Tall Tales Drive Sales! Storytelling 101 For Hotels.
Fans! Loyal Fans! Isn’t that what we all want, loyal fans that advocate for our hotel? If our fans do all the talking for us after their amazing stay, that’s a golden ticket to attract more loyal fans. I’m sure you understand the domino effect, one person tells another person, and then 1000 people see a review on your TripAdvisor page. But, how do we attract fans in the first place? A story. It all starts with emotionally connecting through storytelling.
When people are searching for places to visit they look for a number of things. Reviews on Facebook, fun family activities, young couples and friends look for exciting nightlife, others look for outdoor adventures, foodies look for great restaurants, and the list keeps going. But what they are really looking for is an area to connect with. A place that fits their lifestyle and personalities. So, when you’re thinking about content for your hotel, think like a traveler. What would you want to know? What would draw you into a particular place over another?
Now let’s brainstorm a couple different topics that you could write about pertaining to your hotel and the surrounding area. There are tons of exciting things that are going on in and around your hotel that are fun topics to write about, so piggyback off of them. A great place to start is telling a story about the history of your hotel. Make it edgy, dicey, exciting, and REAL. Take Horton Grand Hotel in the Gaslamp of San Diego for instance, they are the oldest hotel in downtown San Diego and they have a boat load of cool things to talk about. Yeah, some of it has to do with the early 1900’s, but who doesn’t want to know that where they’re staying tonight was once the home to a fearless lawman, the deadliest man in the Old West, a lawman and an outlaw, a murderer, a gambler, a pimp, Wyatt Earp! Now that is a cool history lesson! Obviously the hotel isn’t pimping anyone out, but it’s kind of cool to know what was happening in 1887 near the same grounds that you’re standing on, right?
Get those hotel facts down and get that content out. Think of stories that can be shared throughout the year, we call that “evergreen” content. Stories about your hotel that never expire. Of course, different times of the year call for different topics, but when you have a free month to write about a topic centered around the history of your hotel, got for it, take the opportunity. People love telling cool historical stories about where they stayed.
If you have a restaurant on property, give them some love! Sometimes waitstaff at hotels feel like they’re hanging around just for the fun of it. Get them involved. Tell a story about your culinary team. Talk about the chef at the hotel restaurant, tell their story. What’s their culinary background? Where have they they lived and gained exposure to different food cultures? What makes their food presentation unique? We all know it’s hard to get people excited to eat at the hotel that they’re staying at, especially when there might be tons of options outside of the hotel right around the corner. Make it fun and exciting. You never know what kind of ideas are cooking up in the kitchen. Heinrich Hortencia, the Chef at Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort is an island native, Heinrich was raised on local cuisine, and began developing an appetite for cooking. Check out his unique and engaging journey of exploration and then his grand return home.
Okay, you know what’s happening ON property at your hotel, so I’m hoping at this point you have a few ideas on what you can write about, but what’s happening AROUND your hotel? Different seasons call for different events, and right now the summertime is HOT, and people always get excited for summertime events. Around our neck of the woods we get excited for the Del Mar Fair, The Del Mar Horse Races, and Champagne and Sunshine at the San Diego Polo Club!
Think about what happens in your area every year around the same time and piggyback off of the excitement centered around those events. It’s all about creating that story people can connect to. And really, who doesn’t love a fancy glass of cold bubbly on a hot summer day in San Diego? You have to be mad not to appreciate those days.
So, what does the history, the chef, and the polo club have in common? They all tell an emotional story that connects with your loyal fans. Just remember to keep the stories relavant, and create value that fans actually want to read about. Not just selling your next great hotel package. Which if you can tell a cool story around it, by all means go for it, just remember it’s not about the selling, it’s about the story.
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