A Hospitality Content Strategy for Influential Consumer Information to Add to your Hotels Digital Marketing Plan & Website
Hotels have endless opportunities to craft unique content that will add value to their customer journey while further creating brand equity with their voice and influence to prospective guests. Yet more often than not, we see hotels and resorts lack an effective content strategy to really add depth and horsepower to their online presence. Search engines will reward your brand and website for providing a continuous effort to provide a better user experience. This means looking at having an evergreen evolving online presence. A great way to add value, perspective, and voice to your brand is through video and in blogs but many hoteliers get lost in exactly what type of content they should be creating. Oftentimes guesswork or lack of strategy leads to creating content that may not be valuable or informative to guests. It’s a futile waste of time, energy, and resources for hotels to ideate, write, refine and then distribute this content if it’s not going to support the brand in any of their marketing strategies and efforts. This article outlines some general content topics, case studies and structure for the hospitality industry, in particular boutique hotels and resorts, to use as a guide to develop more in-depth regional content-specific information that will add value and engage their guests. Doing so will provide educational hotel information while also building brand loyalty and trust throughout their research and discovery process.
Developing local information for consumers in the research process is a great way to not only support the local community and drive visibility to your destination, but a way to inform and educate prospective travelers about what type of community, culture, and experiences they’re going to be getting themselves into. Providing this in depth local information will also differentiate the hotel by adding value and voice that distinguishes you from others in the region. Many local hotels, and especially beach front properties, find themselves with similar experiences to provide but it’s the quality, voice, and perspective of the information that will allow the hotel to stand apart from others. Supplying potential guests with in depth information will also enable them to align their values and the experience that they’re seeking. This will filter out any potential guests that aren’t a good fit for the hotel and will attract like-minded and loyal guests.
Cultural Info – what to wear, language idioms, etc.:
As guests are in the research and discovery process, they’re going to want to know what to pack, what the local cultural intricacies are, and the customs of the area in general. For example, Mexico has very different cultural trends throughout the north, south, east, and west parts of the country. Providing guides and education around these types of cultural phenomenons, like what to wear, what to say (or not say), what local foods might be available, and other relevant information can certainly set people’s expectations and ease their concerns about the unknown factors of traveling to a new environment.
Events & Holidays:
Blogging about events and holidays is a great way to be able to gain more regional authority, especially for search engines. Discussing the city’s events, regional holidays, and upcoming local conferences creates a strong regional association for your website and brand. It is also a great way to inform travelers and last-minute guests who may want to experience a cultural event or holiday themselves. It creates a demand for future seasons and unique ways to add value to campaigns, promotions, blogs, and social media posts thereafter.
Seasonal Information & Trends:
Providing information for guests about the different seasons of the region, whether wet or dry, is beneficial for guests to know when to book their stays. Revealing the peak travel times for the hotel and destination will allow people to anticipate what their experience is gonna look like as far as accessibility, wait lines, and tours. It’s valuable for remote workers to know if they will be living in an extremely wet or dry season in order to have a grasp of what they’re everyday work life will look like. This will also help guests stay informed about what types of businesses and activities will be available in accordance to the weather. These are all important trends and seasonal systemic considerations to educate your prospective visitors about in order to add some value and substance on what they can anticipate and expect at different times throughout the year.
If your city is growing and there’s going to be another attraction or set of activities offered, it’s important to talk about it to attract new guests. For example, if there’s a new dock being built that will allow for boating, it may attract a new segment of guests that want to experience that. The city developing new installments and growing new attractions makes for great content subjects to blog about the hotel’s perspective. Sharing photos with your followers of the new developments are a great way to attract new guests, as well as past guests, who want to revisit for the new attraction.
Cuisine & Local Food Influence:
Oftentimes hotels and restaurants want to be able to offer farm to fork options where they can showcase and highlight the local and regional food. Over the course of the year there can also be seasonal changes to the menu. Blogging about those transitional times with new summer menus or a shift in ingredients is great for attracting foodies and those who appreciate the culinary depth of a region and heritage. This allows guests to become more educated and feel fully immersed in the culture of the destination. Interviewing the chef, talking to the food and beverage manager about menu changes, exhibiting the seasonal offerings, and showcasing any partnerships for local brands makes for great content to engage your audiences. Sustainable food sourcing and the local impact is also an extremely important topic for foodies.
Top Bars, Restaurants, Nightlife:
Highlighting the top bars, restaurants, and nightlife in the area, whether it’s a top-five list or categories, is a fun and informative way to engage guests. Encouraging guests to explore the local area and recommending the best businesses will provide them the ultimate experience and will excite them to revisit. Pushing them to try the top establishments in town will have the guests speaking highly about the hotel and will encourage loyalty marketing. Blogging about other top establishments in the area is also a great way to build partnerships where you can collaborate and then in turn, drive business to the hotel as well.
