In the hotel business there is one constant challenge– how to best engage a potential guest and increase financial success for the property. To meet this challenge, hoteliers have turned to marketing, sales, PR, social media, website development, and other tactics (be it in-person or virtual) to capture share of mind and wallet.
But fundamental to any of these approaches is telling a great story. It is the stuff of human drama or comedy, of the journey told in words, pictures, with audio and video. And it’s what I discussed in great detail in Leonardo’s recent webinar: How to Improve Purchase Intent, Website Conversion and SEO.
A great story engages visitors and improves your overall financial success.
To illustrate my point let me begin with a story of my own: I grew up in a small town of 800 people in the upper Midwest. A woman who lived across the street from us would sit on her front porch in a beautiful wicker chair and tell me stories of her travels to exotic places like Chicago, Atlanta and Paris. Places I never thought I would see until one day she showed me pictures of her trip to New York City and that’s when I began to imagine that I could visit such places myself.
Her words were wonderful but I could not imagine how tall the buildings were, or how people could make a sidewalk so crowded that you would simply be pulled along with the crowd, but when I saw the pictures and heard the words, that was something entirely different. And it is the first point of good storytelling — use all mediums at your disposal, consider all the tools you have at hand to make your story come alive because the point is to plant memories, longing and the need to do, be and see.
The stories you tell should allow your guests to imagine what may be to you the ordinary or every day, but to the guest, it is likely part of the unknown, the rarely experienced, and the reason for choosing your property. By telling an engaging story you help potential guests become an insider, providing gist for their imagination so they can visualize themselves staying at your property.
A well told story will impact your business by issuing an enticing invitation to potential guests and reminding those who have visited previously why they should return again. It provides information in layers that can assist the guest in accomplishing their goals – whether it is to be a part of history, see a side of the city that few are exposed to, or envision bringing the deal to a close. A great story works for leisure or business travelers, but must create an effective narrative.