Effective Blogging Can Increase Hotels’ Revenues
The hospitality industry is wearing blinders. For whatever reason, many hoteliers are failing to incorporate blogging into their marketing strategies. Perhaps they are overlooking this advertising approach because it’s inexpensive and only takes a few minutes a day. Perhaps their existing static website doesn’t have a blogging capability. If that’s the case, consider this a call to action. Hire a software developer to modify the existing platform or to create a dedicated blog site. Stop paying commissions and offering discounted rates through travel agents. Companies that use a blog effectively can generate their own business leads at minimal cost.
Travelers want to read about an area. Write about upcoming concerts, shows or tours. Let the public know if there’s a change in venue or performers. Perhaps there are neighborhood restaurants or bars that are particularly appealing. The blog can serve as a written concierge service and direct guests (and prospective guests) to the best the area has to offer. Ideally, the blog will allow comments by its readers that require management approval before they post and become visible on the site. This provides the hotel a chance to control the content while engaging positive readers in an ongoing conversation.
The overall goal of the blog is to generate frequently updated pages of relevant content. The topics will keep the readers interested and encourage visitors, but the number of frequently updated pages will improve the visibility of the hotel on the Internet. An active blog may even eliminate the need to pay for Google AdWords.
Google is one example of an Internet search engine that indexes all the material it can find online. The more often a keyword or phrase is published, the easier it is for the search engines to find related material when a user types in appropriate search words. For example, if the blogger includes the name of the hotel in all its blogs, the indexes get better at retrieving links that point back to those blog pages when a prospective guest types in the hotel’s name. As the number of indexed pages mentioning the hotel’s name increases, searchers will see links to the hotel’s website more often and links to discount reservation sites less often; this should generate more revenue for the hotel.
If management decides to use a stand-alone blog site, WordPress is a good choice for inexpensive, flexible software. It is probably best to hire a developer who’s a WordPress expert because he can easily design a page that reflects the character of the hotel. Multimedia sites attract more visitors, so include the ability to add pictures, videos and audio clips to the postings. Don’t forget to include a link back to the main website. The developer can also recommend tag lines for the posts that may help improve the search engines’ optimizations and increase the visibility of the site on the Internet.
The WordPress community itself can contribute to the success of a business. Millions of worldwide WordPress bloggers re-post blogs and bookmark favorite pages. In addition, management can publish the blogs to other social media sites including Facebook and Twitter. A well-done site can generate an enthusiastic following in a relatively short period of time.
Once the blog goes live, it should be maintenance free. Bionic Sisters Productions already know how to draft effective marketing material so blogging is just another tool in their arsenal. Go out and embrace the technology. It’s easy, effective and may even be fun.