Creating a content marketing strategy for a hotel can go a long way toward improving brand awareness and ultimately increasing direct reservations. Interested? Here is all you need to know to create a content marketing strategy for your hotel or vacation rental!
What is content marketing for a hotel
Content marketing shares informative content that is relevant, interesting, and useful to your ideal guests.
Why content marketing for your hotel
The core way content provides value to you as a hotel or vacation rental is through organic traffic
What is a content marketing strategy
A content marketing strategy is a plan for building an audience by publishing, maintaining, and spreading frequent and consistent content that educates, entertains or inspires to turn strangers into fans and fans into customers.
- The best content marketing serves your audience, solves problems, and builds relationships.
- In short, Strategy is a plan for using your resources – time, talent, money – to achieve your goals
Steps to create a content marketing strategy for your hotel
1.Create a concrete goal
- Your goal should be to drive real business results with your content, not just get a bunch of readers and followers. What is the call to action? Get backings, bring organic traffic, create engagement, increase direct booking?
Eg, If email is the goal, find a way to get their email with a free PDF, ebook, Infographic, template, condensed summary, same text in PDF, etc
- Do you intend to use content to attract recruits? Build brand advocacy? Deepen relationships with customers? Can you clearly communicate your mission?
- Create objectives (overall business goal) —> Key Results KPIs (quantifiable, unbiased, measurable steps that show progress toward the objective) —> Initiatives: work-streams needed to achieve the key results
- How are you going to measure the success of your campaign? Is it with traffic? New subscribers? App downloads? Conversions? Social shares and engagement? Video views? Podcast downloads? Sales?
Apply The Ghost Framework
- Your goals that answer the What and are general
- Your objectives that answer the What and are specific
- Your strategy answers the How and is general
- Your tactics that answer the How and are specific
Objectives must be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound
Strategy is the general resource allocation plan
Tactics refer to how specifically or tangibly you will allocate your resources
2.Determine who your guest is
- What do they look like? What are their defining traits and distinguishing characteristics?
- What roles do they play? What does their typical day look like?
- Why would they care about our company as a product/service provider?
- What do they want? What are they struggling with?
- Create an audience persona (include photos)
Define Target Audience
- What problems does your product/service solve? Why does your content deserve to exist?
- Who is your ideal customer? (Based on your current guest profile) Who is going to read your content?
- Who is your competition, and what are they doing? Who reads and comments on your competitors’ websites? Analyze Your Competitors’ Top Performing Content.
- What do customers stand to gain from choosing you instead of a competitor hotel or vacation rental?
- What do your guests want to do better? What actually motivates them to be better? What keeps them awake at night? (Pay attention to the researched keywords related to issues, interests, and concerns that your target audience may have)
- Create a Target Audience Definition: “[INSERT YOUR HOTEL BRAND] creates content to help and inform [INSERT DEMOGRAPHIC] so they can [INSERT ACTION] better.”
- Find your content core: understand the difference between what you do and what you need to talk about —> Talk about what your audience cares about (not yourself).
- Create a reader persona: WHO(gender, personality), WHAT(family life, job title, job function, income), WHEN(how they will find our content), WHERE(location), WHY(needs, pain points, challenges). When you picture an individual, you can properly tailor your content to them, who will often feel like you are speaking directly to them (a photo will help)
- Think of the context: Consider some scenarios where your ideal guest may need or want your content. In each scenario, what are their emotions and state of mind? What are they doing, and where are they? What can we assume about their reading levels? What about their device and environment?
- Use data: Google Analytics, Facebook insights, Twitter followers dashboard
3.Figure out what information they need
- What do your ideal guests need to accomplish? What informational gaps stand in the way of reaching those goals?
- Where are they in our funnel? What information do they need most to help them reach the next stage? Are they searching for it on Google or using community sites like Quora or Reddit?
- What steps must they take to visit your hotel or vacation rental? What do they need to know before booking through you, and in what order?
- The customer journey break-down:
- 1. First, they have to get to know you (aka storytelling),
- 2. Then, they have to like you (aka resonate)
- 3. Finally, they must trust you (aka quality content/verified sources).
4.Choose how to say it
- What format will you use? Video? Or the written word? No matter the format, make sure you tell a story.
- What stories should you tell? What kind of tone and voice will resonate the most? In any way, create content around a story style that is unique to your personality or brand.
- Would a series be a good idea?
- Do you have a unique voice or value proposition?
Decide on the 4 qualities:
- Emotion: What emotion do you want people to feel?
- Change: How are you changing people with your product or content? Does that emotion change them in a way that helps your brand?
- Alert: Once you’ve changed someone, how do you build the privilege of being able to tell them when you have something new?
- Share: How can you get people to tell each other about your content and hotel?
Choose a content type:
- Engagement: Content meant to start a conversation, like your opinion on a popular topic.
- Evergreen: Content based on key terms for your hotel that you can refer back to and update for years to come.
- Events: Content around a particular event or occurrence, like some big news or industry event.
5.Know how to Promote your content
- how are you going to promote or distribute your content?
- Use social media: Generate platform-specific content.
How to build an audience for your content as a hotelier
- The key to building an audience is to write useful, relevant content about a specific topic. It could be your resort, your village, a specific destination, or anything that you think your guests will find value in.
- Look at where your ideal guest spends their time online and start posting your content there (based on the research about the ideal customer)
- Another way to get traffic is to borrow someone else’s audience, and by that, I mean to ask people who already have an audience to share your content with them. (Eg blog post)
- Just remember: Their audience needs to look like your ideal customer. You don’t want just anybody.
- Use automation (eg, automated emails)
Differentiate your content from competitors
To begin considering how you are unique, answer the following questions:
- What activities do I perform that are truly different from what my competitors perform?
- What are the similar activities I perform in different ways than others do?
- What characteristics or traits do I have that are unique to me and my hotel/ vacation rental?
- What resources do I have that are different from those of others?
- How does my purpose differ from that of others?
- How do my family, friends, and colleagues describe my differences?
- How does my hotel business plan differ from that of others?
- What is the primary differentiated value my hotel brings to guests?
Summary of Content Marketing Strategy for a Hotel
You need to answer the following 10 questions to create two important statements that will drive your hotel content marketing strategy.
1.What in your hotel business makes you excited?
2.What will bring you more of these moments of excitement?
3.What activities do you perform that are truly different from those other hotels and vacation rentals?
4.What similar activities do you perform in different ways than others?
5.What characteristics or traits do you have that are unique to you and your accommodation business?
6.What resources do you have that differ from others?
7.How does your purpose differ from that of others?
8.What should be the one thing you and your hotel business should be known for?
9.How does the ideal hotel guest look? What do they struggle with and want?
10.What steps must they take to book their holidays with you? What do they need to know before making a reservation, and in what order?
After you answer these, create two statements that will drive your strategy.
A. Create a Target Audience Definition:
“[INSERT YOUR HOTEL BRAND] creates content to help and inform [INSERT DEMOGRAPHIC] so they can [INSERT ACTION] better.”
B. Create your mission statement. (Must include answers to the below:)
- What do you do?
- How do you do it?
- Whom are you serving?
- Why are you doing it?
- What’s different?