Experience Marketing: Unique Ways to Attract More Guests
What is Experience Marketing?
Marketing your property to guests requires defining clear, obtainable goals and setting up a strategy to achieve them. Your strategy should involve social media – it’s where most of your potential guests are spending their time, whether they’re still dreaming of their next vacation or they’re planning to book soon.
Even though social media affords hotels an ocean’s worth of travelers to market toward, you still need a unique way to draw the right guests to your hotel. Using experience marketing will help you get an edge over your local competitors by showing your guests exactly what they can expect when they visit you. Like any marketing strategy, however, experience marketing has a few crucial components to ensure its success.
Identifying Your “Guest Avatar”
Before deciding what to do for your hotel’s experience marketing campaign, you must identify what the ideal guest for your property looks like. This is a method of targeted marketing – or using data about your guests to design a marketing campaign tailored specifically to their interests.
With experience marketing, you are using the unique aspects of your property to develop social media campaigns to attract guests. So, you may want to begin by thinking of the 5 senses. What might your guest want to see, hear, smell, touch, or taste when they stay with your hotel? Answering these questions will give you a clear idea of what your ideal guests will expect when visiting you.
For example, if you are a hotel along the coast, you may build your experience marketing campaign like this:
- Guests want to see a clean lobby with COVID-19 restrictions enforced
- Guests can hear the relaxing sound of waves on the beach
- Visitors will smell fresh-brewed coffee in the morning
- Travelers will love the touch of freshly-washed sheets
- The guests will taste baked pastries in a to-go breakfast bag
These answers may vary depending on the time of year and what type of traveler you’re aiming to draw to your hotel. Business executives will be seeking a very different experience from a college student, after all, and smarter marketing means you don’t have to capture both at once. It’s easier to attract students closer to graduation, spring break, and winter break. In contrast, you may be able to gear posts toward business travelers during conference seasons or mid-week lulls.
Once you narrow down your target audience, you can develop strategies ideal for experience marketing online.
Using Live Video
Typically, experience marketing is done in person through special events, pop-up shops, or partnerships with local businesses like restaurants. However, in a post-COVID world, it may be easier (and safer) to try and take more of your experience marketing online. The question then becomes: how can you facilitate a similar excitement and experience as a special event?
Live video is a great starting point to generate excitement around your property. Businesses have been using live video features since as far back as 2012 when the Red Bull “Stratos” jump broke records in live streaming on YouTube.
However, you don’t have to worry about sending your employees on a skydive to attract attention: Travel Media Group’s client success team can help you devise other ways to make the most of Facebook or LinkedIn live videos. For example, Aislynn Roberts, TMG’s Client Success Team Lead, shared a story of a hotel whose bartender became a popular subject in reviews. In response, they launched a Facebook live video of him making a signature cocktail for guests. That’s experience marketing – putting the viewer right at the center of the action, helping immerse them in something unique.
Another way you can utilize live video on Facebook or LinkedIn is by hosting a brief tour of your property. You can have another employee available in the video chat to answer incoming questions, or you can tell guests to reach out to you via direct message, assuring you’ll answer them later. If you have other demonstration types that can showcase what makes your hotel unique, sharing that through live videos is a great way to boost engagement and overall improve the quality of your social media following.
Interact Through “Ask Me” Events
If you don’t have the equipment for a live video at your property just yet, you can always advertise an “Ask Me” event. Inspired by the “AMA” or “Ask Me Anything” sections of Reddit, these are designed to be short bursts of time where you sit and answer any questions potential guests may have about your hotel.
An “Ask Me” event can be great to host on Facebook ahead of a large event your hotel is hosting or on LinkedIn if you want to network with other hotel industry professionals. When posting about the event, you can limit the types of questions to one category – for example, “ask me anything about my career in hospitality” for LinkedIn. This type of event is easy to host and, as long as you advertise the date and time you’ll be answering questions, they become guaranteed pockets of engagement for your page.
Experience marketing is a tool to help emphasize what makes your hotel unique. There are numerous ways to accomplish your goal with the right planning, and if you’re unsure exactly where to start, that’s where Travel Media Group can help. Our client success team works side-by-side with hoteliers, getting to know the ins and outs of your property like an extension of your team. We can help you develop new initiatives that boost occupancy and revenue, and you’ll gain access to our industry-leading platform, TMG OneView®, which displays aggregated data at-a-glance. With analytics at the tip of your fingers, you’ll always know where you stand.
Learn more about our services and reach out today to give your hotel’s marketing strategy the boost it deserves.