Thumb through most hotel advertisements and you’ll see attractive photos of beds, polished sinks and beautiful swimming pools under starlight. These are good for grabbing readers’ attention, but in the end, the text will really make the sale. Try all you like, but in the world of hotel marketing, pictures just aren’t enough.
All good copywriters need to consider the questions that are on the minds of their readers. In this case, the questions are along these lines:
Is your hotel business-friendly? Does it have a comfortable atmosphere and fully-furnished conference rooms? Can the restaurant cater to large groups with a variety of satisfying meals? Is the hotel’s location accessible? Does it have plenty of transport links and fast wi-fi?
Or maybe it’s a family hotel instead. Are there games and activities to entertain the kids both on and around the property? Can I rent toys, games and table tennis paddles from the front desk? Have the menus been designed with kid-friendly meals in mind?
Or does that pool under starlight suggest a romantic getaway instead? Or perhaps we’re talking about a tropical beach resort? Are you a family-run local hotel, or a stylish new property of a well-known hotel chain?
In normal life, most people don’t spend much time deciding what to eat for lunch, or where to buy a new pair of shoes. But they’ll take the time to research their accommodation, and most travelers have a specific preference in mind when they start looking.
You won’t be able to catch every kind of traveler with a single advertisement, unless your facilities are uniquely impressive and your price is a genuine bargain. But most of the time, writers make the mistake of trying to do exactly that.
The result? They come up with boring, generic phrases because they’re afraid of embracing a specific identity for the hotel to the exclusion of all other identities. “A great experience!” one ad will say. “Delicious food!” says another. But people see descriptions like that all the time, no matter what is being sold. If you are going to stick out in people’s minds – if you really want people to choose you instead of your competitors – you simply need to write more specific content than that.
Put simply, you need to make a choice. Decide: Who are your guests, and why should they choose you? What does your hotel really do better than the others? What are its best features?
Figure out exactly who you are, and who you aren’t. Then, start writing with the words and ideas that your audience wants to see when they are looking for a hotel.
Are you a business hotel, catering to professionals and hosting meetings, exhibitions and conferences? Then write about convenience. Write about your transport connections. Your ability to handle large groups at the reservations desk, the restaurant and the conference room. Show confidence. Style. Professionalism. Comfort. Functionality.
Are you writing for families? Show us that there’s fun around every corner – and write the website with colorful words and an air of excitement, so that parents can show your homepage to their kids to get them enthusiastic about coming.
About the author: Andrew Whittaker
Andrew Whittaker is an experienced business consultant and marketer who started his career as co-founder of a direct marketing agency, providing services to many of the UK’s leading brand names. During this time, he became a Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (MCIM) and was a founder member of the UK Direct Marketing Association (DMA). Andrew now provides business consultancy and ‘new economy’ coaching services to companies large and small – contributing to their commercial success while continually adding to his expertise and knowledge across a wide range of industry and business disciplines.