Here’s the thing:
The hospitality industry is diverse — under one umbrella, you have:
- Coffee shops
- Liquor stores
- Travel & tourism
- Bed & breakfasts
Plus like a million more. It’s probably easier to list things that aren’t in some way tied to the hospitality industry. You get the picture.
And that’s the rub. The industry is so diverse that creating content seems to only have one consistent element: it’s downright difficult.
We’ve heard you though, and we decided it was time to find out where the biggest hurdles stood — and how you can get around them.
This post is what we found.
Buckle up and hear from industry experts about the eight most common issues when it comes to hospitality content, and what you can do about it!
1: Getting Updated, Accurate, High-Quality Content
“One of the biggest challenges that we face when delivering content to our target is the immediate delivery of up-to-present-moment price quotes, which need to be well-organised, with the image material of the hotel.
An event page on our website consists of 3 paragraphs, which contain sometimes repetitive information, which in the long term could be quite frustrating to write for the content writer. (This is where we sometimes outsource this task to an external team of writers).
The blog section of the website allows our content writers more freedom, as it needs to be more helpful to our business travelers. However, we need to promote the trade fair events also, which can be limiting in terms of blog post topics.”
Lora Georgieva — Digital Marketer at ProExpo Service
“The biggest challenge with creating content for the hospitality industry is the quality of content writing.
Quality content means the content must be perfect from all the perspectives like related to a topic, helpful to users, SEO point of view, niche information and other relevant things. But here in the hospitality industry what happens is that content is written by marketing professionals, not from a specific person who has a vast knowledge of the hospitality-specific industry. The marketing person is only able to write what he knows, but if you have distinguishing elements about your business that you want people to be aware of, then you have to start talking about experiences and things which only happen in the hospitality industry.
The solution to this is that you have to select a person who is a specific health niche content writer or the best person possibly could be someone who is a part of a hospital. Because he/she has much more information than a regular content marketer.“
2: Writing for SEO & Your Audience
“Our biggest struggle when it comes to any type of content writing, including content in hospitality, is quality production. Quality content is well-written copy that includes anecdotes and references showing a tacit knowledge of the hospitality industry. It means the writer is typically an English native with a deep(er) understanding than the general populous on the subject and the ability to entertain. This type of content, while more expensive, lends itself to long-term evergreen staying power.
Unfortunately most content is written for search engine algorithms and not real human consumption. Therein lies the problem. Search engines can’t laugh at the wit and candor of a quality piece with in-depth research. Quality also costs more. I’ve found that if you want your brand to shine, it behooves you to find the right people and pay them market rate for quality.“
“Within the hospitality market, it’s important to gain the attention of would-be customers and hold it. Content designed for marketing is one of the most beneficial manners in which to promote your branding, build links to move further up the search engines, and attract new customers. However, a good strategy is imperative for success, especially with the ever-growing number of blog posts that are published every single day—5.8 million and growing.
So, if you intend to showcase your content to put a spotlight on your company as an industry expert, you have to regularly produce high-quality content with SEO in mind. No matter how great your marketing campaign is, it won’t retain the interest of the reader if the content isn’t informative and useful. Highlight important links early on in your content, and break up the post with vibrant images and bullet points. Be sure to include keywords in your H1, H2 and H3 titles, as well as the first and last paragraphs, and the meta information.
Next, a useful campaign will include other types of content such as newsletters, emails, social media posts and other unique forms of outreach. Always remember that every single link counts—every single one.”
3: Generating Buzzworthy Content
“The biggest challenge that I have in generating content for my hospitality clients (in my case, press releases) is helping them to ascertain newsworthy developments about their hotels. They’re often so busy with their day to day tasks that they don’t notice, or occasionally aren’t aware of, updates about their properties that would be of interest to prospective guests/clients as well as journalists/editors.
To help them narrow down this essential info, I need to do extensive investigations in order to uncover their fresh, unique, and significant announcements that would resonate in the marketplace. Once their information is shaped, buffed, and shared, the resulting media coverage is well worth the exploration and effort.”
“Getting the content written can be tricky but I find that if we’re trying to collect comments from other companies or even the general public, this is the hardest part.
Getting good quality comments that actually have a point to them can be tricky because so many people are just offering their thoughts for the sake of it. Many will just say anything that they can think of rather than something meaningful.”
4: Competition Is Through The Roof
“The biggest problem we’ve faced when consulting clients in the hospitality & travel industries is the intense level of competition for almost every keyword. Sites like TripAdvisor, Planetware and even Google’s snippets suck up most of the clicks so a content marketer has to be creative around which keywords to target and how to monetize them.
Many of the clients we work with like to go straight after the big words: “what to do in X” or “[city name] attractions”. We usually do these content pieces, but they are often disappointed when they struggle to reach even the 2nd or 3rd page.
What we try to do instead is to convince our clients to go after the more niche keywords such as “dating in [city name]” ,”[city name] nightlife” or “transportation in [city name]”. Besides being easier keywords, they also offer the client a chance to write about these subjects with the wisdom of a local, and not the passing impression of a tourist or travel blogger.”
