In 2018, when the Malibu Beach Inn was looking to draw new clientele and drive more revenue to the hotel’s door on the Pacific coast of California, it chose a non-traditional strategy to increase the property’s exposure by tapping the tech smarts of Curacity, a New York City-based data analytics company. Curacity measures and analyzes how content published by creators converts to downstream bookings for its hotel partners.
Utilizing traditional creators —aka publishers — for Malibu Beach Inn, Curacity’s digital media brand partners generated valuable exposure for the beachfront address, including standalone features in AFAR, Travel + Leisure and Condé Nast Traveler, which highlighted the property in the publishers’ digital newsletter and editorial content.
Distinct from timeworn "publish and pray" methods of media exposure that have been a typical marketing lever pulled by hotels, Curacity’s product enabled Malibu Beach Inn to track the return on investment via analyzing first-party data that it collects from its publishers and hotels. Working with these traditional creators proved extremely successful, adding a top-of-the-funnel awareness tactic to the hotel’s marketing mix that was uniquely measurable to the hotel’s revenue. This new customer acquisition platform quickly became a critical part of their revenue-driving strategy. But beyond this source of influence, Curacity advised Malibu Beach Inn to tap into another marketing channel that was becoming more and more vital for hoteliers to utilize: social media.
During the pandemic, emerging social media creators became more popular than ever. In fact, 63% of people engage more with travel content from emerging creators on social media than they did before the pandemic and today there are an estimated 200M creators across platforms.
With this marketing trend growing in popularity, Curacity launched a product that offers a way for hoteliers to connect and partner with emerging social media creators to tap into this marketing mix effectively. When the pandemic slammed the travel industry and hotels found themselves with more open inventory than ever, the founders saw another opportunity. They created a product for property teams that would allow them to offer their otherwise empty rooms to social media creators at a special rate in return for publishing content on their channels. This would provide a scalable way for property teams to leverage social media creators to both drive revenue and generate content. After massive success utilizing the platform to collaborate with traditional creators, Malibu Beach Inn furthered their partnership in 2021 to leverage emerging creators on Instagram to promote and drive more guests to book the hotel.
In our current digital age, businesses are well aware that social media is essential to growth, but how do they ensure a strong ROI? How do they measure that these influencer efforts actually move the needle? Curacity understands the immense effort it can take to prove the success of hotel and emerging creator partnerships. Rising to the challenge, the product helps both parties partner more efficiently, and assists hotels in turning what was traditionally considered solely an awareness-driving marketing channel (the creator) into a revenue-driving conversion and distribution channel with the ROI accountability of an OTA.
Creators must first get accepted to Curacity’s platform —and only a select group are chosen, ensuring that their highly engaged audiences are more likely to visit that specific hotel. These emerging creators on Instagram provide Curacity with access to view their audience insights, and then the platform uses those insights to grant them access to hotels based on follower location, age and other demographics. Big data sets are what ensure successful partnerships for hotels and creators by effectively measuring how many bookings are being driven by the content.
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Additionally, Curacity puts budget behind each piece of content, boosting that creators’ content along the way which allows the posts to be seen by a larger, targeted audience that is unreachable by a post published on its own. The platform algorithmically works with Facebook’s data science team to evaluate the interactions with a creator’s Instagram post, definitively determining the financial impact of that digital content on a hotel’s room revenue. Curacity isn’t cookie-based or last-click attribution, but a product that uses proprietary tech to track and monitor decisions and other data far beyond what other solutions can provide. Because of this, Malibu Beach Inn’s management team could rest assured that Curacity-driven guests would provide the hotel with higher value and return.
The results impressed: Since 2018, Malibu Beach Inn’s relationship with Curacity has resulted in 186 creator campaigns that delivered more than $2.1 million in incremental revenue, 1.1 million impressions and 1,668 incremental bookings. Further, Curacity’s internal research has revealed that the guests of the hotel that Curacity’s network of content creators have captured are extremely valuable.
On average, those guests spend 37% more on hotel rooms than those that book through all other travel channels, as well as 16% more on food & beverage on premises. Additionally, while producing high quality image and video content can cost a hotel thousands of dollars, Malibu Beach Inn has found significant value in being able to leverage the beautiful — and powerful — content produced on Curacity’s emerging creator platform to populate the hotel’s owned social feeds and attract new guests.
With proven success, Curacity is revolutionizing the creator economy by effectively utilizing proprietary data-analysis capabilities to measure the direct impact that creators’ content has on a hotel’s revenue.