Content Marketing Strategies for Independent Hotels in 2015
Content marketing has become more important in today’s increasingly competitive hotel and hospitality industry. Travelers are better informed than ever before. They can go online and read reviews about a hotel and they can compare prices on any number of travel sites. Independent hotels and hotel groups have the power to attract more paying customers by engaging travelers and getting them excited about the rooms, amenities and overall guest experience your hotel provides.
Content marketing is not an exact science and it is also not static. What may work today may not be effective tomorrow. Understanding the basics of content marketing is a good start, but to really get results from your efforts, you should follow the advice of the experts. Whether you are struggling to get noticed, or are enjoying a surge in room reservations, there is always room for improvement. Take a look at some of the proven methods that successful content marketers deploy. Hopefully, they will give you a few ideas and help you become a superstar in content marketing.
Setting up your content
Your content should be set up in such a way that it appeals to the most likely guests that your hotel attracts. You may want to appeal to every traveler, but in truth, the hotel industry is a segmented industry. You may be a luxury hotel or you may be a budget hotel. You may cater to business travelers or you may cater to family travel.
Your content should not only contain words, but also, pictures. Professionally written copy is crucial because it will engage the reader and also reflect on the way your hotel is perceived. You can boost interest by including a virtual video tour of your property.
When you set up your content, be consistent. Viewers want to know what to expect and if you change the appearance too frequently, it will look like you either don’t know what you are doing, or you are desperate for attention.
Having a content-rich web site is extremely important for getting visitors to stay on your site longer and perhaps take further action. However, you also have to get them to come to your site. Using good SEO techniques, such as the proper keywords that show up in search engines, will help drive more traffic toward your site. You also can include links to reach more people. When people do come to your site, you should have a means for them to easily make a reservation.
Provide Informative Content
One of the reasons people will want to visit your hotel’s web site is to get more information about your hotel. You should be sure to give them complete information about the rooms and point out all of the extras your hotel may offer like a swimming pool, breakfast buffet, weight room, business center, laundry and free parking. It is also a good idea to have a section where guests can post comments and reviews of their stay. Read more about: Why “Provide Informative Content” is the best way to go…
Provide New Content
Basic information may not need to be changed, but you can always add some new pictures o spice it up a little. Visitors will come back to your site if they know that there are always new things to read and see. You can add content about local events or any special deals your hotel may be offering. A separate section called “weekly calendar” could contain current events, human interest stories, or even a few funny jokes.
Expand your audience
If your hotel happens to be in certain areas frequented by travelers whose native tongue is not English, you can still reach them by developing online content in their native language. Hotels around San Diego attract a large contingent of Spanish-speaking guests. In Anaheim, Disneyland attracts visitors from all around the world and it is relatively simple to translate content into another language. Chinese tourism is growing rapidly and your
Provide real value
Visitors will flock to your site if they know they can get a discount or something for free. You can add real value by offering special package rates on hotels and attractions or you could do something as simple as offering a free newsletter to anyone who comes to the site and opts in by clicking on a button and entering their email address.
Develop relationships with other businesses
Reciprocal arrangements with other businesses will improve the effectiveness of your campaign by making more content available to viewers. You could post a section with local restaurants and include links to their web sites. In exchange, the restaurants, or other businesses could feature a link to your hotel’s web site.
Use multiple channels to distribute your content
Smartphones are all the rage today and probably will continue to become even more popular in the future. Make sure your content is available on phones, tablets, computers and other devices.
Get input from managers and staff
Hotel managers and employees are best equipped to offer suggestions on how the content currently being provided can be improved. Every day, they interact with guests and hear complaints or comments about the hotel. Using their first-hand knowledge, you can tweak the content in your social media platforms and on your web site to better reflect the needs and wants of your hotel guests.
Monitor your results
It takes time and money to work on content marketing. You should use analytics to measure the results of your content marketing program. If you are working very hard and not getting the results you expected, it may be time to sit down and review your strategy. You may even want to hire a professional content marketing company to help you achieve the results you desire.
If you follow these tips, you will see a marked improvement in the effectiveness of your hotel’s content marketing efforts. While you may not have the budget of some of the larger hotel chains, you can still compete when you unleash the power of a well-executed content marketing plan.