Content Marketing for Hotels: How to Get Started Telling Your Hotel's Story
May 2, 2016 8:59am
Content marketing is more than a buzzword. It’s an important part of your hotel’s marketing strategy.
Simply put, it’s the creation and distribution of valuable assets, such as videos, blog posts and e-newsletters, as marketing tools to attract and retain customers.
For hotels and other accommodation providers, these assets showcase your property’s unique story and brand, and complement your room distribution and sales efforts.
HOW DOES CONTENT MARKETING WORK?
The Content Marketing Institute (CMI), based in the US, defines content marketing as “…a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience – and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
HOW DOES IT WORK IN HOSPITALITY?
By attracting your target guests, influencing them into booking a stay, and retaining them as repeat guests – just as you do with your hotel website, like those created by SiteMinder’s Canvas.
The key is to first provide useful content that informs and entertains. Secondly, it’s important to deliver it consistently to establish credibility and foster engagement.
As part of your inbound digital marketing campaign, content also drives traffic to your website and social media channels to increase your visibility online.
What content marketing isn’t, is excessive promotional messaging. Occasional outreach to publicize new packages or amenities is expected, but good content is light on the sales pitch.
WHICH HOTELS DO A GREAT CONTENT MARKETING JOB?
Looking at concrete examples of content marketing, Marriott is touted as gold standard.
Under the direction of David Beebe, VP of global creative and content marketing, several full-time staff at the Marriott Content Studio create content in the form of branded magazines, books, TV shows, webisodes, short films and documentaries.
This is in addition to actively engaging on several social media channels around the clock.
One example is Marriott Traveler, a magazine with destination-based content that provides readers with information on what to do in several cities where Marriott properties are located.
The initial launch covered three cities, and within three months the magazine had driven bookings to 7,200 rooms.
The company also produced two short films, ‘Two Bellmen’ and ‘French Kiss’ that are shown on in-room television, the JW Marriott brand.com site, and on Marriott’s YouTube channel.
‘Two Bellmen’, with its high-action plot involving a business traveler, was filmed at a JW Marriott property in Los Angeles. Watch it, and you’ll realize that it also tells a story of superlative customer service.
It currently has more than five million views on YouTube.
The Marriott brand is always integrated into these print and digital assets, but it’s secondary.
And as a result, the campaign has successfully impacted customer engagement and direct booking conversions.
SO, WHAT IS CONSIDERED BEST PRACTICE IN HOSPITALITY CONTENT MARKETING?
Of course not all hotels have the luxury of Marriott-sized marketing resources.
Hoteliers new to content marketing should approach it by getting into the minds of their customers.
Ardath Albee, a B2B marketing strategist, CEO of Marketing Interactions, Inc. and an instructor for CMI’s Content Marketing University, says combining marketing objectives is a good place to start.
“The question a hotelier should be asking first is, what can I do to help a specific audience that will also tie into what I want to accomplish for my hotel? So, depending on the type of hotel, maybe it’s helping potential and current guests find the best restaurants in the area, or understand what to do while they’re in town,” explains Albee.
“Or, if you are business hotel that hosts a lot of meetings, perhaps suggest best practices for successful meetings and conferences. If your hotel is also a resort or spa, maybe it’s a blog about healthy living with topics specific to golfing, if you have a course, or sharing your chef’s recipes if you have an attraction restaurant.”
The next step is considering a content distribution strategy. There are different ways to deliver content – including social media, email, and on your website.
“You want to think about how to get the most bang for your buck with the content you develop,” Albee adds. “So, think about audience, purpose, and business goals, and then formats and channels.”
A content marketing strategy is itself an involved topic. In a nutshell, it’s a multi-layered plan that involves: content creation; deciding when, where and how to distribute content; and how to measure results.
For more information, these websites provide additional case studies, ideas and inspiration:
The Content Marketing Association (based in the U.K.)
Content Marketing Institute (based in the U.S.)
Asia Content Marketing Association
As the leading cloud platform for hotels, SiteMinder allows hotels to attract, reach and convert guests across the globe. We serve hotels of all sizes with award-winning solutions for independents and groups alike, wherever they are in the world.
SiteMinder’s products include The Channel Manager, the industry’s leading online distribution platform; TheBookingButton, a wholly-branded booking engine for direct bookings via the web, mobile or social; Canvas, the intelligent website creator for independent hoteliers; and GDS by SiteMinder, a single-point of entry to a six-figure network of travel agents and the world’s major GDSs. With more than 20,000 hotel customers and 400 of the industry’s top connectivity providers as our partners, today we have presence in more than 160 countries on six continents.
For more information, visit www.siteminder.com.
Contact: Maria Franco
+61 410 233 735
Why Not List Your Hotel on Airbnb?
Bookings Rise for Peru's Most Influential Hotel Chain Following SiteMinder Deal
SiteMinder Lands Its 30,000th Customer in River Palace Hotel
New Study Finds Hoteliers Fear Robot-Run Future Yet Believe AI is Key to Guest Personalization
Airbnb Launches Global Hotel Technology Partnership to Support Boutique Hotels, Bed and Breakfasts
SiteMinder Unveils the Top 15 Revenue-Generating Booking Channels of 2017 for Hotels in the USA & Canada
Bin Majid Hotels & Resorts Enters Distribution Agreement With SiteMinder
Tourism Boom: How Spain's Hotels Are Capitalizing by Owning Their Supply
SiteMinder Named Among The Silicon Review's 50 Best Companies to Watch
SiteMinder Secures Atahotels as Group Remains in Prime Position to Capitalize on Italy's Tourism Boom
BridgeStreet Global Hospitality and SiteMinder Connect in Pivotal Strategic Relationship for Business Travel
SiteMinder Partners With PriceTravel Holding and Despegar, Says It Is Committed to Latin America's Hotels
Best Day Travel Group Signs with SiteMinder, Strengthens Offering to Hotels
Red Planet Hotels Begins Building Its Empire with SiteMinder
SiteMinder Brings GDS Representation In-House as Hotel Customers More Than Triple in One Year
VacayHome-SiteMinder Partnership Opens New Doors for Vacation Rental Property Managers
Why Hotel Distribution Is No Longer a Job, but a Button
MSI Solutions and SiteMinder Partner to Automate Distribution for CloudPM Hotel Users
Optimizing Your Online Channels: 9 Proven Ways to Make OTAs Work for You
SiteMinder Penetrates Latin America, Signs RQ Grupo Hotelero as 26,000th Hotel
Please login or register to post a comment.