Earlier this season we launched a report in our Skift Trends series, Content Marketing Strategies for Hospitality Brands.

Below is an extract. Get the full report here to get ahead of this trend.

Hotel apps are evolving with more features and functionality, including remote check-in, keyless room access and in-house communication. But few do a really great job with content to help consumers navigate the local destinations and engage with the brand.

The first edition of the Pullman Hotel magazine app was a tour de force when it launched in the summer of 2013. Thai director Pen-Ek Ratanaruang, one of Asia’s most celebrated directors, created a short fashion film sponsored in part by Lanvin, integrating the Bangkok property and sights of the city. This was followed by an interview with Ratanaruang who talked about his fondness for combining work and pleasure while staying at hotels during his frequent travel schedule. That is exactly aligned with the new messaging coming out of Pullman corporate.

The 2014 edition of the Pullman magazine app is pared down slightly in terms of its scope, but it retains its most important feature—mobile exclusivity. The content and layout was designed specifically for mobile, so it’s not like consumers are trying to read the print version of the magazine squished into a mobile format. The end result is a magazine app that is beautiful to look at and very easy to navigate and read.

The latest iteration opens with behind-the-scenes photography of a fashion shoot in Morocco, followed by a series of photography pages profiling Pullman destinations. The main edit well includes an eclectic series of profiles of cultural influencers, from rock and roll photographer Richard Bellia to Moroccan director Laila Marrakchi. There are pages dedicated to new hotel and destination developments with stunning professional photography, plus hotel deals, stories about professional development, and data charts depicting how people of different nationalities use social media and their electronic devices.

For hoteliers seeking a third-party app development option, brands like Intelity offer a content management system that bundles a complete suite of in-app functionality. “The hotel industry has changed dramatically how we reach consumers today,” says David Adelson, CEO/president of Intelity. “We enable hoteliers to know who their customers are and how they can better market to them.”

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