What is Earned Media for Hotels?


Nick Papa
November 23, 2023

In the dynamic landscape of hotel marketing, earned media has become increasingly significant. 

While many hotels focus on paid advertising with Google or Meta and owned content on their website and blog, understanding and harnessing the power of earned media can be more complex than its counterparts – but it can also be a game changer.

So, what is earned media for hotels? Read on to discover what it is, why it matters, and how it builds credibility and trust for your property.

Earned Media Definition

Earned media refers to the exposure and attention a hotel receives through organic means (without payment or promotion).

It results from positive public relations efforts, including coverage in media outlets such as AFAR, Condé Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure, social media mentions, TripAdvisor reviews, and other forms of unpaid visibility.

Earned Media Examples

Feature Article

A feature article or a hotel is specialized content beyond the essential information in standard promotional materials. It aims to provide readers with an in-depth and engaging exploration of the hotel, its unique offerings, and the overall guest experience.

Feature articles are often narrative-driven. A journalist or editor will stay at the hotel and write about their first-person experience, focusing on storytelling to create a compelling and immersive reading experience. 

Roundup Article

A roundup article for hotels is content that compiles and presents a curated list of hotels around a specific theme, location, or feature. These articles aim to provide readers with diverse properties that align with a common theme or cater to a particular interest, such as the best beach resorts in Mexico.

Roundup articles can serve various purposes, such as helping readers discover unique accommodations, showcasing top-rated hotels in a specific region, or highlighting hotels that excel in a particular aspect.

Media Mention

A mention in the media is a cursory inclusion of the hotel’s name in passing. While it positively associates the property with the media outlet, it lacks the valuable information your potential guests need to decide whether to book a stay.

Hotel Review

A hotel review is a written evaluation of a guest's experience at the property. While most reviews are user-generated content (UGC), such as TripAdvisor, some media outlets send journalists and editors to review hotels. These reviews differ from feature articles: they focus less on telling an immersive story and more on the facts of the stay.

Social Media Tags

Another example of UGC is when guests (and sometimes influencers and media members) who stay at your hotel collectively serve as content creators when they post about your property organically, in an unpaid capacity. These genuine recommendations give potential guests a third-party insider's view of your amenities and overall guest experience.

Why Earned Media Matters for Hotels

Earned media carries a higher level of credibility because it comes from third-party sources, such as travel journalists, influencers, and satisfied guests. Positive mentions and reviews build trust among potential guests and can influence their booking decisions.

Unlike paid media, which involves advertising costs, reviews and UGC from your guests are a no-cost way to increase brand visibility. However, positive coverage in the media, which can lead to the most widespread exposure, requires a direct financial investment in an external PR agency or consultant.

Curacity is changing that with software that automates content distribution to the world's best media brands, only collecting payment on consumed bookings after a guest stays.

The earned media content distribution that Curacity facilitates has a broader reach, which helps hotels connect with larger audiences and reach the 82% of leisure travelers who have yet to start searching for hotels in your market on channels like Google and OTAs.

How to Generate Earned Media for Hotels

Guest Experience

Providing outstanding guest experiences is the foundation of earned media. 

Satisfied guests are likely to share their experiences through reviews, social media, and word-of-mouth. Through the guest experience, whether in-person collateral or via email, encourage guests to share their experiences on social media.

Review Monitoring

Monitoring online review sites like TripAdvisor, Yelp, and Google is essential. Responding to reviews, especially addressing concerns and expressing gratitude for positive feedback, enhances the hotel's online reputation.

Media Coverage

Positive media coverage is the best way to generate earned media with the most exposure. Still, until now, it requires actively engaging with travel influencers and journalists who cover the hospitality industry. Hosting familiarization trips, offering unique experiences, and building relationships with key industry figures takes time and money.

Curacity has automated this process to save hotels time and money. With the Curacity platform, you can upload your amenities, facilities, and photos in just a few clicks, and Curacity handles the rest. 

Unlike traditional PR, Curacity ensures the final content includes the unique selling points you want to convey. And, unlike paid ads and affiliates, Curacity facilitates earned media content that acts as a trusted third-party endorsement.

Ready for the benefits of earned media?

In the ever-evolving world of hotel marketing, earned media stands out as a powerful tool for building credibility, trust, and brand recognition. 

This organic and authentic approach contributes to short-term success and establishes a foundation for long-term brand loyalty and a positive industry reputation.

By delivering exceptional guest experiences that encourage UGC, actively managing your online reputation, and engaging with influencers and journalists, you can unlock the full potential of earned media for your hotel.

Do you want to maximize the revenue potential of paid media?

Over 500 properties have used Curacity’s proprietary technology to earn $500MM+ by automating the distribution of tailored hotel content to AFAR, Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, and many more outlets on Curacity’s media brand network.

Learn more about how Curacity helps hotels reach new, higher-paying guests through earned media at the crucial point of inspiration, and talk to us to hear how we can generate incremental bookings and revenue for you.



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