Since visuals are processed 60,000x faster in the brain than text (3M Corporation and Zabisco), it’s no wonder that visual storytelling is the most effective way to communicate with consumers. Times have changed drastically, and there are more opportunities than ever to let your hotel’s story shine.
Striking images and eye-catching video are sure-fire ways to catch a travel shopper’s attention and even more importantly, prompt them to book your hotel. Recent research by Google reveals that online video prompts business travelers to book 72% of the time and 89% of leisure travelers will watch video online.
To explore the impact of visual storytelling in more detail, I hosted a webinar on May 23rdentitled Show and Tell: Attracting More Guests through the Power of Visual Storytelling. The webinar featured two very knowledgeable guest speakers – travel editor Greg Oates from 200rooms.com and Melissa Bruckler, E-commerce Consultant for Granite Hospitality.
Greg did a wonderful job describing how “using photos to tell a story drives brand engagement, consumer engagement and essentially leads to more direct bookings.” It’s all about provoking a sense of excitement in the minds of the travel shoppers. Greg quoted Barry Feldman, copywriter & creative director of FeldmanCreative, stating that you want to “make your audience feel something. This is how you get noticed, remembered and talked about.”
Throughout the webinar, Greg explained that the modern traveler is influenced by more than just brands, but also by experiences. An important part of telling your hotel’s story is highlighting features so the travel consumer can picture it in their minds and look forward to visiting. According to Greg, “It’s not just about having content but it’s about telling a unique story that everyone’s talking about.”
Melissa brought it down to the hotel level and explained that hotels of all sizes, brands and locations have stories worth telling through visuals. Melissa offered some great insights, including “a lot of text is difficult to read and mobile is the future.” She’s right, hotels need to depend less on text and more on visuals because consumers, especially mobile ones, don’t want to read a lot of text. Mobile has made it increasingly important to move away from text. Don’t be afraid to let your pictures do your talking!
Some of the key takeaways from the webinar include:
- Storytelling evokes emotion; make your property memorable
- Show, don’t tell your hotel’s story
- Build your story using both professional and guest visuals
- Integrate engaging visuals on social channels (Facebook, Pinterest, TripAdvisor)
- Informally interview your guests and staff to uncover your story
- Make sure your story has a presence where the travelers are shopping
We hope this webinar inspires more hotel properties to take the opportunity to tell impactful and engaging stories using visuals in all areas of their digital marketing.
Show us how you’re incorporating visual storytelling on your hotel website, social media and travel websites by posting your links in the comments box below.