How effective partnerships and localised content can help your brand
Tuesday 8th December 2015
When it comes to that all-important online ranking and improving your customer engagement, creating effective partnerships and localising content are both essential tools. These aspects form part of the digital strategy implemented by Dickon Connolly, Hotel Search Director here at hotel marketing agency Journey, when working with clients. He shared some of his knowledge for you.
In today’s digital world there are far more many considerations than ever before for the hotelier when it comes to marketing their hotel. With the far reach of online there is the push and pull factor of local versus out of town visitors, as well as firstly getting a prominent online ranking, and of course all the rest of the concerns that have faced every hotelier throughout the ages.
Localising your content is a key method when it comes to achieving these goals. Not only does localised content give you the motivation to create partnerships within your locality it gives you lots to say on your website, which in turn helps your SEO and online position, is an attraction to local and not so local guests and allows you to create fantastic packages – therefore improving each stay.
In a recent Lionbridge survey, a majority of industry professionals surveyed identified the importance of localisation. Over 90 per cent of respondents localise their product and services pages, understanding that optimising this information for local markets makes their content more impactful.
This can be applied to many forms, from localised landing pages, marketing assets, and press releases. Using this localised content allows you to speak to your selected target audience, about relevant, tailored campaigns, which is key to conversion rate optimisation.
But of course before hotels begin just creating this content there are some steps to take to ensure you get the most out of everything you do.
The Right Audience
Marketing communications are far more effective when targeted, and businesses can do this by segmenting the clientele.
This is the process through which you divide your clientele depending on what they’re looking for. Knowing whom you want to target should be a key part of any marketing strategy. Segmenting your audience will develop your communications overall, making it easier to personalise your content through localisation. It will also enable your business to target each person with the right information for them, therefore making them more likely to convert into a booking.
For example, if you are trying to promote late weekend deals, you’d be far more effective in marketing this to couples based within a 50-mile radius, rather than families based 70-miles away. Similarly, a family with two children would be more interested in offers during the school holidays rather than mid-week spa breaks, meaning a conversion is now far more probable.
Identifying the people you want to talk to online is being made easier with tools like Google Analytics, allowing you to make insights on your target audience.
Understanding your brand within its locality
Before any hotel business begins to create local content it must be clear about the identity of its own brand and how this sits within the local area. Is it in keeping with the landscape of the area, or does it stand-alone? Has the hotel got a history tying it to another building or business? Is it somewhere lots of people in the local area work or may have frequented at some point in time? The answers to all these questions, and many more, will help to create the local content.
Local partnerships will also play a big part when it comes to creating engaging and developing content. And whether your hotel is part of a national chain or an independent hotel, making small changes locally can have an impressive effect on the success of your campaign.
Forging connections with local organisations is a worthy outreach opportunity, and can be of great mutual benefit in terms of sales and PR as well as giving substance for content. Local businesses can be a valuable market to be involved in, whether it be hiring function rooms or hosting Christmas parties.
Further to this, linking with a local brand or organisation with help to cement your own reputation and give you another channel through which to share your business. They will engage with you on social media, possibly promote you through its own business communication, such as email mail outs, as well as give you the chance to share their product with your own guests. This could give you the opportunity to create a unique offering and will definitely allow you to provide something you couldn’t before.
Create a local landing page
All websites have landing pages and local landing pages are key when it comes to localised content.
There are some key pieces of information to include when creating a local landing page, these include; name, address and contact details, which should link direct to an email or phone, a Google map, information on your product and a few images, calls to action, testimonials and if possible badges of trust associated with your business.
Other aspects to consider include key words in titles and in the content, as well as developing a page with the business title in the URL.
Producing Relevant Content
This is the major part of this strategy, but there are many ways to create local content for your website. Of course blogs are a great way to create good quality content, which features important and interesting information on your business, which is updated on a regular basis and provides and opportunity to engage with those local partnerships.
Other popular methods of creating engaging content include local guides. Strava, the running and cycling GPS Tracker app, has fantastic local guides for its members, whether on bike or on foot. These guides feature local information which changes day to day, such as the weather and cumulative totals of its members in terms of miles run or cycled each day in that locality, as well as routes – so maps are essential here, images shared by people on those runs and a break down of what they include. On top of this pit stops also feature, giving Strava the perfect in with some business to create those important partnerships.
Listicles, or articles consisting of lists, are ever popular when it comes to local content, with both businesses and news outlets adopting them. Take BuzzFeed, its endless lists, eg 22 products you and your BFF need in your lives, are total click bait. They encourage people to your website, so make that local. How about, top 10 things people that grew up in Cheltenham remember about the Queen’s Hotel. This is a way to create local content that will engage with local people.
Launch, Promote, Measure, Report, Repeat
Follow a strategy in launching your content, promoting using segmented data and targeted advertising, and measure its success. It’s important to follow these steps so you know what has worked for your business. Has it driven traffic – and most importantly has it encouraged conversions? And if it has worked for you, report that and repeat it, continuing to create on-going localised content.