Imagine searching for 'Things To Do in Belize', and boom, you land on a resort website! Their content about 'Things To Do in Belize' captures your attention and next thing you know you're perusing through suite villas trying to decided if you want a jungle view or a beach view. That's the power of targeted content—bringing visitors to your site and ultimately converting them into customers. Content is the gateway to success!
In the new digital landscape, both individuals and organizations possess the ability to establish their online presence and become influential. In this e-marketplace of ideas, organizations showcase their expertise through various online media channels that cater to the needs of potential buyers. The internet enables organizations to provide the right information to buyers precisely when they are most receptive to it.
As marketers, we have a range of web-based tools at our disposal to deliver engaging and informative content. These tools include websites, blogs, e-books, white papers, images, photos, audio content, videos, and even unconventional methods like product placement, games, and virtual reality. Additionally, we can interact and engage in conversations initiated by others on social media platforms such as Twitter, blogs, chat rooms, and forums. The common thread that ties all of these techniques together is that organizations of all kinds now act as publishers, creating compelling content that people are eager to consume. By employing content marketing strategies, organizations establish credibility and foster loyalty with buyers, enabling them to target their audience more effectively.
A prime example of effective content marketing is demonstrated by The Lodge at Chaa Creek, an eco-resort situated on a 265-acre rainforest reserve in western Belize, Central America. The lodge acts as a publisher of valuable content, focusing on topics such as rainforest wildlife, nearby attractions like ancient Mayan cities, and the country of Belize itself. Through this content marketing effort, The Lodge at Chaa Creek achieves high search engine rankings for key phrases related to travel in Belize. Remarkably, this strategy generates 30 percent of new business for the lodge, making it an exemplary case study on how content drives business growth.
However, when building a website, it is crucial to remember that there is more to consider than just the content itself. Design, color schemes, navigation, and appropriate technology all play significant roles in creating a successful website. Unfortunately, these other aspects often take precedence over content. This may be because it is easier to focus on a site's design or technology rather than investing in its content.
Global hotel chains frequently fall into this trap, prioritizing big-budget design while neglecting content quality. If you visit the websites of major hotel chains like Hilton, Starwood, or Marriott, you'll notice a striking resemblance. The content on these sites is typically created by corporate headquarters, resulting in a lack of original content about each hotel's unique location. Consequently, most hotel websites end up functioning as mere brochures, providing information pulled from a global database about product features such as room types and food offerings.
In stark contrast, The Lodge at Chaa Creek's website stands out by taking a different approach. The team behind the website includes co-owner, responsible for marketing; an Australia-based writer and former newspaper editor, who creates most of the written content; and an on-site marketer who focuses on social media and search engine optimization. This team conducts extensive research to identify popular search terms, such as "Belize honeymoon" or "Belize all-inclusive vacation," and then crafts content for The Lodge at Chaa Creek's website and Belize Travel Blog accordingly. The goal is to offer valuable content for individuals researching a trip to Belize, with the intention of achieving high search engine rankings.
Here's what happens: Suppose someone uses Google to search for information about bird-watching in Belize. Thanks to the content about the birds of Belize on The Lodge at Chaa Creek's site and blog, this searcher ends up visiting the website or blog. Similarly, for individuals seeking information about planning a wedding trip to Belize, Chaa Creek publishes content like "Ten reasons why Belize makes for Honeymoon Bliss" on the Belize Travel Blog. It's important to note that this type of information isn't solely about the lodge itself. Instead, the content marketing team at Chaa Creek aims to provide valuable information to individuals planning a trip to Belize. As a result, when these individuals are ready to book accommodations, they are more likely to consider staying at the Lodge at Chaa Creek since they have already gained knowledge about traveling in the country.
One favorite example from this approach, involves the team's articles about nearby Mayan sites, including the Kunantunich Maya Temples. When someone searches for information on "Xunantunich Maya Temples," they will find the article from the Chaa Creek website at the top of the search results. By clicking through, they discover that the temples are located near the village of San Jose Succotz and that the lower temple is renowned for its stucco frieze—a sculptural band along the facade.
It's important to note that this is a hotel website, yet the team has even created content about the Tikal Mayan site, which is situated two hours away from Chaa Creek in Guatemala, a completely different country!
All of this engaging content successfully directs people from search engines to the hotel's website. Many of these individuals ultimately choose to stay at the Lodge at Chaa Creek. In fact, approximately 80% of new bookings for the lodge can be attributed to this content marketing effort. This approach reduces the lodge's reliance on traditional techniques used by their competitors, such as relying heavily on online travel sites (which entail commission fees) or costly advertising in travel magazines. It all begins by providing prospective travelers with the information they seek when they embark on their trip research.
In essence, content marketing wields immense power in establishing credibility, driving traffic, and fostering customer loyalty. By creating and delivering content that resonates with their target audience, organizations can position themselves as authoritative sources and valuable partners in their customers' journeys. The Lodge at Chaa Creek's success story serves as an inspiration and a testament to the transformative impact of content-driven strategies in the ever-evolving digital landscape.