Sell a Lifestyle, Not Just a Room
By Maja Derviskadic Social Media Manager, Hawkins International PR | June 19, 2016
Millennial's may look to OTAs and Airbnb when they just want to book a room, but they're flocking to social media to build robust itineraries that will be the envy of all their friends. Savvy marketers know that winning over this generation is about immersive experiences that sell the property and destination vs. a package or special room rate. Now is the time to pay attention to emerging platforms on the rise like Snapchat, Periscope and Facebook Live Stream, which can take audiences on a visual journey from the lobby to the bar and behind-the-scenes in 60 seconds or less.
Welcome to the age of "missing out." The driving motivation of purchasing decisions for millennials, and the common theme of luxury hospitality brands' marketing strategies. To captivate this elusive, mobile-totting demographic, you have to appeal to who they aspire to be; a tastemaker. What has become the standard marketing definition of a social media influencer now extends to the entire Millennial set – they are a group of people that look to one another for what to do, see, eat and experience all with the click of a refresh.
While Baby Boomers are still flocking to TripAdvisor to weigh their options, Millennials are heading to Instagram's geo-location search tab and identifying which photo speaks "I have to go here." They're refreshing Snapchat to see what city their friends' filter features and ultimately planning what photos they're going to capture and post so they can be the envy of their peers. This shift in mentality that puts experience above price provides infinite opportunities for brands to permeate this demographic and gives a reason to keep your property top-of-mind. What is most exciting for brands is that, the more unfiltered, authentic and raw your marketing strategies are, the more inclined Millennials will be to engage with you since in their eyes you'll be approachable. The takeaway? Emerging platforms and video are the new equivalent of "put your money where your mouth is."
The Battle Against Algorithms
While speaking of the shift in purchasing ethos within this younger generation you can't ignore the undeniable shift in the digital marketing landscape. Now that most brands are active on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and have figured out the user-generated content puzzle, a photo simply doesn't say 1,000 words anymore. According to Domo.com, there are 2.4 million Facebook posts, 277,000 tweets and 216,000 Instagram posts shared every minute. These major platforms are giving priority to new content mediums like video and livestream (in the case of Facebook and Twitter), and with so many algorithm changes affecting the distribution of content, playing with new storytelling vehicles and implementing a social media advertising budget are paramount to creating an effective content marketing strategy.
A 2015 study stated that Business2Community.com "organic reach is now less than 2%." To this end, there is a reason that major brands like Marriott and LVMH are building out their own in-house "content studios" – robust teams that exist to find compelling narratives and innovative ways to tell them.
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