The travel and hospitality industry has changed rapidly in the last few years, mostly due to travel influencers who have shown time and time again that traveling can be more so much than just a relaxing getaway. Done right, traveling can lead to life-changing experiences.
This cultural shift has also opened the door to new marketing opportunities for travel and hospitality companies, but in doing so, it has also created a vastly competitive landscape. Success for a travel and hospitality brand today requires a fail-proof content marketing plan in order to stand out from the crowd. To give your hospitality brand the upper hand, we’ve put together a go-to content marketing plan.
Define Your Target Audience
Do you run a peaceful bed and breakfast suitable for families with children or a bohemian hotel where party animals can crash after their latest adventure? Clearly defining our guest persona is the first step in a well-defined content plan. Create an ideal customer profile, and only then you can start creating content that will appeal to the right audience.
If you don’t know what type of content your audience would appreciate, you can always communicate with your existing customers or host an online survey for your social media followers. Not only must your content be relevant, but it also needs to be authentic. I simply can’t stress enough the importance of being authentic in the content you produce for your brand.
Turn Your Content Into Stories
A skilled content marketer must be an excellent storyteller above anything else. While it is true that a picture speaks more than a thousand words, it will make a huge difference if your pictures are accompanied by some attention-grabbing descriptions. The descriptions must be informative and highlight the hotel amenities, but they also need to sell an experience. For example, a hotel deck with comfortable seating areas can be a great tanning place, but it can also be a great place to read a book, enjoy a romantic breakfast or admire a fiery sunset that sets the local landscape aflame.
These types of descriptions that tell vibrant stories are great for your website stories, but also for your social media captions. Moreover, nothing tells a better story than a video, so make sure to experiment with different types of videos. You can use videos for hotel tours, you can use drones to capture the surrounding landscapes or simply to promote memorable experiences that take place at your hotel.
Highlight Local (Offbeat) Attractions
As we already mentioned, people don’t want to buy services, they want to buy experiences. Sure, relaxing by the pool can be nice, for a day. After that, most people want to engage in local activities and make some memories. In fact, many people base their booking decisions on the array of activities offered by hotels, and most people research travel destinations based on such activities. For example, many people search the web for “things to do in…” or “places to visit in”. If you create content on your website that answers these traveling inquiries, you will surely boost the traffic of your website and you are bound to attract new customers.
Tap Into Online Reviews and User Generated Content
Modern customers do a lot of research and weigh in a lot of factors before making a purchase. According to a review published by eMarketer, over 70% of Americans read online reviews before making any purchase and this is particularly true for the hospitality industry. People don’t mind spending money on leisure if they get their money’s worth. In fact, a recent TripAdvisor report stated that most people read up to 12 reviews before booking a hotel room. Ok, that’s excellent information, but you’re probably wondering how you can incorporate this information in your content marketing strategy. Well for starters, online reviews are a great source of content inspiration. See what your customers appreciate about your business and turn those tips into valuable content that can attract new customers.
83% of travelers use social networking, video or photo sites as online sources of travel inspiration.
92% of consumers trust earned media more than any form of advertising.
52% of travelers use social media to plan a trip.
As far as the bad reviews are concerned, there’s no need to be shy about them. Just make sure to monitor the reviews and answer all of them in a timely and professional manner. Even if your services are not always impeccable, you will increase the trustworthiness of your business if you show that you take each customer seriously and that you strive to improve. You can incorporate good reviews into your website in order to add more credibility to your content. Finally, don’t be afraid to share review snippets on social media.