It’s incredibly likely that your guests will visit your hotel’s website before their trip.
But is it informative and engaging? Does it give a voice to your hotel brand? Does it boost your property’s ranking in online search? These are just some of the benefits of including a blog.
Yes, it’s a commitment of time and resources, but it’s worth it.
Here are 5 reasons why your hotel should publish a blog:
1. You have a story to tell
This means you have stories to share that make your property, on-site restaurant, amenities, and the surrounding destination unique and interesting.
Maria Leifer, sales and marketing assistant at the Boutiquehotel Stadthalle in Vienna, is in charge of the hotel’s blog, which is published in English and German. “You need to find out what your unique selling point is, or which topics represent you the most,” Leifer advises.
Because the Boutiquehotel Stadthalle is a “green” hotel following environmentally-sound business practices, content often relates to sustainability, including this post; “5 tips to go green.”
However, the blog also incorporates information on local events, new city restaurants, holiday packages, and even job openings.
2. You want to reach new guests
A frequently-published, well-written blog can bring potential guests to your website by improving your hotel’s rankings in search engines, which put a higher value on dynamic and fresh content.
Incorporate the blog on your main website, rather than as a separate web domain, so it’s easier to find.
When you write posts with search engine optimisation (SEO) in mind, and use keywords in headlines and sub-headers, you can be discovered by potential guests with specific interests – like people who love cooking, gardening, or interior design.
For example, the Omni Hotels blog featured its Boston property’s claim to fame as the birthplace of Parker House rolls, and provided the recipe. You can bet this post comes up in generic recipe searches and puts the hotel in front of a completely new demographic.
3. You have a growing social media presence
You can get more marketing power from each new post by promoting it across your other social media sites. Leifer recommends using every digital avenue available to promote your blog.
“Talk about it everywhere, and especially on the internet, via your homepage and in social media channels,” she says.
4. You have a multi-layered content marketing strategy
We’ve discussed the importance of content marketing in a previous post. A blog supplements your overall strategy, if you strategically repurpose content. You can use excerpts in your email newsletter, on Facebook, and in Twitter posts. You can lead readers from the blog to a contest you’re running on Facebook, or vice versa.
All of these actions, it should be noted, offer measurable return on investment. You can count the page views of the blog, track the traffic from the blog to other pages on your website, and calculate how many times a post is shared or retweeted.
5. You want to react quickly to travel trends
A blog can adapt quickly in response to new travel trends. Do you have a spa? Start talking about how your guests who are following the mindfulness movement can participate in guided meditation sessions there.
Blog designs can be changed, new writers with fresh voices can be introduced, and new types of content can be integrated quickly, especially compared to updating brochures and ad campaigns.
…and 3 good reasons NOT to have a blog:
If you plan to invest in developing and a publishing a blog, it has to be an earnest effort for best results. Honestly assess your abilities to do it well. Here are 3 reasons not to bother with a hotel blog:
1. You can’t update it regularly
Infrequent posts don’t improve your website’s rankings, as well as fresh and frequent content. It also reflects poorly on your business if your latest post features local Christmas markets, for example, and it’s now July.
2. You just post it and leave it
New content on your blog won’t be discovered unless someone stumbles upon it on your website, or you promote it in other channels. You have to draw eyes to the blog by mentioning and linking to it on your Facebook page, Twitter feed, and email newsletter.
3. You leave it to the interns
Yes, young people are adept at social media, so student interns can help publish and promote posts. But don’t completely leave it in their hands. They won’t write in the same professional voice as your seasoned staff.
Here are some hotel blogs getting it right…
We like these hotel blogs for many reasons, including content, voice, value, and design. You’ll notice they aren’t all large properties or chains, either. Several are small, independent hotels. Take inspiration from these, and get started:
The Standard Hotels (US — New York, Los Angeles, Miami Beach)
The Broadmoor (US — Colorado Springs)
Kimpton Hotels (North America and the Caribbean)
Mr. and Mrs. Smith Collection (Worldwide)
Omni Hotels (Worldwide)
Lošinj Hotels & Villas (Croatia)
Hotel Mar Calma (Spain)
Secret Bay (Dominica, West Indies)
You’ll need somewhere beautiful to host your hotel’s blog and a great place to start is your website. Download ‘Your hotel’s ultimate A-to-Z guide to beautiful website design‘ for advice on how to get started…