Creating Compelling Visuals: The Art of Hotel Digital Marketing
The key to captivating audiences in today’s age of information overload is compelling storytelling. By presenting well-crafted and meaningful stories, you can connect with your target audience in a meaningful way.
These stories are best told with compelling supporting visuals. With HubSpot reporting that short videos are the most effective marketing trend with the highest ROI, the pressure is on to tell our stories efficiently and creatively.
According to Expedia's Path To Purchase report, travellers spend more than 5 hours over a 45-day period researching a trip online before making a booking. This time is spent looking for inspiration and refining the details of a stay across OTAs, social media and hotel/airline websites.
Let’s take a closer look at some things we can do and avoid when creating content for the hospitality industry.
3 Things to Avoid when Creating Visuals for Hotels
Avoid Stock Photography
We’ve all seen the hotel campaigns of a glossy-looking couple enjoying their cocktails by the pool, but is that image resonating with your audience? According to Venngage, 41.1% of marketers stated that stock photos perform the worst. There are multiple reasons for this, from this type of content being viewed as disingenuous to the overuse of this imagery across industries. The rise in popularity of user-generated content across social media proves time and again that guests want to see authentic content, so real people, in real hotels.
Tailor to the Platform
Despite short-form video trend performing the best overall, carousel posts deliver the highest engagement of all post types on Instagram, followed by video, then single-image posts. So vary your approach when creating your visual content. Future guests will draw information from multiple sources, including your website but social media is the top source with 77% going to social media in the early phases of planning their trip. The top social channels are Instagram, Facebook and YouTube, so what might engage viewers on Facebook will need to be tailored to suit Instagram. Each channel will have its own content format specification and best practices.
No matter how powerful the story you want to tell, it will be lost if you try to do too much at once and it's a common mistake to make visuals overly busy. With over half of hotel guests booking via mobile (34% mobile web and 25% mobile app), users need to be able to digest the information clearly and quickly whether it's video, photography or graphics.
3 Tips for Creating Compelling Visuals
Here are some tips for creating compelling visual content for your audiences.
Keep it Simple
Narratives don’t need to be overly complex to work. In fact, sometimes simplicity works best. Here are some examples of narratives which can be applied to your visual content. Apart from the structure, the key message also needs to be clear. Focus on getting one message across. If there is a lot to say, your content will become less effective.
Apply Design Principles
Whether it's graphics or videography, bad design and typography can easily distract the viewer. Work with trained professionals who understands design trends and principles. By applying a consistent style across your content you can get your message across more effectively.
Know Your Audience
For a piece of content to perform well, it needs to be crafted with an audience in mind. By understanding your audience, you’ll know what they want and how to appeal to them. Viewing the visuals from your potential guests’ point of view is important, from conception all the way through to analysing its performance.
Brands that Do It Well
Let’s look at an example of a hotel brand that created campaigns for using captivating visuals.
My Millennium Lens for Millennium Hotels and Resorts was a UGC campaign we created to increase our range of content for our channels, increase brand awareness and celebrate the locations of our hotels. Over a period of a few months #MyMillenniumLens entries were shared across the channels, as guests shared their travel experiences with us and we celebrated and rewarded those stories.
That wraps up our guide to creating visuals for your audiences and inspires them to enjoy a holiday at your hotel.
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