What motivates travellers and inspires them to book? In the crucial early stages of travel planning it’s not amenities, room sizes and air conditioning, but the prospect of exciting and enriching experiences; a break from the norm, an escape.
During this stage of the travel journey, the vast majority of people aren’t thinking about specific brands and accommodation types, according to Think with Google. In fact, one in three travellers hasn’t even decided where they want to travel to. They’re simply daydreaming about getting away. At this point, travel shoppers’ are making generic searches, seeking inspiration from friends, family and influencers on social media (an impressive 87% of millennial aged Facebook users say they use the platform for travel inspiration) and are flexible and open minded about where they’ll go and what kind of accommodation they’ll stay in.
In other words, it’s the perfect time for marketers to make some noise and present consumers with a glimpse of the kind of rewarding travel experiences they crave.
Here are three ways you can take a more experienced-based approach to your hotel marketing.
Bring Your Hotel To Life With Professional Photography
It’s a no brainer: when it comes to conjuring up tantalising holiday experiences, visuals sell better than words ever can.
Your website pages should foreground large, high definition images showing off your location, major landmarks and your hotel’s best features. Short videos are another powerful way to give travel shoppers a taste of life at your property and destination and get them imagining their breaks and excited to book.
Sell Enticing Holiday Experiences Through Blog Posts
Publishing posts on notable attractions and major local events will inspire and inform your readers and get them planning their holidays in more detail – which means they’re one step closer to making a booking.
Try, if you can, to offer your blog audience unique “insider” local knowledge and tips that aren’t readily available elsewhere online. If you can present your blog as a valuable source of information on your destination and your audience’s specific travel interests, they’ll come back over and over for more content.
Drive Audience Generated Content
There’s not much more compelling evidence that your resort offers great holiday experiences than the real stories of past guests. So if you know some of your guests have enjoyed a quirky and unique cultural event, learnt to surf on a nearby beach, fallen in love with the local restaurants and bars or even with each other during their getaway, encourage them to share their experiences with others, or allow you to present their stories for them, on social media, your hotel website and blog.
These firsthand, personal stories are a powerful way to tap into some authentic word of mouth marketing and demonstrate everything that makes your hotel such a great holiday destination.
Driving decision making early in the holiday planning journey is about selling experiences, not rooms. What is your hotel doing to incorporate more experiences into your digital marketing? Let us know in the comments below!