In a crowded market, focusing on creative content marketing for your hotel is a simple and effective way to get noticed by more customers and increase direct bookings.
From our experience working with a variety of hotels, we’ve pulled out four key content marketing strategies to focus on, to maximise your potential and start reaching a wider audience…
Connecting through a content-led website
We’ve all grown up reading stories, however the art of storytelling doesn’t have to be limited to just fiction and fairy tales. It’s an important tool within any content strategy, especially when trying to stand out from competitors. Devising a content-led website strategy gives you the opportunity to do just this, to engage with consumers and tell your brand’s story.
You’ll be able to continually refresh and update content, so nothing on your website becomes stale or static. This means customers will be more inclined to revisit your website and build a relationship with your hotel brand.
A content-led website is exactly what we delivered for Coombe Abbey Hotel, based in Coventry and Warwickshire, to provide relevant, reliable insight for customers and encourage more direct bookings.
Integrating an ‘Inspire Me’ tool, the new website’s content was also able to be personalised to each visitor. The tool allowed content to be served to a customer depending on their own criteria – whether they were searching for a romantic getaway, a fun activity for the family or just a local dog walk. Content could be filtered for amore website experience for each user.
Since the new content-led website has gone live, Coombe Abbey Hotel has seen a 339% increase in the number of room bookings compared to the previous year.
Regularly check-in with email marketing
Email marketing allows your hotel the opportunity to nurture ongoing customer relationships before or following a customer’s visit.
Compared to other online channels, email marketing is fairly inexpensive for the results it can achieve. It allows you to talk directly to customers, building relationships and encouraging bookings.
As part of your content marketing, focus email marketing on all stages of a customer’s experience with your hotel. From initial introductions, to a customer placing a booking and being encouraged to add on extras or upgrades, to following up after a visit with reasons to return to your hotel again.
It’s also worth considering automated marketing as a way to maximise your repeat bookings.
Stay relevant through regular blogging
A good way to continually feed new and interesting content to your audience is through regular blogging. You could start by looking at tying into local events happening your target audience may be interested in, such as festivals or conferences and create helpful content around these.
Blogging is a great chance for your hotel brand to connect with customers and show a more human side to your business. Interviews with your employees, customer stories and guest experiences are all great content ideas to base blogs around.
We regularly create engaging blog content for Coombe Abbey Hotel, planning blog topics in advance that take into consideration both seasonal and local events. Relevant and interesting content is always well received by customers and one of our blogs on upcoming Coombe Abbey events had over 8,000 views.
User Generated Content
There’s been a shift in society within the last few years, with consumers investing in ‘experiences’ over material things. To tape into this, one easy and authentic way to promote what guests can experience on a trip to your hotel is through User Generated Content (UGC).
UGC bring experiences to life, showcasing them from the perspective of fellow travellers. A BusinessWire report recently revealed 79% of consumers find UGC highly impactful on their decision to make a purchase.
A good example for this is the Shangri-La Hotels with the ‘My Shangri-La’ campaign, built around User Generated Content. They encouraged and incentivised customers to share photos from their hotel visit online and on social media, ending up with plenty of free promotion for their hotels.
Social media is an easy way to encourage UGC and should be a key part of your hotel’s content marketing strategy. Recent research from Easyjet found that 55% of 18 to 65 year olds have booked a trip based on images they’ve seen on Instagram. Social media provides a way for your hotel to share creative content with regular and new customers for a low cost.
But UGC doesn’t just have to be on social media. It can be through promoting customer reviews, creating case studies or guest blogs for your website.
See where creative content marketing could take your hotel
Want to know how creative content marketing could encourage more direct bookings at your hotel. If you’re unsure where to begin, start with a detailed discovery audit to provide you with the knowledge and insight you’ll need to take control of future marketing and get the results you’re looking for.