Exclusive Feature: The way a hotel markets itself visually will do a lot to build its reputation and attract business in 2018, so in order to maximise the effectiveness of visual marketing, hoteliers need to ensure that content effortlessly cascades across all platforms, hits the right brand note, and is ultimately centred on the audience’s needs, not a creative team’s ego.
Video marketing should be at the core of any visual branding efforts, because it has the power to make hotels, their rooms and facilities, memorable. Many people consider themselves visual learners who remember names and faces, better than facts and figures — and that’s why video is such a powerful, emotive brand medium. A video is one of the cheapest and most direct ways to explain concepts and show authenticity as a brand.
Here are some video marketing themes all hoteliers need to consider:
Go Live & 360
Live video, through Facebook Live or Periscope, is ultra-low-cost (they can be executed on a smartphone). Every time a hotel brand goes live, its followers will be sent a notification. Hoteliers should look to use this to their advantage when planning their broadcasting schedule. The content being created does not need to be entirely scripted. Part of the excitement of live video is the chance to get a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes within a company.
Hoteliers that have not experimented with Facebook’s 360-degree videos, should do so. It can be an excellent way for brands to draw attention to room features and increase click-through rates to their pages and websites. For example, if a high-end hotel has recently completed a refurbishment, a tour of the new site, including spa facilities and new room types, can be a great way to introduce the revamped property to potential guests. You can even boost your 360-degree post using Facebook advertising.
Snapchat and Instagram Stories allow hotel brands to successfully draw views with 10-second bursts of video. Plus, with the addition of swipe up links to your website, it has never been easier to turn these story views into sales and guest stays.
Use Stories to promote discounts on rooms and unique, exclusively-tailored packages. Time-sensitive offers, like 20% off, do a lot to draw in first-time customers. Through personal reach you can identify a target audience and pick out tailored offers and imagery to pique their curiosity.
Shoppable Social Media
Social selling is an exciting medium for visual marketers to explore, and Instagram and Pinterest are two of the channels where visually minded brands and marketers can make a real difference.
Brands can now create Shoppable Pins and Instagram Galleries that allow users to click and buy without even leaving the app. This could potentially boost hotel brand awareness on these visual platforms, if the photography being displayed is professional and is in line with audience expectations.
To ensure brand visuals will be effective, hoteliers need to conduct audience and competitor analysis, concentrating specifically on the aesthetics. For example, for a property decorated in a retro style, low contrast, old-timey photography can be popular with guests. They can use stock photos, but it’s best to edit them to make them feel more on-brand.
Interactive Visual Content and Social Proof
Hotels on Snapchat will already be aware that they can create their own filters and promote them via the platform. These are a great way to get people sharing marketing messages with their friends. User-generated content can, and should, also be a feature of any brand’s product pages and website design.
For hoteliers looking to attract millennial guests, massive social proof points can be added to if they include some Instagram photos of guests enjoying their facilities. In many instances, hotels are doing their best to gain traction through all of their marketing channels, by marrying their content with that of their users. It’s a clever way of getting closer to guests without needing to resort to pushy or invasive ads.
To better engage with potential guests, all hotels need to enhance their visual marketing efforts, through generating engaging content and disseminating this on the right platform to reach the right audience. Video marketing content helps place visitors in an immersive online experience. Those hotels that take their audience on a journey with visual branding are positioning themselves to succeed in a competitive digital marketplace.
This is strictly an exclusive feature, reprints of this article in any shape or form without prior written approval from 4Hoteliers.com is not permitted.
Wayne Jasek is the Director of APAC Operations for Kentico. He specialises in helping hoteliers deliver executional online experiences that turn visitors into customers.