Brand voice is all about shaping and maintaining the integrity of your brand’s image and personality. Unfortunately, it is often overlooked when discussing a hotel’s digital assets. Investing in the latest technology ensures indexability, a fast mobile experience, and good overall UX, but that is only the delivery mechanism. At the end of the day, the success of your online efforts will be driven by how well your content resonates with your customers. A hotel needs to have a clear and concise brand voice that is representative of what it has to offer. The steps you take to maintain the integrity of your brand voice will determine how well you’re taking care of your future guests.
And isn’t that what hospitality is all about?
Noteworthy content must be congruent across all of your marketing efforts – starting with your website, reaching into your ads, social posts and beyond. Just as a guest room can’t clean itself without the human touch—wouldn’t that be nice—AI can help with personalizing content for a more unique user experience, but a human still needs to be involved to ensure what is being delivered is compelling and on brand. At Wpromote, we provide a personalized approach to maintain congruence in your marketing and media balance.
With that, let’s touch on the elements of brand voice and why continual maintenance is important.
Key Elements in Maintaining Brand Voice
Know your customer and remain true to your brand identity. If you’re a limited-service hotel with a clientele that is price conscious, utilize that fact when you approach your content strategy and focus on value and avoid the fluff. However, if you’re a boutique hotel that is selling an experience – use pathos and ethos to make an emotional connection with your audience. How and what you communicate will always be different depending on your customers and their changing needs.
When developing your authentic voice think about:
- Who your key guests are—what drives them to stay at your hotel and what communication style would resonate with them?
- What adjectives would you use to describe the hotel—create a “verbal style guide.”
- How you position your services and amenities – are they designed to create an experience for the guest or demonstrate value and efficiency?
- How you position offers and promotions—hotels that always have multiple offers on the home page are going to be perceived as more of a commodity than a destination (which may be the right strategy, but you need to own it).
Your website content is setting a foundation for the rest of your marketing campaigns—including offline. When people click on your ads and head to your website, they should not be confused by an incongruent brand voice. No matter if it’s your SEO approach, Facebook and Instagram ads, paid search, email marketing, display ads, or programmatic ads, you want to make sure you’re consistent across the board.
If you’re a hotel that highlights an experiential lifestyle, a simple ad or email campaign that touches on luxurious imagery and cocktails by the beach (if the season demands it) is appropriate—you want to create an emotion. If you’re a hotel that caters to the bargain shopper, make sure your ads are rate lead and match the focus you’ve created on the website.
You want customers to see your ads and think, “Now that’s a hotel I identify with.”
In addition, all of your marketing channels need to maintain the same message. With few exceptions (and by example), it is disruptive to a guest to see one offer through email, a better/worse offer when they go to search on Google, and then get hit with yet another offer when they finally get to your site! Just as your voice needs to be consistent, your marketing focus must be as well.
Are you paying attention to the market in which your hotel thrives? Seasonality—both calendar and market—are constantly changing, so your message and marketing focus requires maintenance around that. With demand impacting market compression, you need to adapt your content strategy to appeal to an audience that is going to choose you over the competition. If your hotel is located near a popular venue that hosts a festival each year, do you have a content strategy talking to the audience that will be attending the festival?
This content strategy tied in with the unshakable brand voice that lies at the core of your hotel’s identity will work in tandem to provide content that is relevant and fresh for whatever the season may bring.
Visuals are just as important as the words on the page. You want your audience to relate, to feel that this is for them. In a world where skimming is the easily digestible way to consume content, ensure that your visual content gets the job done.
If you support a hotel that is all about curating a luxurious lifestyle, do you have photos that display real-life experiences like people chatting over brunch with the city view in the background? Photos need to create an emotion—empty architectural shots won’t do the trick. If you have an audience that values price and getting the most for their dollar, show them what they’ll get by choosing you. These are the kinds of strategies that separate poor marketing from well-performing marketing.
Dare we say a picture is worth a thousand words?
Maintaining A Brand Voice Matters
If we haven’t stressed it enough—and we know we have—building a great website platform is only the beginning. Adding that human touch to your content will help you create a brand voice that’s relatable, trustworthy and valuable. Have you begun to consider this? Partner with Wpromote to see how we can help you craft a consistent voice that keeps your customers coming back for more.