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 make is to 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 might frequently ask; questions relating to transportation, Wi-Fi, 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 builds a content calendar to keep your posts focused. Content calendars allow you to visually lay out the topics you will be 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 potential guests 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 relationships you will foster with those potential guests.
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, 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, it is very important for readers who are looking to see what to do when they stay at the hotel. Let your blog be a guide for travelers who are thinking about staying at your hotel as well as those who are already your guests. Remember that your hotel blog isn’t just competing with other hotels who are blogging, but it is 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, write valuable content worth sharing and be sure to publish regularly. Providing quality content is both a beneficial to boost website traffic and it gives potential guests an idea of what to expect when they arrive at your hotel.
Be sure to implement these best practices when developing your own content marketing strategy for your hotel and be well on your way to driving results.
About the author
Melody Ciria is a Destination Marketing Strategist and leads the Social Search Marketing Team at E-Marketing Associates. She has experience in the hospitality industry and specialises in tailoring social search optimization for independent hotels. E-Marketing Associates works exclusively with independent hotels to help maximize bookings with the use of our innovative online marketing products.