This post was written for Hawthorn Creative and originally published here.
What started out as a murmur a few years back has crystalized into a roar: content marketing is king. We’re breaking down how content marketing strategy is evolving and which trends you should add to your content strategy now.
From hotel reviews to social media posts filling Google search results to well-composed blogs from top DMOs, the internet is teaming with content about where to go next and what to do in every destination under the sun. The good news: Readers are hungry for this kind of content marketing strategy within the hospitality industry, whether you’re producing it in-house or using a marketing agency such as Hawthorn to do so. The challenge is cutting through the glut of content and then getting strategic about distributing it across platforms so your content reaches its audience.
As you might expect, content marketing has become the new normal of modern marketing. In fact, 75 percent of companies have increased their investment in this sphere this year. That’s more hotels and destinations competing against your content marketing strategy. So you need to find your niche of consistent, one-of-a-kind content in this crowded space. But you also should be looking at new approaches and new frontiers to get your content heard.
4 New Content Marketing Trends to Increase Engagement
· Video – It’s well established that Facebook prioritizes video content above all else, and others are following suit. If the thought of producing videos terrifies you, find an easy entry point. Creating a GoPro video from a bellhop or concierge’s point of view, or compiling some video testimonials from guests who have had an outstanding experience with you or in your destination are two easier examples of video that don’t demand high-quality (read: costly) execution to be effective.
· Visually-driven content – What catches your eye faster: a block of text or a colorful image? Researchers have found that people’s willingness to read a piece of content increases by 80% when colored visuals are included. By focusing on infographics, interactive images, and motion design, you’ll catch more eyes and keep people engaged with your content longer, which means you have a better opportunity to nurture your connection with them.
· Deep Dive Copy-Driven Posts – if you’re going to rely on text to tell your story, fluffy opinion pieces won’t cut it. Give your guests a meticulously inclusive guide to your destination, making your article one-stop-shopping for someone trying to figure out what to do in your area. Or round up a list of the top 20-50 wedding trends brides need to know now – think longer, more researched, more comprehensive than your standard “Top Five Reasons To…” post.
· Virtual Reality – Seventy four percent of consumers express an interest in VR used in the hospitality industry. Imagine being able to offer guests the opportunity to walk through your lobby, lie on your beach, swim in your pool, or have a seat at your bar, all from the comfort of their homes? VR has the tantalizing possibility to revolutionize how guests research and experience destinations – and the future of the technology should not be underestimated.