One of the most important marketing strategies that any hotelier can put into practice and see results from is hotel blogging. A blog is one of the best ways to drive quality organic traffic to your hotel’s website and attract like-minded readers who can eventually turn into brand ambassadors.
Thanks to the Google algorithms, it’s almost impossible to compete with the big metasearch engines for the top spots in the search engines, but with a niche blog that covers topics that are important to your target audience, you have a better chance of ranking for competitive keywords.
In this blog we’ll go into detail about what hotel blogging is, the importance of this marketing strategy, and some of the best practices in order to see lasting results.
What is hotel blogging?
Hotel blogging is a realm of content marketing designed to grow your hotel’s website organically. Essentially, blogging starts by conducting keyword research to define the concepts that your target audience in your target region is searching for. Once you’ve determined what those concepts are, you can create engaging articles that are designed to keep the contents on your web fresh, target the right audience, and feed the rest of your marketing channels.
Generating engaging blog content allows you to stand out from the competition and offer value to guests before they even are thinking about booking a room. It’s a way of creating a dialogue between your brand and potential guests so when the time comes to book a hotel, they already have your hotel at the front of their mind. Your local expertise and recommendations have the potential of reaching a wider audience than your hotel’s website would on its own without this constantly updated material.
Before your hotel decides whether to start a blog, it’s recommended to carry out a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) of your hotel’s marketing strategy and determine whether a blog fits into these objectives. Another important thing to keep in mind is that for a blog to be relevant, it needs to be constantly updated. If you can’t commit the time and resources required to keep producing content, it may not be the best solution for you.
Why use a blog in your hotel marketing strategy?
Now that we understand what hotel blogging is, let’s take a look at the reasons to use a blog in your hotel marketing strategy.
You can better reach your target audience
There’s no better way to reach your target audience than writing about what they’re looking for. For example, is your target audience looking for what to do in the region where your hotel is located, or the best hotels for families? You can structure a blog post around these search terms and then have the chance of ranking. One they find you, you can convince them that your hotel is the best answer to their query of ‘best hotels for families.’
It keeps your hotel’s website relevant
One of the key ranking signals to Google is relevance. One of the ways you show this is by having constant streams of fresh content on your web. Instead of having to constantly update internal pages, you can dedicate your time and resources to creating blog content.
It serves as content for your other marketing channels
Nowadays good content is like gold, and you need it for all your marketing channels, such as social media, newsletters, and brochures. Once you have the content you can repurpose it for a variety of uses such as concierge materials, in-room booklets about what to do or where to eat. Even your everyday sales email can be spiced up with some fresh blog content. Blogging is essentially a way of feeding the sales funnel with quality leads.
Best practices in hotel blogging
Now that we know why hotels should have a blog, let’s take a look at some of the best practices in hotel blogging.
Start by defining your buyer personas
One of the keys to hotel blogging is to create buyer personas. Who is your ideal guest? Without asking yourself this question it’s impossible to design your content. Don’t only choose your demographic based on age or sex, but also based on behaviors, type of traveler, motivations and mindset. It’s a tough job but once you’ve done so, you can create specific content, recommendations, and travel tips that are relevant to each type of buyer persona.
Do market research
Market research starts by understanding the motivations of your guests. Once you have an active audience on social media, poll them to find out what it is they want to read about or questions they have.
Market research should also be done offline. On a day to day basis, have your staff note down common questions, concerns, tips or recommendations that guests are asking for. This will be great material for your blog and you can be sure that you are answering the queries of your already loyal guests.
Do keyword research
Once you have an idea of what your guests are looking for through market research, you can move on to SEO keyword research. Using a keyword research tool, you can find out what your guests are looking for in Google and design your blog contents around these keywords.
Expert tip: use your hotel’s blog to try to target “long tail keywords.” Long tail keywords are longer and more specific keyword phrases that will provide more qualified leads and are also less competitive. An example could be, if your hotel is based in Cardiff, Wales, you could write a blog about “Best places to visit in Cardiff.”
Timing is everything
It’s important to have different content prepared for different parts of the sales funnel. The key is to be able to have the right content reach the right guest at the right stage of the booking process. That might sound like a lot of “rights,” but following these tips you can be sure that you design your content to meet what your target guests are looking for during each stage of the buyer journey.
Building a blog from scratch is no easy task, but investing time and resources can produce lasting results. Developing your hotel’s online presence can reduce your dependency on OTAs and metasearch engines and boost conversions from organic sources.
Once you’ve made the decision to start a blog, make sure you deliver unique and engaging content that rings a bell with your target audience, and allows you to transmit your hotel’s unique value proposition.
Use your blog to enter into the subconscious of your target guests so that they have your hotel at the front of their minds when it comes time to book. Together with the right property management system you have the tools that will help make your property stand out in the eyes of your future guests. Using Mews’ business intelligence you can better understand your guest data and where you can use your blog to create content that will make the difference. A blog is a powerful tool to grow your hotel and drive organic bookings and is a simple strategy for marketing success.
23 April 2021
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