Dispelling Myths Around Static Content
Leonardo has spent the last twenty years working in the world of digital hotel content. The industry as a whole, and we as part of it, have come to define two kinds of content displayed in every hotel listing across the web, whether it’s on an online travel channel, a gated corporate channel, or within the data network of a bed bank system. Every listing includes dynamic and static content.
To start off with, dynamic content: as the name implies, this content is information and data that changes regularly, often multiple times a day. This content, room rates and occupancy, need to be updated dynamically across the web, to account for physical hotel availability as well as shifting promotions to catch the wandering travel shoppers’ eye.
Rates and availability define revenue for a hotel, and because of their ever changing nature, are known as dynamic content. So called “static content” has wound up being understood by the industry largely in contrast to dynamic content.
Where dynamic content is ever-changing, the assumption is that the rest of the information in a hotel listing is secondary, needing to be uploaded once and then spottily maintained. Even if nothing at a hotel changes over the years, the role that static content and the way it is used means this is simply untrue.
What Is Static Content, Really
First and foremost, we’d argue that “descriptive content” is a better term for what the industry calls static content, although this term is sometimes used for textual content alone. So-called static content is not static because few things at a hotel remain the completely unchanged, even within one season. It’s also not static because channels frequently update and tweak their requirements, which means hotels need to keep that content updated to meet new standards.
As for what static content really is, it’s everything that sells your accommodations beyond the room rate. For example, your visual content: images, videos, 360 tours, and so on. Media is your first chance to make a good impression, because alongside your hotel’s name and rate, they are the first thing a shopper sees.
This content is also every other piece of information about your hotel, which is your chance to close the deal. In addition to actual marketing text designed to sell your hotel, there’s the rest of your “static” content:
- Location details
- Basic hotel facts (number of rooms, age, hotel type and star rating)
- Policies (check in, parking, smoking)
- Amenities list (in room and hotel-wide)
Some of these details are fixed—after all, your hotel probably won’t change locations! But your amenities and policies will likely change over time, or they may already change seasonally. As with anything on the internet, it’s not just about the data, but how it’s managed by your team, and then presented and processed by channels.
Brands needs to have accurate, up-to-date information that reflects the reality at their properties. Managing this flow of information can be challenging. Leonardo solves this problem by offering a cloud-based content distribution system with robust user permission sets. Property staff can provide content, which is then approved and distributed at the brand level.
What you may be missing
Static content powers the algorithm that determines whether or not a travel shopper sees your hotel at all. Missing information will leave you out of relevant searches. Once a shopper is on your listing, most channels use this content as data to market your hotel, since so few channels let hotels provide their own marketing text.
If you have accurate static content, it also needs to meet every channels’ particular requirements, which change and adapt over time. For example, channels have added new media categories so that hotels can showcase how they’re keeping guests safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On top of that, there’s the simple fact that you may not have control over every listing. Some channels pull content from a variety of sources, including bed banks and data vaults. Those sources are focused on dynamic content, and typically don’t have the most accurate or up-to-date static content.
Hotel brands that use distribution tools to reach and update channels are ahead of the game. Our distribution network includes every major travel channel and GDS, as well as gated channels and newer travel start-ups.
Rather than chasing down channel best practices or contact details to make updates, we manage distribution and provide those best practices in a single platform. Our content services reach a truly global network of travel channels, and we provide in-app reporting and regular communications so you’re always a step ahead.
Upload once, update forever
Many hotels let this important side of content fall between the cracks. Whether it’s because they don’t have the right access, or they don’t have the staff to maintain it. That’s where automation comes in. Staying on top of static or “descriptive” content is simply too important to let fall by the wayside.
We provide content distribution and verification systems, which provide hotel brands with the tools to update and maintain this essential content piece. Automating content saves hotels time and money by:
- Eliminating the number of extranets staff need to access
- Solving for human error and staff turnover
- Updating hard-to-access third party channels
- Optimizing display on every major channel, including OTAs, GDSs, and gated travel managers
- Improving content scores and conversion
Contact us to learn how we are revolutionizing static content across the hotel industry. We’re building innovative solutions and partnerships to change the way content is collected, managed, and distributed. Let’s talk today.