Hospitality Storytelling Fix Post-COVID
The travel industry is going through another transformational change.
As industry pundits debate on the when and how the travel industry will return to the way it was, we are on the slow road to recovery. Today, most hospitality companies operate their businesses in a startup mode with smaller teams and budgets, no outside agencies, and limited internal resources.
So, how do hospitality owners and operators generate travel demand in a slow recovery marketplace and get results with less? And how do marketers tell their stories and keep guests engaged as they dream of traveling again?
Let us look at a real case scenario: A multi-property hotel client needed to launch a marketing campaign that tells a story about welcoming guests back post-COVID-19. The story elements included safety protocols and standards, COVID-19 policies, new check-in and on-property experiences, and spotlighted hotels now open to welcome guests with discounted rates and incentives.
The marketing team campaign execution included an industry press release, social media posts, and adding new content to their existing website supported by a paid digital marketing campaign. The hotel placed call-to-action messaging prominently on its website linking to various landing pages. It was easy. Or was it?
Let’s examine the content experience undertaking. The available option was to repurpose existing website page(s) to launch the campaign on schedule. All other options would have been too costly. The marketing team was imprisoned by their website because creating, testing, and launching new design landing pages would take too long and would go over budget. The end result? Visitors to the pages bounce, left disappointed and looking at competing destinations. This case scenario is not unique to this one hotel; this frequently occurs in hospitality companies.
Connecting with potential guests is more than just posting information on your website and reusing static web pages. Consider this: a typical online travel consumer is exposed to over 38,983 digital micro-moments in any 60-day timeframe. During this time, they visit an average of 18 websites via multiple devices in eight sessions before making a travel booking and a whopping 98% of them abandon hospitality websites, unexposed to rates, and special offers (Google). And with the upcoming Google, page experience raking factor many hotel sites will lose SEO rankings.
Hospitality companies are not competing with the hotels nearby; they are competing with consumers' digital micro-moments. Ho-hum campaign landing pages will not cut it. Hospitality companies need to convey an immersive story with visual experiences that grab consumers' attention across devices, platforms, browsers, and screen sizes. Travel consumers want to feel that they are virtually there, visualizing the experience, and marketers need to provoke their emotions and engage them to take action.
Additionally, Google's new page experience signal measures aspects of how users perceive the experience of interacting with a web page. Optimizing for these factors makes the web more delightful for users across all web browsers and surfaces, and helps sites evolve towards user expectations on mobile. Google believes this will contribute to business success on the web as users grow more engaged and can transact with less friction.
So, how do marketers tell visually compelling stories and continually woo consumers?
Now more than ever...
Now more than ever, hospitality owners and operators must embrace marketing technologies outside of the company's tech stack to keep up and fill technology and marketing limitations gaps in order to tell better brand stories, keep customers engaged. and improve conversion rates.
One such technology is fabl, a SaaS storytelling platform used by Uber, Netflix, Oracle, Intel, PlayStation, and others. It was created by a team of celebrated media publishers who understand that the future of marketing is media publishing.
fabl eliminates the content marketing struggle of producing visually immersive content experiences. It helps brands efficiently and quickly bring stories to life and drive higher engagement. It is cloud-based, rich-media, built for speed, and page-output scale (websites are not). And without the dependency on agencies, developers, coders, or designers. Marketers themselves can quickly produce beautiful, impactful stories and build connected campaigns across the web, social media, email, and commerce (all fully mobile-responsive).
Case Study: A client reported a 4700% ROI on a $15K investment in the fabl platform. Their cost-per-customer acquisition decreased by 30%, and content engagement on desktop and mobile were over 100% industry standards.
Let’s dive a bit deeper into how fabl does this
fabl’s easy-to-use interface gives you a digital canvas and creative freedom to produce visually engaging storytelling by merely dragging and dropping images and any visual elements including videos, text, grids and columns, special offers, and more to create compelling content experiences.
As the remote workplace is now the new norm, fabl makes it easy to collaborate and stay on track with content creation and publishing. Since fabl is cloud-based, all your team needs is an internet connection. All images, videos, audio files, logos, branded style/themes, etc. are readily available. Since multiple departments generally oversee various campaigns, fabl understands the need for a streamlined workflow and management approvals by providing corporate master accounts and subaccounts for multi-property brands or product lines. This includes a content collaboration chat function for multiple teams working on the same story.
fabl's unique integration with social media platforms enables a one-click creation of social media posts from content populating your fabl story pages. Upon consumers posting content from your story pages, the platform automatically generates anchor-tags corresponding to the portion of a story from which shared content originated. This process creates a unique and high-retention journey from social media platforms. This drives down story bounce rates and increases backlinks traffic, which helps improve your website's SEO domain authority.
As we all know, success is measured through data. Google Analytics powers fabl, and the platform also allows 3rd party tracking. Each element of a story can be tracked and measured, including images, videos, buttons, forms, and more. The analytics data is instantly available and tracks story engagement, page, video views, read time, traffic source, and more.
fabl is integration-friendly and can be easily integrated into your existing technology stack— CRM, PMS, CMS, DMP, ECOMM, ESP, and quickly connect to Eloqua, Google Analytics, Marketo, SalesForce, Uberflip, Drift, and many more.
Every company can (and is) creating content. The run of the mill static web pages that provide no competitive advantages are not cutting it today. Marketers need to produce more visually engaging content experiences to tell their stories, sell products, and compel customers to act.
Hospitality companies now, more than ever, need to adapt quickly as market conditions are dynamically changing every second. It is revenue critical for C-level executive teams to become more proactive and delegate teams to evaluate marketing technology solutions like fabl as an OPEX investment. The results of which will immediately produce a positive impact on the company's bottom line.
Companies should start by assessing their current campaigns and website conversion rates, and then look at the quality of their storytelling user experience. They should start a trial account with fabl so that they can benchmark results. Finally, they should evaluate the return on investment and opportunity gained by telling compelling and immersive brand stories.
If you would like to talk about how fabl fits into your company's storytelling and content production needs, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Author
Shri Lildharrie is a travel industry and technology pro with over 20 years of experience in multimedia marketing and SaaS technology. Shri has worked with leading hotel brands and destinations worldwide. Currently, Shri is consulting for fabl and leading sales and marketing efforts within the Travel & Hospitality marketplace.