Great content is extremely important to the hotel customer journey! Great images and helpful tips can help a hotel attract new customers and engage current customers.
1. Use your hotel's content to inspire
As we've discussed, the hotel customer's journey has become very different over the years, including where to get travel information. There is no longer a need for paper maps and guidebooks to plan a vacation. Instead, travelers can now access everything they need to know about a destination at the touch of their fingertips. From inspiration to booking, this real-time access to travel tips has changed the way guests book their trip all throughout the journey.
Knowing this, hotels should use all types of content to go beyond the hotel room and inspire people to travel. Hotels need to make great content a priority. From Instagram posts and new photography to blog articles, content matters! If a hotel is limited in the amount of time they can put into content, make sure to get the whole team involved. This is not something that a single person can manage. You want to collect all of the photos, guest stories and destination tips that you can get and then get it uploaded to the hotel's website strategically. It is important for hotels to have a blog so that they can share content quickly and easily.
Once the content is on the hotel website, you need to get the word out. I recommend utilizing social media networks and email to drive awareness back to the hotel website and directly to a blog article or area guide. Even a great Instagram image should live on the website somewhere under a gallery or social feed. Don't create the content for your hotel without a plan to share it in hopes that visitors will find it! Link to the content from correct places throughout your hotel website and vice versa.
2. Create local guides for your hotel guests
A great place to start for your hotel's content is by creating a detailed local guide to engage your website visitors and keep them on your hotel's website. If they can't get the answers from you, they will go elsewhere and when they do, they are very likely to get distracted by another hotel. At GCommerce, we use keyword research to decide what content to add to the local guides for our hotels. What are the most popular searches for the area around your hotel? One of the easiest ways to find content ideas would be to search 'things to do in x' and see what the top search results are.
When I search top things to do in Miami, the following 7-websites appear in the results:
These pages will provide me with a list of the top attractions and activities that I should be focused on writing content around. The key is to make the content yours. Do not copy the content from another source. Google could penalize your site for having duplicate copy. Make your hotel content useful, informative and original. Just take the top attractions and activities that you think are the most important to your hotel guests and personalize them by adding tips from your concierge or front desk. You could make walking maps to the top activities from your hotel and make the trip planning as easy as possible.
3. Generate sales with your hotel's content marketing
Content can take a lot of time and does require your hotel to be strategic in what to include on your website. You want to represent your brand well, so the time and effort it is worth it! Content can increase revenue and generate sales. One of my clients, Coast Hotels, had a goal to engage their website visitors and drive more conversion by creating a blog filled with local content, which fits perfectly with their "Refreshingly Local" brand pillar. GCommerce built them a blog called No Place Like Coast, which launched in February of 2018. Now with about 18-months of data, we see that many visitors land on the blog initially through organic search. Those that visited the blog and then booked were spending upwards of 21 minutes on the website and visit over 20-pages. By placing the local guide content right onto the hotel brand's website, we are able to provide social content and email content that drives people to the website, and we are able to provide visitors with all of the information they need to make their final decision.
Here are some recommended questions to help guide your hotel content marketing strategy:
- Who is your audience? Who are you trying to talk to?
- What kind of information do your hotel guests want to see?
- What FAQ does your property get?
- Are there any themes in customer feedback?
- Are there any major attractions or seasonal events that attract people?
- Any “local” or “insider” knowledge you could provide?
In the end, content is worth every minute of effort as long as you are strategic!