Are you ready to convert more website visitors into booked rooms? As you are well aware, starting a blog is fairly easy. However, growing an audience that will regularly read your blog and trust your brand is challenging to say the least. As a luxury hotel, you want your blog to ultimately put butts in bed and increase your RevPAR. To do this you will need to create content that speaks to specific pain points held by your audience, spark imaginations, and promote trust in your brand.
Getting Started with a Blog for Hospitality Marketing
First things first, you will want to know EXACTLY who you are writing for. One of the biggest mistakes internal hotel marketing personnel make is assuming they know their audience. However, people who typically book luxury resorts and hotels do so because they are looking to either maintain their lifestyle, or improve their lifestyle while away from home. This is where segmenting contacts based on precise data will pay off when it comes to writing audience-targeted content that will convert.
Multiple studies show that while your standard four star hotel guests was a great view and a comfortable bed, luxury boutique hotel guests are looking for much more than that. These are the little things that may seem unimportant to a lot of people, but truly matter at this level of a property. From the decor aesthetics to the room’s layout, down to the linen and the brand of skincare products, going above and beyond expectations is to fulfill what is expected before taking it up a notch and over-delivering down to appeasing the most niche of tastes.
Creating buyer personas will help tremendously here. These are semi-fictional representations of actual guests that hotel markets use in audience targeting strategies. Buyer personas touch on data points about each guest, such as the following:
- Age & gender
- Business, pleasure or both
- Job title
- Working while staying?
- How does the person define luxury?
- What challenges does the person face in looking for a boutique hotel?
Clearly all of your guests seek unique experiences and a level of class well above the bar. But by getting into the weeds and discovering those fine-point needs, you can create amazing content that will give the reader a snapshot of what it’s like to stay at your property.
1. Create Certain Blogs to be Specific Landing Pages
Most blogs strive to drive traffic to their blog’s homepage, or to individual blog posts that rank for specific topics. While these are great strategies for various industries, high-end hotels would be wise to also create landing pages optimized for SEO. The best hotel marketing agencies serving luxury properties perform this strategy for their high-end clients. Here, each blog landing page should represent your guest’s needs, exist in the site’s navigation, and provide an entry point where readers can scan directly related topics and click on the content of their choice.
Because the luxury hotel guest has precise needs, optimizing landing pages with easy access to precise topics can convert to booking. Still continue to rank individual blog posts for niche buyer groups, but use landing pages as a way to increase organic traffic likely to convert.
Specific blog landing pages also help eliminate guests going directly to your homepage where conversions are slim. Most blog pages have way too many elements that prevent people from focusing on that singular piece that will win them over. Audience targeted blog landing pages eliminate distractions and help your website visitors focus on the things that matter to them. As a result, conversions will go up and in time so will your RevPAR.
2. Customize Your Blog for Specific Audiences
We already touched on this a bit. Here’s the main question to ask yourself: who is the blog for? You may be tempted to “write content for yourself”, but every article you publish needs to be hand-wrapped with a ribbon on top for your audience.
This means your blog is written for all your guests, but if you write each article for “everyone”, you will fail. Attention to segmentation will play big here. This will ensure that each section of your audience can easily find content they will love that focuses entirely on their intimate needs while providing educated answers to their specific questions. Writing for specific target audiences will drive traffic to your blog and funnel readers to the topics that matter the most.
3. Use Blogs to Offer Incentives
Does a significant segment of your audience love luxury spa services? Perhaps another cohorts loves the many fine dining opportunities located on your property. So why not create a blog on luxury spa life with a free manicure offer, or a one-hour massage for the price of a 30-minute rubdown?
But wait, the idea of a blog is to make money and not give it away, right? Everyone loves free stuff; it doesn’t matter how much money you make. If you want to increase room bookings through social shares, inbound links and comments then you will need to showcase something your competitors sell–then give it away for free. According to Gemba Marketing, giving away free stuff and samples accounts for 81 percent of that which motivates event participation.
Blogs that promote giveaways can be vital components to a conversion strategy aimed at increasing your RevPAR while showcasing your property as the one offering the best luxury experience in your space.
4. Use Informational Social Influence on Your Blogs
If you use informational social influence on blog posts, you can create an abundance of trust which will help convert more bookings. Also known as social proof, informational social influence is a psychological phenomenon where people roll out the actions of others as a strategy for reflecting correct behavior for a precise situation. Simply put, informational social influence demonstrates the faith and trust others have in your brand, its products, and its services.
When people go to your blog and see actions taken (like social shares) by others, they will be more inclined to repeat the same action because others have. On a subconscious level we as human beings all want to feel like we belong to something, and even though ‘that something’ is as small as a group indulging in social shares, the impulse is powerful enough to influence one’s behavior thus giving immediate gratification at the click of a button. People are also more inclined to comment on something if others have done so. Informational social influence can be a great way to drive traffic to your blog and amp up your conversion rate.
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