Paul Bonea—Founder of Perfect Data
5: Failure to Focus On Long-Term Content Benefits
“As an SEO veteran, I firmly believe that content is a great way to build customer loyalty, increase engagement, and improve brand positioning. The good news is that readers are craving good content within the hospitality industry.
Unfortunately, hoteliers have got it wrong and are spending tons on advertisements to get instant attention. With this, content is kept on the side, due to less or no budget left.
Fresh content with hundreds of high ranking pages can build trust and reputation. For this, you should have a documented content marketing strategy in place and choose the right social media channel to reach a wider audience.
Pro tip: Don’t just rely on blogging or social media campaigns, instead focus on writing or repurposing your posts to earn more inbound links and rank higher in SERPs.
Invest in audience research and try to connect with a specific guest who is more likely to book or visit your hotel. Go for visually driven content and strive to provide an experience both online and offline.
To compete with an online brand like Airbnb, you need to cut through the glut of content and feed your readers with engaging content.”
6: Generating Ideas That Resonate
“A large part of our marketing strategy is around content creation. We have a challenge with topic ideas.
We are a B2B company, yet the content we write is to help our clients who are B2C. So while we know how we market to our customers, the content we create has to be about how our clients market to their customers.
Sometimes it feels backward for our team because we are writing about strategies we don’t necessarily use. Additionally, this is a quiet industry so we have a hard time brainstorming and figuring out what they want to know. We do surveys and get a few responses that are helpful but usually, we have to stalk Facebook groups to figure out what people are talking about and questions they are asking.”
7: Nailing The Client’s Voice
“The biggest challenge comes in settling on a consistent tone of voice—how the character of the business comes across in the spoken and written word. Getting the right tone of voice is critical for a hospitality business, but inevitably everyone from the hotel owner on down to the in-house marketing team has a different opinion. Just getting everyone to agree can be difficult; then you have to get everyone to willingly use the correct tone of voice! It can make the process quite challenging.”
“One of the biggest hurdles when creating content or pitching/marketing a particular brand is finding the true ‘voice’ of that client as no two are the same. In a sea of many competitors, especially in oversaturated markets, it can be daunting to create a storyline that feels genuine and aligned with the core values of the business while setting their image apart from the rest.
The solution is to immerse yourself in the brand.
I cannot stress the importance of educating yourself on the brand you are working with. This involves looking over their materials, their social channels, visiting their establishments, studying the aesthetic of their designs and more, certainly, but also taking the time to create a list of questions that a consumer may find themselves asking and addressing it with the client to better understand the image they want to portray publicly. It’s vital to have a full grasp of how they want their guests to feel. Whether it’s a hotel, restaurant or bar, the hospitality business is based on taking care of people, so creating content that promotes HOW the brand wishes to accomplish this is ultimately the goal when writing.”
“Our biggest challenge with content for hospitality-related businesses is finding the perfect balance in tone and voice.
These articles have to be professional but also entertaining and engaging. We find ourselves using more images, videos, and other media, even more so than our other clients, which can really help make them easier to digest.
The clients we’ve had in this industry are almost always B2C, which gives us a bit more wiggle room with what we can write about, but providing value and education while making the articles fun to read is always a challenge. You can’t ignore user experience and user intent in today’s SEO landscape, so it can certainly be difficult to take a topic that isn’t particularly enthralling and create something that checks all of those boxes. Finding that balance and using plenty of relevant media is what’s worked for us.”
James Parsons—Founder and CEO of ContentPowered.com
8: Staying Consistent & Original
“If there is one thing that hospitality owners struggle with is content creation! As a marketing consultant specialized in the short-term rental industry, I have a Facebook community with around 500 vacation rental owners / managers from all around the world and they very often mention in our group how they struggle with their content creation.
One of them is that they do not live close to the property, so it makes it difficult for them to take pictures of their rentals. Another challenge is that they are not sure which type of content to post to get engagement and bookings, so they have a lack of ideas on what to post. They know that consistency is key but most days they are wondering ‘what can I post today?’.
Another challenge is that they feel overwhelmed doing it themselves but at the same time, their properties are like their baby and they struggle outsourcing their content to someone else.
Another big challenge for short-term rental owners is that they want to do it themselves but they struggle with consistency. They forget to do it on some days, they don’t know how to batch and schedule their content creation to be more efficient.
My solution: Doing live training in my community weekly to help them with content creation and I created a Booking Accelerator Social Media Course to help them with their content creation.”
Ready To Take Control Of Your Hospitality Content?
If we’ve learned anything here at Verblio, it’s how hard of a time professionals in the hospitality industry have generating the content they need to establish and grow their brands. It’s an epidemic!
But Verblio has a cure—us! Not to toot our own horn, but we have dedicated hospitality writers who have been around the industry and can generate some top-notch content.
Check out these sample posts if you want to see first-hand how their expertise has helped some of our clients:
- Why Travelers Get Sick And How Hotels Can Help
- Philadelphia Wine Country
- Creative Email Marketing Sales Ideas
- Candy Station Alternatives For Your Sweet 16 Party
- 7 Shining Examples To Emulate In The Hospitality Industry From TripAdvisor
Or if you’re ready to get started with better content, just get started with Verblio! You’ll be glad you did.