Hospitality marketing and your content marketing strategy across all marketing channels.
While some companies in the hospitality industry have embraced omnichannel marketing strategies because their target audience is big yet not homogeneous.
Let’s put it this way: Imagine being a chef with a secret recipe. You’re cooking up a storm, but your restaurant isn’t buzzing as much as you’d like it to. Now, picture a culinary wizard (that’s us, the consulting firm) swooping in, sprinkling some of that AI magic into your strategy mix. Suddenly, your kitchen is working like a well-oiled machine, your dishes are hitting the spot, and the restaurant is packed every night.
As a content manager, deploying AI-driven marketing strategies with a consulting firm is like having that culinary wizard on your team. We bring our expertise to maximize marketing efficiency, personalize customer experiences, and get real-time insights, helping you whip up the perfect recipe for business success!
2020 was the year of disruption. As humankind was forced indoors, the impact of the tragedy was felt across several industries.
The migratory nature of the workforce and the sudden pause on restaurant and travel services had a sizable impact on the hospitality industry on a global level.
Indeed, the market faced a downturn. But does that mean that you should avoid working on your brand? Not.
It is crucial to be proactive even during hard times if you want your business to flourish.
Several businesses in this industry used the pandemic to reevaluate their strategies and prepare for the market resurgence. Now, they are ready when the demand has started perking up.
The audience still has their name instilled in their minds from sitting in their house, wondering when they will be allowed to head out.
Take Kimpton Hotels as an example. They are doing great with their ‘Life Is Suite’ blog section. They take you on a mini virtual adventure.
When the pandemic hit us, they did not shy away from sharing relatable tips for the lifestyle we all had during the lockdown. They have managed to stay on top of the minds of travelers now.
So, how should you approach marketing during such times to follow in the footsteps of leading brands in your industry?
The more you keep working on your brand, the more opportunities you will find. If you hit a pause, bouncing back will be challenging.
For instance, many hotels grabbed the opportunity and decided to transition into becoming in-house workstations for their guests. The targeted group here was those who were working remotely (which is almost everyone!).
Having a content marketing strategy in place is necessary to grow. It helps attract a particular group of individuals, lets you maintain pace in the highly competitive race, and builds your brand credibility.
Now that you know why you should focus on content marketing in the hospitality industry, it is time to learn how.
There are a lot of digital marketing agencies that can help you with the same and more quickly. However, if you are looking for ways to do it yourself, you can find it all below in this article.
Creating a fast and aesthetically pleasing website is part of your hospitality marketing plan
It is time to get one if you do not already have a website. Think of a website as your virtual brochure or your virtual salesman. Your website is the first encounter that your audience has with your brand. Ensure that it is perfect in every sense.
A website is a central hub of all your efforts in content marketing. When your target audience searches for anything related to your niche in Google, your website should rank at the top. You must understand that you lose customers when your website does not appear.
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Ensure you add relevant keywords to optimize your website for the search engines. We’ve talked about it in length below.
When designing your website, there are a few things that you should consider:
- Make it appealing but focus equally on easy navigation.
- Your website should be inclusive. Give your visitors an option to select a language they are comfortable with.
- Ensure your website is not slow. Slow websites can hinder the experience.
- Everything should be easily accessible, from the ‘Search’ feature to your policies. Mention everything.
Don’t try to target every single person.
You must understand that not every person is your target audience. Every individual is different.
Let’s take an example. Imagine you own a resort, and you want to promote staycations.
You cannot reach out to adventure enthusiasts with a proposal for a staycation. They will not be ready to spend days inside a hotel room.
They love the outdoors. It’ll be a waste of time and effort. Be clear about who your audience is.
Since you are taking this time to reevaluate your efforts, you should try to niche down too. Rethink who will suit your brand perfectly and vice versa.
When you niche down, you make content marketing a lot less complex for yourself. Now, you can focus on one segment and create content keeping their likes, dislikes, and personalities in mind.
Niches also help you solve your audience’s problems more precisely and elaborately.
Do thorough keyword research and your hospitality marketing strategy.
It would help if you had keywords. These phrases and words help you defeat competitors and rank at the top of search engine results.
Your blog titles, website content, metadata, and URLs need a relevant and well-placed keyword.
You want your website to show up to improve your visibility and get the traction you deserve—keyword research aids in doing that.
Keyword research helps you identify what your audience is searching for. It is also a great tool for determining your competitors’ keyword games. Use that as a basis to create an advanced action plan.
Make sure to use a balance of low-competition and high-competition keywords. You can try ranking for high-value keywords, but mostly it’ll be in vain. It is because the competition for popular keywords is generally really high. Thus, the right mix.
You can use a Google rank checker on search results to see where your website lies. After analyzing, you can direct your content marketing efforts to a more high-yielding path.
