I often blog about the need for hotel marketers to create visually compelling stories about their hotels. The great thing is that you don’t have to come up with anything new and brilliant. In “Visual Storytelling: The Key Weapon to Content Marketing,” author Jason Cormier (co-founder of award-winning social media agency, Room 214) explains the seven story types that have proven successful over the ages. “Storytelling is practically in our DNA. In pictures, even songs – we’ve relied on stories for thousands of years to help us understand, retain, and share information,” says Cormier.
People love good stories – the popularity of movies, books, T.V. shows, and visually driven social media sites prove this. Telling your story creatively can get consumers to engage with your hotel, and a hotel that people connect and engage with is a hotel that people will book.
I’m always looking for good visual storytelling examples to share with hoteliers and looking to other industries is a great way to get ideas and inspiration. Here I picked the three story types that Cormier explains in his article that I believe lend themselves well to hotels.
1) Overcoming the Monster
These types of stories generally involve a person having self doubt about themselves or their idea. As Cormier points out, this Nike commercial where the “monster” is the little person inside you saying you don’t need to work out today is a great example.
How to use it for a hotel video: One way hotels can utilize this type of story by telling the story from the guest’s standpoint of “Wow I knew this hotel was going to be nice, but it was incredible!” In this instance the “monster” is the doubt of how amazing the views and the amenities of the hotel will actually be.
These stories are generally told by someone losing everything and how they cope with starting over. Again, Cormier shared a perfect example of this from Prudential’s perspective of retirement.
How to use it for a hotel video: An easy way to apply this type to a hotel video is tell the story of a guest’s successful vacation where they feel rejuvenated when they get back to reality.
Who doesn’t love a good comedy? Cormier provides a great example of a comedy themed commercial with Old Spice “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like.” Although this story is undoubtedly hilarious, it still communicates the message effectively.
How to use it for a hotel video: Comedy can convey a powerful story that sticks in people’s minds and goes viral. Think about funny stories that have actually unfolded at your hotel and how you can turn them into videos that show your hotel in a positive light. The key is to not let the comedy overshadow the actual story you are telling.
While these examples are not hotel specific, with a bit of creativity, these tried and true story plots can easily be applied to hotels. Cormier says it best: “If a picture is worth a thousand words, the story behind it may be worth a million more.” When syndicated across the web, stories like these can provide a glimpse of your hotel’s personality which can mean the difference between travelers “just looking” and actually booking.
To find out other great themes read: “Visual Storytelling: The Key Weapon to Content Marketing”
To learn more about leveraging visuals on social media, download the guide: The Hoteliers Ultimate Guide to Visual Storytelling on Social Media in 2013