Why Content is King and Changing the Game for Hotel Marketers

Content marketing has surfaced as the hot topic in hospitality marketing for 2015.

Naturally, we’re on that very same page looking at it from a visual storytelling perspective. Much of our educational efforts this year will include the subject of sourcing, curating, publishing and amplifying content in our webinar series, blogs, VTV episodes, eBooks and other informational resources to help property marketers communicate their hotels’ unique experiences to drive bookings.

The essence of good content marketing is based on your ability to listen, communicate, solve problems and be helpful. Think about it in terms of how to convey the hotels’ experience and value to the traveler in a way that will give them confidence that you’re the best choice for their trip.

Content Marketing vs. Traditional Advertising

“You are 87.8 times more likely to get accepted into Harvard, 112.50 times more likely to complete Navy Seal Training and 475.28 times more likely to survive a plane crash than click on a banner ad.”

Hotel shoppers are smart and can smell a marketing spin from a mile away. Content marketing is challenging traditional advertising for position within the buying process. Understandably, trying different tactics and approaches can come with a bit of risk. But if you don’t take these risks, how will you differentiate yourself from the competition? Will you stand out from the crowd or simply blend in?

Creative content marketing is how you attract potential guests instead of paying to reach them. In fact, it costs 62% less than traditional advertising and generates about three times as many leads. Content marketing is a proven method of marketing, especially within our divided media landscape. This long-term investment is about creating high-quality, informative content that travel shoppers can find trust in and will ultimately grow loyal to your brand.

Content marketing is about building a relationship with your customer. However, this is not a quick overnight solution. This route takes time to foster a healthy relationship with your guests. In the long run it pays off, because people want to do business with authentic companies they like.

Content Marketing in Hospitality

Content is essentially anything that conveys a message to your audience, but it’s not a dump of random posts, pics and text; it should be useful and valuable to your audience and ultimately, tell your story. Our guidance for hotel marketers is to draw helpful conclusions for hotel shoppers and make the connections simple and obvious.
This refreshed marketing approach is a way to provide hotel guests with the resources needed to learn about a property; its characteristics, its place in the community, what your brand stands for, what the experience will be like and so on.

The Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza has embraced the fast-paced digital landscape and shows us best practices in content development and publishing. They’ve done three things very well: 1) Created a very helpful and alluring website where shoppers can learn, experience, book and share 2) Combined text and visuals to tell their story in an easy to consume format and 3) Presented promotional offers that highlight the value of booking with them. It’s this type of content execution that sets them apart from the others in their competitive set.

Holiday Inn Chicago Mart
As a preview of next month’s educational series, we’ll be talking about maximizing content to drive Search Engine Optimization. This is especially important as Google’s recent update to their algorithm places much more emphasis on quality content. The golden rule still prevails – write for your audience and what interests them and good results will follow.

As 2015 unfolds, you’ll hear more about importance and execution of content with focused topics on the efficiency of repurposing i.e. take existing work and adapt it to fit a different format or audience. We will also include discussion about how to rationalize the value of a content strategy to others in your organization. Stay tuned!

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