August 13, 2020
By Olivia Cal

Helpfulness. Authenticity. Uniqueness. These are the cornerstones of content marketing, no matter the industry. For hotel content marketing, they can help you build website traffic, engagement and ultimately increase your revenue.

And with COVID-19 limiting travel, it’s never been so important to rev up your content marketing engine so that by the time travel is allowed, your audience is raring to get stuck in.

So how can you create a hotel content marketing strategy that slots in nicely to your marketing strategy, suits your individual business, targets your ideal audience and encourages trust in your brand?

Hotel content marketing: How does it work?

Content marketing isn’t just a quick win – building a robust, successful content strategy takes some time. If done right, you could end up building a strong relationship with your target audience by providing helpful, relevant, high-quality content consistently.

People want to know that you care about them and in today’s climate, that’s never been so important. You need to consider the mood, responsibilities and challenges of your buyers before you release content and create it with them in mind.

Hotel content could include blogs, videos, images, podcasts, virtual tours… the possibilities really are endless. But they all work towards one goal: increasing trust in your hotel and increasing conversions.

Search engine optimisation (SEO) also plays a huge role in the success of content marketing, especially when it comes to your digital content. And having a way to measure your success is critical.

This blog will explore these questions and provide inspiring examples to help you smash your content marketing goals.

1. Turn your hotel F&B into delectable content 

Your food and beverage (F&B) can have a much farther reach than just your hotel kitchens and dining rooms. But how can you turn it into content marketing for your hotel?

The Pig, a shabby chic hotel brand known for their kitchen gardens, packed full of vegetables, fruit, salads and herbs, released a 10 chapter cookbook on more than just food.

Hotel Content Marketing

(Source: The Pig)

While you can learn a plethora of recipes, it also provides garden tips and interior-inspiration.

In addition, the hotel created a webpage dedicated to the book with images and quotes from the Head Gardener, founder and CEO, Group Kitchen Coordinator and Interior Designer.

Hotel Content Marketing

How can hotels learn from The Pig?

What’s special about your hotel? What are its main attractions and draws? Perhaps you’re located in a wine region or you have kitchen gardens. Do you have a globally renowned menu? Do guests regularly comment on how unique your décor is?

Hotels could follow in the footsteps of The Pig and hotels such as InterContinental and Como Hotels and publish a cookbook.

Not feasible? That’s ok! You could just as easily get your hotel’s culinary excellence and superb décor across in weekly blogs.

A blog is a much cheaper option and, if done correctly with search engine optimisation in mind, you could start seeing some organic traffic to your website from it, which in turn will make your hotel’s content marketing all the more rewarding. In fact, that brings us to example no. 2!

2. Get creative and start a helpful blog

Why do people read blogs?

To learn new recipes and skills, to gain inspiration (like you’re doing right now), to increase their knowledge on a subject or to get lost for a while in a story. And if we’re guessing correctly, your hotel has a story to tell.

That’s what a blog gives an audience; it’s not somewhere to sell or promote, it’s a place to be helpful and get creative.

That doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t link out to your main website and gently guide your reader to other places on your sitemap. That’s the subtle goal of hotel content marketing – to ultimately push a buyer further down the funnel.

One of the best blogs we’ve come across belongs to Kimpton Hotels and its called “Life Is Suite”. It does a grand job at taking their readers on a mini adventure through possible travel destinations and have used it as a way to stay top-of-mind during lockdowns and shelter-in-place.

Hotel Content Marketing

Their content is relevant, relatable and delivers tips applicable to a lifestyle where COVID-19 plays a key role. In fact, over lockdown, Kimpton has been working hard at keeping a conversation going with their audience by slowly ramping up ad-spend.

Unpacked by Omni Hotels and Resorts is another blog that delivers on helpful and detailed content. The blog has a clean design and it’s clear that a lot of effort goes into the blogs.

Hotel Content Marketing

How can hotels learn from Kimpton Hotels and others?

Anyone can start a blog. But to run a successful blog, you need an angle.

Boutiquehotel Stadthalle in Austria is a “green” hotel, following environmentally friendly business practices. Their blog, as a result, is based on sustainability.

Articles cover topics such as why you should avoid palm oil or sustainable gardening.

