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How to Create a Winning Content Marketing Strategy

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Posted by Alex Gaggioli
June 30, 2015

One of the best ways to gain more attention from prospective guests is to create a solid online presence. Content marketing helps to effectively engage prospective guests and other visitors to your website. Content marketing offers helpful tips and more information about your property. In the age of social sharing and web content, it is in your best interest to create unique content.

Leonardo defines content marketing as:

A marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action, or the art of communicating with your customers without selling to them.

Content marketing can offer consumers a lot of value. Guests can learn tips and tricks for travelling to your destination, feel like an insider, and absorb the local culture. Every property and destination is unique, therefore the content possibilities are seemingly endless.

People no longer want to be sold to, they want to make purchase decisions themselves without a pushy sales message. Your content should tell a story and allow your guests to imagine themselves experiencing your property and their trip.

We will define content marketing in three pieces: definition and segmentation, creation, and distribution.

Definition and Segmentation:

First, decide who you are trying to reach. Most likely, your primary goal is to turn website traffic into bookings. Content marketing is a perfect way to reach your guests in a unique way. But, for content marketing to work for you, you need to identify who you are targeting. Business people, adventure travellers, and honeymooners might all love your property, but they have different needs and seek different information.

Once you have decided who you will target, you need to define your goals.

Common content goals include:

  • Build brand recognition
  • Increase customer loyalty
  • Expand target market
  • Re-engage former guests

With a well-defined audience and concrete goals, you can create a content strategy to increase bookings and attract customers who will love your property.

Creation:

Content marketing is all about providing interesting content to a targeted group of individuals. Develop a unique point of view. If you are a luxury brand attempting to attract affluent travelers, your content will be different from a budget adventure hostel. All types of properties can create relevant content with their own voice. Articles or blog posts on local attractions, seasonal activities, or pro-tips for navigating the city are a few things you can share.

Use your employees as an asset. You and your staff already help guests navigate the city, have the inside scoop, and provide personal recommendations. Leverage that information to create interesting, relevant content.

Picture of a thrilling ski in the Swiss Alps as shared by a hotel blog.

For example, if you want to use content marketing to engage a new target market, you should create content surrounding their specific interests. Say you are an independent bed and breakfast in the Swiss Alps looking to attract more thrill-seeking guests. You need to create content about high-intensity slopes and heart-pounding activities surrounding the property. Your piece needs to convince this desired target market that your property is going to meet their wants and needs.

Distribution:

You should post your content on your company blog and distribute it via your social channels. If your property has an email list, you can and should email out your posts as well. Email is a great way to re-engage past guests and remind them how great their stay was. As for creating a social media strategy,  it is an entire effort in itself. We have created a guide for getting started, here.

Picture of social media channels hotels should integrate with content marketing

Remember that content should be shared differently on each platform. Every platform’s post style is different and you should tailor your posts accordingly. For example, a Facebook or Google+ post will not look the same as a tweet or Instagram post. Remember, your property’s content should act as the foundation for any social media or distribution marketing efforts. But, you can (and should) supplement your social with other relevant posts from local businesses and tourist attractions. This will create a winning content strategy that guests will enjoy following.

When deciding what to post and share, it is okay to reuse content. You are never going to reach your entire target market with one post, tweet, Facebook post, etc. so do not be afraid to reshare. You should edit copy, add different imagery, etc. to effectively reuse the content.

Other tips and tricks:

Use positive reviews and other user-generated content to share via your blog and social channels. If your guests rave about a particular facet of your business, highlight it! That spectacular dessert from your restaurant or the striking view from the lobby deserves to be shared.

Utilize guest generated content in your content strategy. Create a property hashtag and pay attention to what your guests are posting on social media. Reshare their pictures and posts and even use their posts as ideas for future posts.

Have fun with your content marketing initiatives. If you are finding yourself unmotivated to create content, find ways to get excited about sharing worthy posts. Look at your property with a new perspective and conjure up a story to tell. Your past, current, and future guests will be excited and thankful to have useful information at their fingertips. Providing real value to your guests can only have positive effects.

If you are looking for examples of hotels already implementing great content marketing strategies, check out the links below.

Kimpton Hotels offers both brand level and property level content for guests to explore before, during, and after their stay.

Ace Hotels constantly shares content in line with their brand on their blog and via social media.

Waldorf Astoria also shares a lot of information about their property and the surround attractions on their Experience site.

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