The Hospitality Industry encompasses a variety of services like hotels, food service, recreation, tourist destinations, events etc. The marketing revolves around customer experiences that you offer because there are not many tangible products to provide or showcase. This makes image building pivotal for your growth. With globalization, both business and leisure travel and stays have increased manifold. This multi-billion dollar industry has a large number of big and small players, and to stand out, you need to focus on brand recognition and relationship building. A majority of your customers search for hotels and resorts online. And hence the importance of a good social media presence, search presence and web presence in general. Your website, photo galleries, social profiles and online reviews all matter, and influence decision making.
Great Website :Your website should be mobile-optimised, and the home page should contain all the important information like offers, search options, a calendar for date selection booking dates, offers, destinations etc. And of course, it should not look boring and cluttered – it should be exciting and inviting instead. You may want to check out the websites of Best Western and Accor Hotels. Since you already know how your customers search hotels (online), it is wiser to partner with websites like Tripadvisor and Trivago to make the most of it. You need to post the best pictures of your property, list all the facilities you provide, mention the type of rooms available etc. Also, ask your happy customers to post reviews on such sites. Also, make it a point to reply to negative reviews as well. This goes a long way in building customer confidence.
Personalization : Personalization is really important – so direct your message to a person, not a crowd. Keep a tab on the location of your prospects, address them by their name, monitor their preferences, talk in a language they are most comfortable with, and know that they need and when. For instance, Red Roof Inn approached the prospects like a friend in need (and proved itself to be a friend indeed!). They tracked when the flights were delayed and posted an ad saying, “Stranded at the airport? Come stay with us!” What an awesome way to grab the opportunity! This resulted in a 60% increase in bookings across non-branded search campaigns. Your customers carry their mobile with them almost everywhere! Moreover, they are engrossed in checking updates on their phone. Mobile apps provide your customers a convenient and handy experience while searching and booking hotels. Design a wonderful app and then, encourage your prospects to download and use it. Once they have your app, you can keep them engaged with timely and relevant notifications that might interest them (refrain from overdoing it). Now you can be rest assured that they will check out your app before taking a decision about the next travel or stay. It is also important to update your app regularly and fix the bugs, if any.
Gamification: You can also use gamification to engage more users. Give away rewards point or free stays on referral or bookings through the app. All the renowned brands like Choice Hotels, Marriott and Ritz-Carlton have well-designed apps.
Videos: In the marketing and advertising world, the power of videos is immense! Videos can be incredibly engaging. For instance, the following video by Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts will make you feel like leaving your office and going for a holiday as soon as possible:
You can also introduce your brand through videos. Videos can easily tell facts and figures without sounding boring. They are also great at conveying emotional and exciting moments.
You can also include celebrities in your videos to endorse your brand. For instance, a video from Starwood featured Lewis Hamilton. Being an expert in your field, you can also share some helpful tips and hacks with your customers through videos. For instance, Best Western has this series of travel hack videos. You can also think out of the box and come up with something unique, to make your customers fall in love with you:
Wasn’t it a very pure, natural video, that too loaded with cuteness?
Events: Wedding, events, photoshoot, tourist destinations etc. are very important for the Hospitality Industry. You can showcase how a wedding or conference organized by you looks like. You can also attract more tourist to the destinations where your hotels are located. Show them all the attractions and activities they might miss if they don’t visit. Best Western has a series of videos called “Destination Travel Inspiration”, which takes you through various locations and their beauty.
The above video not only provides you the glimpse of the wonderful city of Los Angeles but also jazzes up your mood with the upbeat music. Plus, there is a cleverly placed annotation to download the app. Corporate Films can be used to take the viewers through your facilities and infrastructure. You can also brief them about your mission, core values, strengths, achievements etc. You may even share your yearly report with the world through a video like this one.
Creating wonderful videos is one thing, and sharing them on the right platforms is another. Your prospects will not come looking for you at your hotel. You have to reach out to them and be discovered at places where they hang out often. Yes, we are talking about social media!
Images, GIFs and videos go a long way in attracting more audience. Give them a taste of what it is to be at your hotel.
Involve your fans and followers by asking them questions and holding contests. If someone posts something about you (positive or negative), try your best to acknowledge their feedback. Of course, you can feel proud about a good feedback and share it with the world.
Keep your fans and followers informed about the ongoing and upcoming events at your hotels and resorts. Tell them how happening your place is!
Always promote the discounts or offers that are going on, because more the number of people who know about it, the better.
LinkedIn: Utilize your LinkedIn page for business oriented talks. You can share information about the awards you received, the ranking of your brand, mergers, expansions, employment news, CSR activities etc.
Since you want to be seen as a knowledge leader in your field, you can also share your business insights and panel discussions on Linkedin. Share those mind-blowing images on Instagram and please your young followers. Get some inspiration from the Instagram profiles of Four seasons, Marriott, Choice Hotels and Intercontinental.
Campaigns: Another way to get attention is by launching campaigns. You need to design your campaigns strategically and post about them on social media to make it work. Airbnb is really good with campaigns. Airbnb collaborated with The Art Institute of Chicago to recreate Van Gogh’s famous bedroom. The campaign resulted in increased publicity for both, Art Institute of Chicago and Airbnb.
Immersive Experiences: Want to do something unique for your customers? Well, Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) can help you steal the show! AR and VR are among the newest technologies on the block. Marriott hotels introduced an In-Room Virtual Reality Travel Experience called “VRoom Service” for their customers. Such innovations attract attention, engage customers, create memorable moments for them and build your image as a technologically advanced brand. Best Western Hotels offer Virtual reality videos of their various locations. It clearly shows that the hotel is trying its best to bring customers closer.
VR videos offer an immersive experience, just like an actual visit. Such videos also help your prospects understand your services better and take better decisions. Augmented Reality is an interesting technology that overlays information on whatever is being captured by the user’s camera. So, you can provide your customers with unique menu cards, information about nearby places to explore and navigation to the desired destination.
Undoubtedly, videos, website and social media content, AR and VR can provide you with the visibility and recognition you need. For more detailed discussions on brand building, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be happy to partner with you.