Mar 31, 2021 | Hotel Marketing | Reading Time: 5 minutes
This is how the story of storytelling for hotels starts.
Human beings are hard-wired to connect with stories. As we navigate life, we encounter myriad stories and interweave these into our own, creating powerful meaning along the way. This is true for the connections built in our personal life, but it’s equally important in how we connect with the brands, products and services we’re interested in.
Creating inspiring stories can make your hotel stand out from the crowd. An origin story of how the hotel came to be built breathes life into the history of your brand, personal narratives of your staff put a human face on your business, and customer testimonials create the social proof of your outstanding hospitality. Here are the stories that sell.
A Dose Of Science
If you’re still not convinced, then let some cold, hard science do the talking. Two literary and anthropological researchers, curious about how the narratives wrapped around objects affected their perceived value, came up with a number of experiments that reveal exactly how much stories are worth.
Through their project Significant Objects, Rob Walker and Joshua Glenn paired almost worthless items – purchased for around a dollar each – with compelling narratives about where these items came from. The value of these objects soared to almost 30x the price Glenn and Walker paid for them. That’s a good story in itself.
Another study revealed that pairing stories with hotel rooms has a specific and determinable effect on the value of a room. Traditional room adverts, including descriptions and pictures, could be paired with a human story relating to the room – such as someone’s honeymoon or family holiday. Hotels were able to charge 5% more for the rooms with stories attached to them, proving the power of stories on sales.
Why Stories Work
Stories help consumers place products and services in the wider narrative they’re constructed around the world – it provides structure to the way they integrate value and meaning. But stories also have another powerful benefit in the digital age.
“Social proof is an increasingly vital concept in digital marketing – in an age of social media, consumers need to see other people’s experiences with a product or service before they’ll commit to buying,” says Max Wright, a writer at Essayroo and Liahelp.
“Using customer stories is a great way of demonstrating and building this social proof.”
Human stories of user experiences in your hotel will prove to your audience the value of your hotel.
🎧 We chat with Sarah Came, GuestRevu’s Marketing Manager, about the power of reviews and how a hotel’s online reputation can attract travelers again. Learn the best tips and insights about online reputation in this episode of Hotel Cast. Just press play:
4 Storytelling For Hotels Tips To Boost Your Revenue
We’ve seen how and why stories are so effective at boosting the perceived value of your hotel, and how this can increase your revenue. But storytelling is an art – a scattershot approach to stories won’t connect with your audience in the right way, and superficial stories disguising transparent marketing ploys will turn your audience away.
Here are four tips to help you master the art of storytelling, and boost your hotel revenue along the way.
1) Visual Storytelling For Hotel Marketing
Telling a story can take many forms. Whilst most people think of a story as something contained in text, using imagery to tell a compelling story of your hotel is a vital tool in the hospitality industry.
When producing visual and video content for your website, the story that this media can tell is a guiding principle. Put human experience front and center, showing the vibrancy of your hotel bar or the poolside social life.
You can take storytelling into the physical world too – use video and images to tell a story to your guests even as they’re checking in, or walking to their room. Lining the corridors with images of local attractions or hotel features builds a picture of a hotel that’s integrated with its community. This will strengthen the experience users have at your hotel and keep them coming back year after year.
2) Focusing On Authenticity
Denizens of the web are a critical bunch, and digital marketing strategies are now so pervasive that consumers are getting wise to the old tricks. Whilst your storytelling is designed to sell your hotel, it should also be authentic and meaningful to make the right connections.
Authenticity is one of the primary values that consumers are seeking when connecting with brands, so tell honest stories that come from the heart.
3) Have Customers Tell Your Story For You
“As a focal point of the hospitality industry, you’re not just selling soft sheets and comfortable beds,” says Annie R. Burchfield, an expert at Paper Fellows and OXEssays. “Your guest’s experience is your primary commodity and through these experiences, you’re generating powerful stories every day.”
Finding ways to capture these stories so you can share them with a wider audience will lead to social proof and boosted revenue – building digital guest books and encouraging guests to share their experiences in them through post-stay email marketing will build an archive of powerful stories.
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4) Getting Creative
When you’re using stories to connect with your audience, finding unique ways of sharing experiences is always going to stand out. There are so many ways to tell a story, meaning you can get creative.
Social media presents opportunities for creating dynamic, multi-dimensional conversations in threads and video content can bring together powerful imagery with customer testimonials.
When you see your competitors producing storytelling materials, ask yourself – what can we do better? Don’t be ashamed to steal what you like and tweak what you don’t to produce personalized narratives that tell audiences who you are.
The best stories find a balance between individuality and the universal human condition – appeal to your audience without losing what makes you special.
Storytelling for Hotels: A Happy Ending
Stories are living tales that can connect with your audience on deep and long-term levels. Find authentic stories connected to your hotel business and promote them on the right channels.
By demonstrating social proof you’ll create trust and loyalty in your customers to a profound degree. Stories can sell your business, but they can also create long-lasting connections that keep your customers coming back, like an old friend.
👉 If you are interested in developing your storytelling skills, check out our free e-book on Hotel Website Copywriting. A good story needs good content and good copy. [Donwload here]
About the Author: Lauren Groff is a storyteller at UKWritings Reviews and Essay Writing Service. Lauren worked in HR before transitioning into digital marketing, using her depth of experience with individuals to pursue powerful marketing techniques. You can read more of her work at Write My Essay.