Often, a stunning property, full of passionate staff, and a clear story to tell, fails to speak to potential guests in a way that reflects the personality of the product on offer. Falling short on this element leaves a considerable amount of options for people looking to book rooms online.
Yes, potential buyers or guests want to see the design of the lobby, rooms or bar but that is simply not enough to make them feel connected to the brand. It doesn’t create any ‘pre-visit loyalty’ or brand specific anticipation, meaning that the hotel itself must work harder to leave a lasting impression during the guests’ stay.
When generic content can just as easily be found on OTAs (Online Travel Agencies) alongside several other hotels, this is where audiences will reside. Allowing price to remain the differentiating factor in booking decisions.
Audience’s heart over wallet
Two types of content simply miss the mark in my opinion. The first is produced by brands playing it safe with bland and easily replicable websites or video content, which lack personality and do not set hotels apart.
The second is created by brands that address long-term objectives with short-term creative solutions. These might generate immediate ‘hype’ but in the long run they only create more work – and ultimately lower return on investment. (Read our piece about how short-termism will kill your brand).
The hunger for a quick fix through reactive solutions to satisfy immediate objectives stifle a level of true consumer loyalty that could otherwise be built through consistent emotional brand messaging. The results? A never-ending battle for the wallet of audiences who will simply move onto the next property that creates a buzz.
Prioritising the heart of the audience over their wallet requires much more consideration and creative expertise.
How to get it right
It’s not all bad. Many hotel brands do execute content marketing very well.
As a result they have built a loyal community of advocates and a fan base that reach beyond current guests. Some of these loyal brand followers are yet to stay at the property they admire. However, when the time comes, they are less likely to quibble at price or compare other offers on an OTA.
Achieving this comes from careful consideration of how they want to be perceived in years to come rather than how they will fill rooms during the immediate season. Understanding the core values that bind your audience together; developing an overarching brand strategy; taking a strong standpoint; and telling stories that reflect brand personality; are all key steps towards lasting brand-consumer connections.
Whilst it takes time, effort, resource to do this well, those who do will thrive, and those who don’t will fade.