You’d think the hospitality industry is far from suffering a dip in revenue (there’s always someone out there who needs a place to stay, right?), But apparently, the global hospitality industry is amidst a flux. According to Ernst and Young’s new “Global Hospitality Insights: Top Thoughts for 2013” report, the demand growth outpaced the industry’s supply growth for 2010, 2011 and 2012, and it’s expected to do just the same for 2013. There are clearly some very wide holes in this industry that need to be filled – especially if those invested want to see steadier growth and a healthier revenue stream.
The answer is just as clear: content marketing.
Creating compelling content is just what decision makers in this vertical need to put their brand back on the map. In fact, content marketing was listed as a 2013 top hospitality industry trend by the Hotel Business Review, which explained that content marketing is expected to rise to the forefront of marketers’ endeavors while traditional advertising takes a back seat.
Still not convinced? Here are three more specific ways that those entrenched in this space can directly benefit from content marketing:
1.) Accelerate Your Targeted Marketing Strategy
Those in the hospitality industry are constantly working to secure their target market – be it destination travelers, businessmen or those looking for the ultimate vacation.
Imagine a bride-to-be searching for the nicest four-star hotels near her dream wedding venue when she stumbles across a blog detailing your exclusive bridal party specials and newlywed accommodations. Or, think of the 19 percent of active U.S. travelers who are planning to take more leisure trips in 2013, according to the EY report. Imagine for a moment a prospective client Googling “best leisure hotels” when your company’s blog, “Most Relaxing Ways to Spend Your Stay,” pop up in his or her search results.
Think about it… business executives aren’t going to book your hotel for their highly acclaimed conference simply because of an advertisement they saw; however, if they read through some well-crafted, original blog posts detailing why your venue is the top choice among businesses for such events, they’ll be much more likely to give you a second thought.
You need a way to reach these niches. Not only this, but you need to show them why they need to be investing in your hotel for their specific purpose. Creating exceptional and unique content is a sure-fire way to accelerate your marketing strategy and get your target audience genuinely interested. After all, blogs on company sites result in 55 percent more visitors, and companies with blogs garner 97 percent more inbound links than others, according to an aggregated infographic from Content+.
2.) Increase Your Direct Bookings
Direct bookings are everything for those in the hospitality industry. So, you need to find new and innovative ways of encouraging direct bookings via your hotel’s website. At the end of the day, this boils down to fresh, rich and constantly updated content. Think outside of the box with unique promotional and testimonial videos, guest blogs from customers who can attest to your amazing service and quality, and reviews of your hotel’s main accommodations and offerings (i.e. pool, spa, gym).
You want customers and clients to feel as if they need to click that button and book with you immediately. Content marketing is what will stop those computer mouses from hesitantly hovering on the screen.
3.) Shift and Respond to Changing Preferences
Interesting content is a top three reason why people follow brands on social media, according to the aforementioned infographic, and this is no news to some of today’s top brands. From Coca Cola to Amex to Google, some of the world’s largest and most profitable companies have been banking on content marketing – and sharing their content via social media – to increase their competitive advantage and see a more loyal customer base. It’s no wonder brands that leverage content marketing have higher customer retention – 60 percent of consumers feel more positive about a company after reading custom content on its site, and 70 percent prefer getting to know a company via articles rather than ads.
Remember: that bride isn’t going to host her entire wedding party at your hotel just because of a generic advertisement she saw while flipping through a magazine; however, if she reads through a great testimonial from a bride a few months ago, she’ll feel a lot warmer towards you. And a family isn’t going to directly book with you unless they feel confident of your accommodations and offerings for their children. What kind of content do you create and share to show that your location is kid-friendly?