Whether you’re marketing a hotel, destination, or wedding venue, you’ve heard how important content marketing is. Blogs have become a pillar in hospitality marketing for DMOs as well as hotel digital marketing. The same can be said for wedding venues looking to drive brides to their websites. But no matter who you are and what type of organization you work for, you feel like you don’t have time to produce solid content. Here, we outline five easy blog posts you can write on the tightest of schedules.
The beauty of the Q&A is that it’s an easy format to write, even easier to read on digital screens (always key), and gives your readers something they’re yearning for in the form of expert insight. The only real key is making sure your expert is someone your audience cares about. If you’re marketing a destination or hotel, everyone loves insight into that destination from a well-positioned local, such as an outfitter or artist who has lived in town for years. Here’s an example of one we produced with an ice climbing guide in Lake Placid. Or for wedding venues, your expert could be a top local vendor such as a florist or event planner who can shed light on trends for the season.
Craft the questions around the person you’re interviewing – make it easy for them to give you interesting, engaging answers – and set them up to entertain and inform your audience. Send them a list of questions via email – we’d recommend 15 to 20, depending on how vested this expert is in getting this exposure on your blog – and follow up by phone to flesh some out if necessary. Not every answer you get will be a homerun. That’s ok – use the best ones and you’ll get a tight, readable post.
Guest Blog Posts
The same people who would make great experts to speak with for Q&As may be the source of the simplest type of post you can write…because you don’t have to write it, they do! The more popular they are, the harder they’ll be to get (and the more popular you are, the easier they’ll be to get). They get exposure for their business or operation in front of your audience (and a link from your blog to their website, which helps their SEO), while you get free content and added promotion if the author pushes it out on their social channels. Win-win.
Those “wins” do come with some front-end work, though. You need to make sure they can write effectively and you also need to make sure they fully understand what you’re looking for – the last thing you want is for you to have to spend hours editing their post, or even worse, trying to politely work with the writer to revise what they’ve produced over and over again until that contact becomes frustrated. But get over these hurdles and you hopefully have a relationship that can be tapped repeatedly for posts for mutual benefit.
Recurring features are posts that follow a specific format that you produce consistently. For example, every few months you could run a story about the seasonal dishes your chef came up with, such as this chef-profile series we’re producing for one of our clients. The beauty of this format is that it’s a fixture on your content calendar – it’s one less story you have to think of every week (or month or quarter) – and you, as the content marketer, simply follow the format. A side benefit is that these past posts are great examples of what the finished product will look like to send sources you need input from for ensuing posts within the series.
Compiled and Curated Posts
You don’t always need to write a fully fleshed-out original post. Sometimes, the value you can provide to your audience is compiling input from other content already out there. For those in hotel and destination marketing, it could be lists of the top recommended sites to see under a theme such as top museums or family day-trips. If others in your region like CVBs or other DMOs have done content like this – and even the likes of TripAdvisor in bigger markets – you can start with your own list, then include these others’ top picks. Aggregating all that info in your one post – as long as you credit the other sources – will make your post that much more valuable.
Another approach is maybe there’s an excellent story written by a media outlet, and you have some input that extends beyond a simple social media post sharing that content. Add your take on the story, and then link to the original source. It may take visitors off your site if they click the link (make sure that clicking the link opens a new tab, rather than opening in the same window) but you’re bringing your audience value, and in the long run, they’ll begin to see you as a source for expert opinion.
Posts Mined from Your Audience’s Most Frequently Asked Questions
No, we’re not suggesting you regurgitate your FAQs. Instead, we’re recommending you think about the most burning questions you get repeatedly from your audience. We bet you can rattle off the answers to those pretty quickly. And those are the kinds of blog posts that almost write themselves if you can flesh out one or a few under a theme.
For hotel digital marketing, it might be the questions your concierge fields frequently; for those in destination marketing, ask the person who answers the main phone number. In addition to quick writing time, another benefit to these types of posts is that you can now use this link to send to people who have this question – helpful and a way to hopefully get them to convert by directing them back to your website. Another side benefit is that they’re evergreen – an answer to a question you get all the time today will probably be informative and relevant to readers next year, too.