It is not only your digital channels but also all real-world activities and events your hotel organises that bring your story to life. From your OTA booking page to your end-of-year theme party, channels represent all the marketing touchpoints between you and your guests.
Keep in mind that…
Digital channels include booking platforms and social media accounts – they are crucial to hotel management. But the overwhelming amount of information available online makes it incredibly difficult to create an emotional connection with guests via these channels alone. Face-to-face interactions are hard to beat when it comes to engaging people. These elements combined will make the story come alive. Depending on your story and concept, possible activities might include a flea market, movie nights, modern art exhibitions or outdoor pilates classes. Channels can also take the form of collaborations and, in certain cases, drive direct bookings to your hotels. If you run a wellness resort, for example, you could ask yoga studios in your feeder markets to refer customers to your establishment in exchange for a commission. Turning collaborations into distribution channels works best if the hotel story matches with the partner story (shared beliefs), making the commercial nature of the relationship less obvious to customers.
“Channels represent all the marketing touchpoints between you and your guests.”
To avoid a disconnect between strategy and operations, Story, Content and Channels should always work hand-in-hand. Inviting a jazz band to play in the lobby of your airport hotel on Saturday nights might help you sell more beer, but if jazz has no connection with your story, it won’t help strengthen your concept over the long term.
Questions to ask yourself
- Categorise all the communication and distribution channels you use. Are they sufficient ? Do they complement each other ?
- Do you organise activities or events to attract guests and locals ?
- Are you consistently linking your story to your content and channels ?
Get inspired by: Generator, Worldwide
Combining “affordable luxury rooms with unique social events”, hip hostel brand Generator blends digital and analogue channels to perfection. Generator organises a plethora of activities, from live concerts and karaoke nights to free walking tours, pub crawls and sporting events. These events help to engage their community, while also serving as a content source for their 100k+ followers on Instagram.
Get inspired by: The Hoxton, Worldwide
The Hoxton hotel group provides a wide range of events for its cosmopolitan and entrepreneurially-minded guests. And while events vary from location to location (basement electro parties in Paris, sustainable cocktail classes in L.A.), a handful of common signifiers help reinforce the brand story and identity (live jazz, entrepreneurial talks, etc.).