Promote relevant content and your hospitality marketing
One golden rule of content marketing is to offer your audience what they want.
Take the current scenario, for instance. Your audience wants more and better reasons than before to trust you.
You must understand that the hospitality industry will experience a massive transformation as the demand rises.
You’ll have to shift your focus from traditional wants and concerns to the current ones.
Today, your audience will want to see how clean and hygienic your restaurant is. They would want to know about your efforts and protocols in ensuring their safety.
Once you see a good response, you can shift from this to the other concerns of your customers and address them using your content.
It helps induce confidence in them and enables you to establish yourself as an authority.
Create a strong email marketing strategy.
Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to give your content marketing strategies a push. The world today revolves around emails. Newspapers have been replaced by emails as an early morning read for around 58% of the users. They also happen to open their emails at least 20 times a day.
Thus, a robust email marketing strategy should be your priority.
Be proactive about the schedule. You must identify and analyze the best time to email your audience, or it can hurt your stats.
You can segment your groups according to the best time to approach them. Use an automation tool to schedule your emails to be consistent in your efforts.
But what should these emails be about? You can share the measures you are taking, your upgrades, your discounts, and, most importantly, a link to your latest blogs or articles.
Just make sure whatever you send is valuable and nothing redundant.
Yet, you will not find everyone on every platform. Remembering this, you must identify the best social media platforms that work for your business. It is one of the most crucial steps in content marketing.
One of the main reasons for this is to help you avoid deviating from your target groups. As we discussed, your focus should be on making your target audience happy.
Creating valuable and entertaining content after identifying the best platforms for your brand. Being in the hospitality industry, you would need to embrace creativity.
Play around with different forms of content. Use videos, images, or even carousels. Experiment with the right time to post.
Analyze your content and determine the piece that got the most engagement. Create more of such content.
Host virtual tours of your cafe or hotel, or bar. It will help in attracting your audience.
One important tip – add content generated by your customers as much as possible. When your target audience witnesses that other people enjoy your services, they are more likely to convert.
Make your social media a priority at all times.
Try influencer outreach and your hospitality marketing plan
Influencer outreach has proven to be a fantastic way to outshine the crowd and offer valuable content to your audience.
Getting an influencer on board has more benefits than just promoting your content. It helps in building more connected relationships with the audience. Bonds with your customers are too precious to have when facing a downturn. After all, they are your support system.
You could choose a micro-influencer, a macro-influencer, or even a celebrity. But before you do that, filter out the best ones out of the lot.
The first step is to find out who will fit well with your content. You can do this by defining the purpose of your outreach.
Then, be vigilant about their reach and engagement. An influencer might have several thousand followers. But if the engagement is dead, it will dissolve the entire purpose.
Once all the formalities are done, build a holistic strategy to promote your content.
Yes, it is a time-consuming process. But the enhanced ROI makes up for it when it is done well.
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Backlinks are an indication of your reputation. Don’t go around asking for links. That’s begging. They should happen naturally. Don’t tell that to the link-building farms. We get over 100 requests per day for links. They go right to SPAM.
The more websites link to your website, the higher your ranking in the search engines.
Think of backlinks as validation from those directly or indirectly related to your business. Most websites only add your links based on how valuable they found your content.
Thus, always focus on value-added content.
Another thing that you have to be careful about is the quality of websites. Keep a check on the websites that are using your links. Ensure they are of high quality and are not jeopardizing your reputation.
For businesses in the hospitality industry, a link from a hotel or travel website will add to the reputation. Getting the same link from a car seller can be harmful and tarnish your brand name.
Instead, offer valuable content others will believe is worth linking to their website.
Analyze your progress – Get Reports.
You won’t know whether your actions are right or wrong until you see the results. You should analyze your data daily. This will help you identify what form of content is performing well and the right time to publish, and also aid in figuring out the steps forward.
You must learn how to analyze your data for all this to happen. It would help if you went beyond ‘looking’ at your analytics. You should go deep if you wish to identify possible changes and areas of improvement.
Find out your lowest-performing pieces of content. Check their bounce rate, and try to understand why they are not performing as well as others. Make or delete the changes from the website if there is no scope for updating or improving it.
It will help you understand where you are going wrong and save you from repeating the same mistake.
You can also use the content from an old piece, convert it into another form of content, say an infographic, and re-share it with your audience.
Upgrading low-performing content is one of the best strategies to save time and reuse old pieces.
Indeed, the hospitality sector was one of the vastly impacted industries after the pandemic hit us last year. Therefore, your hospitality marketing strategy is more important than ever.
We might face more such downturns in the future. It would be best if you did not take this as a reason to hit a pause on your content marketing efforts. Instead, find opportunities when things are not going the way you planned.
It is a great time to revisit your strategies and experiment with your content. It will help you maintain visibility and be prepared for when things improve for you and the industry.