Think about what matters most to your audience, or what they would be most interested in. Then come up with a list of topics that are SEO optimised and get writing! We try to publish at least one a week, but if you don’t have the bandwidth for that, that’s ok.

Nevertheless, regular cadence will help you garner organic traffic. But don’t write for the sake of writing – always aim to help your readers.

Online magazines are a fantastic way to showcase your hotels and give viewers a taste of what a stay at your hotel would be like.

When it comes to an online magazine, one hotel comes to mind. The Four Seasons runs an online magazine dedicated to providing their audience with a taste of what a visit to Four Seasons hotel would be like.

Hotel Content Marketing

Packed full of images and conversational copy, the blogs take advantage of the age-old technique of story-telling and provides recipe ideas.

3. Start a podcast and inspire your listeners

When COVID-19 swept the world, many businesses turned to content to help maintain relationships with clients and prospects. One type of content that has seen great success is the podcast. Like blogs, people use podcasts to learn, inspire or be entertained.

Even before the pandemic, podcasts were hugely popular with 7.1m people in the UK alone listening to them each week.

Marriott International is a hotel that has been active in the world of podcasts, using it as a vital part of its hotel content marketing toolkit. Their Marriott Bonvoy Traveler’s Behind the Design podcast reveals creative decisions behind Marriott décor.

Hotel Content Marketing

The hotel interviews the hotel industry’s top designers where they discuss the trends and innovations that cultivate the design of their hotels and new episodes are released each month.

In regard to the reasoning behind the podcast, Marc Graser, Editor-In-Chief of Traveler, says: “We want to have real conversations with the creative minds behind the spaces we see every time we stay at a hotel. Hearing the thought process that goes into designing hotels is fascinating, and we hope ‘Behind the Design’ will help put a spotlight on the little details that often go unnoticed but are key to making a property special. The hotel lobby was a great place to start.”

How can hotels learn from Marriott International?

When it comes to podcasts, the main thing to remember is that your listener is likely going to be multitasking. For that reason, they tend to be conversational and light, so as not to overwhelm.

Yet, listeners still tune in for the same reasons that they read content. That means that your primary goal is to be helpful, entertaining and most importantly, non-salesy with your hotel content.

If you decide to give podcasts a go, Marriott’s “Behind the Design” is a good example of good quality content which entertains the listener, while also telling the interesting stories behind their brand.

4.  Bring guests and planners to your hotel (virtually)

These days, allowing event planners to source safely should be a top priority. Giving them the ability to do so while they’re sat in their living room or office will remove the need for them to travel and give them a peace of mind that you’re looking out for their well-being.

But how can planners get a sense for your hotel – the rooms, the lobby, meeting rooms and restaurants – without ever stepping foot in the hotel itself?

Virtual reality is a fantastic way to start and Best Western Hotel’s VR tours are a perfect example of how to give planners access to your meeting space nowadays. GCH Hotel Group has been helping hotels such as Best Western and Wyndham build out their hotel content marketing with this technology.

Hotel Content Marketing

Not everyone has access to VR headsets, which is why they’ve made this content available on smartphone and tablets via movements and touch gestures.

And while this is a great opportunity to give guests the holiday/leisure experience, such as this Japanese company offering virtual reality flights to ease wanderlust, they can also help you increase your MICE business for the future.

How can hotels learn from Best Western?

The technology is being used by hotels all over the world to help planners source. But virtual reality isn’t the only option. 3D diagramming and virtual tour videos can give your hotel a way to increase collaboration with planners and give guests an accurate image of your spaces.

It’s important to give viewers a 360 view of your property and by doing so, you can give them a better, safer sourcing experience while saving time and expenses. All of which will nurture your client relationships and result in great meetings and events.

The Takeaway

Hotel content marketing helps you nurture possible guests, event planners and corporate travel managers. Give them content in a format that’s easily digestible and engaging and they’ll come back for more.

And the best part about content marketing? It’s actually sort of fun to create. Get stuck in!

Use these hotel content marketing tips to win more business!

Next up, discover how to drive MICE business with video marketing.

Learn more about hotel content marketing

Profile pic Olivia Cal

Olivia Cal

Olivia started her writing career as a music, film and theatre critic before moving into B2B. She has had 3+ years of experience writing for martech companies, covering digital marketing, retail and hospitality. When she isn't writing, she can be found with a good book or PC gaming.

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