What Is Content Marketing?
You might say it’s what drew you to this blog post.
According to The Content Marketing Institute, a resource for information on all things content marketing, content marketing is:
a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.
Essentially, it’s marketing without the obvious markings of advertising and marketing. Usually, it involves the creation and sharing of material (such as videos, podcasts, guidebooks, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but nevertheless stimulates interest in its products or services.
When you provide content that’s of interest to a potential guest, they associate your hotel positively with that information.
What’s the Benefit of Content Marketing for Your Hotel?
Content marketing benefits your guests because you’ve created and offered them something of value. Generally, people appreciate being helped or entertained much more than they enjoy being blatantly marketed at or given the hard sell on something. That tends to turn people off, nowadays. If you give potential guests the benefit of your knowledge or cleverness, they’ll begin to build an affinity with your brand and may end up becoming a customer or recommend you to a friend.
And not only does your content make people happy, it makes Google happy. Regularly posting content to your website that people use and recommend to friends will seriously improve your SEO.
How Do You Get Started with Content Marketing for Your Hotel?
Doing content marketing well for your hotel does take a little extra time. But it’s well worth it. If you turn it into a regular part of your routine, it will come more easily and with more benefits.
You need to create content! But what and how? The following steps will walk you through the best way to come up with a piece of good content for your hotel. Once you’ve done one, simply repeat.
Who Do You Want to Attract to Your Hotel?
First, you need to determine your audience. That is, who are your typical guests? What types of guests do you want to attract to your hotel? Are they thrifty Millennials, who are into adventure or nightlife? Or are they empty-nesters who love fine dining and golfing? Describe them as best as you can before you start creating content for them.
What Do Your Guests Want to Know About That’s Relevant to Your Hotel?
Now that you’ve got a clear picture of your guests, think about what attracts them to your hotel and your local area. Maybe your town is known for its historical attractions. People who might be interested in visiting those old battlefields or museums will want to learn more about them— and they’re going to need a place to stay when they visit. If you can provide content around the attractions—how about offering a special tour map?—people will feel like you helped them out and will be more likely to book a room with you.
Another approach to content marketing for your hotel, is to consider your guests’ frequently asked questions about your hotel. If you can create a list or blog post or short video that answers one or all of those questions, you will provide value to people.
What Do You Have to Say About the Things Your Guests Are Interested In?
Make sure that whatever content you create is something you know something about. You don’t need to be an expert, but you should be able to offer some authority on the topic. Of course, this may mean you have to take the time to do a little research to make your content worthwhile. If you’re not interested in and well-informed about the subject it probably isn’t worth creating. Stick to what you know about whatever your guests are into!
How Are You Going to Share Your Knowledge with Your Guests?
You want to think about how and where your guests like to receive information. Millennials love videos in Snapchat. Boomers will click on your Facebook ad. All sorts of people will read your email if it’s useful (and comes with a sweet offer). You also might create your piece of content in one format and then see if it will work well in another medium. That helps give your content more exposure. A solid blog post a week, with video or image, and a strong call-to-action is a solid go-to. But so is a daily photo share on Instagram and Facebook and Twitter. See what works.
What If You Don’t Do Content Marketing for Your Hotel?
Probably nothing. Or very little. Meaning, at worst you may have a much more difficult time attracting people and search engines. And you won’t come off as very generous or particularly hospitable, no matter how soft your sheets are and how slick your lobby is.
Even committing to producing a few thoughtful pieces of content a year will go a long way toward your hotel enjoying some real successes from content marketing.
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