Content Marketing. The future of Hotel Marketing, or already the present?

It’s called many different things depending on who you’re talking to, but what exactly is content marketing?

Content Marketing Defined:

Basically, content marketing is the art of communicating with your customers and prospects without selling. It is non-interruption marketing. Instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your buyer more intelligent. The essence of this content strategy is the belief that if we as businesses deliver consistent, ongoing valuable information to buyers, they ultimately reward us with their business and loyalty.

Content Marketing is being used around the globe by some of the most creative, cutting-edge hotel brands and management groups.  Small and large independents alike are now creating and executing a content marketing strategy designed to drive revenue.  Why do they invest so much time into this?  Well, its seems to work.  Really well!

It’s become quite obvious to most marketers that they can’t reach their customers through the same mediums they used to.  DVR’s allow us to skip through TV commercials, print is more popular with recycling bins than any particular demographic, and consumers have become so good at surfing for information that they can simply filter out any banner or display ad they see.  This is where the influencers and leaders in this industry have seen an opportunity.  If it’s so easy for consumers to search and find information, why not help provide that information for them with the idea being that when they are ready to purchase, your brand loyalty is already established.

If you go back and read the definition above, there should be one piece that really resonates.  If you as a hotel “are delivering information that makes your buyer more intelligent” , you have instantly created credibility and separated your brand from the constant bombardment of direct selling or spamming the consumer receives on a daily basis.

Content marketing is any marketing format that involves the creation and sharing of media or content in order to acquire customers. The basic idea is to provide information or entertainment that the consumer will find valuable but stops short of moving into any specific or direct sales pitch. The consumer will keep coming back as long as the content stays fresh and interesting to them without the feeling of a “hard sell pitch”.

To see the value of this approach, ask yourself a few simple questions.  What if your consumer actually looked forward to receiving your marketing material? What if they not only looked forward to your marketing material, but they spent 5 -20 minutes consuming it?  What if they found that information so valuable that they felt it was necessary to share with their friends or colleagues. And what if Google loved all that activity and rewarded you with more visibility?

Consumers will look forward to receiving your marketing materials if you take the time to develop a well thought out Content Marketing plan.  If you don’t already have a CM strategy, what are you waiting for?

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