Outshine The OTAs: Engage Your Guests By Telling Your Hotel's Story

Image Courtesy of davidlee770924 at Pixabay.com
Posted on Sep 20th 2018

Competing against Expedia, Booking.com and the other major online travel agents for travellers’ attention and bookings is an ongoing battle for all hoteliers.

These OTAs are masterfully designed to convert holiday browsers into room bookers within just a few steps, making it hard for hotels to stand out from the crowd for anything other than promos and price. What these sites do lack though, is personality, creativity and the kind of travel inspiration that gets your audience excitedly dreaming about their holidays and itching to book. And that’s exactly where your hotel’s website comes in.

In today’s blog, we’ll look at how you can maximise the selling power of your property’s website by using story telling content and design elements that express your brand’s unique identity and set you apart from the competition.

Inspire travellers with videos

No medium is better suited to telling your brand story and bringing your hotel and its location to life than video.

Although a straightforward property-tour video is a great way to showcase your main facilities and selling points, the most powerful hotel marketing videos are those that manage to tap into the more emotive reasons people have for wanting to travel – namely new experiences, beautiful locations; adventure. As always, it’s essential to keep your guest personas in mind with every piece of video content you create. For example, if your hotel is popular with younger travellers, you might invest in a vibrant, snappily edited video featuring a group of friends dancing and socialising in your city’s trendy bars and clubs.

When put together with care, video content has the ability to spark a traveller’s imagination more than text can ever hope to.

Stand out with tone of voice

OTAs have a standardised tone of voice and formatting style that they use to ensure consistency across thousands of listings. This neutral tone gets the job done, but it’s uninspiring and formulaic.

On your hotel’s website, you have a chance to do something different.

Of course, you still need to give your guests the lowdown on your property’s amenities and key location info, but the way you talk about these things should align with your audience demographic and brand.

Once again, it’s about knowing your audience. The kind of informal and quirky tone that resonates with millennials travelling for leisure is likely to alienate older corporate guests, for example. One thing’s for sure, if you can tap into the vocabulary and mindset of your audience, you’ll spark an emotional connection that’s way more powerful than the “one size fits all” approach of the OTAs.

Tell your hotel’s story with photos

Although OTAs are high on images, there’s little to no emotional context in the images galleries they feature.

Your homepage, on the other hand, calls out for eye-catching, full screen images which focus your guests’ attention on your best selling points and tell them something about the kind of holiday experience they can look forward to when they book. This might mean investing in professional models for your guests to identify with in some high resolution shoots of the local beach, carefully staged shots of your hotel’s balconies at sunset complete with a book and glass of wine…whatever it takes to capture life at your location and get them hitting “book”.

Over to you

The OTAs may have the monopoly on price, but your hotel’s website can outshine them by focusing on engaging your audience with unique content that tells your brand story.

What do you think? How does your hotel website convey your story? Let us know in the comments below!


- Want To Drive More Bookings? Sell Experiences, Not Rooms
- How To Choose The Right Visual Content To Captivate Your Audience On Facebook And Instagram
- Let Your Guests Tell Your Story: How To Leverage Audience Generated Content To Drive Bookings


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