One of our favorite examples of content marketing done right
We love the offering from the hotel chain because it is
truly, deeply useful. It’s a combination
of online tools (maps, tips, etc.) and programs (concierges, equipment, etc.)
that work together to make it easy for guests to go out and take a run.
The idea is simple, but the execution is so engaging and smooth that it serves
as a powerful brand differentiator.
Recently we chatted with Brooke Patterson, North America Director of Brand
Management, Sheraton & Westin at Starwood Hotels and Resorts, to find out
how the program came about and to find out how the company tackles content
marketing more broadly.
Check out the Q&A below:
Q: What role does
digital content and social media play broadly for Westin?
A: Digital and
social content help us to connect and interact with current and future guests
on a more personal level.
We know how challenging it is to maintain your wellness
routines while on the road. Through digital and social media, we are able to
conveniently provide information and tips that empower our guests and help them
to better maintain those routines while traveling. This includes suggestions on
simple stretches to do after a long flight, reminders on what few things
runners should always travel with and insight as to the healthiest airport meal
Q: What’s the
difference between good content and bad content?
A: Good content
puts the consumer first.
Brands should strive to understand their customers’ needs
and then provide information based on their expertise that helps the customer
meet these needs.
Too often brands create content based on the message they
want to convey without first thinking about how it will benefit their consumer.
Q: We love the RunWESTIN
content. How did it come about? What are the goals?
A: One of the
biggest disruptors to a person’s well-being routine can be travel. Westin
developed the RunWESTIN
program as a perfect complement to its other well-being programming; it’s
designed to meet the growing global demand for wellness while traveling,
First, we brought on Chris Heuisler, our National
RunWESTIN Concierge, to serve as an expert on fitness and travel. He spent time
interacting with travelers and runners to understand their needs while on the
road, and from there, we developed the initial components of the program.
What’s great about the content on the RunWESTIN channels is
that no matter what level of physical activity a follower is looking for, it’s
there – stretching after a long flight, quick in-room workouts or training
Now with nearly 200 RunWESTIN concierges, a Gear Lending
program in partnership with New Balance and running maps based on local
landmarks, our program continues to grow. The expansion of Westin’s concierge
program now includes experts with insights into surfing, skiing, hiking, and
cycling, among other physical activities.
Q: Do you have a
favorite piece of Westin content? Why?
A: My favorite
piece is an
article that Chris wrote as a contributor to The Huffington Post
about running with the Olympic medalist Meb Keflezighi.
I like this piece in particular because it is inspirational
and offers a nice reminder to look within when determining what defines success
for each of us as individuals. So many times we get wrapped up in comparing
ourselves to others and we don’t realize that things we are doing are truly
great accomplishments for ourselves.
Q: Finally, are there
any content trends that you’re watching closely right now? What excites
A: We are always
looking for new ways to distribute our content. We want to make sure it is
reaching a broad audience and is benefiting as many people as possible.
One of the things that we are exploring today is
sequential messaging to ensure that we can make sure our content is reaching
the most appropriate audiences.