Let’s face it. In 2019, your hotel brand competes not only with other hotel businesses but also with non-traditional accommodation businesses. Modern customers, especially Millennials and Generation Z, are seeking more authentic experiences, and they tend to choose an Airbnb to stay rather than a hotel.
If you want to beat the competition, you should build brand authenticity with the help of storytelling. You should create stories that will make travelers believe that your hotel can offer an interesting, one-of-a-kind experience.
What is brand storytelling?
In a nutshell, brand storytelling is about writing stories that promote the values that your company and your customers have in common. To use storytelling means to use a narrative to connect the brand to the target audience.
How storytelling can help your hotel brand?
Storytelling can benefit your hotel business in numerous ways. If appropriately applied, storytelling helps brands to achieve the following goals:
- Increase reach and boost engagement on social media
- Raise brand awareness
- Improve brand loyalty
- Generate higher revenue
- Stay competitive in the long run
Define the narrative
The first thing you should do to create a good story is to define the storytelling elements: characters, setting, conflict, rising action, climax, and dénouement.
The main characters in your brand story can be your customers, your partners, your employees, or the founders of the company. It all depends on what specific values you want to promote. And you are free to choose any settings and any conflicts – whatever appeals to your target audience the most.
Be your authentic self
If you want to achieve success, don’t try to copy famous hotel brands. Your hotel business is unique, and you should find a way to show that to your customers. You should focus on the strengths and values that your target audience appreciates the most.
Let’s say you run a small eco-hotel, and you can’t boast with fancy amenities. But you can boast with the food you serve to your guests – 100% organic fruits and vegetables sourced from local farms.
You can write stories about the local farmers who deliver organic strawberries to your kitchen. Or, you can share stories of your happy guests who escape big cities to enjoy those delicious, aromatic berries and to listen to birds singing.
People do love stories like these! And if you find the right words to capture the customers’ imagination, you will be amazed at the results.
Take advantage of visual storytelling
As a famous saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. And it’s so true when it comes to brand storytelling.
If you want to create a good story, you should use not only words, but also images, graphics, and videos. You should present your rooms and amenities in a brand new way to capture the attention of your customers.
“Human brain processes visual data better and faster than text. So if you use Instagram-worthy photos in combination with riveting narratives, you will double the effectiveness of your marketing efforts,” says Marie Fincher, a head of content at TrustMyPaper.
Collaborate with influencers
If you want to create great content for social media, collaborate with the influencers who are famous among your customers. Invite popular bloggers to visit your hotel and ask them to share their experience using storytelling techniques.
Keep in mind that it’s important to choose an influencer who shares the same values as you. For instance, if you run a hostel somewhere in Guatemala, you should collaborate with backpacking influencers. But if you run a luxury boutique hotel in the Bahamas, you should partner with fashion bloggers or luxury travel bloggers.
If you want to see how other hotel brands use storytelling to boost engagement on social media, check out the following Instagram post by Marriot. It’s a great example of how to use social media for storytelling.
Hire a storyteller
If you want to create a story that is worth publishing, hire a professional. Seriously. Don’t force an in-house content creator, or digital marketer to complete this challenging task. If your employees do not have experience in storytelling, they have no chances to create a masterpiece.
Only a storytelling guru knows how to make your hotel brand stand out. There are plenty of platforms that you can use to find a qualified writer: Upwork (the biggest international freelance platform), Studicus (online writing service), Fiverr (another popular freelance platform), and GrabMyEssay (another reliable writing service).
Create a sequence of stories
If you want to transform your hotel’s marketing with storytelling, it’s not enough to write the one story only. You should create multiple stories that maintain a specific theme.
Let’s say you want to share your employees’ stories with your target audience. Instead of writing one long article that tells a few different stories, do the following:
- Create a few posts for Instagram or Facebook (each story must be devoted to one chosen employee)
- Publish one post per week (for instance, share a story of one of your employees every Monday during a month or two)
This simple trick will help you to boost your marketing efforts and get the most of storytelling.
Proofread your story
And the last, but not the least important advice to you: always proofread the text before publishing it online. Whether you write a story for “About Us” page or create a short caption for an Instagram post, proofreading is a must.
Your brand story must be perfect in terms of grammar and syntax. If you need help with proofreading, check out the following online services: Grammarly (automatic grammar checker), BestEssayEducation (writing and proofreading service), Ginger Software (another grammar checker).
Wrapping it up
Competition in the hospitality industry is getting more and more intense. And if you want to keep your hotel business afloat, you should use storytelling to create an authentic brand.
You should share stories of your customers, employees, and business partners to show what values you promote and what mission you want to accomplish. Be open with your customers, be creative, and you will get your brand noticed.
About the author
Kristin Savage is a content manager and editor at IsAccurate, a website with translation services reviews. She writes for WowGrade and SupremeDissertations and contributes occasional articles to reputable blogs and magazines.