Let’s continue with 6 quick marketing hacks for your hospitality marketing you can use today!
6 Hacks To Help Grow Your Hospitality Business [BONUS]
The global pandemic is a knee-jerking episode for all businesses, but the hospitality business has broken its spine.
The vertical that fuelled almost 3% of the world’s total gross domestic product is now sitting empty for months.
But the ravage does not seem to cease anytime soon.
Research from McKinsey suggests it may take until 2023 for the hotel industry to recover fully.
So do you give up until things go normal? Hell no. Get your hospitality marketing strategy and automate as much as possible now.
The future of the hospitality sector looks completely different. It is agile and flexible. If you wish to see yourself in the hospitality industry’s future, you must get creative now.
So how do you get back on your feet?
How do you start your sales machine again?
Read on to find out.
Top 6 marketing hacks to grow your hospitality marketing reach
Your business directly harnesses its power from your customers, and hospitality marketing should review the analytics to find opportunities.
Whether your goal is higher annual sales or business expansion, everything roots in your audience. The more desirable and valuable you become to your target audience, the higher your chances of sustaining uncertain times.
But what do your customers want from you?
Here are a few preference parameters that today’s guests expect from their service providers:
Let’s find out how you can surpass all these top expectations of your borders.
Steer to experience-driven services.
The hospitality business is all about building relationships. And your hospitality marketing should be too.
The key to maintaining positive customer relations is communicating with customers regularly.
Be open to feedback at all times. Make sure that your communications are clear, polite, and professional. It will help you understand them better.
By doing so, your hospitality business will be well on its way to success.
Following are a few ways in which you can achieve so.
- Utilize the power of technology: Today’s tourists want a break from everything but technology. Tailoring your hospitality services with a technological engagement like AI-powered geysers to mini-bars and voice assistants like Alexa, you’re already on your customers’ list of favorites. Voice is hot for hospitality marketing activities.
- Invest in interior and architecture: Design and architecture play an essential role in the overall experience of your customer’s short stay with you.
- If your hotel has a rich history or is a place of cultural importance, feature that in your interior design. Draw your design inspirations from your immediate locality. Remember, in interior design, thinking global but acting local is the ultimate mantra.
Rethink your marketing strategies.
Marketing can be a huge breakthrough for an industry that is predominantly experience-driven.
Today’s tourists want their staycations to be everything memorable. This means they are now conscious about how you present as much as the what. But to do this right, there are a few elements that you need to pay special focus to.
As mentioned above, your hospitality marketing need to look to your website as the central hub of all your digital hospitality marketing.
Website: The hospitality industry is all about rendering superior experiences. Your website is the first-hand experience that your potential customers have with your brand. This means your hotel website design needs to be on point.
Did you know that:
- 93% OF ONLINE EXPERIENCES START WITH A SEARCH ENGINE.
- OVER 70% OF CLICKS GO TO ORGANIC SEARCHES THAT RANK ON THE FIRST PAGE OF GOOGLE.
Give your customers a solid reason to choose you over your competitors. Keep an eye on the SEO of your site at all times.
Make extensive use of high-quality content and photography to engage your audience. Using a third-party vendor for photography is a smart decision. You can use a commercial photography contract template to collaborate easier.
Pro Tip: Make it easy for customers to book spaces with you. Integrate vacation rental management software into your website to make it seamless.
- Social media: If you lose social media’s power, you are losing money on the table. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Yelp are essential networking tools you should use throughout the year. You should post information on these sites regularly to show your clients you are active and there to do business. Your business will likely return with a bang when you are more active with meaningful, relevant content.
- Email Marketing: An email marketing campaign is one of the essential tools you can use for your hospitality business. Everything can be personalized here, no matter your target, special promotions, discount announcements, and newsletters. It’s also essential to keep your client list updated and current. This way, you can easily direct them to any information they may be interested in.
Get creative with your sales efforts.
Marketing can turn your audience’s eyeballs towards you, but you must offer the demand to see the money flow. What worked before Covid-19 may not work today at all. To cut, you need to work on how you present your products and offers.
- Branding: If you thought your branding was only meant for higher market exposure, you are wrong. Your hospitality marketing must build on a foundation, your brand. Your brand can save you much long-term harm in such an uncertain time. Harnessing the strength of your brand equity is probably the best move today than ever. Your brand is the answer to why your customers choose you over others. And the answer is they trust you. All other factors follow this element.
- Repackaging: After you win your audience’s confidence, you need to retain it for a long time.
But how? Your selling strategy should be based on what is in demand, not what you already deliver. Your operational systems need to be agile to adapt to the present situations.
Think of what value your resort can provide to generate a bundle more attractive to guests than competitors.
How do you put yourself apart in the crowd? Think about daily happy hours outside or within a socially remote setup, free massages, fitness packages with yoga or exercise classes, or personal dining choices. All these can give your sales the desired boost.
