The buzzword term ‘content marketing’ seems to follow me wherever I go online. It’s in my LinkedIn feed. It crops up in podcasts, and even finds its way onto Pinterest. Yet, what does it actually mean? And, how can content marketing help your hotel to book rooms?
So, here’s the definition in a nutshell: content marketing is the creation of valuable copy that will attract and grow your readership. It will also turn that readership into a loyal customer base. This ‘valuable copy’ can take various forms, including: eBooks, infographics, videos, and what you’re reading right now, a blog. Before initiating a content marketing strategy, however, a business needs to get three of the basics right first: who its audience is, what it wants to sell them, and what forms of content marketing will be most effective.
Know Your Audience
How would you describe the person you are trying to attract? In the case of a hotel, who is likely to book a room and/or who do you want to encourage to book a room? Let’s for a moment contrast two hotels in Victoria, British Columbia. The first is The Strathcona. This is a truly unique establishment in the provincial capital. It has two full-sized sand volleyball courts on its rooftop patio, a hillbilly bar, a cricket-themed pub, two nightclubs, and a liquor store. The second is the Inn at Laurel Point. A view of the waterfront and a traditional Japanese garden are features of this establishment. In the Erickson wing (as in designed by architect Arthur Erickson), there are traditional Japanese room furnishings and kimonos on display. I think you know where I’m going with this. Different people are going to stay at these two hotels. Thus, each hotelier would create a very different reader or buyer persona for their facility. And, as a writer, I can tell you that everything I do changes based on who my audience is.
Identify Your Goals
Even though you’ve given me a clear picture of my audience, I’m not quite ready to put pen to paper yet (or rather fingers on the keyboard). Why am I writing? Chances are, if you are the owner of an establishment like The Strathcona, you want me to sell the idea that your hotel is a fun and exciting place to be. It has nightlife. It is filled with other cool people who want to drink, party, and play volleyball on a rooftop with someone like your reader. On the other hand, if you run the Inn at Laurel Point, you want to sell tranquility. You want me to reach the core of those readers who are stressed and tired and get them to come and enjoy a utopic departure.
Choose Your Content Marketing Medium
There are a lot of choices available in the content marketing world. Were The Strathcona to co-op my services tomorrow I’d schedule a video interview with the next band to play at one of its nightclubs. Should the Inn at Laurel Point come calling, I’m thinking a blog post with images, showcasing the hotel’s in-spa services might go over well, though I’m rather in awe of the content marketing they are already engaging in. Check out this sustainability infographic.
Basically, effective content marketing can’t happen without a plan. It can’t happen without good writing and great images or video either, but that really comes down to having the right wordsmith on your side.
If, like most hoteliers, you have a long list of tasks to do for the upcoming high season, why not get Think Profits to take on the planning and execution of great content marketing today? See how our agency can help hotels like yours achieve its goals through our digital marketing strategies for hoteliers.
What do you think about content marketing? Let us know if you’ve seen some great copy out there that will attract those all-important hotel bookings.