging the attention of the potential guest during the research travel phase.
Marketers need to find creative and effective ways to inspire guests to stay at your hotel instead of the hotel down the street. In order to do this, you must be able to be provide quality content that is informative, compelling, and inspiring.Give readers what they want to make an informed decision to want to book with you.
So you may be wondering how to use content to drive direct bookings. The very first step is to develop a content marketing strategy for your hotel’s website copy, social media content and blog.
Hotel Website Copy
Keep in mind that the average traveler visits 22 travel-related websites during the research and planning phase according to GFK Global, which means your hotel’s website copy must grab the reader’s attention from the get-go.
Pictures tells a thousand words but the copy is where your reader will get a sense of how your property and amenities will fulfill their needs.
Think about the tone you want to use in your copy. Are you wanting to attract more millennials to your property? If so, you may want your tone to have a hip and airy feel to it. Many hotels especially hotels with brand sites make the common mistake of writing copy that sounds too generic and robot-like, which is can be off putting for many readers.
Another common mistake that many hotels do is provide vague information in their copy which does not provide any value to the reader. Instead be as clear and descriptive as you can be in your website copy.
A good starting point before you begin writing the copy, is to make a list of the unique selling points of your property including the amenities you offer and demand generators surrounding your property.
As you know, the homepage is the most important page of your site so establish the right kind of tone that will appeal to your readers and mention key selling points, however don’t be too detailed or reveal too much on this page. Mention enough to reel in your readers in and keep them exploring your site longer.
Social Media Content
When it comes to developing a strategy for your website’s copy, the same applies to your social media content.
After listing out all the unique selling points your hotel offers, it is now time to anticipate the kind of questions your potential guests frequently ask; questions relating to transportation, Wifi, free breakfast, and other amenities. From there, you can come up with posts answering these questions on social media which adds value for visitors.
Social media can seem very overwhelming for hotels because of the time and effort needed to consistently post on all channels. To best organize your time it is highly recommended that your marketing team build a content calendar to keep your posts focus.
Content calendars allow you to visually lay out the topics you will posting in advance and prevent any duplicate topics from being mentioned on social media. Content calendars are very beneficial for keeping topics organized and posted in a timely matter.
In addition to posting things about your hotel be sure to also post about events going on in the area as well as travel tips that the potential guest will find useful. Remember the rule of thumb, 80% of posts should be about the surrounding area and 20% of posts should be about your hotel’s upgrades, amenities and special offers.
There is an art to posting on social media. Utilize hashtags when relevant into your posts and find out the best times to post for each channel in order to reach a wider audience. When you post what visitors are interested in, the more interaction you will gain and the greater the relationship you will foster with that potential guest.
Last but certainly not least, don’t forget to develop a content marketing strategy for your hotel’s blog.
Blogging is just as effective in boosting website traffic as social media does, so don’t neglect promoting your blogs to website users.
If you don’t know where to start with establishing your hotel’s blog, gather a list of topics that you think might interest potential guests. The list can include topics relating to big events in the area like festivals, concerts, sporting events and more. Other popular topics are top restaurants and attractions in the area.
Keep in mind that blogging isn’t just for search engines but even more importantly for readers who are looking to see what to do when you stay at the hotel. Let your blog be a guide for travelers who are either thinking about staying at your hotel or who are already your guest.
Remember that, hotels aren’t just competing with other hotels that are blogging but they are also competing against travel blogs, food blogs and other hospitality related blog sites. So in order for your hotel’s blog to stand out and be the ultimate digital concierge, then write valuable content worth sharing and be sure to publish regularly.
Providing quality content is both beneficial to boost website traffic and give potential guests’ an idea of what to expect when they arrive at your hotel.
Be sure to implement these best practices to help you develop your own content marketing strategy for your hotel and be well on your way to driving results.