With the increasing usage of the internet and smartphone, digital media has emerged as the most viable avenue for brands to sell their products, and, unsurprisingly, for hotels to sell their rooms, too.
Nielsen research found that "travellers spent an average of 53 days visiting 28 different websites over a period of 76 online sessions, with more than 50% of travellers checking social media for travel tips". Another research reveals that 63% of travellers turn to a search engine at some time during trip planning.
Undeniably, there has been an explosive growth in digital media over the past few years. This has given hotel marketers a steady platform to reach out to existing guests, as well as the general audience, and engage with them on a daily basis.
However, there’s a flip-side to this. With every hotel rushing to capture their audience through digital media, the amount of content available to consumers is quite large, leading to the simple conclusion that not every advertisement or piece of content will make the mark.
But then, what will?
Are you searching for inspiration to craft amazing content that will make your hotel stand out, enthral travellers, and lead to more guests trickling in? Then, look no further than these top hospitality brands who have hacked the digital market scene with their innovative marketing campaigns.
Reward Your Customers with a Personalised Experience
Are you aware of the fact that it can cost five times more to get a new customer than to retain one? Repeat customers are often easier to sell to and they are also known to spend more money than new customers.
Successful hotel brands know this and treat their loyal guests exceptionally, building a reliable stream of revenue.
Loyalty programs with free room upgrades, online check-ins, 24/7 mobile concierge service are just a few ways in which hotels use technology to connect with their repeat customers to deliver a highly personalised experience at meagre costs.
The two-way chat feature launched by Marriott Hotels and Resorts deserves a mention here. The global brand is redefining hotel visits by enabling the members of its loyalty program to engage in real-time conversations with the staff before, during, and after a visit through a mobile application.
This concept is entirely different from other hotel apps that allow guests to communicate with the staff only after arrival. Marriott Rewards members can communicate directly with the hotel on the app at any time, enabling them to make personalised requests such as asking for an airport pick-up or an early check-in without any fuss.
Innovative Content Marketing – Quality Before Quantity
Did you know that content marketing generates over three times as many leads as outbound marketing and costs 62% less?
Online blogs are used by various brands to capture the interest of their customers and engage them by providing relevant information about a topic. But, how do you make your brand stand out from the competition is a question that has baffled many businesses.
Presenting your blog creatively is one answer – something that Four Seasons accomplished by creating one of the best hotel blogs in the market that mimics a luxury travel magazine. The magazine caters to upscale customers by providing a glimpse of the Four Seasons lifestyle through interesting articles about unique destinations accompanied with striking imagery. The content published is high-quality and well-researched, inspiring readers to travel while also providing them with meaningful information regarding their stay at various Four Seasons hotels.
To generate more value, the magazine subtly prompts users to take further action by allowing them to check room availability and make bookings directly from the blog without having to navigate to the main page.
The London Revealed campaign by Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts is another case in point. The hotel uses quality content to pique user interest and drive them to their website to take further action. They have created a simple webpage that focuses on London’s top activities and experiences, without hard-selling the brand at any point.
The takeaway? Stay away from pushing your brand down the customers’ throats. Instead, create content around your brand that is useful for the audience which will naturally pull them to your brand. Here are 8 killer tips for your hotel blog to get you started.
Tap into Audio Content
Podcasting has become immensely popular in the recent past.
A study by Prudential revealed that podcast units were more than twice as successful in generating brand awareness than banner ads.
Here’s an example of a compelling audio campaign by a leading hotel brand. The Intercontinental, in 2017, launched its ‘Stories of the InterContinental Life’ podcast series where hosts travelled across the world to share stories that captured the spirit of travelling.
The content was curated in a way that it did not sell the brand at all. Instead, it focused on the experiences that the listeners could gain by travelling while subtly driving the consideration back to the brand to drive sales.
In case you are considering podcasts to connect with your consumers, there is a valuable lesson to be learnt from the above InterContinental campaign; to not build content that is overly promotional. The Intercontinental used content that mentioned their hotels only in the passing; relying on a value-driven narrative not focused on brand promotion.
Have you seen the ‘Two Bellmen’ series by Marriott? It is a series of three short films that depict Marriott employees performing their duties as hotel bellmen and what lengths they go to, all in a day’s job, to ensure guest comfort.
The series, launched in 2014, is a great example of marketing by putting your employees at the fore and taking customers behind the scenes for a peek into your organisation.
In case you are wondering why this works, the answer is simple. Everybody enjoys a slice of insider information and marketers can use this method to improve brand perception by giving customers a glance into their brand’s ethos.
What we have shared above are just a few examples of creative digital media initiatives by big hotel brands that you can emulate in your marketing strategy to drive better results.
If you are looking for the crux, here’s a snapshot:
- Focus on repeat business.
- Share value-driven content in a compelling format.
- Use high-quality pictures to generate more interest.
- Podcasts can improve brand awareness.
- Your employees are your best brand ambassadors on social media.
Are you looking for help to build an ace digital media marketing strategy for your business? Contact the marketing professionals at Blue Beetle today to put together a concrete plan that will keep a steady stream of happy guests coming in.