In many places, hospitality is back—and explodes faster than expected.
Travel-focused brands face a “next normal” in a world where social media adoption and consumer expectations have grown exponentially. A study carried out by travel research authority PhocusWire in partnership with TINT, the leading user-generated content platform trusted by over 5,000 global brands, highlights the importance of using authentic social media and marketing content for travel-related industries as they recover from the global impacts of COVID-19. Nine out of ten American travelers made travel plans for the next 6 months and weekly hotel demand across the US increased by 1.2 million rooms in September 2021 – the biggest weekly gain since July of this year.
The journey of revenge has arrived and consumers are ready to pack their bags. This travel boom is pushing hotel brands to rush to regain their pre-pandemic production rates. They not only try to understand how nail their message for their customersbut also the recruitment of employees.
This places destination marketing organizations in an unprecedented situation. A year and a half ago they had to lay off staff to keep their doors open. More than 100 million jobs in the tourism industry were lost in 2020.
Today, these companies struggle to find and hire talent. Airlines openly tell their customers to expect canceled flights because they fight against the lack of personnel.
Labor shortages are becoming a bigger problem day by day and there’s no time to waste launching your post-pandemic marketing strategy (for customers and employees).
Hotel brands have a rare marketing opportunity (and time is running out)
Despite the delta variant of COVID-19, revenge trip keep going up. People are turning to leisure travel, such as trips to national parks which are seeing a huge increase in visitor numbers.
Yellowstone National Park welcomed the most visitors it has ever recorded in 2021 – approximately an 11% increase from May 2019. Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming also saw an approximately 30% increase in visitation in May 2021 compared to May 2019, setting a record for that month.
With travel on the rise, even to seemingly remote places like Wyoming, brands might feel like they can relax on their marketing strategy. If people are willingly coming to them, isn’t it a great time to save their marketing budget for another rainy year?
It’s a terrible idea. If anything, now is the time to get started on your marketing strategy, especially the part that comes after someone swipes their credit card. It’s a perfect time to create loyal customerscollect user-generated content for future marketing campaigns and turn happy customers and guests into enthusiastic micro-influencers for your brand.
This is the part of your hotel marketing strategy what your customers see. But, there is another part of marketing to focus on right now.
With labor shortages, employee recruitment is in full swing. It’s time to show talent why your company is where they want to spend their time and effort. Employee-generated content and employee advocacy play an important role in not only attracting, but also engaging and retaining top talent, examples of which we’ll show in the next section.
Domestic air travel within the United States is expected to return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2021 or the beginning of 2022. If it is only the peak of leisure travel, it’s time to buckle up and prepare for more travel in the near future, especially as business travel picks up.
Here’s how brands are harnessing the proven power of UGC and EGC to build brand loyalty and find top talent.
User Generated Content in Hotel Marketing
Seventy percent of consumers trust online reviews and recommendations from peers more than brand-created content and copy and 93% of marketers agree that consumers trust content created by real people over content created by people brands.
And that’s content that guests love to create. Take a look at one recent example of Airbnb leveraging UGC— they searched for 12 people to sponsor and travel the world at Airbnb’s expense, live in homes for free and share their experiences online.
Hotels.com followed the same incentive strategy by offering a one-month free stay at 4 of their Las Vegas locations.
User-generated content can also be created without a huge budget like this. You can ask guests by:
- Put a copy at the bottom of your restaurant’s menus that encourage UGC (with a discount code to share on the social platform of their choice) or remind customers that it’s the perfect time to take a photo for their memories
- Ask your receptionist to assure customers that recording their experience is encouraged and provide clear instructions and even a particular hashtag to use
- Create selfie zones or aesthetic backgrounds for people to take photos in front of
More than half of consumers wants brands to tell them what kind of content to create and share — and hotel brands can easily meet that guest demand.
Employee Generated Content in Recruitment
Employee-generated content can also be used to promote your brand, as consumer sentiment leans towards positive impact businesses. But with labor shortages in the hospitality industry, we also want to show you how to use it. recruit talent.
CNBC shared this, “Economists point to a host of other factors that could also be holding back workers from returning to the labor market. Childcare duties, ongoing health risks, Covid long-haul health complications, early retirements, career changes or reassessments, and a historically high share of workers who are laid off. leave and expect to be recalled to their previous place of employment.
Now is the time to show talent why working at your company is better than the competition – and the best way to do this is to have your employees champion your brand:
- Brand messages are re-shared up to 24x more when distributed by your employees instead of a brand
- Content shared by employees gets 8x more engagement than content shared by brands
- Employees can get up to 10x more followers than a brand’s corporate account, plus more organic social engagement
Just as user-generated content can speak to customers in ways brand-created content can’t, EGC has the same impact on the talent you want (and need) to attract.
User-generated content and employee-generated content are the ticket for hospitality brands to create high-performing content that nails their message.
In summary, highlighting authentic guest stories helps hotel brands build brand loyalty and turn guests and employees into brand advocates who share the word about their great experience.
TINT is the most powerful user-generated content platform in the world. Driven by the mission to display content created by real people for real people, TINT is trusted by more than 5,000 brands in 173 countries across all categories; enabling them to create authentic experiences to engage consumers, convert sales, build trust and inspire action at every stage of the customer journey. To learn more, visit http://www.tintup.com/.
Marketing and customer communication