Attract More Guests With Content Aimed At Travelers in Unexpected Moments
Your property is regularly filled with guests who made their reservations months in advance. They knew what they were coming for and when. They might even be on their second, third or fourth visit.
These are the guests in your target market. They are dependable, expected and predictable. They’ve read your website content, researched the activities in the area and know all of the amenities at your property. They have followed the clear digital marketing path you charted specifically for them.
But what about those travelers who need accommodations but are outside of your conventional marketing channels? The business traveler whose flight was canceled and suddenly needs a hotel nearby? The family with an unexpected free weekend looking to get out of town? The new empty nesters looking for a last minute getaway?
How can you adjust your marketing efforts so that you are showing up on their radar right when they need you? Even modest changes in your site content and keyword strategy can boost your organic search results and help you leverage what Google calls “micro moments.”
What Are “Micro-Moments” and How Can You Leverage Them?
When everyone has a phone in their pocket, a quick search can help them solve any problem, answer any question or find any location — whatever time of day or no matter where they are in the world.
Google calls these spontaneous searches “micro-moments” and has broken them down into four distinct types:
- “I want to know…” Someone is searching for facts, news or information: “Are there any haunted hotels in Nashville?” “When does the cherry blossom festival start?” “What’s the temperature in Boulder, Colorado in August?”
- “I want to go…” Someone is seeking something based on location: “What hotels are within a five-mile radius of me?” “What business hotels are closest to the airport?” “Where is the nearest pet-friendly hotel?”
- “I want to do…” Someone is looking for something to do in the spur of the moment: “What’s happening in Baltimore this weekend?” “What are the best family activities in Myrtle Beach on Saturday?” “Best hotels for a rainy day?”
- “I want to buy…” Someone is ready to make a purchase or find a deal: “What are the best hotel discounts?” “Most affordable four-star hotels?” “Last-minute deals on Boston hotels.”
If your hotel’s website content and SEO strategy isn’t taking advantage of some or all of these scenarios and searches, you’re overlooking a potentially lucrative traveler segment. You need to think beyond your regular target audience and consider all of the customers you could be reaching when they find themselves in a “micro moment.”
Broadening Your Content Strategy By Filling in the Gaps
Hospitality is a competitive industry. Not only are you vying for bookings against the property down the block, you’re competing against countless others online.
Considering the crowded landscape, you need to diversify your content offerings. Expand your keyword and SEO strategy and think beyond your tried-and-true marketing box. It may sound paradoxical, but images and articles that speak to a smaller audience will actually expand your reach and increase your visibility.
Let’s say your hotel caters to the leisure traveler and you’re close to capacity every Friday through Sunday. There’s a whole contingent of corporate travelers who need accommodations Monday through Thursday.
Do they know how close you are to the train station? Can they find you when they need to book a last-minute business trip? Are you popping up on their phone when their flight’s been rescheduled?
Creating content with them in mind increases your chances of showing up in their Google search, letting them know you are ready to serve them.
Start With A Few New Content Pieces and Adjust Accordingly
Keep in mind that we aren’t suggesting you need an entirely new marketing strategy. It’s important that you continue creating content that serves your primary customers.
Don’t toss out your editorial calendar. Continue producing articles that highlight your most popular seasonal events. But think more broadly about events and attractions that appeal to travelers with a profile that may look different from your regular customers.
Look for opportunities to feature stories that highlight ways in which someone might decide to come to your hotel on a whim or in a moment of need. What kind of search did they do? What situation were they in? Who were they traveling with? What are some smaller events or attractions that you could target?
Tips for Priming The Pump with Your Micro-Moment Content
Generating content ideas is more art than science, but you can develop some ways to make it a little easier than guessing at what might be most effective:
- Don’t be afraid to ask. Think about some recent guests who arrived with little notice. What brought them to your door? How did they hear about you? What would make them come again or tell others about their stay?
- Test some Google searches. Get out and around town and try some Google searches. See what comes up. What new content might change those results?
- Create your own hypotheticals. We offered only a handful of “what-if” scenarios above. What works for your property won’t for another. Look at your own hotel through multiple lenses and situations and speak to each with new content.
Make It Easier for Unexpected Guests to Find You
There’s an audience out there that is “in the moment,” and they could be a fantastic fit for you. They just need to be able to find you.
Consider dedicating more of your marketing efforts to showing up in one of Google’s “micro moments.” Give yourself the best odds of capturing bookings in a world where travel decisions are increasingly being made on the fly.
If you want to learn more about how O’Rourke has helped clients expand their online reach to find unconventional guests, we’d be happy to talk.