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8 Fun & Engaging Content Marketing Trends In Hospitality

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8 Fun & Engaging Content Marketing Trends In Hospitality


Throughout the course of the pandemic, hospitality marketing strategies have had to shift dramatically.

Consumer behavior, lockdowns, and travel restrictions have wreaked havoc with hospitality marketing messaging.

Now that the industry is bouncing back, with more and more people itching to travel, it’s time to get creative with your hospitality brand’s content.

Check out some fun and engaging content marketing trends we saw last year and anticipate we’ll see this year as hospitality opens back up:

1. Touchless And Digital Hotel Technology

With COVID still looming around and many safety protocols in place, the importance of digitally-assisted interactions has grown (in other words, no touching the same screens as hundreds of other people).

According to PWC, 81% of travelers were already looking for more digital service options from their hotel brands in 2019 – and the demand has only grown since then.

Naturally, touchless technology was the route to go during a worldwide pandemic, so this is the type of technology that really saw a boom in the industry.

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If you’re traveling in the next few months, you may see more and more hotels using technology such as touchless faucets, automated doors, and more.

In the future, you may even be able to control different aspects of your guest room, such as the lights, thermostat, and TV, from an app on your phone.

Not only does technology like this help ensure that everyone – employees and guests alike – are safe and comfortable, it also makes their stay more enjoyable as well!

The pandemic is (hopefully) winding down now, but germs will always exist and guests will always be looking for a way to make traveling easier and more simplified.

It’s never a bad idea to institute some of these touchless additions to your facility.

2. Promoting Safety

Speaking of safety, one of the most popular trends in hospitality marketing in the wake of COVID is the importance of highlighting and advertising a brand’s pandemic protocol and safety procedures.

Examples can be increased cleaning and sanitation, social distancing, enforcing the mask policy, and contactless food and concierge options.

Advertising this on a brand’s website and also upon arrival shows clear communication and commitment to guest safety, which improves customer satisfaction.

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You can use attributes and the description field on Google Business Profiles to showcase these efforts in local search results, as well.

3. Encouraging Staycations

With many individuals still hesitant to travel abroad or even domestically, people have turned to traveling locally, or going on a “staycation.”

Supporting your local community has also become more important in recent years, making staycations even more appealing.

Image from The Hotel at Midtown, March 2022

With that being said, brands should be marketing their saunas, gyms, spa/massage services, and food delivery.

The Hotel at Midtown in Chicago does a great job of this by enticing locals to check out their restaurants, world-class fitness center, indoor and outdoor pools, and more.

Not to mention you have the entire city of Chicago at your disposal, so why not skip the plane ticket and vacation in your own city?

4. Highlight Flexible Cancellations

The world is a very uncertain place right now, and many hotels and flights could cancel last minute.

Brands should offer a generous cancellation policy, which allows customers to either rebook or be refunded.

It’s not the guest’s fault that their trip may have been canceled, and you don’t want to place additional stress on the guest for not being able to get a hotel credit or be refunded.

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Some airlines, for example, have generous cancellation policies while others do not.

Chances are those with generous cancellation policies have a higher customer satisfaction score vs. those that aren’t so lenient.

While it’s true that many businesses compete on pricing, they also compete on customer experience and reputation.

For many audiences, it won’t matter how affordable your brand is if it comes with poor customer service.

Although Southwest Airlines isn’t considered a “luxury” airline (as they don’t offer first or business class seats), they have one of the highest customer satisfaction ratings in the airline industry.

This could be partly due to the fact that they also have one of the most flexible cancellation policies.

Customers will return to a brand when they are happy with the quality, experience, and customer service.

5. Work From Home… Or A Hotel

Why work from home day after day when you can work from a luxury hotel or resort?

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More and more hotels are enticing business professionals to trade in their slippers and Zoom attire for casual wear that they can lounge in while working from a hotel lobby or coffee shop.

Hotels can market to those remote workers by offering free wi-fi or a cup of coffee when visiting their facility.

Some even have designated workspaces that are clean and quiet and perfect for those who can’t go into an office but for whose house may not be the ideal work environment.

It’s always nice to have a change of scenery, and who doesn’t want to get out of their house from time to time anyway?

Market your hospitality business as a great place to work, or even just to meet friends and catch up!

6. Influencer Marketing

The power of social media is incredible; it affects essentially every market worldwide, and so you need to learn to use it to the advantage of your business.

Whether you love them or hate them, influencers have taken over social platforms.

Influencer marketing has become a necessity for hospitability businesses when it comes to keeping up with competitors.

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By using influencer marketing, brands can reach a much larger audience (the bigger the influencer, the bigger the audience) and attract more targeted consumers.

If you partner with an influencer in your space, this can be seen as one of the most valuable marketing tools because that influencer has trust with his/her audience and that trust will translate to your brand.

The #LetHawaiiHappen Campaign was a huge success when the Hawaii Tourism Authority partnered with a variety of popular Instagram influencers, encouraging them to post photos of themselves in some of Hawaii’s most popular (and beautiful) tourist attractions while using the aforementioned hashtag.

7. User-Generated Content

User-generated content is content that is created by users themselves as opposed to employees of the business.

