The current mantra in hotel digital marketing is content, content, content. It is the driving force behind most inbound marketing campaigns as it builds domain authority for your hotel website, takes advantage of social media sharing, and allows your hotel to showcase its unique story and brand.
But not all content is created equal. From Snapchat celebs to Instagram hotels, the industry is producing diverse and innovative content marketing campaigns. Here are a few of our favorites:
Chain hotels often have larger marketing budgets than independent brands, allowing them to launch more elaborate, cross-platform campaigns. Marriott’s Content Studio has garnered praise, collaborating with social media influencers to connect with younger audiences. While they’ve gone beyond the usual online marketing efforts by producing short films, Marriott has actually experienced its highest levels of engagement on Snapchat—particularly impressive as they’re the first hotel brand to employ the platform for content purposes rather than just advertising.
The three-month campaign featured four Snapchat celebrities who each visited a destination determined by user feedback. They worked with the hotel group to present the brand in a positive light and published practical, local content from both their accounts and Marriott’s, expanding overall reach.
The Eye Candy
Independent hotels shouldn’t be counted out of the content marketing game simply because they lack the resources of larger chains. The 90-room 1888 Hotel in Sydney underwent a redesign in 2013 to rebrand itself as the “world’s first Instagram hotel.” With all details conceived with the popular photo-sharing app in mind, the property became strikingly photogenic.
Guest-shot photos adorn the walls, and the lobby is home to a “selfie space” where including #1888Hotel in one’s snaps displays them instantaneously on nearby screens. Instagram users with significantly large followings are even invited for a complimentary stay. Focusing its efforts on one particular channel, the boutique hotel has used photo sharing to efficiently garner free publicity.
The Social Butterfly
If an Instagram hotel exists, surely a Twitter equivalent should enter the mix as well. The world’s first is the Sol Wave House Hotel in Majorca, geared to young, outgoing guests who are active on social media.
Using #SocialWave allows these lively holidaymakers to chat with each other, share photos, and attend a poolside #TwitterParty on Fridays. Dedicated Twitter concierges are even available to handle requests from guests in premium rooms. Through these offerings, the hotel facilitates guest interaction and creates a fun brand image rooted in user-generated content.
Search algorithms favor original content, so connecting with audiences through platforms like blogs also proves useful. Morgans Hotel Group employs a highly niche approach, appealing to its largely fashion and design savvy clientele through its blog Back of House, in turn building a content niche.
Posts feature well-composed interviews with “creators.” While those profiled have hailed from the literary, startup, and food worlds, many are involved in the arts. The blog also provides monthly round-ups of happenings in each of Morgans’ markets. Furthermore, the hotel group has invited fashion bloggers to their properties for complimentary stays. Through Back of House, Morgans skillfully uses well-crafted editorial to foster creative collaboration and connect with its target audience.
The Photo Pro
Photography and travel have always been linked, so eye-catching visuals are a must for the industry. Loews Hotels has done a particularly good job with imagery through their “Travel for Real” ad campaign, which has appeared both in impressive print and online placements.
The brand has sourced authentic guest Instagram photos from a pool of over 35,000. Along with captions, the images are branded with #TravelForReal and credited to the user. While these guests are compensated for their photography, the moments captured are indeed genuine, personal experiences. As such, Loews provides its audience an opportunity to share their memories, thereby fostering engagement and loyalty. In an industry where perfectly Photoshopped imagery is the norm, Loews’ novel approach is truly a “no filter” view of guest experience.