In the past, hotel marketing has largely consisted of traditional tactics like advertising and word-of-mouth marketing.
But in recent years, the internet has completely transformed the travel industry, and travelers rely on OTAs (Online Travel Agencies) to book their trips for them. With an OTA, anyone can research and map out an entire itinerary from their computer or smartphone. Unfortunately, the OTA’s commission ends up hurting your hotel’s bottom line.
As a hotel marketer, you need to adapt your strategy to stand out in this changing industry. Your website is now your most valuable marketing tool, and your blog lies at the heart of it. Check out these three ideas for using your hotel blog to increase brand awareness and drive more bookings.
Showcase upcoming local events and activities
When travelers research their next destination, they often begin by searching for things to do in the area. Capitalize on this by publishing blog content that features popular local activities, sightseeing spots, and events.
If you host weekly themed events or gatherings at your hotel, make sure they’re featured on your blog. For example, The Saguaro in Palm Springs does a great job of promoting their taco nights, pool parties, and other events on their website.
Even if you don’t hold events like these, you can still write up quick blog posts about other events in your area. Publish content about local art exhibitions, big sports events, or large festivals to associate your brand with a particular event that someone may be searching for. For Comic-Con, the Days Inn in San Diego created an entire page full of fun content to attract convention-goers.
Include exclusive offers
With each blog post you publish, you’re creating another new opportunity for guests to book with you directly.
To incentivize this, you can offer exclusive deals and discounts on your blog. Even if it’s just a 5% promotional code at the end of a post, you’re showing appreciation to your potential guests for reading your content and engaging with your brand.
Another option is to run a giveaway or contest. Try raffling off a free weekend stay or another prize, and promote it through social media. From social, you could link to your blog for the entry form and official rules.
Share guest testimonials
Many travelers rely on online reviews from other guests before they make a hotel booking. While most of these reviews typically live on third-party sites like TripAdvisor, you can also showcase them on your blog.
Try creating a spotlight interview of a frequent business traveler or compiling a handful of positive reviews from past guests. Either way, you’ll build credibility with potential travelers who are considering staying at your property.
Your blog acts as a lead magnet to draw in potential guests who are researching accommodation or events in your local area. Once you attract them to your site with interesting and relevant content, you can showcase your brand and the unique offerings of your hotel.