I thought this was a really interesting example of how Content Marketing is becoming a key element for major brands.
Reaching New Customers with Special Interests
BMW has done that very well for a very long time. Now it is looking beyond the obvious to broaden its appeal. And it is doing that with broad-range content that will “widen its sales funnel”. The subjects mainly revolve around mobility and lifestyles. They include industry-related content on design, innovation and performance as you would expect but go far beyond the car. Travel, lifestyle and culture are just a few examples of the new content focus.
As BMW’s Global Head of Digital Marketing, Jorg Poggenpohl, says: “we wanted to create relevant and snackable content in helpful and entertaining ways,” which includes video, infographics and other easy-to-use and engaging multimedia.
The result to date is that site visits are up 49% through SEO and the average user is spending over 3 minutes on the site on mobile.
Applied to Hospitality, Travel and Tourism
The wide content reaching out to a broader interest group is not in typical hotels and tourism marketing. Like it is for BMW, this Wide Range Website Focus on Content is a lesson for Tourism and Hotel Content Marketing. It may be as huge a marketing shift for hotel brands as it was for BMW.
But the rational applies perfectly to what is a major over-site for many tourism marketers. All too often, hotel owners concentrate on their own website. They build a solid digital footprint for their site on content related to their location, facilities, amenities, USP and distinct messaging. The focus is typically oriented to their niche market.
Even destination sites typically restrict their content to news, stories and events in the destination. Barbados does this well with informative content on news, personalities in the news, events, history, heritage and even industry and agriculture. But nothing on the scale, persistence and entertainment multi-media of BMW.
That approach leaves a lot of money on the table. Travel consumers have very varied personas and it’s not easy to pin them down to a single avatar. The wide funnel will appeal to interest groups that go beyond your average target market. Take art, for example. Let’s say you have an interest in art and you write about it and place it on your own website. Then you promote it, syndicate it, bookmark it and have other blogs link to it. Soon you may have many more travellers checking out your site and some of them will be your ideal clients.
You may never have had a chance to get to them by the conventional means of advertising and search engine marketing. By hitting on an interest that is real, what you are doing is reaching people based on an interest that transcends price, place and amenities to
A Hugh Marketing Shift
BMW did not just add a blog to its site and let users find articles. No; that is not what works. People want to be fed content that is of interest to them. The front page of the new content focus website says nothing about the cars. Yes, you can navigate to cars with the menus but the first image you are likely to see is something out of the box. Right now it is a full-page high-definition video of a shoot by Brooklyn Beckham with the Caption: “My Camera is My Travel Companion“. Could that work for your hotel? You bet it can!
But the shift in presentation is to move away from hard sell BOOK NOW and self serving messages. However well disguised the message is today’s travelers have strong attenas and pick up the intent with every message. Content must be encourage real engagement and interaction. Highly produced professional brand promos don’t work as the used to in the digital age. Travelers expect more. Today’s digital media and your social media accounts are more and more in the entertainment business.
A prime example of this is Booking Yeah fun Videos and Cayman Islands Disney like images.
Looking For a New Angle
Marketers have run out of ways to market hotels, travel, cars, finance services and just about every business and in every industry. It’s all about differentiation and thinking out of the box. Booking.com moved to take a light hearted, whimsical and funny look at the holiday experience with Booking yeah.
Today marketers are using AI, behaviors science and colour theory to make things more personalized. Barbados Tourism Encyclopedia used the Tag line Discover, Dream, Enjoy because travel is a something people dream about and let their imagines take them to places of facny. More and more advertisers are using creative new ways to excite and entertain.
The Cayman Islands is using Disney like imagination to animate ads that are part of their “Dream in Cayman” campaign. The Cayman Isles Department of Tourism explains “the aim is to move beyond the sea of sameness that characterizes the ad campaigns of many sun, sea and sand destinations.
Creative director for the the Ads, Ron Henderson, says that the ads are whisical and more like a fashion brand which creates a new vogue for the destination. “The ‘Dream in Cayman’ campaign was designed to create a place full of whimsy and charm and mystique that feels less like destination advertising and more like a luxury fashion brand.”
Find Your Angle
Travel is a very personal experience and people who travel love stories. Their is no limit to the stories you can tell about your your place, your destination, the people and places, history and culture. Just speak to your marketing team and see what they can come up with that could be special to your hotel and be sure you get the message right. See more about messaging in my Books Website and Digital Media.