Hotels Need to Think Like a Media Company
A hotel’s strategy for producing content should be inspired by media companies and influenced by their ideal customer and what is unique about their property.
Parsippany, NJ -- Hotels are not simply hospitality and travel companies, they and every business in the world today are media companies. Hoteliers must view their brand, property and business this way and produce content accordingly, because, after all, content is king. It always has been and always will be.
What do travelers, Millennials, mobile users and followers consider content?
Content, for today's consumer, is about making connections. It is about connecting with a brand, a lifestyle, a persona even. It is about aligning interests and philosophies with businesses that fit the view of what consumers want in life – from experiences and products, to convenience and useful information. Content inspires consumers to elevate their way of life and consider what they want their world to look and feel like. Content is always available so that the consumer can access it how and when they choose.
Every piece of content produced today is an opportunity to connect – both with a broader reach and on a more personal level with each individual consumer than ever before.
Travel and hospitality companies are expanding their way of thinking and their brand's strategies to capitalize on the impact and appeal content can create. Airbnb is doing so in the form of a print magazine, Pineapple and Marriott International has made news with their Content Studio, which encompasses feature films, SnapChat campaigns, long form publishing and blogging. And just last week, Hilton used Periscope and Meerkat to livestream a Nick Jonas concert to fans and followers.
How can hotels produce content like a media company?
Consider the potential connections good, fresh, consistent content can make, then it is also easily realized that content does not need to be elaborate, extensive or expensive. It can be done on a property-level, it just needs to be authentic.
- Create back of house videos for an up close look utilizing mobile devices
- Livestream live music or entertainment using Periscope or Meerkat
- Show a "day in the life", sharing what makes each department unique
- Interview the executive chef and share tips or even a signature recipe or cocktail
- Post snapshots on Instagram that aren't captured on a website's photo gallery.
- Share employee spotlights of popular staff so audiences can get to know them
- Ask what followers want to know, but be sure to deliver the content they request.
Do not just offer a glimpse inside a property or behind the scenes, become the go-to resource for travelers planning trips to the area by posting always current lists of upcoming events, must-see area attractions, date night ideas, travel tips, planning guides and other nearby offerings. This not only provides authentic, fresh content that search engines love, but it paints the picture of what awaits guests.
Convey the experience at any given destination, whether it is the relaxing oasis at a property's spa or the highlights of the city, through helpful information, quality visuals and answers to frequently asked or commonly misunderstood questions.
Think outside the box and get creative. Content as simple as helpful weather information, road closures, and other dynamic details are where opportunities exist to connect with people as they plan a trip as well as before during and after their stay.
Content is connections. Connections are bookings. Bookings mean loyalty.
"Positioning a hotel as a media company online enriches a brand's reputation and builds connections vital to a property's revenue," says DJ Vallauri, Founder and President of Lodging Interactive. "People want information, they want to be 'in the know' and they want to engage with brands that embody the things that are important to them. Hotels can easily provide the content consumers are out their searching for and cultivate connections and relationships from there. Hoteliers have the foundation in place. Fresh, authentic content can be shared on a vanity site, blog, social channels and email."
Lodging Interactive has been creating content, making connections and generating increased revenue and loyalty for management companies, major hotel brands as well as independent and boutique hotels. The digital marketing and social engagement firm's approach is about people and that provides clients with a truly unique, customized strategy that fits their specific needs and goals.
For more ways to produce content that forges connections, or to partner with Lodging Interactive to get started, please visit the company's website.
About Lodging Interactive
Since 2001 Lodging Interactive has been a leading provider of digital marketing services to the hospitality industry. Customers include select service and full-service branded properties, as well as independent luxury hotels and resorts worldwide.
Lodging Interactive is the parent company of commingle:engage, the Company"s social media marketing and reputation management division which serves hundreds of hotels, restaurants, spas, and management companies.
The Company also provides subscription-based website development and digital marketing services through its HotelSiteXPRESS offering. The service is based on a "pay-as-you-go" model and requires no capital investment on the part of the hotel.
Lodging Interactive is an HSMAI Adrian Award winner and has won awards from the International Academy of Visual Arts, Interactive Media Awards, Horizon Interactive Awards, Web Marketing Association, Academy of Interactive & Visual Arts, and Travel Weekly"s Magellan Awards have recognized Lodging Interactive as an industry leader.