- Upselling: It is much easier to win an existing customer’s trust than someone who has never done business with you. Does your hospitality marketing plan include products and services with hospitality marketing sales funnels aligned with your customer journey?
- A study says customer acquisition is six times costlier than retention. This means you cannot afford to lose customers. Upselling is a definite way to add value to your existing client base. But this strategy can only work when you keep your upselling services contextual to your client’s existing service.
Covid-19 has changed how the world travels and meets completely. This means it is high time you rethink how you generate money from your business. The traditional monetization channels would take some time for all hotels and restaurants to recover. So what can you do to generate the money your venture needs to float?
Asking a few critical questions here can solve your problem to some extent:
- What will fit the requirements of today’s attendees and travelers?
- What are the top priorities of today’s travelers?
- Why are the emotional states of post-covid-19 traveling?
Revenge traveling and pent-up visits are the top reasons your audience would like to visit you. Cater your services to meet their emotional and psychological needs.
Here are a few ideas you can utilize:
- Workspaces: Renting your hotel spaces as workrooms and meeting rooms is an excellent solution for the work-from-home squads. It is a means to acquire alternative revenue for your premises.
- Rented space for local sellers: Renting your reception or commonplaces as a pop-up area for local sellers can prove immensely profitable. It helps your venture to float and saves small businesses from falling apart.
- Kitchen rent-outs: Food tech is perhaps the second vertical that saw the maximum boost after the entertainment industry. But here is your opportunity. The most significant pain point of food start-ups can prove to be your biggest asset. Rent out your kitchen place to start-ups with maximum sanitation. You would be surprised how profitable this can be for your hotel.
- Video shooting rentals: Content creators often require spaces for their shootings. Renting your spaces to creative ventures can give you a steady flow of income here. From video bloggers to OTT channel creators, you can tie up with anyone to whom you can cater your services.
Ace your customer service and include it in your hospitality marketing plan
One of the best ways to show your customers that you care about them is to offer them the highest quality service possible. A well-thought plan for your customer’s success is essential for on-point delivery.
Always have hotel employees greet customers as they arrive at the front desk. Make sure you have room service waiting at their table when they arrive. Have a form on your website to be filled out by your customers to fill out. All these minor changes add up to the final experience for your customers.
You can utilize a few elements to improve your customer service.
- Inbound calls: You should always plan on making time to connect with your customers face-to-face if at all possible. The easiest way to do this is by making inbound calls. You can even include audio files to provide more personalized customer service. Is your call tracking in your hospitality marketing tactics?
- Focus on building trust: Trust will be crucial in the global recovery of the hotel industry. This means that before you start to think of sales, you need to think about gaining your customer’s trust. Invest in deep sanitation and cleaning programs. Air filtration systems, mobile check-ins, and QR scanning for restaurant menus can ensure you deliver the highest safety standards to your customers.
Consider how robust your partner program is working. Tourism makes a great pair for co-marketing programs.
Staying open to collaborations will only help you earn better. Partner with event planners, agencies, and other companies to optimize each other’s networks and capabilities.
- Hybrid events: The future of social mixing isn’t only in-person and should be included in your hospitality marketing plan. Virtual events are now a permanent thing of the future. This means there will be numerous times when you see a hybrid event taking place. Getting yourself ready for the future of events can give your venture an immediate sales boost.
Providers would gain from capturing the house’s flexibility through movies, highlighting precisely what a secure event experience appears like, from orientation to contactless audio-visual to the main event to departure.
You can produce a video detailing a hybrid occasion hosted by your hotel. Reveal how your distances are flexible along with your audio-visual capabilities.
Show your audience’s experiences both offline and online in real time. All this can be set up as a strong case study for your potential customers.
Wrapping up on hospitality marketing
The above tricks and sales tips will give you an overall boost in your hospitality venture. But you need to understand that no matter the decision, keep your customers at the heart of it. Do exactly what leads to a blissful customer experience.
The future of the hospitality business depends a lot on how sensible and trustworthy you can prove to be to your customers.
Go that extra mile. It’ll only make you stronger, starting with your hospitality marketing plan.
If you need help with your hospitality marketing strategy or a hospitality marketing website. We can help!
General FAQs on hospitality marketing
What is hospitality marketing?
What is the hospitality industry?
The hospitality industry is a broad category of fields within the service industry, including lodging, food, drink service, event planning, theme parks, travel, and tourism. It includes hotels, tourism agencies, restaurants, and bars.
What is hospitality marketing, and why is it important?
What do hospitality marketers do?
Marketers make sure information on hotels, resorts, and restaurants is easy to find and up-to-date. They can do this by buying ad space on relevant travel sites, creating an engaging website, and collaborating with other non-competing hospitality services in the same market.