We strongly believe that almost all businesses (in almost all verticals) are able to benefit from business blogging. However, some industries are “extra special” and have blogging bonuses that others do not…
The hospitality industry is one of them.
Today we’re going to look at what these additional benefits are, and we’re going to provide you with 3 excellent examples of real life hospitality business blogs (that any brand would be proud to call their own.
Why Does The Hospitality Industry Benefit From Blogging So Much?
The experience-based nature of the hospitality industry lends itself to blogging in a way that very few other industries can:
It Demonstrates You’re Part Of Caring Team
Deciding where to stay on your next vacation (or business trip) is a highly personal buying decision. The quality of a guest’s stay is primarily determined by the care and attention the team at their accommodation provide.
From basic room cleanliness all the way through to custom special requests (and everything in-between) customer service is undeniably the cornerstone of the industry.
By providing potential guests with a bunch of free (mainly non-commercial) content a hotel immediately positions themselves and their team as part of a customer focused, caring brand.
If you’re willing to go to the effort of providing your guests with a well-maintained resource of local activities and travel tips (for free), then it stands to reason that you’re also probably going to ensure that their stay is as perfect as possible when they arrive too…
It Increases Direct Bookings
For many brands, this is the big one.
The hospitality industry has a love-hate relationship with huge booking sites like booking.com.
On one hand, they provide a platform that instantly advertises your business to literally millions of people each year. On the other hand, they demand a ludicrous amount of commission for each booking made through their site.
One of the main reasons that consumers like to book directly through these sites is security and convenience – they’re trusted brands, who offer a seamless and reliable booking process.
As we mentioned above, blogging increases the amount of trust and confidence potential guests have in your brand. With each piece of content they consume on your blog you’re becoming more and more familiar (and therefore more and more trustworthy).
This in itself increases direct booking rates, but the magic happens when it’s combined with a “direct booking bonus”.
The amount of commission sites like booking.com take is so large that brands often offer their guests bonuses for booking direct. These incentives could be anything from a free room upgrade or a few coupons to a free night’s accommodation for longer stays.
While the whole idea of business blogging is to mainly produce non-commercial content – that doesn’t mean you can’t slip a slight soft sell into an otherwise purely informational post.
In fact, it’s strongly encouraged.
Somewhere in each post, you can add a natural conversational call to action that explains to the reader that they should book direct for the best deal (and briefly mention any bonuses they’ll receive if they do so).
After a few months of blogging, the amount saved in commissions alone is often more than enough to cover the costs of investing in business blogging…
Which means that you’re essentially getting all the other “normal” benefits of business blogging for free.
It Provides Location Inspiration
Many potential guests will be comparing and evaluating different locations at the same time before finally deciding on the destination of their next vacation. Part of this process is looking at accommodation options that are within their budget and figuring out how much the entire trip is going to cost.
By having a well-maintained blog you can soft sell your hotel at the same time as hard selling your local area. It’s a great way to persuade guests to pick your location instead of somewhere else in the world, you can discuss things like:
- Your area’s main tourist attractions
- Local eating and dining recommendations
- Seasonal events that make your area a great choice all year round
- Local trivia and interesting facts
- Upcoming cultural events that may be of interest
- Helpful guides about popular activities in your area (e.g. skiing, hiking, wine tasting)
Not only does enticing a guest to choose your area for their next vacation obviously increase the chances of them deciding to stay with you – you’ve also given yourself a head start over the competition…
The guest that’s been reading your content has already been on your site engaging with your brand, and as such, you’re already at the front of their mind. At the very least they’re probably going to take a look at your accommodation to see if it’s the kind of thing they’re looking for.
If you’re a good fit for the visitor, you’ve got a great chance of converting them into a paying guest (due to the customer service point we mentioned earlier), and you’ve also got a better chance of getting a direct booking too.
3 Brilliant Hospitality Blogs
So what do all of the benefits above look like when they’re put into action?
We’ve searched high and low to find what we think are 3 of the best hospitality blogs on the internet. They’re taking slightly different approaches, but as you’ll see for yourself – the end result is the same.
Note: None of the blogs below are clients of The Content Panel. We keep the identity of our clients strictly confidential.
Duane Street Hotel – New York
The Duane Street Hotel produces content that’s almost exclusively non-commercial. Instead of persuading visitors that their hotel is the right place to stay, they’re selling the local area and all it has to offer. They’ve essentially opted to become an impartial local resource that very occasionally has soft sell conversational calls to action in their posts.
Their content is highly targeted to promote the boutique artistic culture that the Tribeca neighborhood is known for. It’s also laser targeted at the kind of demographics that would find the area appealing.
Things like recommendations for museums, coffee shops, music events, film festivals, and many other similar local seasonal attractions fill their blog’s pages (all with associated stunning imagery). This results in their posts being highly shareable which must be driving a significant amount of traffic (and ultimately occupancy) their way.
Greenbank Hotel – England
The Greenbank Hotel’s blog has a very personal feel to it (at the same time as retaining a highly professional tone). It focuses largely on the local values that the brand and the team hold dear. Their posts mainly promote Falmouth and the Cornwall area in general, and they’ve become a respected local resource.
The Greenbank Hotel also occasionally posts some semi-commercial content about seasonal promotions and news from the hotel too (and we think they’ve got a nice balance). Several of their non-commercial posts contain natural conversational calls to action that highlight their direct booking bonuses (which we assume is significantly reducing their commission costs).
Dunalastair Hotel – Scotland
The Dunalastair Hotel is a stunning 5-star hotel located in the Scottish highlands. Their marketing team is focusing on promoting the stunning natural beauty of the local area by using gorgeous imagery in each post and some exceptionally inviting language.
They’ve got a nice amount of brand news on their blog combined with a variety of different posts that focus on the hotel itself, hiking in the local area, and seasonal events that make the Scottish Highlands seem attractive all year round…
Even in sub-zero winter temperatures.
Does Your Blog Look Like This?
We’ve made a big effort to break into the hospitality industry due to the sizeable industry-specific benefits we’ve talked about above. We regularly see our hospitality clients achieve an ROI from blogging that most other sectors could only dream of.
As such we are continuing to acquire writers with extensive experience in the hospitality industry who will be able to make your blog as good as (or better than) the blogs we mentioned above.
From topic ideation through to post creation and publication – we take care of it all.
Click here to learn how it works.