5 Ways User-Generated Content Works for Hotels

Since mobile has surpassed desktop as the preferred way to surf the web, you can bet that those looking to book a hotel for business or pleasure are doing so on their couch, taking their time deciding on which hotel deserves their consideration. With the popularity of social media, it presents opportunities for hotels to take advantage of everything people are posting. One of the most golden kinds of content is the user-generated kind. According to TripAdvisor’s 2015 TripBarometer report, 88% of those polls said online reviews were “very important” factor in deciding which hotel to stay at. Content marketing agency, The Contentinators™, explains how you can harness the power of user-generated content for your hotel.

Promote Your Social Media Channels: In almost all cases, user-generated content is found on social, so it goes without saying that you want people talking in your social channels so you can take advantage of it. Be sure you promote your social channels on your website through email blasts and any traditional marketing, like business cards and signs on your hotel’s property.

Use Hashtags: Your hotel needs to come up with its own unique hashtag, and add it to all social media posts so that users can add that hashtag to their own posts. A potential hotel guest can them look at all the photos users have posted for an even more in-depth look as to what your hotel offers. This is also a way for you to view all the photos and talk surrounding your hotel, and it also allows your hotel to engage with those users online.

Contests: Having contests online is a wonderful way to build excitement and engagement of your hotel. Have guests post pictures of themselves at your hotel for a free night’s stay, adding in the official rules that any photo submitted to the contest implies their consent for your hotel to use it for marketing purposes. And viola: a stockpile of user-generated content to use.

Reviews: As the stat above mentions, a review of a hotel plays an important role in why a guest may choose one hotel over another, and reviews are definitely another form of user-generated content.

Reviews can be found all over the Internet, such as TripAdvisor, Yelp, and even Facebook. Encourage your hotel guests to leave a review, keeping in mind that negative reviews will always happen. With these customer service complaints being made on such a large stage, guests can witness how a hotel management team handles those issues. That is why it’s important for your hotel to be transparent. Take, for instance, the General Manager at The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes, Jon McGavin, and his response to a negative review:

Mr. McGavin responded quickly to the guest’s complaint, thanking them for their feedback. A potentially negative review can turn into a positive one by showing your hotel is transparent, helping potential guests learn the most about your hotel.

Monitor Social Media Mentions: When your guests mention your hotel on social media and are using hashtags, you can monitor mentions, likes, tweets, and photos through a social listening tool, like Hootsuite. If the official hotel hashtag isn’t used, you can still monitor every mention to capture all user-generated content surrounding your hotel.

People are talking about your hotel online. And if a hotel is not taking full advantage of user-generated content, a huge opportunity is being missed. User-generated content helps hotels to build trust, transparency, and loyalty to your hotel. If you feel your hotel needs help using user-generated content to its full advantage, give our content marketing agency a call at 866-471-4748, or contact us online.

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Guest Education Through Content Marketing is the Key to Filling Hotel Rooms

Filling a hotel is a nightly competition that puts the amenities and customer service your location has to offer to a full test. But the rooms are not filled retroactively, of course, and although many guests can often be counted on to return to a well-maintained property, one of the biggest factors to a full house is getting the fantastic details of your hotel out to the public, and, crucially, getting those details out in a fun and engaging way will reach potential guests. This is where the magic of content marketing can used in hitting nightly room quotas.

A hotel’s biggest enemy can be the mystery of what lays within. Guests want to be secure in what they’ve booked and confident in what they’ll find when they get there. So, the difference between booking Hotel A or Hotel B can often simply boil down to knowledge. In that regard, there’s no more interactive and informative way to pass on understanding of your property than through sophisticated and detailed content marketing.

Here are three quick tips that can enhance every level of guest education:

Be detailed: Good content marketing allows for a high level of detail, especially with physical destinations. And guests are looking for a place that can go beyond the norm in terms of information; there is no limit and no overload when it comes to having factual familiarity with a place you intend to put your family for a night. What brand of pillows are you using? What channels do your televisions get? What shampoo do you have on hand? These may seem like small things, but why not answer them?

Be vivid: Speaking of ability, modern social media means you have the chance to show off a property in a wide spectrum of ways: walk-thru videos, high-resolution pictures, detailed resort layouts; make them all available and make them stand-out. This can extend beyond the hotel itself: consider presenting local landmarks through the specific lens of your location and brand. Crafting an image is vital, but when guests know exactly what they are getting, they are more likely to press book.

Be confident: And while information and detail are crucial, presence, conviction, and allure have equal roles to play. You are a destination that needs to seen; your online image and representation should reflect that. The odds are that these pieces of content are the first time your prospective guest will absorb your brand, so make them count.

