Why Persona Research is Key To Better Content Marketing

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Posted on Jul 11th 2016

Today’s travellers expect to be more than just another name on your hotel’s contact list; they want a personalised marketing experience tailored to their individual needs and preferences.

In simple terms, the more relevant the content you can deliver to your guests, the better the level of engagement, and the better your booking rates. Truly effective marketing isn’t about a ‘one size fits all’ approach, it’s about targeted storytelling; telling the right story to the right people at the right time. With the help of your website analytics, it’s increasingly possible to do just that. Here’s how to get started.

Start with Your Guest Personas

The foundation of any effective marketing campaign is to truly know who your audience is, and what they want. If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to get familiar with your guest personas – these are categories of people within your customer base that are defined by similar demographic information, behavioural trends and purchase motivations. For example, depending on your property and location some of your guest personas might include families with young children, retired couples or millenials looking to make the most of the local nightlife.

You will already be aware of these most common guest groups, but looking into your website analytics will help you piece together a clearer idea about the types of people that are discovering your website and interacting with your content online. Through social listening, you can begin to gain a deeper understanding of the different personas’ wants and needs from a holiday, as well as the type of content they’re typically consuming online. Bringing together all this information, you can start to brainstorm a schedule of content creation for your website and social accounts that will speak directly to your guests’ needs and really entice them to book.

Get Serious About Personalised Content Creation

Writing blog posts that directly address issues highlighted by your persona research is a great way to connect more powerfully with your audience, but it’s not the only way to get more targeted with your content creation.

By segmenting your email database based on demographic data, purchase frequency and stage in the purchase cycle, you can start reaching out to guests with ultra targeted offers they’ll find difficult to resist. A “We Miss You” campaign designed to reengage once-loyal guests who have not made a repeat booking in over 12 months, for example, or for families with young children, a special package with discounted theme park entry, sent near to the start of the school holidays.

On social media, you can make use of custom graphics, interactive content, competitions and contests designed to drive engagement with key personas. For example, if you know that one of your key guest groups is married couples on holiday for a romantic break or to celebrate an anniversary, you might try running a contest encouraging guests to share their most romantic holiday moments. If Instagram loving millenials are one of your target groups, you might run a campaign asking guests to share selfies taken next to a famous local landmark. Of course, the more unique your campaign, the better, so try and think of something your competitors haven’t come up with yet and engage your guests with something new and exciting.

If you find yourself stuck for new content ideas, listen to your target market and they will tell you what they want and need to know. Personalisation onsite, on social media and on email and other major touch points guarantees a better customer experience, which translates to better engagement rates and more bookings. It’s not about simply adding to the noise by filling your pages with as much content as you can. It’s about producing something that really adds value and demonstrates how well you know your guests.

Do you use persona research to inform your content creation efforts? Let us know in the comments below!


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