Marketing used to revolve around advertising and the purchase of space in magazines or banner ads online to promote brands and ensure they stood out in their industry.
Today, however, promotional efforts tend to revolve much more around inbound marketing. Not only is it cheaper, but it’s typically much more effective in terms of revenue generated. Just what is inbound marketing? Inbound marketing is the promotion of a business using blog posts, video clips, whitepapers, search engines, social media posts, and any other form of content that attracts customers at different stages of their purchasing journey. It focuses on publishing high-quality content to pull people towards your brand, rather than you having to reach out directly to them. By providing them with content that is in line with their interests, they will visit your website and hopefully be converted into paying customers – or in the case of hotels, booked-in guests.
Inbound marketing is important because it attracts qualified prospects, i.e. people who already have an interest in becoming customers and simply need a push in the right direction. How do I start inbound marketing? The very simplest method of making a start with Hotel Digital Marketing inbound marketing is to begin a company blog. These are easy to set up and some of the least complicated designs are even free, but you may have to pay for a business account and it might be better to opt for a slightly flashier one so that you can post other forms of content on it rather than just text. Then, you can put out a variety of informative, entertaining content designed to speak directly to your target audience and deal with queries they might have – even if they don’t know they have them.
In order to ensure you’re appealing to the right people, draw up personas of your typical hotel guests and consider what topics they might like to read about. For instance, if you know your property is family-friendly, try articles about travelling with toddlers or how to keep kids entertained on the beach. Don’t post a piece about the best nightclubs in your resort (unless you also happen to have a Club 18-30 audience!). How to make your blog super-attractive We’re talking about blogs here because, as we’ve said, they’re the easiest way to make a start with this form of marketing, but remember the techniques will also work with other kinds of promotional content including social media posts. It’s important to consider keywords when creating your content, as much of your target audience will still come to your website via search engines. Choose your keywords based on phrases holidaymakers are searching for and then create content that weaves them in naturally – do not stuff them in as often as possible or your article will be nonsensical and you’ll be penalised by Google. If you’re unsure which keywords to use, take a look at some of your competitors and see what they’re writing about, as well as how effectively they’re ranking for common phrases.
Obviously, you don’t want to copy, but you can create content around a similar theme and glean good ideas. Also, don’t forget that images can work for you in terms of keywords too. Pick pictures that work well with your articles (use those you’ve taken yourself rather than stock images if you can) and then add alt text that includes those keywords or synonyms of them to boost search rankings. Another good tip is to make the most of external links within your blog posts to increase their authority, particularly if you’re citing a piece of research or something in the news.
Of course, you don’t want to be taking visitors away from your site by putting scores of outgoing links in every piece, but one or two (that open in a separate window so people come straight back and don’t lose you) can boost search rankings, as long as they’re good-quality sources. Finally, backlinks are a relatively new but highly effective method of increasing the profile of your marketing pieces. You can do this in a number of different ways, but one of the most popular is through commenting on other people’s or businesses’ blogs with thoughtful and useful information. This will establish you as a thought leader and could result in a future partnership between you and the blogger.
Guest blogging on other sites linked to your industry is another good way of building backlinks. For instance, as a hotel owner, you could appear on a business website with top tips on how to choose a conference venue, or on a wedding planning website with ideas on how to decorate a reception room on a budget. Think creatively for an endless stream of possibilities.As you can see, there are plenty of different ways to promote the content you are creating and ensure it is read as opposed to sitting in a dusty corner of the internet. The key thing is to provide entertaining yet informative pieces aimed directly at your target audience so they will find them, read them and share them to get your brand name out there.