Messaging by hoteliers now matters more than ever

As more and more cities, states and countries begin their staged reopenings, I think about the “messaging” panic that will soon take place, and the onslaught of marketers vying for the attention of consumers. The noise may become deafening, and many advertisers will sadly see their message get lost in the clutter.

So, is there a sure-fire way for marketers to avoid getting lost in the crowd as they get ready to ramp up again? The simple answer is no. There is no magic wand, and messaging from different industries will require varied approaches. What I can tell you, however, is that there are key steps hoteliers should consider as you begin communicating with consumers again, as we enter this next phase:

Get to the point quickly in your marketing messaging

Weak beginnings kill sales – and kill impact. Communicate your key point as quickly as possible, so that it is impossible to ignore. Benefits and incentives – if they are appealing and relevant – always increase sales. A strong lead in your copy will compel people to continue reading your entire message, and to hopefully act. In this environment, prospects do not have the time to wade through subtle approaches, so be sure to let the readers immediately know “what’s in it for them.”

Choose your words and images carefully

Whether you are using a traditional or non-traditional form of advertising, readers’ eyes tend to scan for key words or images they are either searching for or which are particularly relevant to them. Understandably so, headings, pictures, videos and captions tend to attract the most attention. So, make sure your headline is concise, and your key message, benefits and incentives are prominently featured wherever the reader’s eye might land.

Close the deal 

Your messaging should provide every reason why your prospect should respond. As well, the copy should overcome any reasonable objection they might have. Then, ask for the business.

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Give reasons to believe what you are saying is true

As renowned advertising executive David Ogilvy once said, “Why should anyone take the word of an anonymous copywriter?” Which is why you should consider including testimonials and recognitions of your hotel in your messaging if room allows. If you do not have a testimonial file, start building one. To do so, just ask your customers to tell you what they think. As we all know with TripAdvisor and other review sites, there can be a significant impact from peer feedback.

Show people

I have lost count of the number of times I looked at ads and said, “Why aren’t there any pictures of people?” People look at people (or pets). Make it easy for your prospect to relate and to see themselves at your resort or hotel.

Avoid unnecessary elements

Every word, picture and “offer” must contribute to the message you are trying to communicate. If you can’t see the result that each word or sentence should deliver, take it out. You are wasting your prospects’ time.

End on a strong note

Every element in an ad, email, landing page, video, post, etc. needs to be good – or great – if you are going to get results. The most important elements, though, are the opening (which I covered earlier) and the close. The close should be powerful and persuasive, to compel them to act. You also must make it easy for your prospects to respond. You got them this far. Make sure you get the business.

As we enter this next phase, and get past this challenge, it is important to recognize the significance and potential impact of your messaging. As the world’s economy starts moving again – and traveling again – it is utterly important to make your message stand out and be seen.

About the author 

Joe Bouch is the President/CEO of 78Madison, a full-service, Orlando, Florida-based marketing, digital, advertising, public relations and social media agency, which specializes in serving independent hotels and resorts. For more information, visit 78Madison.com, email [email protected] or call (407) 788-7070.

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