Scroll through posts on any hotel’s Facebook page. What types of hotel marketing photographs are you likely to see?
Probably the same ones that are available on the website, or yet another version of the same. Generally what we see are shots of the building’s exterior, a culinary presentation, a swimming pool, or an extravagant ballroom set up. And let’s not forget the obligatory stock shot of a nearby famous landmark. This all forms the basis of hotel marketing, but it does not necessarily differentiate it from its contemporaries.
Hotels -- take a look at the photography and posts on your competitors’ social sites. Chances are it is similar subject matter to yours. As hoteliers we are very conscious about what makes our properties special. But when you take a step back, how well is that message conveyed to your potential customers? Online customers are often presented with a homogenous view that makes all area hotels appear similar. Don't be afraid to market what makes you different.
Often, what makes your hotel different is the people or special touches behind the scenes. These are what tell the deeper story and it makes your hotel unique. This is great original content to share via social channels. In this era of reality programming, have fun and share a little back-of-the-house ‘dirt’ with your followers. Take it a step further and post short videos as well as photos to convey local flavor and personality.
The Peabody Memphis doesn't shy away from the camera. The hotel has their own YouTube Channel. Most hotels don’t have ducks or a Duckmaster, so this video offers viewers a unique tour of one of the world’s most famous hotel traditions. When it posted on Facebook they quickly picked up 142 new likes. They also regularly post helpful hospitality tips that viewers can use at home, such as how to carve a turkey. These are not your average hotel marketing videos!
The Hotel Nikko in San Francisco does an exceptional job with their YouTube Channel. Their quick videos are great quality and organized by playlists. Topics can be useful, such as how to fold a napkin for a dinner party or how a hotel pillow case gets folded; they clearly are not afraid to show you their dirty laundry.
Hyatt at Olive 8 in Seattle used video to show how new energy-saving technology was incorporated into their LEED certified (Silver) hotel. Going green isn't always interesting but this quick video shows that the hotel is an innovator that cares about sustainability and is savvy about hotel marketing.
Unique content allows you to stand out because it is not easily duplicated and at present not a lot of hotels are doing it. Behind the scenes facts and information can attract new fans with different interests and keep current followers engaged. While you probably won’t get Curtis Kulig to repaint your pool like the Hotel Victor, we are pretty sure you can still put together a cool video.
Video ideas to take your hotel marketing to the next level:
- How many pounds of tomatoes did you go through last week? Where did they come from? Foodies want to know!
- Interview a 25+ year associate, talk about celebrities, strange requests or hospitality crises averted through quick thinking.
- Post an infographic on how many new mattresses, TVs and light bulbs are coming in for your renovation.
With each special video or photo you post, you demonstrate your expertise and build credibility -- and encourage loyalty beyond the brand. Like an exhibition kitchen, it also shows that you have nothing to hide. Don’t be afraid to air your dirty laundry!