As a hotel General Manager, you’re the most practical, result-driven human being on the planet. You have to be to survive.
Everything is an emergency, the hours are long … and the chaos is real.
So it’s not surprising that when three social media content producers show up at your hotel and use your time and money to take pictures of Millennials lounging by the pool in monogrammed sun hats, your first thought is, “What the ****?!?”
Then, when your agency account manager tells you she wants do this again next month to produce “fresh content,” it does not surprise us that your response is again, “What the ****?!?”
I get it. It seems weird, for sure, but I promise you there is a method behind this madness.
Here is why you hotel General Manager should get excited about (and pay for) content marketing.
There are as many definitions of content marketing as there are Millennials taking selfies in monogrammed sun hats by your pool. But in a nutshell, content marketing is making and distributing useful and compelling ‘content’ to attract customers to your hotel.
Great content marketing is customer centric, which means it’s more about your guests than it is about you. To be impactful, your content must align with your customers’ aspirations.
For instance, does your ideal guest want to learn, dream, plan … or solve a problem? A software company might produce ebooks and webinars to solve problems, while a beach hotel creates aspirational pictures, videos and destination blogs.
You think your 14 niece can do this for you right. Wrong! Not all content is created equal.
Producing excellent content requires natural talent, training, gear and software. But being under the age of 30 does help 🙂
If you want our content noticed in a busy, noisy online world, it must be fantastic – super-frick-fracking-over-the-top-ahhhmazing.
Your content must stand out in a crowd by being jaw-droppingly magical. It also must be entertaining, fun, memorable, fresh, timely and trendy and, most importantly, it must speak to your target audience (i.e. your potential guests).
Smart strategy, data, and testing should underpin every piece of content your agency produces. And you need a lot of content.
Your hotel marketing team ought to update Facebook, Instagram and Twitter three times a week with jaw dropping, original content. To keep your audience entertained you need to mix it up with video and photography and pair the images with witty captions. That’s at least 468 photos and videos a year.
This is overwhelming. Why bother?
When your ideal guest is dreaming about a holiday, what does she do? Look at hotel websites, magazine ads or welcome center brochures? Of course not! She isn’t trapped in 1995. She hops online to search and discover travel inspiration on her favorite social media channels.
Does she want to see a picture of your standard double queen hotel room in her Facebook feed? Heck no! She wants to fantasize about spending a leisurely day sitting in a beach chair on a white sandy beach sipping a frosty drink. You need to give her that.
Fantastic destination-focused social media content transforms aspirational online lookers into hotel bookers by spawning an emotional connection at a critical time in the sales funnel.
You want your ideal guest to fall in love with your hotel, so when she’s ready to book, she’ll choose your hotel over all the others. If she’s in love with you when she clicks the BOOK NOW button on your website, she will be less price sensitive, and when she checks in, she’ll be more loyal.
Paid advertising and sales tactics cannot compete with love.
When you post great content, people will engage with you, and you need to join the conversation. Developing relationships with potential customers is marketing gold.
So, you – the savvy hotel GM – need to get that amazing content out there in the world, and then engage users who interact with it 24/7. This is critical at a time when consumer trust in traditional marketing is at an all-time low.
You better hire someone great to help you because content marketers in all industries are stepping up their game, getting more creative by the minute. This is where your agency comes in. They know you’re in the business of managing a hotel, and you do not have time to produce 468 pieces of content this year.
That being said: nobody knows your guests better than you, so gather your team members and brainstorm about what kind of story you want to tell about your hotel and destination. Then, let your content producers know.
In the meantime, remember that content marketing is to marketers what revenue management is to hoteliers. Do it well, and you’ll make more money than your competitors.