Businesses in every sector and of every size are stepping up their content marketing efforts. Evidence can be found in start-up Dollar Shave club adding more journalists to payroll while Linkedin increases its focus on Pulse, a channel allowing users to publish their own content.

For hoteliers, it takes a careful approach to tie content and social media closely together. After all, one-fifth of leisure travellers worldwide turn to social media for inspiration according to Redshift Research. Campaigns from mobile companies such as Three’s #holidayspam show that one person’s throwaway holiday photo is another’s inspiration.

Fear not. It is possible to upgrade your content marketing efforts without splashing out thousands big budget campaigns. Instead, harness the content your guests create, find new tools or work with the right influencers to tell a story about your hotel brand.

We’ve analysed campaigns from three of the biggest hotel groups and investigated how you can replicate industry-leading efforts on a fraction of the budget:

Sheraton’s #BetterWhenShared

Photos are essential to sell your property. The business traveller Starwood brand encourages guests to share photos from their stays using #BetterWhenShared, which is signposted around the hotel. The result is a beautiful microsite that shows off user-generated images from across the world that provides a flavour of what it is like to stay at Sheraton.

Hotelier hack: You don’t need huge resource to recreate this. You could set up your own hotel hashtag with posters around your hotel and set up an IFTTT (if this then that) recipe that will pull any photos to a dedicated Tumblr page, thus creating your own user generated online hotel gallery in a matter of minutes.

Four Seasons Magazine

A beautiful website from the luxury brand brings together food, style, destinations, weddings and recommendations that are targeted at affluent couples and young family travellers. Everything about the site screams inspiration and what’s more, the articles are published quarterly and can be yours for a $100 subscription.

Hotelier hack: If you’re lacking the space and funds for an editorial team, you could sign up to a content curation service like It provides you with a Google-friendly splash page and a 1-click way to publish articles to your social networks.

Marriott’s SnapChat Campaign

The global brand is pushing boundaries on using new social platforms and influencers to open new markets and raise awareness. Earlier this year they announced new partnerships with Snapchat influencers, inviting their fans to help carve out their adventures that were fully funded. In return they received rich media to use across Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and of course Snapchat itself.

Hotelier hack: It doesn’t take the biggest influencers to make a difference to the content at your disposal. A tool like Bloggabase can help you identify travel bloggers who you could invite to stay at your hotel as long as there’s mutual interest. You may have to pay a small fee and it might sound like PR-101, but never underestimate the power of influencers telling your story and creating content for you.

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