4 Key Advantages of Experiential Marketing For Hotel Businesses
Forget traditional hotel advertising strategies that focus on big rooms with a view and luxurious amenities — today, it’s all about the experience.
At the end of the day, guests will remember not their king-sized bed or your infinity pool but how you’ve satisfied their wanderlust. They’ll remember how great (or bad) you made them feel during their stay, and whether or not you’ve fulfilled their travel goals.
Experiential marketing is key to crafting a positive relationship between your brand and consumers. It’s a form of content marketing that attracts guests through memorable experiences that go beyond hotel rooms, facilities, and materialistic things. Marketing strategies include curating destination-specific travel guides through blogging and video creation, sending valuable pre-arrival emails, and running engaging social media campaigns.
How Experiential Marketing Works?
Experiential marketing aims to establish strong relationships with guests — something you cannot do through traditional hard selling.
The first step to experiential marketing is understanding a hotel guest’s travel journey, from researching and booking hotels to post-departure. Your hotel may then take advantage of these stages by providing targeted content pieces, delivered to the right guest at the right time using the right platform.
1. Research and Booking
Before making a reservation, guests research their destination and compare hotels in the area. Your goal here is to market your hotel as the best choice for their vacation while providing the valuable information they need.
You may seek help from a hotel digital marketing agency to plan your overall content strategy. Write articles about your destination, how to get around, and how close your property is to the city’s top attractions. You can also team up with other local businesses and curate attractive packages that appeal to your target market.
2. Pre-arrival and anticipation
Once the guest is in the anticipation phase, you can boost their pre-vacation excitement by providing digital travel guides. It can be in a form of engaging blogs about the interesting places nearby, from tourist attractions to hidden gems, and fun things to do.
Aside from posting these materials on your official hotel website, you may integrate your content into your email marketing. Attach the links to your guest’s pre-arrival email, along with confirmation details.
3. During their stay
Some guests come up with an itinerary on the day itself. Here, you can improve their experience by coming up with digitalised guest experiences. You can share your insights on the best attractions and hidden gems in the area through your hotel’s Wi-Fi login page. You may even send a “turn down” email with a suggested itinerary for the weekend.
After their hotel stay, guests tend to reflect on photos and videos taken during the trip and share them online. Your hotel may encourage your satisfied hotel guests to tag or mention you in their travel posts.
When done right, your hotel can establish a connection and even encourage loyal visitors to do your hotel’s organic, word-of-mouth marketing for you.
Why Experiential Marketing is Important For Hotel Businesses
1. Build long-lasting connections
Experiential marketing aims to establish a solid connection with guests, thus increasing the chances of future bookings. People trust what is familiar, and marketing strategies that create a lasting impression can go a long way. Aside from attracting and converting potential guests, you’ll also gain return visitors.
2. Create loyal brand ambassadors
Loyal guests make perfect brand ambassadors. When a guest is satisfied with their overall experience, they’ll surely remember you and tag your property in their travel posts. They may also recommend your property to their travel-savvy friends, family members, and followers.
Whether it’s in the form of user-generated content or word-of-mouth, loyal guests work wonders in boosting brand awareness and driving organic traffic to your website.
3. Stand out from the competition
Even if your hotel is new, small, and modest, you can stand out from your competition by giving your guests the best travel experience from start to finish. Your high-quality travel guides and curated hotel packages give your target market the impression that you’re an expert in your industry.
4. Increased visibility on social media and search engines
Content marketing, in general, is a powerful tool for building an online presence. In fact, it has the biggest return on investment of all marketing strategies. By creating valuable and engaging content materials like photos, articles, and videos, you’re providing more avenues for potential customers to find you.