A good strategy involves not only having a visible online presence, but having a personality, one that both matches the attitude of your hotel and, in theory, that of your guest. Look for bold placements and clear descriptions, a brand that supports a physical location and empowers it. With solid content marketing on your side, you can set the atmosphere and be assured that your outfacing public image is matching the standards of the interior of your hotel. When these two things come together, full room counts follow.

If you need help with your online marketing efforts, contact content marketing agency, The Contentinators™, today. You can call us at 866-471-4748, or contact us online.

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How to Tell Your Hotel’s Story Through Content Marketing

Working in the hospitality industry is all about providing your guests with unique experiences that will make them come back for another stay. Your guests are your priority, and your customer service standards need to be high to make them feel special and valued. If you know this and apply it on a daily basis, then why is your content not telling the same story? Or even better, why are you not taking full advantage of content marketing to continue to pamper and fulfill your clients’ needs year round?

In such a competitive and oversaturated industry, such as hospitality, establishing a competitive advantage and showcasing your unique value proposition through content marketing is becoming almost mandatory to any hotel that wants to succeed. A well-planned content marketing strategy has the power to attract and retain your desired target guests. And isn’t that the main objective of the General Manager or the Marketing/Sales department at your hotel? While we tend to think of content marketing as a blog or an eBook, content marketing is more than just that. It could be a newsletter, an infographic, a video, or even a picture. The format you distribute it through will vary depending on your audience and your goals, but, in the end, the ultimate purpose of content marketing is to get into the minds of your customers to become their first choice when choosing their next destination.

Here are some tips you can apply toward your content strategy to help tell your hotel’s story like never before:

  • Become Their Personal Concierge: Providing tips and recommendations to your guests so that they can enjoy their stay is something that you should do on a daily basis, and it’s a principle that applies to content marketing, as well. As a hotel, creating content that will help your guests find the best restaurants, shopping areas, and attractions in the area is a strategy that provides your guests value. By sharing with your current and potential guests these pieces of information, it will create a connection to your guests and a reason to keep them coming back. This factor can be the difference in choosing between your hotel and the one that is right across the street.
  • Give Them More Than Just a Bed to Sleep On: Going beyond guest expectations is something you need to keep in mind every day in the hospitality industry. For example, let’s say that your hotel has a spa on its property. Instead of focusing on just featuring the quality of the products used in treatments, why not start created a content hub about healthy living, beauty care, and healthy eating? If your hotel is pet-friendly, why not take your content to the next level by creating a section that provides tips on traveling with your pets or pet-friendly places nearby that allow you to take your dog? By doing this, your current and potential guests will always keep your hotel on the top of their minds so when they need a place to stay, they won’t hesitate for a minute.
  • Take Your Guests On a Journey: Videos are one of the best ways to tell your story visually. Showcase all the unique elements of your property through a collection of videos or pictures that you can use throughout your social media, newsletters, or that live in your website. By showing your hotel’s high points, from the exterior to the guest rooms, it can make videos a great tool in generating engagement and to take your guests on a journey to experience what it could be like to be at your hotel.

These are just some ways to tell your hotel’s story. Here are the stories of two hotels that are already using the power of content marketing to create unique experiences for their guests:

  • Marriott: Besides being actively engaged on a daily basis with their audience on social media, the popular hotel chain, Marriott, successfully generates content to connect with their guests in the form of newsletters, blogs, videos, and magazines. Their online content hub, Marriott Traveler, provides tips on what to do in each of the cities where they have a hotel. Video creation is another content marketing tool that Marriott implements. Their short film, “Two Bellmen,” was created with the intention of entertaining while also communicating to their audience the high standards in customer service that they employ. With over five million views on Youtube, this video is an excellent sample of how content marketing can help tell your hotel’s story in a unique way.
  • Kimpton’s Hotels: The objective of this website is to connect the dots between the overwhelming number of places where people can find information about their next destination and compile it under one place: their website. After learning about their guest’s psychographic behavior, buying behavior, and lifestyle, they are able to start creating valuable content to nurture and retain their target demographic. In their blogs, you can find content that covers a wide variety of topics, from places to visit nearby their locations to top five tips for a happier travel.  

Your content marketing needs to tell your hotel’s story and your brand’s story. Remember that your content should not be just another sales pitch.

Before we finish, we would like to provide the answer to the million dollar question that any GM would probably wonder at this time: “So, what’s in it for me?” With content marketing, true benefits come over time. A well-done piece of content is just the beginning of a solid relationship with your current and potential guests. Analyzing your content campaigns and your overall  digital marketing strategy is what will determine what’s working and what’s not in terms of revenue. If you are ready to use the power of content to attract your target guests and influence them to book a stay, and retain them as repeat guests, drop us a line today!

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