Humanization of Hotel Marketing - What it Is & Why It's Important
What is humanization? In a digital world, humanization is the act of making your brand relatable, approachable, and friendly. It's about creating connections with your customers and making them feel like they're part of a community.
Humanizing your hotel marketing is important because humans are social creatures. We crave connection and belonging. And when we feel connected to something, we're more likely to be loyal to it.
In a world where endless choices and companies are vying for our attention, humanization can be the deciding factor in whether or not someone chooses your brand.
Let's explore some ways to humanize your digital marketing with some tips from the director of field marketing support with Pyramid Global Hospitality, Evan Crawford.
How to Humanize Your Digital Marketing
Evan says, "Humanizing your marketing is applying authenticity and a persona to your brand. I don't think people want to hear from a corporation. They want to hear from people they can identify with; that's how messaging resonates."
Understand How People Like to Communicate with Brands
Many brands use social media as a sales platform rather than a communication platform, and that's a huge mistake. They see social media as an opportunity to push deals and promotions rather than connect with their customers.
People use social media to connect with friends, family, and brands they love. They want to see content that's interesting, entertaining, or useful. And most importantly, they want to feel like they're being heard.
"We want interpersonal communication." Evan says, "we don't want to feel like we're talking to something we don't feel like is listening or having messaging thrown at us." He says, "That's just not how human communication works."
Use Real People in Your Marketing
When using images on your website or social media, make sure they're of real people. Customers can tell when a photo is staged or if it's just a generic stock image. And those photos don't do anything to help build a connection with your brand.
Instead, use images and videos of your staff, guests, and even yourself! These will help show potential guests that there are real people behind your brand. And it's always nice to put a face to a name.
Write As You Speak
When writing content for your website or social media, write as you speak. This will help make your brand sound more relatable and approachable. No one wants to read content that sounds like a robot wrote it.
So ditch the formal language and write as you would talk to a friend. This will help humanize your brand and make it more relatable to potential guests.
Create a Hotel Brand Persona
One of the best ways to humanize your brand is to create a hotel brand persona. This is a fictional character that represents your ideal customer.
Think about who your ideal customer is, what their interests are, and how they communicate. Then use this information to create a persona you can reference when creating content or planning marketing campaigns.
Your brand persona should be realistic and relatable. And most importantly, they should be someone you would want to stay at your hotel.
Creating a brand persona will help you focus your marketing efforts and ensure you're creating content that appeals to your ideal customer.
Transparency is essential in any relationship, including the one you have with your customers. Being open and honest with your guests will help build trust and foster a sense of loyalty.
Customers appreciate it when brands are upfront about their policies and procedures. And they're more likely to do business with a brand they can trust.
So don't be afraid to share information about your hotel, team, or policies. The more transparent you are, the more likely guests are to trust and loyal to your brand.
Authenticity is Key
Human-centered marketing requires authenticity. It begins with gaining insight into customers' attitudes, desires, and aspirations so that you can connect with them as people rather than objects they're attempting to persuade.
Sales-focused tactics are inauthentic. Your customers can see right through your marketing speak and empty promises. So instead of trying to sell them something, focus on building a relationship with them.
Get to know your customers and what they're interested in. Find out what their pain points are and how you can help them. Build a rapport with them and be genuine in your interactions.
The more authentic you are, the more likely customers will trust and be loyal to your brand.
Take the Time to Connect
It's important to take the time to connect with your customers on a personal level. When they comment on your social media posts, reply to emails or call directly, take the time to communicate with them.
This personal interaction will help build a relationship with your customers and make them feel valued. It's one of the best ways to humanize your brand and make it more relatable to potential guests.
Let Your Customers Help Tell Your Story
There's nothing more powerful in marketing than reliability, and allowing your customers to help tell your story is as relatable as possible. Prospects trust other customers more than a brand.
How can you do that? Simply ask!
Encourage customers to share their positive experiences at a peak moment.
For example, let's say your property offers something unique such as a great view, craft cocktail, or luxurious linens. These things can be easily shared on social media with a photo and a quick review. And when potential guests see these positive reviews from real customers, it will help build trust and confidence in your brand.
While we want our digital marketing to be more human-centric, there is still an opportunity to utilize smart automation. When used correctly, automating some tasks can help you free up time so you can focus on more important tasks.
Evan says, "Automation can work, as long as it's done in a way that adds value to the customer's journey and isn't just there to prevent the individual from speaking to a real person." He says, "there's a lot of automated messaging services out there that are so good now that you can interact with the brand or the product in a meaningful way to accomplish your goal and have a positive experience throughout that process."
Create Elevated Moments
Elevated moments are those special touches that make your guests feel valued and appreciated. They can be something as simple as a handwritten note or a small amenity in the room.
These little gestures go a long way in humanizing your brand and making your guests feel like more than just a number.
Take the time to think about the little things you can do to create elevated moments for your guests.
Date Your Prospects
You wouldn't ask someone to marry you without dating them first, right? The same goes for your prospects; you should go through the "dating process" first.
"We just say, give me your Social Security number so I can get all the data on you and and and market to you." Evan says, "So I think if we applied some of those basic interpersonal communication techniques to our marketing strategies, it could be pretty powerful."
Focus on the Human Connection
Human-centered marketing is all about creating a connection with your guests. It's about understanding their needs and wants and then creating content and experiences that appeal to them.
Evan ends with this, "The most human company wins. It comes down to authenticity and having a unique voice. Whether it's social media or any channel out there."
Regarding digital marketing, it's important to remember that your customers are human beings. Like you, they want to be heard, entertained, and understood. Brands in a constant state of "selling" are not taking the time to make real connections, and that is costing them long-term relationships.
While utilizing technology and automation in your marketing is important, don't forget the human element. Take the time to interact with your guests, tell your story, and create elevated moments. These are the things that will make your brand more relatable and trustworthy.
Thank you to Evan Crawford for taking the time to chat with us!