A good content marketing strategy can push your business leaps and bounds ahead of your rivals, as it builds meaningful relationships with customers, leads to more bookings and shows you where you need to spend your marketing budget. Solid strategies don’t just rely on one type of content, but several different kinds that draw in traffic the website and keeps visitors engaged. They also use many platforms – such as hotel social media and mobile sites – rather than just one.
Here are the top three content marketing trends for hoteliers to ensure you build a successful strategy that boosts traffic and, more importantly, profitability. Personalised, rather than generic, content Personalisation is one of the most important aspects of marketing and will become more important than ever before in the future. This type of strategy that relies on visitor data to deliver targeted content that reflects the interests and motivations of customers. This could involved a direct call-to-action, landing pages based on geographical locations and industry-specific content.
Earlier this year, Chris Regalado, chief executive officer and founder of RevMar Digital, wrote an article that discussed how marketers can use personalised content to drive more hotel booking engine. He focused on psychographics, which is the study and classification of people according to their attitudes, aspirations, and other psychological criteria. He wrote: “As hotel marketers, we all know the basic profile of our customers through standard demographic information. Demographics tell us where guests come from, their gender, age, location etc., but they don’t really tell us who they are.”That’s where psychographics come in. By studying things like purchasing and browsing habits, lifestyle, spending habits, hobbies and values, psychographics can help us uncover why a buyer makes a purchase. This allows us to create more personalised and targeted content for them.”Mr Regalado believes that to successfully reach a target audience, hoteliers must understand demographics and psychographics fully, as these will help to create successful buyer personas. Hotels will have a number of these, and once they have been identified, a hotelier can start to create content specifically for them through platforms they are most likely to use.
User-generated content Another trend that hoteliers should harness is user-generated content (UGC), which is any form of content that is created by hotel guests. This can be in the form of blogs, discussion forums, Facebook posts, tweets, podcast and videos. According to an infographic produced by Stackia, more than three-quarters (76 per cent) of people feel that reviews from fellow travellers are more trustworthy, as they provide them with insider knowledge about a place.
In addition, 40 per cent of millennials admitted to depending solely on UGC to inform their purchasing decisions. This demonstrates the importance of this type of content, meaning businesses should encourage it in anyway possible. It provides hoteliers with a purely organic reach and is free of charge, as the advertising is done through customer via social media. It can also provide you with valuable insights into a hotelier’s unique value proposition. You can encourage more UGC in several ways, including refer a friend programmes, which sees existing clients become incentivised to share their experience. This could be free cocktails, meals, or bigger prizes like hotel stays. Getting celebrities involved can also boost UGC, as someone who would already be known to your guests will be able to get them talking and, more importantly, sharing their experiences about your hotel. You only need to look at last year’s Ice Bucket Challenge to see how effective getting celebrities involved can be. Curated content Content curation is the process of gathering information relevant to a particular topic or area of interest, in this instance your hotel. It is a simple and effective way of engaging with prospective customers by offering them content that is relevant to their own lives. The process involves sorting through hefty amounts of online content and presenting it in a better manner.
According to content curation and content marketing platform Curate, more than one in ten (16 per cent) of marketers are curating content for their audiences on a daily basis, while almost half (48 per cent) curate from third-party sources at least once a week. Hoteliers need to give guests exactly what they want on their websites, which is local and insider knowledge. The site should have a computerised version of a concierge, which is based on curated content by locals, such as recommendations on local food, drinks, music, shops, culture and entertainment. To get started, you should showcase your property, highlight the local area and create a buzz around events happening in the city, such as LGBT festivals, big sporting events and film festivals.