In today’s competitive marketplace, driving direct bookings is becoming more and more challenging for hotel marketers. In hopes of boosting sales, many hoteliers look to “quick fixes,” like throwing more money at paid advertising, but this can get expensive fast and wind up as a bidding war with your competitors.
What if there was a better way? A smarter way; one that doesn’t involve spending more money, but instead makes you more money? There is!
Storytelling is often overlooked as unimportant or irrelevant to an hotelier’s digital marketing strategy. But make no mistake, if done right, storytelling can have a dramatic impact on your bottom line.
During our recent webinar, How to Improve Purchase Intent, Website Conversion and SEO, we looked at the emotional impact storytelling can have on a purchase decision, and how this, in turn, can influence occupancy, ADRs and ancillary revenue.
We were joined by special guests Dr. Lalia Rach, former Dean of the NYU Hospitality School and Trend Forecaster, and Woody Hinkle, Principal of Nasuti & Hinkle Creative Thinking. Together, we explored how to find and use your unique story to drive more revenue.
Dr. Rach shared her “secret sauce” for creating an effective hotel story. Here are some highlights:
- Use photos to allow guests to imagine themselves in your hotel
- Use text or audio that supports your images to add context to your content
- Record your hotel staff’s stories about the property and their day-to-day experiences, either posting these directly or using their insights to inform what you put on your website
- Use your guests’ testimonials and reviews to write your story
Woody then shared with us his experience of working with Sunset at the Palms in Negril, Jamaica. He started by developing a brand for the property focused around “Sensory Magic.” He then used this to tell an experiential story, to help guests imagine themselves at the property. The result? A website that has an average time on site of 10:37 minutes – nearly double the travel industry average, and four times the average time on hospitality sites in general. This is bolstered by a 35% conversion rate from their online display gallery, which is also higher than the industry average.
He accomplished this by understanding the importance of integrating rich media and strong storytelling in as many different places as possible (website, social media, printed ads, PPC).
We also discussed:
- Storytelling approaches for different types of properties
- How to balance good SEO practices with good story writing practices
- Future technologies that will help hoteliers tell their stories in the future
- What does and doesn’t engage customers in website copy
If you couldn’t attend the webinar, catch up by watching it on-demand.