In today’s world it has been increasingly shown that inbound marketing is far more effective at bringing in new guests, and increasing resort profits. This is opposed to pushy outbound marketing, that up until the recent digital revolution was still highly popular. Astonishingly, even as the evidence resoundingly points to the fact that tactics such as cold calling, bulk emails, leaflets and lengthy sales talks are far less useful than inbound marketing strategies involving digital content, many businesses, including timeshare resorts and hotels, are still persevering with outdated outbound. This is not only a waste of time and money, but is also likely to continue to tarnish the reputation of timeshare in the eyes of many holidaymakers.
Making the switch to Digital Marketing Content:
Many resorts have already begun to rightly realise though, that the future of their marketing strategy lies in effective inbound marketing. Digital content such as ebooks, blog posts, photos, videos and social media updates become discovered by individuals already searching for holidays online, or they have been shared by connections on social media. Because of this, rather than trying to rent the attention of someone not searching for a holiday destination, which is both distracting and annoying, you will already have that individual’s attention and can now draw them towards your brand, website and ideally a booking.
While many resorts are now following the right marketing direction, they are still approaching it with the wrong mindset. Anyone with a smartphone, a laptop, tablet or digital camera can create digital content, but that doesn’t mean that everyone is creating valuable content. Your resort should definitely encourage your guests to share their own photos, videos and social media posts and tag the resort social media channels. All of your staff, not just the marketing team should also be incentivised and rewarded for helping to promote the resort on social media with their own posts.
Not all content is created equal:
All of this digital content is driving awareness of your resort online, and in a sense acts as free advertising. Do not make the mistake though of then devaluing content marketing in general by having the mindset that if all this content is being generated for free, why pay a high price for any. The key here is valuable content. Someone’s holiday snap from their phone from your resort pool will create a momentary buzz with their friend’s and family. It will soon be forgotten though and have little wider impact. On the other hand, a well written blog post about an excursion available through your resort, including professional photos and videos and then shared effectively across social media can create significant traffic to your website. While content may be king, not all content is created equal!
Amateur phone photos or videos and social media updates from regular guests can attract some positive attention to your resort, especially within that individual’s friend and family circle, but they will never replace professionally created content which adds value to large numbers of potential guests searching online. While anyone of your waiters, cleaners and receptionists may be an excellent photographer, filmmaker or writer in their spare time, this is not their job within your resort, and even your marketing team are generally not specialists in creating high value digital content. If your resort wants high quality digital content connected to your brand then you need to employ outside specialists such as professional travel bloggers, filmmakers or photographers, and value the work of these content creators.
Creating long term lasting value:
Unfortunately, at present, too many timeshare resorts/hotels, do not value the time, effort and skill of valuable content creators. Even though they have paid significant sums for costly and ineffective outbound marketing strategies such as flying teams to travel expos to hand out leaflets, they are now reluctant to pay fairly for high-quality digital content, that has far greater immediate and long term value. The amazing thing about quality digital content is the long term value that it retains on the internet. Unlike a leaflet that can be thrown away, a TV advert that will be forgotten or an email that will be deleted, digital content lives online and once created will be continued to be viewed weeks, months and even years later.
While the initial price may seem costly, it is relatively small compared to the high, lasting value that your brand will receive from being associated with quality, valuable content. Your marketing team can continue to share this content, long after it has been created and it will continue to work for your brand as it continues to bring an audience to your social media and website, leading to guests at your resort. Specialist film-makers, photographers, writers and social media experts have invested significant time and energy into studying their craft and continue to update their skills in order to push the boundaries in terms of content creation. When you employ the skills of talented specialist individuals, they need to be paid accordingly. While all of your resort staff need to be treated with respect and paid a fair wage, a content creator with a high demand skill that few people posses needs to be valued accordingly.
Valuable content is king!
To create quality content takes a significant amount of time and skill and is a lengthy, intensive process. There is much that goes on behind the scenes of the content that few will see but is absolutely vital. Thought needs to go into content that not only looks good or reads well, but also creates value. This content will then be more widely shared, lead to greater engagement, greater brand awareness and more bookings. As well as the initial filming, shooting or writing, there is also a large editing process to truly perfect the content. This is what sets quality content with lasting value apart from an average holiday snap or video that becomes quickly forgotten in a sea of mediocrity.
For example, the municipality of Haría in Lanzarote decided that they wanted to better promote the area to tourists. Rather than rely on someone within their own team who may not have had the skills or equipment, they commissioned Siboney Tabares King to create photographic and video promotional digital content. This video took many months to produce including the filming and editing with drones, expensive cameras and computer software. The result is a high impact video with incredible visuals perfectly demonstrating the amazing beauty of this stunning area of Lanzarote, and is a superb testament to the skill and professionalism of Sibo.
Sibo published the video across his social media channels on November 20th and in the following five days it had an incredible reach and response! On his Facebook page the video had over 79 thousand views, 678 likes, 104 comments and almost 3,000 shares. On his YouTube channel it reached almost 4,000 views, had 45 likes and 9 comments. On Instagram it gained over 770 views, 437 likes and 58 comments. The local council of Haria has also shared the video on their official website where it will continue to gain views and exposure for Haria over the coming months and years.
Value Their work:
Ultimately it is essential that resorts change their mindset, firstly from outbound to inbound strategies and then from expecting to pay little for high quality. Content creators are not greedy, but do expect to be treated fairly and paid accordingly for the quality of their work and value that it brings to your brand. The old saying still stands “you get what you pay for.” If your resort decides to use a video shot on a phone on your website or quickly taken, unedited photos of your rooms to share on social media, or a rushed, poorly written blog post, then don’t be surprised if this creates little to no impact online. What often happens is that brands then blame social media or digital marketing as a whole, when in fact it was just them trying to cut corners.
Valuable digital content is one of the most effective means of gaining a new audience and effectively marketing your resort. As Justin Lee, senior marketing manager at Hubspot has said:
“Quality content inspires others and creates a strong emotional connection. If you don’t evoke a strong connection, it is wasted. You want to appeal to the aspirations and goals of your audience as well.” Hubspot is the world’s leading inbound marketing and sales platform, so Justin clearly knows what he is talking about! Rather than wasting small amounts of money but many times on uninspiring, boring and lazy content, invest more money in quality content, but strategically plan this better.
You have to ask yourself, do you want your brand to be associated with cutting corners or at the cutting edge? If your brand is tarnished by bad quality content, not only with this fail to make an impact but also put off potential guests who expect and deserve more. Your resort’s image online is now what sells it, so make the right choice and value our work because if you invest in your content creators it will pay dividends in the future!
If you agree with the message of this post then please share it on social media and tag us on the channel you have shared the post on (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn). We here at RDO would like to help forward this movement to not only encourage your resort to create valuable content, but also value the content creators!