Based on our experience designing websites for hospitality venues such as The Botanist, The Watershed Hotel and SoCal Sydney, we’ve learned that many hospitality marketing managers want to blog, but don’t see it as time-efficient or cost-effective. That’s why we compiled the Hospitality Marketing Manager’s Guide to Blogging, which outlines a 10-point content strategy showing you how to maintain a profitable, lead-generating blog on your hospitality website, even if you only have about 10 minutes of spare time a week.
In an earlier post we mentioned how important it is to make sure your blog post title is actionable. That is, the title should invite people to click in order to learn how to do something or find the answer to a question. Well, your content should also encourage people to take action, and once you’ve got readers feeling they need to do something, you can have links strategically placed around the blog post, allowing them to act on that feeling (hopefully by spending money).
Actionable content comes in many forms and it can be as subtle or pronounced as you like. With social media posts, it’s a good rule of thumb to ask followers to give their opinion on a topic, choose their favourite item in a selection, or fill in a blank. In doing so you’re promoting a two-sided relationship with your audience.
You can promote audience interaction with blog posts as well and in a more profitable way than with social media. For instance, suppose you’ve written an article about a special offer on rooms, meals, or tickets. After you whet their appetite with an enticing post (including graphics, photos, etc.), visitors will see the call-to-action button nearby, telling them to “Book Now,” “Make a Reservation,” or “Order Now,” which they can click on to immediately satisfy that urge. For that’s the key here: providing a way for visitors to act spontaneously. The longer the time period between the decision to act and the actual order or booking, the greater the chance that the person might change their mind; and you’ve just missed out on revenue. So make sure any call-to-action button is clearly visible on the website.
Where should you put your call-to-action button? If the button has a time-sensitive purpose (e.g. a limited-time offer or an annual event), you should you keep it in close proximity to the blog post, such as right after the post ends or in the sidebar. For a permanent, general call-to-action, anchor it on the website, so that it appears on every page. You can get quite creative with the design; talk with your web agency or in-house developer and create a style that suits your venue’s unique personality.
As for the specific locations, that is also a matter of preference and you may want to experiment to ascertain which location leads to the most orders/bookings. Some tried-and-true locations are the leaderboard spot at the top of your blog, the sidebar on either side of the post and the often-ignored space immediately following a blog post.
By all means combine lead generation with calls to action. When the visitor clicks “Book Now,” they’ll have to enter their contact information, which you can then use for marketing purposes later on.
One last note: avoid several calls-to-action on the same page. This sends too many messages to the visitor, decreasing the probability they will act on them. At most have a general call-to-action off to the side (though not hidden) and a specific one situated close to the blog post itself.
Calls-to-action are an effective way to convert site visitors into customers because they give voice to what visitors are already thinking after spending time on your site and allow them to quickly make contact with your venue.
Thank you for reading the eighth installment of our series, the Hospitality Marketing Manager’s Guide to Blogging. You can download the full series as a zip file FOR FREE by clicking the link below. The zip file contains the Guide in PDF format for easy reading, as well as a Hospitality Blog Template in both PDF and Word format to help you get started.
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