Top-tier hoteliers such as Hilton are doing it right when it comes to content marketing. In fact, content marketing has become increasingly popular over the past several years, and for good reason — it works. Marketers are finding that most audiences have an insatiable need for content on a wide array of subjects. By delivering that content, in a manner that is not blatantly self-promotional, teams can build solid relationships that ultimately result in not only sales, but ongoing positive word-of-mouth.
What Is a Content Marketing Strategy, and Why Do You Need It?
The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) says a content marketing strategy “is your 'why.' Why you are creating content, who you are helping, and how you will help them in a way no one else can." Importantly, CMI notes that the outcomes of this strategy will be in the form of increased revenue, lower costs, and/or better customers.
That definition provides some clear direction on what should be included in a content marketing strategy.
Unfortunately, while a wide range of individuals and organizations are using content in an attempt to connect with their audiences, few have a solid strategy around content creation or dissemination.
CMI has been conducting research on content marketing for both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) content marketing for a number of years, and while the numbers are improving, there are a lot of marketers in both who do not have a documented content marketing strategy. Specifically, in 2019, only 33% of B2C respondents had a documented content strategy. In 2018, 37% of B2B respondents indicated that they had a documented content marketing strategy.
How to Build a Content Strategy for Event Planners
Every organization's strategy, or “why," will be different. As a group hotel, your "why" is to position your property as a go-to destination that will delight planners, meeting attendees, and remove barriers to streamline the event planning process for planners. The components of that strategy, though, will generally be the same, and developing them will entail:
- Setting specific goals and objectives. Goals are general (increase website traffic); objectives are specific and should tie back to your goals (increase website traffic by 20% by the end of the year)
- Identifying the target audience, in this case event planners. But what do you know, specifically, about the event planners with whom you're trying to connect and engage? The more specific you can be about the audience you're trying to reach, the better you will be able to identify the best communication channels and key messages. Understanding their pain points can help you create content that will provide value. When audiences are different, consider using separate channels to be most effective. You want your messages to really resonate with your audience.
- Identifying what's important to the target audience. Don't make assumptions here. Do whatever research is necessary to help you better understand those you are trying to reach and influence. We can give you a head start here. Resources such as the 2019 Cvent Planner Sourcing Report and our Planners 101 ebook offer a great starting point for to learning what matters most to event planners and where their pain points are so you can create your content strategy.
- Identifying and analyzing competitors. Your competitors represent any available alternatives to what you have to offer your audience. Once identified, you need to think about how you will position yourself in different — and better — ways.
- Determining how you will measure results. Initially, you may want to focus on process measures (such as number of new followers); ultimately, though, real results matter most. How are you using content marketing to engage with meeting planners and establish your venue as a go-to place for world-class events?
Having a strategy and following it — and updating it when necessary, based on results — can help you maximize your time and boost results. After all, as Lewis Carroll so famously said, if you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there — but the road you choose may be long and treacherous. Take the time to think about and document your content strategy.