On our “Boost Bookings” last month, Warren Wheatley, Sales Manager at Holiday Inn Guelph Hotel & Conference Centre, shared the strategies that he uses to tell his hotel’s visual story on the hotel’s website, online travel agencies, social media, and in his sales efforts.
Visual stories that start at home
Knowing that hotels with more photos get more bookings, Wheatley makes visual content a top priority on the Holiday Inn Guelph’s website. By having photos of the hotel as the center focus on the homepage, visitors are instantly immersed in the hotel’s story and therefore more likely to book.
Clicking the ”Click to View VBrochure” button, launches the hotel’s multi-media player and gives the visitor an even more engaging and interactive visual experience. Filling the whole screen with rich images and providing more context to the story with text descriptions for each photo, the hotel’s amenities and special touches are successfully highlighted.
With labeled tabs such as “Meet” and “Celebrate,” the gallery allows the visitor to flow through the hotel’s story seamlessly, easily finding the information that is most relevant to them. If the visitor is looking for a wonderful wedding venue it can be easily found by simply clicking the “Celebrate” tab which includes images of previous weddings held at the hotel and with information about the hotel’s wedding packages.
Creating consistency across the web
Since travelers often visit many websites before booking a hotel, Wheatley also focuses on ensuring the same engaging visual story you find on his hotel’s website is consistently displayed on thousands of travel research and booking sites, including Travelocity, TripAdvisor, Concur, and so on.
Storytelling on social media
Wheatley knows that being active on social media channels like Facebook helps build and engage with a community, reach are larger audience and capture more bookings. When looking at Holiday Inn Guelph’s Facebook page you can see they are constantly posting engaging stories about the guests, hotel staff and events… and they use photos as often as possible.
For example, rather than just posting a text blurb about one of their board members doing a 6, 000 km bike ride across the United States, they also included a photo in the post which makes it that much more real and interesting.
Not only does Wheatley do a great job telling his hotel’s visual story on their timeline but also by using VFM Leonardo’s Facebook Apps. The multi-media driven Apps like “Take a Tour,” “Special Offers,” and “Meeting and Events” allow visitors to quickly find the information they’re seeking, explore the hotel and book a stay without ever leaving the Facebook page.
Using stories to gain client confidence and close the deal
When sales inquiries from groups or sports teams come in, Wheatley is well prepared. He knows the power of visuals to help close the deal. He shares his multi-media gallery with clients to highlight the value of what the hotel offers and how it can meet their specific needs – whether they’re looking for a wedding, conference or party venue – visuals help clients feel more confident in their decisions and give the hotel a competitive edge over other hotels.
Wheatley has done an excellent job of telling the Holiday Inn Guelph’s story online. To learn more about his strategies and VFM Leonardo’s VBrochure, watch the recorded webinar: Boost Bookings: Learn How to Use VBrochure to Tell Your Hotel’s Story.