The hotel industry is unlike any other industry.

As a hotelier, you'd know that the kind of relationship you have with those who patronise your business is much more profound than in any other industry's business-client relationship.

That's precisely why your customers are called your guests. These guests rely on you as a guide to provide information about where to sightsee, eat, shop and be merry, as well as to accommodate any special requests they may have to make their stay at your hotel more comfortable.

This special relationship starts way before they step through your doors. It starts when they are searching for accommodation or when they are drawing up their travel plans.

As more and more businesses employ the use of digital marketing and technology for customer outreach, you will find that your business will need to pay more attention to content marketing on your hotel website.

Gone are the days when businesses can use manipulative sales tactics or high pressure to sell rooms (e.g. cheesy tag-lines like "This is a once-in-a-lifetime discount you don't wanna miss!" will no longer yield a Call-to-Action).

And if you're thinking an Instagram-like scroll function of a myriad of beautiful images of your hotel's interior decor is going to cut it, you will be in for disappointment.

Mere images with no content may look pretty but are a dime a dozen these days, with hundreds of similar postings throughout social media and on websites. Most importantly, do they sell?

The simple answer is no.

What you need is to find strategies not only to attract guests but to earn their loyalty so that they keep coming back for more of your hospitality.

One way you're already doing that is by making it more attractive for guests to book directly with your hotel.

This is because your website is easy to navigate and also because of its exclusive online-only perks for guests and members. If you're catering to global markets, you'd probably already have options for viewing your website in multiple languages, with creatively translated content.

This would provide that additional edge over other hotel brands in the vicinity who may only have their websites in English.

If you're not already doing this, there's never been a better time to team up with a company that provides creative translation services, like IPPWORLD.

But more than that, you also want to generate clicks from new customers, finding ways to attract them to your establishment while creating greater customer engagement and an online customer community.

Content marketing can help you do that.



The undeniable competitive edge of content

As a hospitality establishment, your website content should be able to pre-empt the most common questions your customers may have not just about the hotel and its amenities but also about the highlights and attractions of the surrounding city or town.

This valuable information, while educational, should also be entertaining. This kind of information not only helps market your establishment, it also builds trust between you and the customer, who will then start relying on your insights to enhance their travel experience.

As this relationship develops, they start seeing your hotel as the go-to accommodation for their future travels not just because it's a great place to stay but because they trust your recommendations and know they can count on you to get the best out of their trip.

That's a lot of value-add!

In turn, the amount of value added to your business from online content not only boosts relationships with your customers as an engaged hotelier, it also improves Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) in the form of higher search engine rankings. Your hotel becomes more 'visible' online.

Lower marketing cost with content

The bottom line is always a major concern when it comes to marketing for any business and advertising costs can be daunting indeed, even for high-end luxury hotels. Consumers, who are more educated and informed these days, are less likely to be bought over by flashy advertising and gimmicks. Besides, consumers are already inundated with these over various forms of media.

Building quality content on your website goes hand in hand with building relationships with consumers at a fraction of the cost of flashy advertisements that do not necessarily work all the time.

Managing your reputation with content

Every now and then, as with any hospitality business, there will be guests who complain, guests who are unhappy and guests for whom your services somehow fell short. But every time you create fresh content for your customers, building pages upon pages above previous content, your website ranks higher and higher in search engine results.

What this does is it to help manage your business' reputation by keeping your hotel's positive messages above the occasional negative ratings on search engine results, as newer information on your establishment is constantly churned out. This also shows customers that you are committed to creating that perfect customer engagement and are not indifferent to their needs.

Now that you have a clear idea on how content marketing can benefit your hospitality business, let's start simple.

Using copywriting to reach out to customers does not require verbosity or complex marketing rhetoric. Go with straight-forward writing that extolls all the virtues of your establishment, without overloading them with too much information (remember, there's already a lot of information overload going on out there).

Content Marketing: Some best practices to consider

Before you set off using content marketing as part of your overall marketing strategy to your global audiences, here are some best practices shared by experts.

According to Ardath Albee, CEO of Marketing Interactions, Inc. and an instructor at US-based Content Marketing Institute's Content Marketing University, a good place to begin is combining marketing objectives.

"The question a hotelier should be asking first is, what can I do to help a specific audience that will also tie into what I want to accomplish for my hotel? So, depending on the type of hotel, maybe it's helping potential and current guests find the best restaurants in the area, or understand what to do while they're in town."

For example, "[I]f you are a business hotel that hosts a lot of meetings, perhaps suggest best practices for successful meetings and conferences. If your hotel is also a resort or spa, maybe it's a blog about healthy living with topics specific to golfing, if you have a course, or sharing your chef's recipes if you have an attraction restaurant."

Apart from the creation of content, think also about how this content will be distributed e.g. on your website, social media, email, etc.

Albee adds that "You want to think about how to get the most bang for your buck with the content you develop. So think about audience, purpose, and business goals, and then formats and channels."

In Summary

Earlier on, we mentioned creating content for global audiences in their local languages by providing online content in multiple languages.

Going by the age-old marketing adage of "can't read, won't buy", providing your customers with customised content in their own languages through the use of transcreation (creative translation) will undeniably add more value to any hotel brand, not to mention enhancing brand loyalty in the process.

Content marketing strategy is in itself a multi-layered topic that involves not just content creation; but also making the decisions of when, where and how to distribute content and subsequently, measuring the success of its results.

Should you also require transcreation (creative translation) services for your content in order to reach a wider market in its local languages, IPPWORLD is more than happy to support and supplement your efforts while ensuring your hotel brand's personal tone of voice remains intact.

There has never been a better time to start content marketing to your global audiences than now.