FOMO. Fear of missing out. You shouldn’t necessarily have anxiety over comprehending the bizarre acronyms kids toss around these days. However, being on the wrong side of the visual storytelling shift is enough to give any hotel marketer cold sweats in the middle of the night.
Have you ever read a book that was horribly arranged with a weak plotline? If by some stroke of luck it got published, odds are it wasn’t well received. The same concept applies to your hotel’s story. Visually representing your property goes beyond simply flooding social media and your webpage with a copious amount of mixed media.
The visual movement is not a temporary trend that might fizzle off; it is the inevitable future of digital marketing. Written word can facilitate the birth of a lively image in our minds. Instead of cutting out the middleman and simply providing a photograph, including a clear text description to compliment the illustration allows your visitors to experience the full realm of your hotel’s individuality.
Understandably, it can be overwhelming to look at your mound of content and begin to decipher what to do with it. Here are three tips to help you take a step back, gain a clearer perspective and convert your good visuals into great hotel stories.
1. Keep it Simple
Humans tend to overthink and overcomplicate tasks. Life can actually be quite simple. So what’s stopping you from applying that same approach to your hotel’s digital marketing strategy? Check out these tips to help jumpstart your creative energy.
- Consider the season, local attractions or special events you can highlight. The summer months tee it up over the plate for you with an overflow of ideas. Showcase your pool area, outdoor recreational activities, the local amusement park, beach and zoo. If you are a limited service hotel, perhaps based around a metropolitan airport, take advantage of the fact that you are the nucleus that connects thousands of people from all walks of life. Or if your hotel hosts a variety of weddings, you can get creative with shots of your ballroom, happy newlywed couples, and joyful guests taking in the occasion. Stretch your imagination; the possibilities are endless.
The San Juan Water and Beach Club Hotel broke it down to the core of simplicity, showcasing a beautiful new bride overlooking their picturesque scenery. When in doubt remember the KISS Principle…keep it simple, well you know how it ends.
2. Keep it Fresh
You don’t want week old fruit from the farmer’s market do you? So why would you subject your shoppers to stale and moldy content?
- Create a dedicated page on your website with special upcoming events. Update it once a week with interesting content and photos sourced straight from the creators of the event. User-Generated Content (UGC) is an underrated concept that is slowly building momentum within the digital marketing sphere. Encourage your guests to take advantage of their smartphone’s social media apps and share their portrayal of their visit. It allows for an authentic vantage point that professional photos sometimes cannot suffice.
The Freehand Miami is an excellent case study of how a hotel can effectively tell its story online using both professional and non-professional photos. In fact, they even invite guests to submit their photos for a chance of them being displayed on the hotel’s main website gallery.
3. Keep it Relevant
When the phrase “search engine optimization” gets thrown into an everyday sentence, people usually begin fearing the headaches of coding and staying up to date with the advanced search algorithms. Do not fret. Stay ahead of the game with this tip.
- Keep your photos and videos grouped and presented in a logical manner. Always remember it’s the guests’ experience that you want to enhance, not the search engine’s. However, search engine optimization can be maximized in a few different ways. Tagging your multiple, linked pieces of content with common search terms and keywords can help boost your organic search rankings, making your hotel easier to find. Remember, the search engine giants tend to give preferential treatment to those that regularly update their websites.
The Hoxton Shoreditch provides a comprehensive guide of ideas and destinations to explore while in London’s historic Shoreditch district. Arranging a gallery that graphically documents unique suggestions to visit helps a website explode with vibrancy.
Transforming your content into epic stories can be challenging, but keep it simple and before you know it, your hotel’s narrative will erupt off the screen. Think outside the box. Actually better yet, pretend there isn’t a box to begin with. Why confine your creativity to a geometrical shape? Brainstorm and collaborate with your team and let the ideas flow.
Be sure to download our free eBook: Anatomy of a Visual-First Website Experience: Best Practices for Hotel Marketers for a thorough plan on visual storytelling for your hotel.
This blog post is the third in a series of five blog posts about creating an effective web marketing strategy to reach and engage travel shoppers online with a successful hotel website. Check out Part 4: What to Look for in a Web Publishing System.