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Covid-19: Content Creation

Now is the ideal time to, metaphorically, get in bed with your customer.

It was very quickly clear to me which hotel brands had embedded community into their businesses – both virtual and tangible. These hotels have a captive audience of loyal guests who have aligned themselves with an intelligent, creative and impactful brand. These brands are serving their virtual communities with tutorials, tours and insider secrets – and pivoted to this approach quickly, naturally and authentically. It’s not too late to catch up, but it’s important to have a genuine desire to share and to ensure content is relevant and purposeful.

Now is the ideal time to, metaphorically, get in bed with your customer. In a newsletter or social media post, ask your audience how you can help them. There is not a simpler, more impactful message than ‘we are here for you’. Ask: is it a playlist, book recommendation or a recipe that you need? What would you like to see? Open up a conversation, as social media managers often forget that sharing is a two-way thing.

It’s an interesting time for the industry, as an unusual concept has presented itself in the midst of lockdown. Turning the usual relationship on its head, hoteliers are being invited into the homes of their guests. Hotels – via digital content, recipes, playlists and products – are being placed into homes and becoming the guest. It begs the question: has a hotel stay ever been just a bed to sleep in or a bar to drink at? Or can it become a digital product and a moveable feast? A concept, a taste, smell, feeling, sound. We think so, and lock down has proven so.

Now is time to win over new and existing customers by sharing these delicious pieces of your hotel; by packaging up the experience and delivering it to peoples’ doorsteps. Beyond the pandemic, it’s a proven way to encourage guest loyalty, brand recognition and even direct bookings by word of mouth.

It’s strange but true that we can make people feel welcome without coming into physical contact: it’s about intimacy of tone, and demonstrating eagerness and generosity in what you share.

The relevance of the virtual world has changed – it’s become more essential. But it’s not about replicating the physical world, nor propping up and promoting the real thing. Digital now serves a different purpose as a standalone experience that should be considered as such.

 

Resources will obviously vary from property to property, but here are a few ideas we’ve suggested for clients:

A video tour of your empty hotel (an unprecedented thing for many) could be a magical, eerie and revealing watch. This is a unique moment in your property’s history, and should be documented as such. Everyone wants to go backstage, so why not offer a tour of the kitchen, staff areas and unseen spaces. Cliveden are sharing some charming content of the general managers’s dog Dash looking after the house and estate while it’s closed with the tag #dashonduty.

A virtual Q&A with your resident experts, such as the head chef, gardener, or florist. This could prove lucrative if they are high profile and the opportunity is exclusive enough.

If you have a garden, keep your audience regularly updated with what’s in bloom, what’s being planted, what’s being harvested. Gravetye Manor are doing this wonderfully – and they’re giving cut owers to NHS staff at their local hospital. A number of hotels are offering free hotel stays to NHS staff.

Le Manoir aux Quatr’Saisons are calling their updates ‘postcards from the garden’, which is lovely. An unexpected side effect of these updates is for those whose budget would not, and likely will never, stretch to a stay at these luxury properties, who can enjoy so much more of its joys through social media.

For previous guests, a handful of properties have launched up competitions to share their favourite memories at the hotel with an attractive gift voucher prize, which is providing an enormous amount of content to social media managers who may be working from home and unable to provide to-the-minute updates.

Consider what people need while they are at home. The housekeepers’ trade secrets on keeping a bathroom squeaky clean would feasibility be in grater demand than Michelin-level tips from the kitchen.

Once you’ve exhausted the knowledge of your staff, tap into that of your suppliers – easily actionable advice from your interior design firm, or a calligraphy crash course from the person that does place cards for weddings would be fantastic lockdown resources.

Share playlists, book recommendations, home scents, simple recipes, cocktail tutorials, tips on how to make a bed or how to lay a beautiful table, self care tips from spa staff, tips on wine selection from the sommelier – anything that will evoke the feeling of your hotel at home and remind customers to return.

Now is the perfect time to harness the power of imagination. Can’t check-in? Whisk followers away digitally, instead. Digital innovators have already adopted this – Chic Retreats are riffing on ‘armchair travel’, taking their followers to different hotels around the world in a scroll or a click.

Together, Emily FitzRoy of Bellini Travel (luxury Italian travel planners), Yolanda Edwards (ex Conde Nast Traveller) and Marie-Louise Scìo (of Il Pellicano) are posting their imaginary road trip around Italy to Instagram stories, sharing wonderful routes and all the best of their combined ‘little black books’, along with some impossible itineraries – surely is the joy of imaginary travel – including breakfast at the hotel Pellicano and lunch at le Sirenuse.

With this comes knowledge – people are taking this time to learn about new itineraries and destinations by devising imaginary trips while we’re all stuck at home. Join in, and educate your following about your hotel, your neighbourhood, your country, city or region. Where’s the best local place for pizza, a jaw-dropping view, or a 17th century masterpiece?

Contact Us

Hotel Palette is happy to offer free consultations in response to Covid-19.
This service is available to both existing clients and hoteliers we have yet to meet.

Email

hf@hotelpalette.com

Phone

+44(0)7722 007 881

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