Activities & Tours:
Blogging about activities and tours in the area is another great way to build local partnerships. Whether you’re directly providing that supply and inventory through your own staff or through local partners, blogging about the different local activities (sporting, adventure, history, or tours) will have the hotel seen as the thought leader by categorizing those within your region. As people are researching activities such as zip lining in that area, or whatever a service may be, creating content specific blogs about those activities will drive people to your hotel based on those desired experiences. Spotlighting the key phrases in the blogs will push your blog to the top of the search list when googling the specific activities in the region.
Beyond the more tourism-related spotlights, if there are other great partners the hotel collaborates or individuals that deserve to be highlighted should be shared. Whether it’s local philanthropies or telecom service providers that are better enabling remote working. This will create reciprocity and engagement locally while providing updates to previous customers and prospective travelers that are looking for you as well.
For resorts and hotels whose substantial part of their business is derived off of MICE, (meetings, incentives, conferences, and events) isolating and breaking down some relevant case studies for each of the various types of events people have facilitated at your property is a great way to elaborate and share the type of experience you have personalized and curated in the past. It highlights the hotel’s attention to detail, hospitality, and the ability to craft their demands and events. It adds color and transparency for these high ticket buy outs and events, which can be a stabilizer to many hospitality sales and marketing plans. Having sustainable and profitable ways to continuously attract more of those for your hotel can be very influential and impactful to both the top and bottom line.
Conferences, MICE Events:
Typically, more resorts are domestically its own kind of category for corporations and the like. With that, doing an article or a blog about the different types of events and conferences that you facilitated is a great way to add some anecdotal evidence of your approach and to showcase all the amenities and accommodations the hotel is capable of. Sharing why people came to you for that event, what their need was,, and what the hotel’s approach was to solving their problem is highly informative. Knowing that every event is different, from AV support to food and beverage, is important for showing how the hotel has facilitated these experiences in the past for other clients. Add in testimonials, media photos and videos, and PDF summaries for prospective corporate accounts in the future to see the depth and different types of things you’ve done in the past more clearly. They may even gain inspiration for what else they might want to do in their event that they didn’t see as possible. This gives the hotel an opportunity to upsell and even drive more revenue by serving these clients.
Weddings & Honeymoons:
It’s very attractive to be a hotel or resort that can host weddings and honeymoons for couples. While many hotel wedding pages are great at informing prospective guests about these services, a blog or case study around past events is a highly effective way to add some more depth to the narrative and really show what was done to facilitate the experience. Again, photos and videos can create inspiration and ideas for things that guests didn’t even know were possible. Writing about weddings that the hotel has hosted and including photos, videos, and testimonials allows for these people to picture their wedding or honeymoon at the venue.
Bachelor or Bachelorette Parties:
Echoing weddings and honeymoons, bachelor and bachelorette parties are highly desired for hotels because the guests want to do numerous activities, are willing to spend a lot, and there are usually multiple people that can be accommodated and that will then share their experiences with others. Blogging about different bachelor/bachelorette party activities and creative ideas that the hotel has previously used is a great way to attract these groups. It’s more about the showing than the telling. Again, be sure to include photos, videos, and testimonials.
Local Community Influence:
If the hotel takes part in some sort of giveback program or philanthropy, document it on the website and through blogs to show how you support the local community. Whether it’s food donations, beach cleanups, teaching english, or hosting community events, be sure to showcase it with photos and videos. Guests want to support establishments that give back to their community and that contribute to a positive impact. Show physically what your community involvement is beyond just the boundaries and perimeter of the hotel itself, but your sphere of influence that is carried. Highlight those individuals and organizations at large. Cause marketing strengthens the hotel’s values and shows guests that you care.
Employee & Career Development:
Guests want to see that the hotel is investing in their employees. The goal is to build loyal relationships with employees that will last for years and even decades. Documenting and showing how the organization takes care of its staff is a great way to personalize and humanize your brand to prospective visitors, employees and shareholders in a way that is invaluable. Not only do the employees greatly benefit from receiving this leadership and career development themselves, but in reciprocity they will be more invested in the brand and exert more discretionary energy at work. That motivation will go a long way for employee morale and retention from them and others. Blogging about and sharing stories of loyal employees will greatly attract like-minded and loyal employees.
Structure For Case Studies:
Include a brief overview so that people can really digest and see what case studies they want to dig more into based on the information they’re seeking.
Identify and show the issue that the client brought to you and what they wanted solved.
Bring some color to how your brand solved the client’s problem and how you were able to meet and exceed their needs. Show the problem-solving and the ideation behind it.
Gain social reputation through testimonials and reviews that reinforce the client’s appreciation for you and build or edify you to prospective customers.
Add Media that is going to visualize the event itself and potentially even the transformation before and after of what this looked like for potential clients to clearly see and envision what could be done for them.
ROI or Impact:
Show the output and what it looked like for the organization. If they are able to track the success or engagement of it, explain how it was an investment and what the impact was on their organization and community.
There are endless opportunities to create content that prospective travelers would engage with and glean value out of whether it be from a corporate event side or an individual traveler. Utilize these inherent opportunities all around the hotel and be conscious of how to leverage them for consumer education and engagement. This will result in ultimately building brand equity and will dramatically influence your digital marketing presence. It will boost the hotel’s reputation for both travelers and online search engines.