A look at why a hotel blog should be part of any small and independent hotel’s content marketing plan.
To Blog or Not To Blog, That Is The Question
No matter where we find ourselves in our travel purchase journey, one thing is certain: we’ll always turn to the internet for ideas, inspiration, and research—and even just for fun.
We’ll download free travel resources, pore over must do / see / eat lists, read city guides, and watch destination vlogs.
Some of the content we consume is courtesy of independents, like our favorite YouTubers or trusted travel bloggers; others are from reputable magazines like Travel + Leisure or Condé Nast Traveler.
And then there are resources courtesy of big hotel brands, like the Marriott Bonvoy Traveler website or Ritz-Carlton’s The Journey.
With so many options out there, you might be wondering if it even makes sense for a small or independent property like yours to blog as well.
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons, starting with what is probably holding you back.
Hotel Blogging: Common Objections
For many small and independent hotel brands, it’s not so much a matter of not wanting to add a blog to their hotel’s content marketing strategy.
It’s about balancing resources. More specifically, the human resources required to curate high-quality content that’s also on-brand.
That’s why small hotels choose to skip blogging in favor of other hotel content marketing options that are quicker to do and where the feedback is instant. For example: Instagram.
In short, they aren’t sure if the return will be worth the investment (of time and effort) because it takes too long to produce and takes too long to see results.
1. Blog content creation is time consuming
Problem: Your sales and marketing personnel are already inundated with work. Their focus is selling rooms and that’s not easy in a dynamic and crowded industry like yours.
Fact is, finding the time to write up hotel blog posts – on top of everything else – may simply not be feasible. After all, research takes times as do writing and editing. Not to mention, writer’s block just loves to get in the way of great ideas. So sales first, writing later (or never).
Solution: Outsource hotel blog posts to an experienced content writer.
A freelance content writer works towards your hotel’s content marketing goals, so you can reap the benefits of blogging—without all the sleepless nights that come with it!
2. What’s there to write about?
Problem: Brainstorming ideas and then turning them into relevant, worthwhile topics for your target audience isn’t easy. Add in the pressure to bring results and that would discourage busy hotel marketers from blogging
Solution: Develop a content marketing plan before you start writing.
List out your goals, figure out what your guests are most interested in, plan what you’ll write about and when you’ll be publishing each post. Having a plan means you aren’t left to figure things out (or scrambling for ideas) last minute.
3. Hotel blog posts don’t necessarily lead to bookings
Problem: The biggest argument against blogging is that it doesn’t always—nor instantly—increase bookings. Some readers will simply enjoy your content but never convert into paying customers. Other times, it’s because readers just aren’t ready to book yet. That’s the reality of blog content creation.
If it doesn’t bring quick results, an impatient marketing team may choose to forego blogging altogether in place of other approaches such as pay per click (PPC) ads.
Solution: Create content that appeals to readers at various stages of their purchase journey—and that moves them down the sales funnel.
Hotel Content Marketing: Blog Benefits
While you may not always land a booking, blogging supports other important marketing goals like building awareness and boosting engagement—at a fraction of the cost of other initiatives!
Let’s explore hotel blogging benefits in greater detail.
1. It is a budget-friendly way to market your property
Blogging is an incredibly affordable way to promote both your property and your destination. Unlike PPC ads, you aren’t charged for every click through to your website. And the content you create for your blog will work for you well into the future unlike ads that stop as soon as you stop paying. All in all, that amounts to substantial savings over the months and years.
Takeaway: Blogging is one of the most sustainable ways to drive organic traffic to your website.
2. It helps build brand awareness—and encourages direct bookings
For many small or independent hotel brands, the only way travelers will ever discover your property is through an online travel agency (OTA). But with OTA commission fees eating into your earnings, it’s always a good idea to reduce reliance on them.
Enter hotel blog posts!
When your posts and articles show up in a user’s search results, those individuals become aware of your existence at an early enough stage in the purchase journey where you can still influence their choice of accommodation. blog
Takeaway: Readers aren’t confined to your blog. From an inspiring post they can move on to read about your hotel or take a look at room rates—and then even book direct!
3. A blog grows your reach
A hotel blog allows you to reach a wide – global – audience without having to pay for that exposure. I mean you won’t have to find the budget for print ads in popular magazines, ads on YouTube or even just for banner ads because your blog can be viewed by almost anyone the world over.
Takeaway: What you write connects you with qualified leads all around the world—in just a few clicks!
4. Inspire people to sign up for your marketing emails
A particularly well-written blog can even encourage readers to sign up for the newsletter and marketing emails! Why? People that like what they’re reading – they find it interesting, useful, fun – will be amenable to signing up for more of your great content.
Takeaway: A blog can help you effortlessly build your email list.
5. What you write can entice travelers to stay at your hotel
Your content can plant an idea in readers’ minds—and influence them to book their next stay with you. Let’s say you write up a post about historic buildings in your city and your hotel just so happens to be housed in one of them – that might inspire the reader to want to spend a few nights at your property.
Takeaway: If you can get your brand in front of people when they’re already dreaming of a destination – when they are at their happiest and most excited – then it’s so much easier to convince them to choose your hotel over the alternatives.
6. Stimulate interest for your packages and promotions
Once someone is on your blog and consuming your content, you don’t have to work as hard to get them to take notice of other promotions. You can add in a plug for a relevant package or strategically add in a call to action for the newsletter.
Takeaway: It’s hard to win someone’s attention and then their interest. But once you have it – they’re on your blog – you have the opportunity to move them down the sales funnel. You can draw attention to relevant services, packages or offers that would be of interest to the reader.
7. Improve your search engine performance
Frankly, getting your website to rank highly on search engines can feel like a herculean feat. After all, you’re competing against major brands with massive online footprints and ranking power. They dominate the first page of major search engines!
Luckily, your blog posts can boost your performance and help you to rank for desired – albeit super competitive – keywords.
Takeaway: Posting high-quality, original content to your blog improves your search engine performance.