Any online promotional technique that provides valuable information to interested consumers, boosts rankings in major search engines, and serves as a convenient source for print journalists is a technique that should become “modus operandi” for all corporate websites. Online media rooms meet all three of these criteria. Businesses within the travel and lodging industry can particularly benefit, as an ongoing record of community events and local attractions can be a very valuable resource for potential visitors. Blizzard Internet Marketing highly encourages the use of blogs/media rooms on our clients’ websites, as evidenced by two recent Blizzard blog articles; Create a Media Room on Your Website, by Mary Bowling and The World of Blogs, by Stephanie Hedberg.
Imagine an internet user typing in the search phrase “Denver International Wine Festival”. Let’s say the typist is from Wyoming, and although he has not yet made plans for accommodations, in this particular search he is merely seeking information regarding the festival itself. How valuable would it be if your hotel or inn’s website media room appeared on the first page of the results in Google, with information about the festival? If “Mr. Wyoming” clicks on your media room article about the event, he will see not only that the page is part of a lodging website, but he will immediately associate your property with the attraction that he’s interested in. Will he click to your homepage, rooms and rates page, or book online? Maybe, maybe not – but you’ve introduced him to a valuable resource, and the fact that he can also book a room without performing another search is a convenience that a lot of people will appreciate. Ever hear of the expression, “Kill two birds with one stone”? This example was taken directly from the media room of The Oxford Hotel in Denver; the article on the wine festival did put them in the top 10 search results in Google for that keyword phrase.
As we’ve been saying for quite some time, local authority status is becoming more and more important to search engines, and is now a key component of any successful SEO campaign. As the Oxford Hotel adds more and more content about the city in which it’s located, it boosts its internet reputation as an important and vital part of the community. As their archive of articles grows, more and more users searching for information regarding Denver will eventually see their media room:
As you can see (click on the image to see the Media Room full size, on Oxford Hotel’s site), visitors can browse the media room in a variety of ways – by category, date, and/or subject. Providing easy navigation obviously enables the user to quickly find the article of interest. People are, for the most part, creatures of habit. If your media blog is set up in a way that is user-friendly and provides enough content that people are confident they will find the information they seek, the page will be bookmarked and visited again and again. And what are those links at the very top of the page? Why, they’re links to the rest of the pages on the website. Hmmmmmm….
For examples of a couple of more media rooms, check out the blogs for Bama Bayou in Alabama and Villas by the Sea off the coast of Georgia. Both are good illustrations of how the same goals can be reached in different ways. The main points of any media room is to keep the content up to date, to archive articles and provide access to them, to link to the rest of your site’s pages from the blog, and to make the navigation simple and easy to use. And the beauty of blogs is that they are inherently simple to manipulate.
Kate Olsen, a promotion manager at Blizzard, had this to say about her client’s blog: “It’s really convenient for us as promotion managers because we can upload our own work. It’s really more of a “living entity” for us – if we ever need to make changes, we can do so quickly and efficiently.”
Ambere Cunningham, Senior Account Manager for Bama Bayou, agrees regarding the simplicity of the process, stating that the day after a short training session, her client was able to upload a newsletter without assistance.
We are sure to see business use of blogs continue to grow, especially in service industries, like lodging and hospitality. Thinking about implementing a media room on your website? As you grow comfortable with the process of having one, not only will you not hesitate to add content, you’ll actually begin to seek out possible article subjects. The more comprehensive your coverage of the community, the more you’ll be perceived as an authority on the area, and the more (free) exposure your business will receive.
Please contact your Blizzard promotion account manager or our Business Development Department at 888-840-5893 to learn more about setting up a media room on your site.
I also appreciate any comments or questions regarding media blogs – please use the form below.