Storytelling is an art form that marketers use every day to convey core brand messages to their audience, and ideally, to attract more customers for the long haul. Practice, however, isn’t limited to language. We are deeply visual creatures, and when we’re about to invest time and money into anything, especially an experience, we want to see it, not just read about it.
Ever since the boom of digital outlets that support visual output, like Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook, hotels have had to up their visual marketing game.
It’s no longer enough to just add the occasional, vague description of your rooms, or to add stock-like photos on the website to show your interior. That just doesn’t cut it for the modern traveler who knows what they want for any adventure.
To bring your hotel to life visually across all media (digital and print alike), you need stellar photos, illustrations, and all other visual representations to portray your hotel in the best light. Here are a few effective ideas for making the most of your marketing in the upcoming period.
Entice influencer and guest visuals
In addition to original photography (to which we’ll get quickly), your hotel will greatly benefit from collaborating with influencers as well as your very own guests. If your budget permits, working with a well-known micro-influencer on TikTok or Instagram can help push your brand’s visibility as well as customer engagement to great heights.
People want to see that your hotel is well-liked among people they respect and appreciate, so outside of your influencer collaborations, your marketing approach can benefit from guest engagement, too.
- Create your own hashtags and encourage people to use them with their selfies at your hotel or spa and tag you on their social feeds. Make sure to show appreciation and thank them!
- Organize contests and dedicated campaigns to portray a specific visual segment of your hotel, be it your renovated pool, your ice-cream parlor, or your chef’s weekly specialties.
- Guest-made visuals on social media can turn into raving reviews, so make sure you encourage people to create as much content as possible and reward them for it.
Always produce authentic photos
Wherever your hotel might be, you know that you can easily go to one of many stock photography sites and find beautiful, free images for your site and your marketing campaigns. Yet, you really shouldn’t.
Stock photos add zero value to your brand identity, they don’t inspire emotions, and you can hardly rely on them for every image in your selection. In countries like Australia, where tourism flourishes and travelers choose their hotels very carefully, you need to put your best foot forward with photos.
As a result, photography courses in Sydney and other metropolises have become the go-to solution for hotels to train their dedicated marketing staff. That way, they can master the art of high-quality, authentic photography of your hotel’s architectural details, but also people-centric photos where you want to give your potential guests a genuine idea of what it’s like to spend time in your rooms and enjoy your many offers.
Make sure your own photographer is well-trained in capturing these essential nuances of your brand, to possible and act more attention and engagement online.
Interactive graphics for your hotel
The old saying that “a picture is worth a thousand words” should guide you when you’re creating your own visual content for your digital marketing strategy. Beautiful, but passive images can be powerful. Imagine what you can do with interactive visuals on your site. Today’s travelers enjoy the idea of greater convenience and easy booking systems, so granting them access to your restaurant’s floorplan can make their decisions much easier.
Let your guests take their pick as to which table they want to book for their dinner, or how they can arrange the seating plan for their corporate event. A diagram and an interactive representation of your floorplan on your website will instantly help your guests make up their minds and engage with your site more easily.
Create videos that complement your strategy
If you’ve elevated your photography skills and you now have a brilliant selection of images that perfectly portray your hotel – it’s time to take on another visual medium, video. Both on your own website and across social channels, video content is rapidly becoming one of the most engaging formats for hotels.
- Use social media stories to post this fleeting, but incredibly engaging video format to your channels.
- Inspire guests to create their own videos and tag you in their posts.
- Organize social media contests for the best guest video on social media, and offer an enticing reward, be it an extra night in your hotel, complimentary dinner in your restaurant, or a spa retreat day.
- Post a season-relevant video on your site’s home page or the new landing page for your latest offers to portray your rooms or the scenery in your vicinity.
- Videos made of professional photos into reels can also be a wonderful way to commemorate an event, such as the anniversary of opening your hotel.
Use videos to interact with your audience, but also to combine sound (such as those crashing waves of Bondi Beach) with visuals and to send an important message for different occasions. It can inspire potential guests to take the leap and book a stay.
Descriptive language and good wording can only get you so far in the hospitality business. With social media becoming more visual every day, and people more interested in experiencing different perspectives, you need to make your visual marketing more appealing and attractive for your potential guests.
Transform your website and social newsfeed into compelling visual storyboards, and you’ll give your hotel another fresh opportunity to entice new as well as repeat guests.
Related article: How Hotels Can Use 2ndKitchen To Leverage the Modern Foodie Traveler
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About Are Morch
Hi, I am Are Morch. Your Digital Marketing Coach and Customer Experience Expert helping hotels create unique and unexpected experiences by freeing up resources to focus on new ideas through value innovation and a growth mindset.