Whether you’re an island resort or a restaurant in the Rockies, you need a branding strategy that encourages your audience to travel and visit you. We’re going to teach you how to inspire wanderlust in your audience while promoting your business as the most desirable destination in your neck of the woods.
Sell the Wanderer Lifestyle
The most recognizable branding strategies for hotels in the world position the brands as an essential part of a desirable lifestyle. Few lifestyles are as desirable as those that include an abundance of travel. Your brand strategy should include much more than prices and promotions – it should sell a lifestyle that is not only desirable, but also easily obtainable.
Amplify What Makes Your Tourist Location Unique
To sell a lifestyle you must show your audience that your destination is unique from others in a way that is desirable and likely to foster a unique experience. Why do travelers choose your destination over another one? What makes your region better than everywhere else?
Your branding strategy for your hotel should answer these questions in a way that appeals to travelers who are just beginning to consider a trip. Remember, travel starts with a dream and a yearning to experience something new, or recreate a pleasant experience from the past.
Dreaming – Travelers are considering a trip and searching the web for ideas and inspiration for where to go and what to do.
Organizing – Travelers are deciding which hotel or airline to book, based on details like location, cost and timing.
Booking – Travelers have made their final decision and book their reservations.
Experiencing – Travelers are searching for things to do and new places to visit near them while already on their trip.
The key to engaging these customers is selling a lifestyle that taps into their emotional reasons for travel. However, before you can amplify what makes you unique and sell a lifestyle you must engage with travelers when and where they search for these experiences.
Integrate Social Media Marketing Into Your Hotel’s Media Strategy
Arguably the most important aspect of any marketing strategy is the integration of social media. Social media marketing generates highly targeted traffic and promotes brand awareness, while providing your marketing team with a tool to communicate information, run promotions, showcase experiences and engage with your target audience.
Use Social Media as a Travel Promotions Advertising Tool
According to the latest research, a whopping 87% of Millennial Facebook users rely on the platform for travel inspiration. Almost 90% of Gen Z travelers say their travel plans are almost entirely influenced by social media.
Social Media ad campaigns are great for marketing to younger generations which, according to Travel Agent Central, spent more than $200 billion on travel and hospitality services in 2018. Don’t just think of social media as a strategy on its own – think of it as an enhancement to your overall branding strategy.
All of the content you create (branding, product offerings and specials, blogs, webinars, videos, events) fuels your social media marketing strategy, and should be 100% reliant on your overall integrated marketing goals.
Engage with Travelers on Social Media
Utilizing social media as a promotion and advertising tool is essential to your branding strategy, but so is simply engaging with your audience on their favorite social media platforms. The majority of travelers expect hotels and other hospitality providers to engage with them before and during their trip to enhance their experience. That is why it is essential that you respond to each and every inquiry made via social media.
Encourage Users to Review Your Hotel
Encouraging onsite users reviews is one of the best branding strategies hotels or hospitality services can implement. Positive comments, testimonials and reviews are not only essential to local rankings, but critical to establishing trust in your service.
The more positive comments you have for your hotel or restaurant, the more trust users will place in your business. You can persuade customers to leave positive reviews by providing incentives like reward points, gift cards and discounts to encourage positive feedback.
Create an Engagement-Based Loyalty Program
Make your guests feel like you genuinely value their business and feedback by offering them incentives for leaving reviews and sharing pictures of them using your service, and enjoying your destination.
By implementing an engagement-based loyalty program you can reward travelers for being a part of your community, and support your remarketing efforts
You can offer incentives for booking rooms and making purchases, but you can also reward your guests for sharing social content about your brand, taking part in surveys, attending social events, leaving reviews and more.
By creating unique hashtags on Instagram and Twitter your brand can offer rewards to guests for sharing user-generated content. The easier and more enjoyable you can make things, the better your brand image will be online and in the eyes of your audience.
Promote Travel Destinations Before Services
Of the five branding strategies for hotels and hospitality that will inspire your audience to travel, the most effective strategy is promoting your destination before your service. To get customers through the door, you first have to entice them to leave their homes and travel to your side of the world.
Instead of focusing solely on the amenities of your business (infinity pool, room service, etc), focus on promoting your location, and what makes your location a desirable place to visit.
Be the Go-To Travel Resource for Your Location
The best way to promote destinations is to create original content that targets the needs and concerns of your guests. The best travel content on the web is always specific and authoritative. Find out the different questions or problems that travelers frequently experience in the area and create detailed content solving those problems.
The more useful your content is to travelers, the more likely they will be to use your service while traveling in the area. Neighborhood guides are a terrific way for restaurants and hotels with five or more locations to showcase area attractions and include their business as one of those attractions — or at least as a popular travel stop-off.
Bonus Strategy: Hire Travel Branding Experts
Every trip begins with a single step. As a hospitality brand, it’s your job to inspire the direction of that first step. Implementing the branding strategies listed above will encourage your audience to travel, and instill a wanderlust for adventure and experience.
Though these strategies are easy enough to understand, they are a challenge to develop, implement and manage. If you really want to inspire your audience to travel to your destination you need to hire the travel branding experts at VisualFizz. Contact us today.