The internet combined with the proliferation of web enabled 3G or Wi-Fi compatible mobile devices is fundamentally changing the
way in which people find, discover, share, shop and connect with each other.
With smartphone and tablet use set to outstrip desktop PC searches within the next 12/24 months, this change in technology and search behaviour will have a direct impact on many businesses especially those involved in the tourism industry or running a B&B or hotel in Cornwall or Devon.
With the current economic situation annual holidays may become more spur of the moment and setting out on a weekend break with the intention of booking accommodation en route is certainly more commonplace. There is a great deal of choice out there and our online attention span is reducing, people expect to find what they’re looking for quickly and easily and there is an increasing trend towards visual stimulation, hence the rise of Pinterest and video.
So you need to ensure people can find you online whether they’re searching via a mobile or desktop device AND you need to ensure that people choose you over your competition.
What’s that got to do with content marketing? – Everything
Content drives search, without content Google wouldn’t exist. Not only that, the recent Google algorithm changes through the Panda and Penguin updates reward content rich sites in the search rankings. When people are searching online they’re normally constrained by time, they don’t have the luxury of a face-to-face discussion to ask their questions. You need to ensure you provide the answers they’re looking for, first time. Through your digital body language you’re attempting to replicate the face-to-face conversation, online, to build trust and authority through the correct tone of voice and relevant content.
So from a content marketing perspective what steps can you take to ensure success? Here are my 25 content marketing ideas for a full house:
- Ensure that your web content concentrates on the needs and wants of your audience and is not inwardly focussed on your own business
- Regularly refresh your content and your images, no one likes a stale site
- Concentrate on your strengths and provide stand out offerings to differentiate yourself from the competition
- Keep an eye on the competition, don’t follow them but find their weaknesses
- Make sure you have a version of your site suitable for viewing on a mobile device, not just a render of your desktop site
- Make sure you have Google Analytics added to your site so that you can track your visitors and ensure your site is optimised properly
- Not everyone who visits your site will make an immediate conversion, create content for each stage of the buying cycle and encourage return visits
- Ensure your site is visually stimulating through the use of photographs and video to highlight your key features. If you have a unique property with interesting, individual rooms, let people see them. Put together a video tour of the whole hotel with separate videos for each room. A 360 degree video of a room is much better than a still photograph or dry description. Note: Not on your mobile site
- Upload your video to YouTube, by including a voiceover you can also upload the keyword rich script helping to improve your search rankings
- Create a Facebook page and upload your photo albums, got a great menu? Take photos and upload them daily. Don’t forget Pinterest and Google+. Social media sites are playing an increasingly important part in getting found
- People won’t be spending all day in their accommodation, even with our weather. Make sure you add information about the local points of interest, attractions, local walks, restaurants, pubs and facilities nearby
- Make sure you’ve added a map and directions on your site. Link the “find us” page to Google maps
- Have clear “Calls to Action” on every page e.g. your phone number and/or email address and/or a link to the bookings page
- Do you cater for dogs or are you child friendly, publish it so that searchers know this.
- Ask your satisfied customers for testimonials/endorsements and publish them on your site
- Start a newsletter, offer to keep your audience up-to-date with any special offers you’ll be offering throughout the year
- Start a blog promoting your hotel/village/surrounding area and amenities
- Canvass your audience for ideas on how you could improve their visit, act on it and promote it in your blog
- According to Google 92% of search is local and 70% of local search is acted upon within one hour. Claim your Google My Business name and fill in the details, it’s free and helps your local SEO
- Give your content a leg up, start a Google AdWords campaign. It can be very targeted and give immediate results especially if you can tie it in to a local or national event focussed on your region. One of my clients saw his clickthrough rate double during the recent Caroline Quentin TV show
- You can also use the click to call ad extension in AdWords to show your contact number in your ad, handy for mobile searchers. Note: get expert advice before you start
- Introduce dedicated landing pages for any campaigns you run. Don’t send people to your home page you’ll get a high bounce rate
- Try SMS messaging, there’s nothing better than a text that says “The weather is great here and we’re looking forward to seeing you later today” or “Thanks for visiting, hope to see you next year”
- Start a loyalty scheme whereby frequent visitors get various discounts or extras, especially off-season
- Team up with local pubs/restaurants/attractions to offer discounts to your guests and highlight this on your site
This is not an exhaustive list and I’d love to get your ideas and feedback for anything I’ve missed, please leave a comment.
If you want to have a chat about the best way to improve your current content marketing process, give me a call on 01803 413481
PS: Download the latest Rame Marketing ebook, 6 stages to inbound marketing success