This includes reviews and testimonials, as well as any time someone comments about a company (an online forum, like Quora, for example).

Potential customers typically value user-generated content because the users have no reason to be dishonest; they’re not being paid or reimbursed for their review of a brand, so it’s safe to say whatever they write will be truthful.

These are the types of reviews that are important for brands to highlight on their website.

So, how can you make it happen?

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As a business, always encourage past customers to write reviews and share their experiences on social media.

Create a hashtag (or a few) and have customers use them when posting about your business on social media (see the example #LetHawaiiHappen, for example).

You could even reach out to the influencers we mentioned in the paragraph above and encourage them to check out your business and leave an honest review!

If you’re a solid business, this will only help you in the end.

If you find yourself with a lot of negative reviews, perhaps it’s time to take those into account and start making the changes you need to succeed.

8. Buy Now, Pay Later

Similar to the point above about making cancellations easy and avoiding change fees, many are still feeling uneasy about their financial situation.

Lately, we’ve seen different companies offer a “buy now, pay later” option to help hook customers and get them committed to making a purchase.

This allows the business to not miss out on any urgent appeals or promotions they may be running, and it allows the consumer to feel confident that they got the best deal without having to put any money down.

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A great example of this is Uplift, which has partnered with a variety of international travel organizations from cruise lines to airlines to vacation packages in an attempt to ignite the travel industry by allowing patrons to “make thoughtful purchases now and pay over time…”

Final Thoughts

Hospitality marketing is hot right now and will only pick up more sizzle throughout the next few years as the world begins to open back up.

Using the tips above will help maximize revenue and increase customer retention and satisfaction. Safe travels and happy marketing!

More resources:


Featured Image: vichie81/Shutterstock

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SEO

Google Analytics 4 – More Than SEO [Podcast]

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Google Analytics 4 - More Than SEO [Podcast]

In the past few episodes, we’ve discussed the SEO and organic tracking implications of the switch from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4, but how does GA 4 help with paid campaigns, affiliate campaigns, Google Ads, campaign tracking with IDs, etc.?

Krista Seiden of KS Digital and former VP at Quantcast joined me on the SEJ Show to discuss the benefits and advantages of GA 4 for paid campaigns plus other opportunities digital marketers will face with the sunsetting of Google Analytics UA.

One of the misconceptions is that this product just isn’t there yet, and I would push back a little bit and say it’s constantly evolving, and a lot of new things have come out. So take the time to know how to use the tool and understand what’s actually there. –Krista Seiden, 4:55

Don’t expect your data to be precisely the same between UA and GA4. So even things like sessions and user accounts will be different because GA4 calculates these things in different ways than Universal Analytics. –Krista Seiden, 44:41

I do not think that this deadline is going to change. I would suggest taking this one seriously. If you don’t start moving now, you’ll probably not be able to pull your year-over data within GA4. The sooner that you get it implemented, the more historical data you will have in GA4 to be able to compare to. –Krista Seiden, 22:09

[00:00] – About Krista & her in-house background at Google Analytics.
[03:23] – Common misconceptions about GA4.
[05:20] – Is there more customization with GA4?
[07:10] – Hesitations with the transfer.
[08:42] – New feature releases with GA4.
[12:57] – Why build reports with GA4 if you can utilize Google Data Studio?
[16:08] – How is GA4 concerning GDPR?
[19:33] – Differences in transition with GA360 and GA4360.
[24:30] – What to expect with GA4.
[26:18] – Can you define direct traffic better with GA4?
[27:22] – Changes that affect PPC.
[30:53] – Differences between goals and conversions.
[34:15] – Reason why the data retention period is only two months by default in GA4.
[35:18] – Recommendations to get started with GA4.
[41:04] – Does Krista recommend a fallback?

Resources mentioned:
https://ksdigital.co/academy/
https://join.measure.chat

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It’s nice that we now have this ability to actually customize the UI of GA4. So, for example, we can choose what reports to show or not for people in our organizations. –Krista Seiden, 5:44

GA4 is a heck of a lot more privacy-centric than Universal Analytics. –Krista Seiden, 16:41

I’m sure there’s gonna be a lot of people waiting until the last minute. So do not wait till the last minute. Like we said, if anything, just go ahead and drop that tag on your site now. –Loren Baker, 49:18

For more content like this, subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/searchenginejournal

Connect with Krista Seiden:

Krista Seiden is a savvy, experienced analytics leader who has led teams at Adobe and Google. In addition, she has led optimization initiatives for companies such as The Apollo Group and Quantcast. As an analytics and optimization methodology expert, she has become one of the most sought-after consultants in the industry.

Her expertise led her to start KS Digital, an analytics consultancy in 2019, which helps businesses optimize their digital marketing and analytics investments.

In addition to being dedicated and hardworking, she also contributes occasional guest posts to top industry publications such as Google Analytics Blog. When she is not working, she enjoys traveling as much as possible!

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Connect with Krista on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kristaseiden/
Follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/kristaseiden
Visit her website: https://www.kristaseiden.com/

Connect with Loren Baker, Founder of Search Engine Journal:

Follow him on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/lorenbaker
Connect with him on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lorenbaker

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