It’s almost summertime here in the Northern Hemisphere which means that for many properties, busy season is about to begin. Summer break means more travelers and increased competition among the properties in your location. Now that people primarily search for travel online, it’s important to differentiate yourself in meaningful ways. One of the ways to set yourself apart from the competition during this season is to create timely, summer-focused content.
Content, whether it’s videos, blogs, guides, or a podcast has the ability to capture travelers’ attention when it’s most important. Your property has the ability to insert itself into the conversation and context of local events when you create content around what’s going on around you.
Summertime and busy season often mean that there is A LOT happening in your city and surrounding area. Depending on your geographic location, summer may or may not be your busy season, but there’s always a reason for someone to visit, so there’s always a reason to create content. Often, we’ll hear that it’s difficult to come up with content ideas, but really all you have to do is pay attention to what’s going on around you.
Figuring out what subjects to write about can be difficult when you’re first getting started. But, you’re in luck because travel is in fashion and people love to talk about it. Travelers are always looking for tips and recommendations to fuel their travels, and your property can have an influence before they arrive.
The most obvious content to create is related to your property and the surrounding areas. Every property and property type is different and your website and blog content should reflect that. For example, if your property hosts on-site events, it would make sense to talk about them and share more information. And, if your property doesn’t host events, it would make more sense to create guides for local noteworthy events and popular activities.
We previously wrote a how-to article on how to create a city guide for your property. It should include your favorite local spots, traditional tourist areas, and other points of interest. A city guide such as this can be used over a longer period of time and therefore shouldn’t include events or other time sensitive information unless you plan on updating it multiple times a year, which would be totally great, but we know that is a time-consuming task.
City guides are not only helpful but also are great for search. So for example, if someone is looking for something specific, like sushi restaurants on the beach in San Diego, your content has the opportunity to show up. Search engine optimization is much more complicated than slapping up a simple city guide, but creating content for long-tail keywords can only help. And depending on your location it might be more or less competitive than others. In tourist-heavy towns, like San Diego, it might be more difficult to rank, but in smaller locations, you have more opportunities to rank.
I personally believe that every property should have a section on their website that lists interesting local events. No matter what city or region you’re in, there are likely several different events happening around you. Whether that’s a concert, fairs, farmers market, festivals, wine tours, etc. list what you think your clientele will be interested in. Listing events will make your website a valuable local guide that your guests can revisit time and time again.
There are a million summer content ideas for your property to explore. As an owner and operator, you know your area better than anyone. Your insider knowledge is extremely beneficial and can offer a unique perspective on seasonal events. Offer your opinions and commentary about local summer events and give your best advice to travelers looking to make the most of their stay.
Brainstorm with your staff various FAQs your customers have and check other local resources to see what they’re saying is important about the upcoming summer season. We’ll explore the best places to get inspiration for your summer posts later on.
If summer is your off-season, you have the unique opportunity of letting people know what makes your property great, even if it’s not the traditional popular time to visit. For example, imagine you operate a ski lodge in Vail, Colorado. Vail’s busy season is when the snow is falling and it becomes a winter wonderland. But, you, the seasoned hotel operator, know that Vail has a lot to offer in the summer as well. But, there are likely many activities travelers can enjoy when the sun is shining like hiking, biking, whitewater river rafting, etc.
The purpose of creating this content is to educate potential travelers and expand their preconceived notions. In the Vail example, most people think of Colorado as the ultimate winter playground, when in reality it has a lot to offer all season long. Let people know that your property has something to offer in every season – and they might get a bargain in the process.
In today’s world, there are a million different places to look for content inspiration. A simple Google search will help you get started in the right direction if you ask the right questions. Traveler trends, local tourism authorities, the news, and travel bloggers are among the best places to source new ideas.
Locally, you should look to your travel bureau or office for ideas and general themes. Large tourist destinations often have at least one, if not several, website(s) that regularly produces content about local events, attractions, and news. For example, San Diego has a professionally built and managed tourism website that offers regular content about the local and surrounding areas.
Use their content ideas and themes to get ideas and put your own personal spin and perspective on local events. For example, if they suggest a brewery tour and you know your clientele is particularly interested in local craft beer, you can create your own list of must-see tasting rooms. It’s as simple as giving your own opinion in the right context.
There’s no shortage of content on the web. You can look for trends from a whole range of online influencers, whether it’s from travel bloggers, Instagram influencers, or more traditional news sources like The New York Times or online publications to find timely topics.
Travel bloggers are often in tune and up to date on traveler trends and can help you identify the best topics. From what to pack on your European backpacking adventure to the best stops on a trans-America road trip, there are plenty of websites and influencers out there to jump start your content brainstorms.
Long story short, content is king and your property has the opportunity to stand out with timely, useful information. Most travelers are looking for tips and recommendations, so it’s advantageous for your property to be at the forefront of the conversation.