How do you get more life out of your content? For longtime Hawthorn Creative client Noble House Hotels & Resorts, the answer was a blog website and social media marketing strategy. After seven years of producing an in-room custom magazine to cross-promote and market their hotels, we helped Noble House launch Noble Nomad, the next step in their content marketing strategy that reinforces their brand and connects readers digitally to their next luxury escape or out-there adventure – preferably at a Noble property and in a Noble destination.We drew from our past work for Noble House Hotels & Resorts to create Noble Nomad, a blog website that brings Noble’s brand, destinations, and hotels to life.
With 15 properties across the country – from the ridiculously relaxing Little Palm Island Resort & Spa in the Florida Keys to The Edgewater, the only waterfront hotel in Seattle – Noble House has cultivated an adventurous brand that inspires people to enjoy their travels to the fullest and a content marketing strategy to match. Whether your terrain of choice is snow, sand, or dirt, there’s a paradise for everyone across Noble House’s properties.
A hotel management company that also has an ownership stake in some of its hotels, Noble House prides itself on cultivating the right kind of atmosphere in each of its properties, reflecting the area’s culture and aesthetic. The focus on design (and love of quality photography) made Hawthorn a natural partner for the custom magazine first, and this destination blog website and social media maintenance second.
In short: Noble House trusts that Hawthorn understands hotels, understands content marketing for hotels both in print and digital, and understands the caliber of visuals that will speak to their audience in particular.
With so many issues of their custom magazine produced and backlogged, there was a desire to have the content do more “work” for Noble House on the digital content marketing side. Enter Noble Nomad, a leaner online operation built by Hawthorn, designed to push brand awareness, engage readers, and make them aware of all of the destinations served by Noble House hotels. Of course, some of the content from the magazine was no longer relevant but given that we’re producing annual magazines, the topics we select for our hotel clients often have evergreen or long shelf lives that allow for some easy updating (and editor dissecting for best digital consumption).
Our role doesn’t end with content creation though – these days, any good content marketing strategy and agency needs to be defining the distribution of that content as well. So a primary part of this project includes Hawthorn’s social media marketing and maintenance work for all of Noble’s primary social platforms, namely Facebook and Instagram, with a smaller focus on Twitter. Prior, Noble House didn’t have an active, ongoing social media presence. Since we’ve taken over, some posts drive directly to Noble Nomad, some are broader to reinforce the brand voice, and some drive to Noble’s enterprise website. Through ongoing social media maintenance, email campaigns clicking to Noble Nomad, and prominent CTAs to the blog that are placed on all Noble House’s hotel websites, we drive readers, and in turn, guests, to Noble House properties.
The stories we produce for Noble Nomad at least loosely relate to Noble properties or touch on their brand values more broadly, but there’s quite a bit of freedom creatively. Noble House’s priority is to captivate the imaginations of readers and potential visitors, which makes it fun for us as storytellers. Cultural trends help drive topic ideas. We wrote a story on the best speakeasies around the country (Seven of the Best Modern-Day Speakeasies), and the numbers were huge – both in terms of total visitors and time spent on page. Other posts that have received very strong traction have less to do with a Noble destination and more to do with reinforcing their adventurous brand voice, such as one on bucket list moments found in their destinations and profiles on a handful of entrepreneurs who have made traveling the world their jobs, which first appeared in the custom magazine.
Content is content, and the strongest content marketing strategies put it to work in as many ways that make sense. One of the key benefits of giving a digital home to print stories, though, is receiving feedback and data. Seeing the stories that resonate with the audience – not just in terms of unique views, but also things like time spent on page, social shares, and email opens – gives us a better sense of what types of stories to craft in the future and how to distribute them to the right audience.