01 Dec 8 Ways to Harness Content in Your Hotel Marketing
Think a blog is the only way you can put content marketing strategy at the front and center of your destination marketing? Think again – we’ll show you how.
You know a good website when you see one – it’s the site that’s a pleasure to browse, puts what you’re looking for at your fingertips, and introduces you to the information you didn’t know you needed.
But when it comes to hotel websites, you need to do more. You need to grab that attention you’ve earned (the moment someone lands on your site) with destination marketing content that brings both your hotel and destination to life. Immediately. Pronto. Prontissimo.
Content marketing is the name of the game these days for all businesses in the hotel and travel industries – it’s what Google yearns for to boost your rankings and domain authority, it’s what fills your social feeds and email campaigns with links that matter, and most importantly, it’s what will turn a casual web surfer dreaming about his or her next vacation into a traveler checking in at the front desk.
But we get it. Even with a few content marketing magic tricks up your sleeve, content marketing can be intimidating and hard to dive into, especially if you don’t have a blog – the easiest and most natural fit to beef up your content marketing strategy. So here we’ve outlined some ways you can get into the content game yourself without a blog.
Easy Content Elements to Bring into Your Website
- Instagram and Twitter feeds – Take advantage of easy ways to pull in content from your social channels. It’s a cinch to run your Instagram and Twitter feeds on your site, which gives guests an up-to-the-moment view of what you’re posting – and may just prompt them to follow you.
- RSS feed from local and international travel websites – The ideal scenario is you have a regional travel magazine or newspaper with a great “what to do” section that they flesh out online; you embed that content on your site through an RSS feed. If relevant enough, major newspapers like The New York Times or Washington Post have travel sections and you could also pull content from travel sites like Travel & Leisure, Condé Nast Traveler, and Lonely Planet. Just a word to the wise: Make sure you’ve got the RSS for the travel and tourist-centric stuff, not the overall paper’s site/feed. You don’t want a headline about the local robbery appearing on your site.
- Video – Ideally, it’s your own original video content. But if you haven’t yet bitten into video marketing, you can still embed existing YouTube and Vimeo videos very easily, particularly if you have a WordPress site. Check out their great tutorial on how to embed video here. For example, if you’re a hotel in Bar Harbor, a video about exploring Mount Desert Island by Maine Magazine would be valuable content for your guests, as long as the vibe of the video fits your brand.
- Destination guides – Anyone with a smartphone can find the nearest Starbucks. Your destination guide is where you tell the story of the tiny little coffee roaster two blocks over who got her start after traveling to South America and then returning home with a bag of beans and a plan. That’s experiential hotel marketing – leading your guest to the kind of experience within your destination that will enrich their trip and form a lasting impression. Build this sort of guide as a unique landing page or as a section of your website devoted to the area or activities. It’s also a perfectly packaged link to promote through social media and in pre-arrival emails to guests.
Where to Build Content If You Don’t Have a Blog
- Homepage slider – Normally, the content in a slider links to a blog post, but you could also link to unique landing pages, such as your destination guides, your restaurant’s landing page, a landing page that outlines your on-property activities, and so on.
- Navigation tabs and CTAs – The same way a slider image can link to a unique landing page, so can a CTA or a drop-down menu in your site navigation. For example, on your spa’s page, add a button that teases an article about the “Top Treatments for Every Kind of Guest,” linking to a unique landing page with the content.
- Explore/Activities/Discover page or pages – Anywhere you talk about what to do, where to go to eat, how to find the best outdoor adventures, where to find the best boutique shops, and how to have the best stay, that’s the right spot for this content to live.
The key here is to think about where you want to take users or what action you want them to take once they end up on that piece of content. Are you solely focused on people booking rooms as that action? What about signing up for your email campaigns? If you don’t have a blog and you’re using unique landing pages, be sure you drive traffic where you want it to go.
Ready to dive in to implementing some compelling content marketing strategy but feeling overwhelmed? As veterans of the hotel and destination content marketing game, we can help.