John McAuliffe, President with VFM Leonard, contributed this interesting article recently published on Tnooz that addresses a question that he is often asked by hotel emarketers, 'Do we really need so much visual content to sell our hotel rooms?'.
His answer is simply "It's not about the content, it's about the story that the content tells about the hotel."
Take a look at the digital content that is displayed on your brand site. Is it the type and quality that really separates your hotel from your comp set and prompts your visitor to find out more about your hotel or to answer a specific call-to-action?
Your digital content must tell a meaningful story about your hotel and convey a message that says what you see is what you'll get when you book this hotel.
John goes on to suggest that "Visual content has to focus on telling each hotel's unique story, albeit under the umbrella of the brand's story. To effectively do this, hoteliers should consider the following:
- Compelling stories are not centralized in corporate offices but rather decentralized: known, told and experienced at the hotel property level.
- Stories are not one-way communication; they are told through a many to many approach – hotel to consumer, consumer to hotel and consumer to consumer. This will require building and amplifying stories that include contributions of user-generated content.
- Hotel marketers with tools and processes that help amplify their stories and successfully engage travelers will have the greatest impact in the market.
Which hotels are telling great stories on their brand site? Here are a couple of examples that I believe have accomplished just that.
- The Revere Hotel - Boston, MA
- Le Parc - West Hollywood, CA
- Lake Lanier Islands Resort - Buford, GA
- Opus - Vancouver, BC
- Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain - Paradise Valley, AZ
- High Line NYC - New York City, NY
So what story is your digital media telling your prospective guests?
If you have any other great websites that are telling compelling stories through their digital media, feel free to add them in the comments section.Tom Costello is a business owner, consultant, and author whose career encompasses more than 20 years of experience in the hospitality and travel industries that includes startups, strategic business planning, P&L management, branding, sales, marketing, social media, e-reputation management, technology development, channel distribution, vendor and third-party relations. As the Principal of Groups International, a meetings and events management company, Tom drives the strategic growth of the company in the areas of sales, marketing, brand image, social media, and vendor relations.