There is no such thing as one-size-fits-all hotel content writing – don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Every hotel brand is different, as are its guests and the type of services and amenities it provides. When you’re putting together a content plan for your hotel, you will want to address the needs of your customers, both those who regularly stay with you and potential new customers who may be convinced to book a room with you, while simultaneously promoting and adding value to your hotel by establishing your brand’s voice and expertise. In short, your content must be personalised according to your target audience, brand values and objectives… starting with choosing the appropriate form.
So how do you know what form of written content to use? Should you produce a local area guide, a destination feature or perhaps a presentation-style slideshow? Before you decide, consider the following questions: What would I like my readers/potential clients to know? What content can I provide them with to help them choose my brand? Who is our target demographic? How will this ultimately benefit the company?
To help you narrow down the right form of content for your hotel, we’ve come up with a breakdown of the various options, explaining how to utilise each form to best serve your hotel brand.
Destination pieces or features
Destination pieces are the sexy, glitzy prima donnas of the travel content world. They are used to hook a potential guests’ interest and with any luck, send them to your hotel website. They serve as an armchair trip to a place, revealing unique angles to well-known destinations or highlighting unusual places. They might include unique journeys, first-person narratives or special interests such as food, hiking or skiing. They are by no means a travel guide but rather allow the writer to cast their own personality on the piece. The tantalising image they paint of the destination should serve to fuel readers’ wanderlust and encourage them to book a room in your hotel.
Providing your up-and-coming guests with valuable, up-to-date, nuts and bolts travel content can raise your brand’s credibility to stratospheric levels. The big boys of travel guides – think Lonely Planet, Rough Guides et al – produce free and thorough online guides which serve to enhance their guide books. It generates a trust from their readers which ultimately converts into book sales. For the same reason, several hotel brands (such as NH hotels) choose to create free, in-depth travel guides in order to demonstrate their expertise and therefore inspire potential customers to book with them.
Creating service articles that will provide locked-in and potential guests with useful, bite-sized travel advice is always a good idea. Not only will it enhance your status as a local area expert, but it will also hopefully keep your readers coming back to your site and boost the image (and, ultimately, the bookings) of your hotel brand. The articles can be hugely varied. If your hotel offers budget or mid-range accommodation, consider putting together some money-saving tips for guests staying with you. Or, if you mainly host international business guests, you may want to offer advice on the finer points of local business etiquette. Just remember to always be three things: authoritative, informative and entertaining.
These are often under-used but hugely valuable travel content tools. Providing a reader with a detailed, tailored itinerary for a trip flaunts your expert knowledge and gives them a reason to return to your website. The trick is to ensure it is perfectly crafted for your demographic, so you are reaching your target audience. Take this sample family itinerary by the Four Seasons Boston, which gives travelling families some ideas of how to spend four days in the city. Links to recommended restaurant, flight or attraction websites can also do wonders for your site’s search ranking.
Slide shows or round-ups
With glossy images to accompany them, slide shows and round-ups are easy to read, inspirational and quick bits of exciting travel content. They are also wonderful for sharing on social media and driving traffic to your website.