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Visual Storytelling

Updated: Nov 17, 2020

Surviving – and thriving – in our ‘new normal’

This month, we sat down with Robin Payne, our visual storyteller extraordinaire to chat about the importance of visual content in your marketing strategy. Robin specialises in telling your hotel brand story through photography and video content. He has been working in the hotel, hospitality and events industries photographing and filming rooms, hotels, restaurants and events for 15 years.

How important is visual storytelling in both a time of crisis and a post COVID-19 world for hotels?

It’s vital. If hotels don’t have every key aspect of their customer / guest interactions available to view online, then they are missing an opportunity to truly connect and authentically engage with their audience. Many guests will at first be very cautious about heading back to restaurants and hotels, particularly in Victoria, so we need to hold their hand a bit and show them what has changed. Information is the key. People need to feel safe or they won’t relax whether that’s for work or play. The quickest and easiest way to share this information is online through photograph and video content via a website or social media. Generally people absorb information most deeply through sight and sound and who doesn’t love a good story? The challenge is to do this in an effective, creative and timely manner.

What is a “must have” for hotels as part of their digital story?

A new guest will want the full hotel and facilities tour, there’s no way that can be missed. But every hotel is different and so is every guest. A good visual story will highlight a hotel’s points of difference and what makes them unique. A return guest would be different to a new guest, so it’s important to understand what they would want to know and then give it to them through images and videos. This will again vary from hotel to hotel. Hotel’s must create and then maintain a bond between themselves and their guests and creating engaging experiences through video or photos is a very emotive way to do that.

Besides showcasing a hotel’s location and facilities, what other stories can a hotel tell through video that will help differentiate them?

Every experience from the welcome to the farewell should be considered. I’d like to see a back of house tour. People are fascinated by hotels. Let’s meet the staff. Not just the front of house people, but the characters behind the scenes. Interviews with staff sharing their favourite memories and experiences would be great! Highlight any interesting events, big or small.

Once a hotel has been open for a while they can also reference their history using a ‘Remember when…’ It’s great to celebrate and share previous events, funny moments and interesting stories as they re-enforce the hotel / guest bond. The key is to make videos and images interesting for the viewer. If the story is not compelling it won’t be watched or shared. Put some time into brainstorming good ideas and then follow through and make them happen. Plan out the year ahead with regular video updates and then when something interesting or newsworthy comes along, highlight that also. Don’t be afraid to be funny and authentic and always show people why your hotel and offering is unique.

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