Running out of ideas to integrate as part of your hotel strategies to attract customers? Have you thought about lifestyle marketing for your hotel? Let's delve right in and explore how the “lifestyle” angle can be beneficial to your hotel’s marketing strategy.
With lifestyle marketing, you can be sure to stand out against the competition. It makes you different than any other company because it humanizes your brand! There are various ways to integrate this concept into your current or future marketing plans so let's assess some of the major aspects of lifestyle marketing.
Photography is a huge part of lifestyle marketing. We are constantly bombarded with professionally staged images at the turn of every corner and on every screen. With the rise of social media, our attention has shifted to the content our friends and family are producing. We often see photos snapped right from a cellphone with little posing and no professional equipment. This is what our closest community deems important, this is what we trust. Often user generated content (UGC) outperforms professional photographs. As part of a lifestyle campaign make sure to integrate UGC into your strategy! Many people will trust the word of an “average joe” rather than a brand because they see it as a more reliable source. This is someone who is not associated with the brand, yet they think the brand is great, and if that’s the case it might be worth looking into!
A lifestyle approach is not just about showing a product or service, you are living it! Your promotional material, social media content and advertising can show the benefits of what you have to offer through the eyes of “real people”. Your realistic photographs can gain trust in the eyes of your viewer but your copy will captivate them. Don’t sell, or simply put what you have in front of their faces. Show them how your hotel integrates into their lives. How is staying with you going to make them feel? Can you translate that with a smile or perhaps an expression of amazement? How is your viewer’s life going to be better by booking a room with you? These questions can be answered in so many different ways, and no, the amenities list on your website will not cut it. You have to show them that your hotel can become part of their life too. Your amenities might read “on-site bar” but you can show a half-full drink in the hand of a smiling patron with a clever caption. If you are working with video instead of having it be a close up, slow motion shot of someone savoring the very first taste of the beautiful cocktail showcasing a boomerang clip of glasses clinking! Remember, both professional photography and UGC can work side-by-side to provide the best of both worlds.
If you are worried about using UGC due to violating terms of service on a platform or not getting permission from the original poster, keep in mind that the current standard is to ask for explicit permission and credit the photo to the original user. This best practice should avoid major drawbacks but if you are still worried about it there is one other way to go about creating lifestyle photography. Do it yourself! Get someone from your staff, an ammatur photographer or an intern to snap beautiful photos. You don’t need expensive equipment, just a smartphone camera and access to your hotel and you are well on your way to creating vibrant images that resonate with your audience just remember not to make them look too staged.
As part of your outreach your hotel might also have a blog. Appropriate topics for a blog can be new restaurants in the area, upcoming attractions like pop-up shops and concerts. When targeted correctly your blog will resonate with your ideal customer so make sure to model any materials after your target audience and ideal persona. You want your viewer to feel like they can be the ones exploring the area. Get them excited about what is happening around your hotel! Create the inspiration for the vacation of a lifetime! Make them so excited that they have no choice but to come running into your hotel to book a room for the night so they can rest after exploring the thrilling happenings in your area. Creating excitement and entertainment is what lifestyle marketing is all about.
Lastly, you want your viewer to leave with a “feel-good” reaction. Your call to action can say something like, “Come explore with us!” and that will get them to start thinking about what it would be like to be physically present at your location. Invite them to leave a comment or even share photos from their past experiences. Leave the door open for conversation to make them feel that your hotel is an attainable adventure just waiting to happen!