Content Marketing Tips for the Hospitality Industry


Over the last decade or so, content marketing has risen to become one of the most effective and versatile tools in the hospitality sector. This is chiefly because it is built on solid foundations of relevance and value to consumers. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s bulletproof.

Many businesses make the mistake of thinking they can get by with just the occasional blog post or a photo of an influencer using their facilities. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.
 


With some focused effort, your hospitality business can gain a competitive edge over those who aren’t taking the time to fully understand how to create a marketing strategy that uses content to not just convert website visitors to bookings but also encourage #7excludeGlossary loyalty.

Let’s review some of the primary areas on which you should be focusing to enhance the content efficacy of your hospitality business?

 

Establish Your Brand

The hospitality industry is increasingly competitive. As such, a primary focus of your content marketing must be establishing your brand in a crowded marketplace. Once you’ve gained an understanding of what makes your company unique, and what your values are, you should work on creating a consistent brand voice. This will help to make certain that all your content stays true to your ideals and the message that you want to communicate to consumers.

This doesn’t mean that you should necessarily create a set script or even a vocabulary guide — rather create documents that make it clear to whoever is creating your content what the approach should be and how you want consumers to feel when they read, see, or hear it.

Social media can be particularly important in this regard. It will give you access to a wide audience, as well as providing opportunities to keep using your brand voice to engage in a dialogue directly with consumers. However, it pays to do some advanced research specifically on the hospitality industry before diving right in. Undertake some competitor analysis, and examine how other hotels and services are applying their social media strategy.

This isn’t to piggyback on their ideas — rather this gives you better insights into how you can differentiate your unique brand identity from theirs. It can also be useful to see what your shared audiences respond to and design your own voice and content accordingly.

 

 

Consider the Context

Your first consideration when creating a content marketing strategy for your hospitality business is the context of your messaging. One of the areas in which many hospitality content marketers and companies fall short is approaching their methods from purely their own needs and perspectives. This doesn’t just mean undertaking thorough research and creating buyer personas for your demographic — though those are important tools.

You also have to research how your hospitality services fit into their lives, and what is happening in the world that might affect this. The events that happen in and around your consumers will impact how your audience will receive your messaging and make decisions.

The #14excludeGlossary pandemic is a good example of how changes in the world have altered consumers’ relationships to what you have to offer. The need to isolate for a year has boosted interest in vacations — according to one report, 80% of consumers want to engage in #16excludeGlossary travel. At the same time, there is an enhanced focus on safety. That means consumers want hospitality services to demonstrate vigilance on healthy precautions.

Understanding the context of events that affect consumers and the industry allows you to create a content strategy that better appeals to your audience and is more relevant to everybody. Using a news aggregator app, such as Feedly, can help you stay on top of events in the hospitality industry and adjust your content choices accordingly.

 

Build from the Trends

Alongside the context of world events, it’s also helpful to keep an eye on the current trends in the hospitality industry. This doesn’t mean that you should formulaically adhere to what everyone else is doing.

However, you should remember that the trends are usually influenced by consumer behaviour as well as the needs of the sector, so they can be a good basis upon which to build your strategy. Some of the key trends in hospitality at the moment include:

 

Accessibility

Limiting the audience of your content means that you severely narrow your potential reach. This is one of the reasons that over the last couple of years accessibility has become a key focus in hospitality content marketing.

On one hand, this means considering consumers with disabilities in the design of content and how your website and other channels are navigable regardless of the challenges visitors may experience. Indeed, the content itself should demonstrate the efforts your hotel or facility goes to ensure equal access to all.

It also means making certain that your content is easily consumable on whatever device the user favours. One report predicts that 72% of people will only use their smartphones to access the internet by 2025, so if your content isn’t at least mobile compatible now, you are at a disadvantage.

 


Personalization

We know that Millennials and Generation Z, both of which are forming the majority percentage of consumers, emphasize making genuine connections with businesses. As such, hospitality trends are continuing to lean into enhanced personalization of content. Certainly, this includes using analytics to identify their needs and wants and providing them with deals and information that they value.

However, it also extends to how you utilize customer support. Emotion recognition software can be used to gain insights into what consumers need from hospitality experiences. It also alerts you to actions and ideas that make them happy, excited, even angry.

This can then be used to provide content — through email, short messaging services (SMS), or company apps — that better taps into those emotions, serves the consumer’s needs, and provides a more personalized experience overall. Don’t forget to also employ active listening during customer service calls. When software isn’t available, this skill can go a long way.

 

Conclusion

The content marketing landscape in the hospitality industry keeps moving and evolving. Your strategy needs to reflect this accordingly. Seek to gain an understanding of how the world has changed and plan your strategy alongside it. In building your brand, place focus on developing your voice, and look to the marketing trends of the industry to provide a basis to expand from.


About Jori Hamilton

Jori Hamilton is an experienced writer living in the Northwestern U.S. Her areas of expertise and topics she typically covers revolve around digital marketing, business productivity, and SEO best practices. To learn more about Jori, you can follow her on Twitter: @HamiltonJori