Wednesday, February 21, 2024

How To Write Hotel Copy That Sells

A regular column by the content writing experts World Words

As hotel marketers, you create content to inform, to engage, to attract traffic, to build brand awareness and to show off your property as well as your local destination. But most of all, you create content with one ultimate goal in mind: to convert browsers to customers. In order to do so, you need copy that sells. And above all, you need it on your website, which – if you’ve been doing things right – should be where your potential customers wind up when they are on the brink of making a decision to purchase.

These days, consumers are extremely sophisticated and are wise to manipulative sales tactics. They will run a mile from anything that seems overtly salesy, over-the-top or high-pressure (e.g. “Don’t miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime!”). Which means, we need to take a different tack. Let’s take a look at some of the key ways to create straightforward hotel sales copy that can convince potential guests to book a stay.

Stay simple

When it comes to persuading potential guests through the medium of copy, remember that simplicity sells. In this busy, choice-filled world, information overload is all too common. Customers yearn for things that are uncomplicated.

Being straightforward is not as easy as it sounds. As a hotel marketer, you may want to make sure browsers are aware of all the bells and whistles on offer. You are, however, better off keeping that stuff off your homepage. Instead, reel them in with streamlined sales copy that covers only the most important points. Don’t lose your essential message in a deluge of descriptions.

The Pig, a mini-chain of rural UK-set shabby-chic hotels, does this excellently with its clever strap line: “It’s really just a restaurant with rooms.” In one simple sentence, they manage to convey some of the most appealing aspects of their brand: their hotels are unstuffy, down-to-earth and cosy country haunts with on-site restaurants that take centre stage.

Brag about the biggest benefits

Features tell, benefits sell. It’s an advertising cliché that, like most clichés, has more than a grain of truth to it. Make sure you shout about your biggest benefits.

Over on The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas website, they give the benefit of their on-site amenities top billing. But rather than listing them (a casino, nightclub and multiple dining and drinking venues to name but a few) on their homepage, they instead employ a short, pithy phrase that explains the overall benefit their facilities have for customers: “Play where you stay.”

Prove your worth

After boasting about your biggest benefits, the reader is likely to be somewhat sceptical. Why should they believe you? Now is the time to provide some evidence to back up your big claims. Show your muscle with some meaty statistics, rave reviews or something else that demonstrates that your hotel is all that it says it is. You could use customer comments to substantiate your claims, or as the Pig Hotel does, let your customers do the talking via their Instagram posts.

You may want to hint to prospective customers just what they will be missing out on if they don’t choose your hotel. You don’t want to be too hyperbolic, but it’s okay to make them feel a little twinge of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). You don’t have to slate the competition, but it also helps to hint to customers how your brand is different, and ultimately better, than competitors. Once again, The Pig does this well: “There is no predictability… this is no ‘cookie-cutter roll-out’. We have turned the traditional layout of a hotel on its head!”

Call to action

The final, invaluable step in successful sales copy is to prompt the reader into action. Your call to action(s) should be prominent, preferably set apart from the rest of the text on an impossible-to-miss clickable button. In terms of sales copy, this is not the time for subtlety nor for complex language. Make the call-to-action copy clear, direct and obvious so the user knows what they can expect by clicking on it. Use an action verb to help amp up the urgency: “Book now”, “Reserve a room”, “Check availability”.

Of course, sales copy isn’t a one-stop-shop miracle solution. It is just one element in a complex web of content marketing. However, if you have built your brand awareness and secured web traffic elsewhere, it’s this kind of copy that can be the final, crucial piece of the jigsaw, converting prospective customers into real – paying – ones.

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