Leveraging the Power of Earned Content for Your Hotel

By R.J. Friedlander Founder & CEO, ReviewPro | February 25, 2018

No doubt your hotel is already generating a wide variety of content whether for your website, your social media channels, or digital marketing campaigns. Based on this information a future guest builds up an image about the experience they are likely to expect at your hotel, which helps them when making decisions about their trip. Content can be divided up into three key areas. They are all are important and serve distinct purposes:

Paid content is content a business purchases such as cost-per-click and display advertising, listings on online travel agency sites and social media advertising. The business has high control over the messaging, but the content has lower trust with consumers because they know it comes from a marketer who wants to sell them something.

Owned content is content a business owns and controls, like its website and blog, social media profiles and the content it posts on them. The business has high control over the messaging, but owned content has only moderate trust with consumers because, as with paid content, it comes from a marketer.

Earned content, also called user-generated content, is content posted by other people about a business. It includes guest reviews and ratings, media and blogger coverage, and social media shares, likes and comments. A business has lower control over the messaging because it originates from other people, but earned content has higher trust because it comes from consumers rather than marketers.

This type of content is not directly generated by your business, but instead it is produced by users of your product, your guests, detailing authentic and real feedback in the form of reviews, blogs, social media interactions, or even feature articles, depending on who they are. However, it is useful to view it as being indirectly generated by you, because the foundation of the positive sentiment begins with the great service received at your hotel.

Great service should mean great reviews, and you want those reviews to impact on as wide an audience as possible. Social media plays a vital role to this process: one of the first things people want to do when they have had a positive experience is to hit the 'share' button. This is one of the most powerful ways you can harness the power of earned content.

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Coming up in January 2019...

Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.