Content marketing is a buzz term. We like to slap this word everywhere like it’s a must say term. Everybody can pronounce content marketing and everybody can say that they do content. Right? The most important aspect in content is executing and having a deep understanding of what content is and how it works. From my point of view there is deep content and there is basic content. Content marketing goes beyond just posting on social media and it’s a very important aspect in a hotel’s marketing strategy.
Content Marketing: creating and distributing value with videos, blog posts, social and newsletters as a marketing tool to attract and retain clients. By attracting your target guests, influencing them into booking a stay and retaining them as repeat guests.
So let’s take a hotel for example. A hotel tweets and posts on Instagram about their hotel views, their food, creating memories and reposting pictures from their guests. Let’s say they do it for a week, for a month? How about if they do it for one year? How about forever? Isn’t it boring? In my opinion it’s just basic content. It’s nice to scroll over their timeline but that’s it, there’s no reason to actually follow them on their social media channel. Most probably, people will not engage daily or look forward to seeing another mountain (or sea) view picture from another angle.
Building a deeper relationship with your fans requires deep content
To create great content we need to have a great story and a content strategy that will have depth. For example, you can include in your content strategy showcasing your views but that can be secondary not the focus. Creating your own story about your beliefs, communicating about things you love (not when the hotel started and a company vision). Going deep into topics that you care, going deep into topics that have to do with your authentic story.
The first hotel that comes up whenever I think of content marketing is Marriott Hotel. Under David Beebe, VP of global creative and content marketing they created Marriott Content Studio to create different types of content. They create branded magazines, books, TV Shows, short films and documentaries. Speaking of documentaries, I recently also watched an amazing documentary that was created by Lacta. A branded documentary that was giving value to me for 40 minutes. They didn’t speak about their chocolate for 40 minutes, they spoke about love which is their story. Anyway back to Marriott, with all the activities that they have going on they actively engage on several social media channels around the clock including Snapchat.
Marriott Traveler is a magazine with destination-based content that provides reader with information on what to do in several cities where their hotels are located. The initial launch covered three cities and within three months the magazine had driven bookings to 7,200 rooms.
One of my favourite Marriott activities is their two short films; “Two Bellmen” and “French Kiss” that are shown on the in-room televisions, the JW Marriott website and their YouTube channel. As a result the campaign has successfully impacted customer engagement and direct booking conversions.
Okay, okay I get it not everybody has a Marriott-sized marketing budget. You don’t need to have their budget to create valuable content, make an impact and increase direct bookings. Here are some questions that you can ask yourself;
Who is my core target audience? (It’s not everybody). How can you help that specific audience and how will they benefit from your content? It always depends on the hotel type, maybe you want to help your guests find the best restaurants in town, road trips, things to do, or the culture. If you are a business hotel that hosts a lot of conferences then you can create content that will share best practices for successful conferences. You can even collaborate with a marketing agency and create content on how to market an event at your hotel. Opportunities are everywhere, we just need to look for them.
Once you have that part figured out you need to think about your story. What inspires you? What are you passionate about? What do you care about? Once you think about that you can write down your story and implement it.
The next step is to think about your content distribution strategy. There are different ways to deliver content; social media, newsletters, through your blog or your website. Obviously you want a high ROI from your content marketing. Think about your audience, purpose, business goals and then formats and channels.
The key is creating content that has a deep meaning, it’s like relationships. With some people you are ‘coffee’ friends; you meet them once a year and speak about the weather. There are other friends that know every single detail of your personal life; deep relationships. With content marketing you can create a deeper relationship with your audience.
Content marketing can be the role of one person or an entire team. Marketing agencies can help create a content strategy and execute it. If you need help with your content please do not hesitate to get in touch with IQD Agency.