A Quick Guide to Content Marketing for the Tourism and Hotel Industry
Three Content Marketing Quick Start Best Practices
Now let’s look at some best practices to help you to build an enhanced connection with your guests, and ultimately to increase sales and bookings.
1. Know who your ideal customer is
Your content marketing efforts are intended to create value for your customers by educating them and helping them in their decision making process. If you don’t have a solid understanding of who your ideal guest is, then it’s going to be difficult to produce helpful information. (Note: if you have different customers depending on the season or time of year you should keep that in mind and adjust your work accordingly.)
As an example, when I owned my hotel, our ideal guest was an active traveller who liked adventure. Typically, guests were in their twenties to late forties and liked activities such as hiking, snorkelling and bird watching. Many were also interested in experiencing the local culture and trying non-touristy restaurants and out of the way spots.
To help get you going, ask yourself:
What do my customers like to do?
What are the most frequently asked questions from my guests?
What is the most impactful communication I can generate to begin to develop a relationship with clientele who find me online?
Many potential customers will simply mute out overly promotional messaging that screams, “My business/destination is great!” However, if you educate your clientele, or perhaps even entertain them, you will not only grab their attention but may compel them to share your content, thereby exposing you to a whole new network.
2. Build a backlog of content ideas
If you’re ever at a loss as to what to post next, you’ll find my next quick start best practice helpful: build a backlog of ideas that you can refer back to.
Mind mapping is an exceptional technique for coming up with a steady stream of content ideas. The mind mapping method utilizes the creation of a diagram commonly referenced around one key point. For a tourism business or hotel, a mind map could be developed around a topic that might include your destination, your business niche or popular activities.
During my time owning a hotel I frequently would do this exercise so that I could come up with twenty to thirty posting ideas. A mind map for content ideas for my current location, Rincon, Puerto Rico, would look like this:
As you can see, I began by jotting down the name of the destination and then came up with numerous topics and sub-topics that could each be turned into a helpful post for visitors. What would a mind map look like for your destination?
3. Develop a posting schedule
As a hospitality or tourism professional you most certainly have a tremendous amount of daily responsibilities. “Finding the time” seems to be the number one obstacle to developing a content plan and sticking to it.
Having the discipline to consistently create and post quality content requires real focus and a long-term commitment. Your third quick start best practice is to develop an editorial calendar based on how often you think you can post.
Much like exercise, if you do not schedule time to fit your online work into your day, you won’t do it. However, if you can make it a regularly scheduled habit, then you are more likely to stick with it and be successful.
Certainly, hotel staff would never say that they do not have time to check in a guest or to clean rooms. Your online efforts need to be weighted with equal importance or they will always get pushed to the side.