February 17, 2014
By Cvent Guest

Content marketing is an essential device in marketing hotels online and marketing for group travel. And, it comes with a world of benefits. Consumers are looking for content that is engaging, interesting, and relevant to their lives. And content helps drive your hotel’s brand and personality, while giving travelers a reason to revisit your brand from time to time. More time spent on your hotel site means more bookings.

Simply put, well planned-out hotel content can attract your target audience’s eye, mind and wallet. Want to see specific content marketing tactics that other hotels have employed successfully? First, start with the basics. A hotel brand’s content marketing strategy should include these three distinct elements:

Desire

Your hotel content should reflect the wants, needs, and interests of your potential guests and group meeting clients.

Usefulness

Content should be relevant and provide tangible value to your readers, such as providing insight, serving as a virtual concierge, or offering guidance to your guests.

Aspiration

Structure your content so that it evokes the lifestyle your brand stands for.

The following guidelines and examples will help shape your content marketing strategy to truly optimize your hotel brand. And, as you’ll see from some of these examples, you DON’T have to create the content all on your own!

1. Tailor Your Hotel Content for Specific Guests

Can you pinpoint your audience?

Are they couples seeking a romantic getaway? Urban adventurers looking for dining and a lot of things to do? Parents who travel with their children? Or, business travelers?

All of your hotel marketing content should suit the interests and needs of your target guests and have a consistent tone throughout.

For example, after deciding to focus their marketing efforts on the niche market of female leisure and business travelers, Wyndham Worldwide created a content hub exclusively for their female audience. Today, Women on Their Way offers travel blogs written by and for women, featuring travel planning trends, tips, expert hotel and travel advice, polls and wedding planning tips.

2. Establish a Distinct Point of View

To maintain their reputation for world-class, luxury experiences, The Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts leverages the power of content marketing with a signature content marketing product: The Four Seasons Magazine.

This destination-specific content experience is published across many platforms and successfully shares their brand story through engaging sections of food, travel, destination suggestions, special offers, style, and concierge recommendations.  This is an example of the type of content marketing that hotels could produce with the right amount of dedication and budget. The large-format magazine mimics other luxury magazines you’d find, with first-rate editorial and graphic talent. Produced quarterly, this glossy publication is placed in each guest room to complement the in-room experience and drives readers to the online version for even more location-specific content.

3. Make Your Content Shareable

Hilton Hotels and Resorts created a fun and ingenious way to get professionals to dream about their next vacation, attract them to Hilton properties, laugh and share all in one place.

Partnering with The Onion, a satirical news site, Hilton created the Urgent Vacation Care Center, where users can diagnose their vacation needs through fun activities and get customized travel  ‘prescriptions’ to cure their ills. The site’s most shareable components are amusing cartoons representing ailments afflicting workers in desperate need of a vacation.

Along with its humorous content, 550 Hilton locations participate in Instant Getaway Packages offering specials and added amenities to aid in their ‘recovery.’

4. Offer Useful Insider Knowledge

Marriott’s Renaissance Hotels have spurred their own renaissance of destination content marketing by giving guests what they really want: micro-local, insider knowledge. Upping the ante on the average, behind-the-desk concierge, Renaissance has created the Renaissance Navigator, an on-site, mobile and online program built around curated content by locals (both employed by the hotel and not) offering recommendations on local food, drinks, music, shops, culture and entertainment.

To do so, Marriott partnered with W Cities, a travel and entertainment content publisher that works with hotels, airlines, and navigation companies to offer city and event guides. Renaissance combined the content from W Cities and amplified it with local and personal recommendations from a Navigator (their replacement for a concierge) at each of their 145 properties around the globe. These Navigators also create an “In the Know” sheet for each guest highlighting their recommendations for that week.

Written by Junvi Ola.

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